On July 18, Joseph Scott announced that after what seemed like, well, what seemed like a very long time, an official WordPress themes directory had returned. And you know what? It turned out to be awesome (and if you read below, it should get awesome-er). But I still had some questions and a few details that I wanted clarification on. I bet you did too. With that in mind, here’s Matt Mullenweg and Joseph Scott on what’s happening at the WordPress themes directory.
ThemeShaper: The new WordPress themes directory is great but—and I think I speak for almost every WordPress user here—what took so long? Was it taking “great lengths to make this as painless as possible for theme authors”? Or was it something else?
Matt: Basically the system for interacting with Subversion invisibly via ZIP files took a bit longer than we thought. There is still a lot more to do to make it a fantastic experience for both theme authors and WP users, but for launch we just wanted to get in the most essential features.
ThemeShaper: What does the WordPress Themes Directory bring to the community that Theme Clubs and individual developers aren’t bringing right now? And flipping it around, what is the directory bringing to those same Theme Clubs and individual developers?
Matt: Theme authors and all the different theme sites were all doing interesting things and great jobs on their own, but if you think from the point of view of a WordPress user there were a couple of big problems:
- Themes were scattered across the web, searching for them was frustrating, it was easy to miss good ones, and each site had its own UI for downloading and testing.
- Many of the theme directories seemed more interested in promoting paid themes they got affiliate revenue from than highlighting the amazing free GPL themes out there.
- There were some fake theme directories set up that were distributing malware, if you installed one of their themes (often copies of legit themes) it would hack your blog.
- Themes were of varying quality, and it was difficult to tell which themes supported which WordPress features.
The WordPress theme directory addresses all of these, and as a bonus allows us to do a theme update mechanism like we have for plugins and give theme authors a canonical place to track their distribution.
Since there have been over 150,000 downloads in less than a month it seems to be working.
Continue reading “Matt Mullenweg & Joseph Scott Discuss The WordPress Themes Directory”
For a while now I’ve wanted to release a WordPress theme for small to medium-sized businesses that would allow them to quickly set up a professional, smart-looking website. And today, I’d like to introduce you to Travailler, the WordPress theme that puts your blog to work.
Check out the demo by clicking on the big image below and then come on back and read on.
Continue reading “Use WordPress As a CMS With The Travailler Theme”
Thematic 0.5 is ready for download. I’m not sure why I’ve held on to this one for so long. I guess I’ll have to just hurry up with 0.6 then, won’t I? Here’s a list of some of the most notable changes.
- I added a new grid background to the images folder (960_grid_12_col_21px_height.gif). It’s the same grid I created for ThemeShaper when I did the latest redesign. Now it’s yours too.
- Thematic is now fully translatable and localized (I’d forgotten about one errant “By” in previous versions). Indeed, it even includes a Français translation by Michaël Foussard. Merci, Michaël!
- Probably most exciting of all, I went and did an SEO audit on Thematic (the definitive guide to WordPress SEO was a big help). And I’m mostly, pretty, 99.9% certain that there’s not much else I can do to optimize it. But prove me wrong, please! I want Thematic to be the best it can be.
Continue reading “Thematic 0.5 Ready for Download”
Thematic version 0.3 is ready. If you’re upgrading, stuff moved. That’s beta for you—but don’t worry, I’ve made things better. Here’s what I’ve gone and done.
- Added a 3 column stylesheet
- Cleaned up the post meta and separated it from the comments section following popular convention (and probably breaking stylesheets)
- Prettified the sliding meta panel with a photoshop-y G.I. Joe handle (it’s like Snake Eyes designed it!)
- Added an option to control the position of the widget area that shows up between the post on the index page—a great place for promoting something important
- Added a print stylesheet that should undo any unprintable styles you add to your theme.
Continue reading “Thematic Version 0.3”
Automattic, the folks behind WordPress.com have a great quote on their company site, “Blogging is too hard.” I totally agree.
Why did you start your personal blog anyway? You wanted a place online to share things you found interesting and occasionally write a longer article, maybe even a rant. Right? Did you want to start a magazine site with 40 categories carefully arranged on a complicated home page? Or did you want a blindingly shiny site that looked like it had been attacked by a pack of floor buffers? Probably not. Did you want something simple and cool looking? Something easy to post to? Something that looked and worked like the tumblelog-style WordPress theme MNML? (What’s a tumblelog?)
Maybe. Let’s take a closer look at it.
View the live Demo or Download MNML.
Continue reading “MNML, A TumbleLog Style WordPress Theme”
I’ve been thinking about my next theme (now available), reviewing the themes in progress and looking over my list of plans. I think I’ve come to a conclusion about what the next ThemeShaper theme will be. Oh wait, you’ve already read the title so you know. Yeah, it’ll be a Tumblelog theme.
First things first, what’s a Tumblelog theme? Well in my mind it’s a theme that lets you tumble with the now. A theme that lets you post, post, post—consequences be damned. A Facebook where you’re in control. A tumbling rolling current of links and thoughts that doesn’t try and pass itself off as a community hub, premium news magazine, or anything anti-blog. It’s the bloggiest of all blogs really. Especially in this current phase of WordPress. Continue reading “A Tumblelog Theme for WordPress, a Preview and Thoughts”
Theseus is the legendary Greek hero famous, amongst other feats, for defeating the Minotaur at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth and finding his way out again, thanks to a ball of string. This theme hopes to do the same, leading your readers through a maze of content, taking them carefully through what they need to see without getting lost.
The WordPress theme, Theseus, does this in two ways; by prominently featuring the latest post in a “feature” category of your choice (conveniently set on the theme options page) and moving all non-essential stuff (you know, widgets) to the page footer. Continue reading “Theseus, A WordPress Theme for Conquering a Maze of Content”
Clicking on the image above will take you to a demo of my WordPress theme-in-progress, Theseus. Of course, depending on when you read this, it might lead to the finished theme. Then again, you may be reading this farther in the future than I’m anticipating and the link will instead lead to a page extolling the virtues of our new Martian overlords. In that case, all hail Theseus, Emperor of Mars! Continue reading “WordPress Theme Preview: Theseus”
If you’re like me, you like registering domains. It’s exciting. But what’s not exciting is watching your hosting company or domain registrar turn your name into an ad-farm while you’re getting ready to launch your next WordPress blog. If you didn’t know it, that’s called domain parking; a way for hosts and domain registrars to capitalize on all the underdeveloped domains out there. That’s why I came up with LaunchPad, the WordPress Domain Parking Theme. To explain: if this theme had a motto it might be, “I’m not your billboard.”
Now with most hosts offering one-click installs of WordPress it couldn’t be easier to park your domain in style while you get your future blog ready. Just install WordPress, sign up for FeedBurner with email subscriptions (see instructions below) and you’re set! You get a professionally designed domain parking page—for free—that serves up an RSS feed link and a form for email updates. Continue reading “LaunchPad, The WordPress Domain Parking Theme”