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Amazing How Themes Spread

It always amazes me how something as simple as a template or theme can be spread, maniplated and changed online.

Recently, Phu Ly has mentioned that his popular theme Simpla has been converted to the default theme for a Ruby on Rails blogging system called Mephisto.

Andreas Viklund, a template designer never expected his themes to spread as they did. Becoming WordPress themes, among being themes for other blogging engines.

It always amazes me as themes are changed and grow outwards from the creator’s original ideas, and preconceptions.

One of the great successes of WordPress especially, but other blogging engines to a lesser extent is the themes and how they can grow and change. Sometimes though people push the boundaries that people will accept by stealing their theme, and moulding it into their own.

I would love to see a more substantial organizationary system on which themes are open for tampering and changing and repackaging as one’s own, and themes where the originator would like them not to be touched.

I would love to hear how others have watched their themes spread on the net, so let me know in the comments how creating a theme has spread and what else it has done for you.

Categories: WordPress Themes

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  1. brem says: 11/17/2006

    It would be inpractical, php being what it is.


  2. Robert says: 11/17/2006

    Stupid question perhaps – how can you track a theme? “Proprietary” CSS classes/IDs maybe?


  3. David ) says: 11/17/2006

    I have noticed more than once where someone has realized that someone is calling a theme their own, when all they have done is tweaked the css and images a bit and sent it out into the world. This recently happened with the Cutline theme.


  4. SmallPotato says: 11/18/2006

    As a free wordpress themes designer, I want to contribute to the community, but right now, there’s a certain point that I’m not going to tolerate. And that’s when other designers steal my design concepts, modify them, and redistribute them under their own name.

    For example, my Neo-Sapien theme that BloggingPro featured earlier this year, modified it and redistributed it on If you read on that page, the description even says “Slik and dark theme originally built for”

    Legally, Dandyland isn’t wrong, but ethically, it isn’t right.

    Once you strip away the comments in coding and the credit links, there’s no way that you can tell who designed or coded a particular theme. What really gets me is that some stealers have been featured on CSS galleries for good looking designs hahaha. I’m not jealous of that because I don’t bother submitting my work to CSS galleries, but it pisses me off to see my work being featured for their quality without my name on it. (For example, browse and you’ll run into the Neo-Sapien design again hahaha.)

    (As for my own mistake on this Neo-Sapien theme, I used a movie cover for the banner without written permission. I’ve learned from that and also updated Neo-Sapien download file without the movie cover.)

    For future themes, I’m going to ask bloggers to credit me or not use my themes at all. That’s the way it is until there’s another solution. It’s sad that some bad apples of the blogging community keep ruining it for everyone else.

    On the bright side of theme designing, it’s crazy how much traffic and pagerank a single theme could generate. Prior to WPDesigner, I’ve never had a PR5 website (not that page rank really matters). If I wanted, I could use the free traffic to promote my own blog related products and services. I think that’s one area that theme designers could really expand on to get some money to pay for their web hosting hahaha.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.


  5. milo says: 11/19/2006

    Well, asking the original developer friendly for permission to release the modded theme should be usus.


  6. flickrville says: 11/19/2006

    Yea, many themes have been modified, i modified the one i’m using on my site now and am quite happy with it :)


  7. John Winslow says: 4/1/2007

    It isn’t so amazing how they spread out, as people (like me) change their minds about themes all the time. It is truly interesting to see how people edit and customize the themes so they aren’t EXACTLY the same.

    I am using this BloggingPro Theme, though I have hacked it to bits and added specific code of my own and others to give me the best of all worlds.

    I like an image in my header so I added one. I LOVE the blockquotes in Cutline so I added them.

    A few code snippets here and there and although the theme is obviously BloggingPro, it is now JOHN’S BLOGGINGPRO.

    I may mess with the colours yet…. ;-)


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