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New Ways to Find WordPress Themes

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There are thousands of themes available for WordPress. Today, the largest collection of WordPress themes can still be found through the official Theme Directory and its Tag Filter, but two new directories have brought some new concepts to the plate when it comes to finding your next WordPress theme.

WPCandy’s Theme Finder offers an elimination-style overview of available themes utilizing color, number of columns, and price (free v.s paid) as factors.

Theme Garden’s Layout Browser offers a very comprehensive directory of themes based strictly on layout.

While WPCandy’s Theme Finder is filled with mostly premium themes and Theme Garden’s Layout Browser is restricted solely to their theme marketplace, the two bring something new to a field that was long thought to be well saturated by the official Theme Directory.

What do you think of these new theme directories? Do you think that some of these features should be added to WordPress’ official Theme Directory?

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  1. DazzlinDonna (8 comments.) says:

    The official repository needs *something* to make it more usable. The way it works now seems like it would work well, but it just doesn’t. I’m not sure why, but it just never seems to turn up the results I’d expect when I use their search options. So, yeah, if they can copy the works of others to make it a better search experience, that would be great.

    • David Latapie (1 comments.) says:

      The official repository needs a lot more filters. It is not able to cope with thousands of themes, where brute-force browsing is not an option anymore.

      For instance, I would like to select: “any theme that reproduce the public style sheet in the text editor, like TwentyTen does”. A lot of themes claim to implement all WP 3.0 new features, and still I have yet to find a theme that does this.

      Also, I am looking for themes that use stylesheet_directory in headers.php (in order to use Dropbox CDN. Guess what? No way to filter.

      I think the whole theme directory should be rebuilt with automatic testings. Such a thing is already being done for screening submitted themes against malicious code (you can do the same for a theme downloaded somewhere else with the <a href="http://wordpress.org/extend/pl.....uot;WTheme Authenticity Checker plugin). It “just” has to be done the same for these other feature. Plus, that would inspire themers to do more than just a new skin with some widgets.

  2. Oliver says:

    Another feature that would be appreciated ?

    Lightweight VS “heavy and requiring huge server resources when you’ve got big traffic”.
    This is an obsession of mine, but I’ve seen servers brought to their knees by a simple template change, so in my eyes at least, being able to filter out server-intensive themes would be a time saviour.

  3. Oliver says:

    Back to add more, I’m abashed by the http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ page, I’m certain there were more filtering options at an older time ! o_O

    Filtering by number of columns, of simple VS magazine, and also by dominant color, would be a strict absolute minimum…

  4. DazzlinDonna (8 comments.) says:

    Oliver, they’ve practically buried their filter mechanism in a tiny link, but you can find it at http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/tag-filter/ . It “looks” like it would be sufficient, but it never really seems to do a proper job to me.

  5. roald (1 comments.) says:

    I think there should be 1 directory with premium and free themes. And there should be more tags to search for.
    Right now i monthly search through google for new themes, and have to rely on other bloggers about new themes. I found a lot of themes that are okay, but also a lot of themes that shouldn’t be around, because they’re not developed enough to work for everybody and there are lot of crapy themes around also.

    I would love to see that WordPress will use a mark that points out how good a themes is. Or maybe gives points to themes based on a checklist. I think this must be done by a professional jury, and not by the public like a rating system.

    Let’s put al the themes together, and let them be searchable in a way that the professional and the beginner can find what they need.

    • mrokoi (1 comments.) says:

      Agree with what roald said. There should be a directory with premium and free themes, also should be more tags to search for…

  6. SiteSubscribe (2 comments.) says:

    Really like Theme Finder. Planning on using it as a resource for my customers.

    I have over 500 themes pre-installed for my customers, and getting them to pick one is difficult. I currently use a ‘Theme Showcase’, but still too many themes to look at, so Theme Finder should help.

    I have most, but not all, of the themes they display, and I don’t mind picking up a new one now and then if a customer requests it.

    Of course if the WordPress.org website had similar or better capabilities as Theme Finder then I’d probably use that to send my customers to instead.

  7. Siju George (1 comments.) says:

    I never used WordPress official theme directory before. Right after reading this post I checked the directory and found a huge collection of themes. Now I am filtering the selected free themes to get a final one.

  8. Thomas (2 comments.) says:

    I think there’s definitely room for a few more selections. That’s a rather small list.

    I hope to add PopWP.com to your list within the next couple of months, still in the planning the right direction stage. Threw up a handy little news aggregation theme for WordPress people that seems to be helpful but overhauling and changing the theme shortly.

    Anyway, I really didn’t like WP Candy’s offering. I can’t stand the standard WP option… Yet to check out Theme Garden, but I guess that’s my next click. ;-)

  9. Jamie Northrup (7 comments.) says:

    They both are interesting concept, but they are lacking a lot of themes, just by adding the amazing selection of Theme Forest’s WordPress marketplace would be awesome, their themes are premium but cheaper, and there are dozens of different authors so you can get a good variety.



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