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Removal of Theme Viewer Themes – No Warning for You!

Much has been said over the whole sponsored/not sponsored theme issue, and I really don’t want to touch on that again, but what I do want to talk about is how it is being dealt with, and the effects that the sweeping edit of what is and isn’t allowed effects the community.

Like many others, Cory Miller has had his themes removed from This wouldn’t be a big deal in itself, if it wasn’t for the way it was being handled.

Cory has this to say:

I found all but one of my themes were deleted … without warning … without the opportunity to update my themes to comply with the new policies, which I would have done … and without the ability to even login once I heard of the new policies.

So in effect, they have:

  • not given us a true deadline to remove or update our themes
  • not allowed us a grace period to update our themes to comply with their new rules
  • not allowed us to even login to update our themes

I don’t think this was the best way to effect a change in policy, but it is an interesting and valid point. I have also heard reports, and experienced first hand, that some of the themes removed, were not sponsored themes, which makes me wonder what the rules were.

Categories: WordPress News, WordPress Themes

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  1. Todd says: 7/18/2007

    Yeah but it’s not like wordpress is a government organisation, they don’t have to do anything that they don’t want do, and they can do anything they want with their site.

    Rules are rules, not law. They aren’t getting paid to moderate the themes nor are you paying to have them up there, they are just trying to deliver some quality content, hence the removal of the sponsored themes to start with, people were flooding it with poor designs just to make money from sposnors.

    It’ll all settle down soon enough and people will start submitting good content again, if your design was good enough to stay in there and having it in their database is of value to you then re-add it…


  2. David Peralty ) says: 7/18/2007

    Hey Todd,

    I am not arguing any of those points. I just believe that it would have been nice to have been given fair warning, that’s all.


  3. Cory Miller says: 7/18/2007

    Todd, you’re right, it’s not a government organization … but WordPress is billed as a “community.” And the reasoning behind the removal was that the “community” voted on the removal.

    I’m not disputing they had the right to do it … I’m just saying, if you call yourself a community and promote yourself as one … then be fair to those included in that community.

    A simple deadline would have sufficed … and after that deadline, yank them off. That’s all I would ask for …

    David, I’m not trying to change policy … what’s done is done now. I didn’t even vote for the decision to ban them either way.

    But I do believe WordPress has hugely benefited from the designers — good or bad — out there that has, through their free themes, helped to promote the platform (whether we got paid for it or not) …

    And believe me … I love and adore WordPress. I’ll continue to do free themes for public consumption and without paid sponsor links. I’m just asking for a little fairness next time around.


  4. that girl again says: 7/18/2007

    I don’t think anybody seriously believes that sponsored themes have been removed because it was what the community wanted. I mean, there are other threads in the ideas forum with higher ratings that have no chance of getting implemented. Matt would have gone ahead with the ban even if every single person on that thread had voted against it; he’s said elsewhere that he doesn’t care whether it’s popular or not, he’s doing it because he personally thinks it’s the right thing to do. Don’t ever mistake the talk of ‘community’ for anything more substantial than rhetoric. The only community member whose opinion really counts for anything is, and always has been, Matt.

    I’m interested to see which site will end up top of the unofficial directories.The official theme viewer has not been fully functional for a while now; and with signups and uploads currently closed, there will be a number of theme developers out there looking for new outlets, whether they’re casualties of the current purges or not.


  5. David Peralty ) says: 7/18/2007

    Cory – Sorry, I should have changed the wording. I wasn’t saying that you were trying to change policy, but that Themes.WordPress’s policy changed and it wasn’t the right way for them to do it.

    And thanks that girl again. :)


  6. Mark says: 7/18/2007

    @ Todd

    As far as moderating is concerned, we worked for free for the past 4 months and probably did more than what a hired moderator would do.

    As far as providing a free service is concerned, the returns are many. As much as users should be grateful to them, they should not forget that the site became bigger and more popular because of the users (and pretty much due to the high number of sponsored themes as well, even if they do not want to admit it). If they remove approximately 75% of the themes because they are sponsored, they also stand to lose. They are allowing users to put their themes back on to retain their own traffic, which is good for them as well as good for theme authors who sure have not found a better alternative yet.

    As far as good and bad themes are concerned, statistics prove that both the best and the worst themes were sponsored, although the comparison wouldn’t even be fair, because close to 80% of the new releases were sponsored.

    As far as the warning goes, it wasn’t necessary, I’m with you on that. It’s their site and they had mentioned earlier what they like, and what they don’t. And then we should know by now what to expect and from whom.

    But I do commend Cory Miller’s stand too. It’s not easy to isolate oneself from the most popular theme distribution site and withstand the competition. If only all sponsored designers did that, we’d earn a lot more respect.