Update December 11, 2007: Matt Mullenweg offered updated news on the WordPress Theme Viewer saying:
Just wanted to do a quick update for those wondering when you’ll be able to add new themes or update existing ones here in the directory. We’ve been working very hard on a new Subversion-backed database for themes that will allow you to upload themes as you did before, as a plain ZIP file, and we’re transparently check it into SVN so changes can be tracked just like we do for WordPress development.
Unfortunately, I can’t get the site to load, but this came in through the WordPress Theme Viewer Blog Feed, therefore, can’t read the rest of the announcement.
It’s been 5 months since WordPress decided to close access to theme designers uploading and updating their themes on the official WordPress Theme Viewer, and the longer it stays closed, the worse the entire situation gets for WordPress Theme users and designers.
…We NEED access to this site in order to update our themes!
The lack of access to the WordPress Theme Viewer not only hurts my own reputation, but it hurts the users too and could potentially be dangerous! Think about it…
Nathan points out very good reasons why it is critical to open access to the WordPress Theme Viewer so WordPress Theme authors and designers, the most important of which is the reputation of the quality and integrity of the Themes on the WordPress Theme Viewer.
His words echo those I’ve heard from many frustrated WordPress Theme designers over the past few months.
The main reason the WordPress Theme Viewer access was closed down was for a major cleaning of the Theme Viewer, removing Themes with spammy ad links, copyright violations, and duplicate Theme designs. The WordPress Community let the developers know that they didn’t want junk in the “official” WordPress Theme service, and they complied.
Now, five months have passed without access to update their Themes and Theme authors are frustrated that the integrity desired of the WordPress Theme Viewer is lacking as users continue to download buggy and vulnerable Themes. Those who upgraded are stuck with Themes that aren’t WordPress 2.3 compliant. WordPress 2.4 is due out next month, which may include more changes to WordPress Themes, making many of the Themes on the Theme Viewer even more obsolete.
This hurts users and spoils designer’s reputations. It also overwhelms the Support Forums.
If WordPress is to offer an “official” site for WordPress Themes, it must do so in a way that protects the user and the Theme designer equally. Hopefully, access will be restored soon and designers will be able to update their Themes.
- WordPress 2.3 Theme Backward Compatibility
- Staying on Track with WordPress 2.4 News
- The Secret of Successful Editing of WordPress Themes
- Are You Risking Your Blog With an Unofficial or Vulnerable WordPress Theme?
- Microformats and WordPress Themes
- Kubrick and K2 WordPress Themes: Collection of Theme Tips
- WordPress.com Marketplace and The Theme Debate
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress Wins and Loses, WordCamp Argentina Success, WordPressMU, and WordPress Themes on WordPress.com Debated
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.