WordPress Theme Viewer — Still Crippled

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.

Every once in a while, I check out the sites that use my themes, both the ones I’ve released here, and the ones I did at RockinThemes.com.

I recently updated one of my most popular themes, RockinBizRed and I released it here at NathanRice.net. I then updated all the links at RockinThemes to reflect this new version.

However, to this day, I continue to see new incoming links from the older version, the buggy version, from RockinBizRed on the WordPress Theme Viewer, the official site for WordPress Themes, a site which continues to be closed to WordPress Theme authors and designers for updating their designs.

I feel so horrible for those still downloading this popular WordPress Theme, not knowing it’s got some code bugs and security issues. For instance, I saw this site pop up in my incoming links today. Take a look and cringe. The sidebars are seriously screwed up and I’m sure they are blaming me for bad web design when this issue was faced a long time ago.

This really isn’t fair to the user of that theme. It’s not their fault the official WordPress Theme Viewer, a site they trust, delivered them an out of date, buggy theme.

And that goes for the rest of my vulnerable themes that are still sitting out there in the theme viewer, and believe me, there are plenty. I know I’m not the only one with multiple out of date or vulnerable themes sitting on the official WordPress Theme Viewer, because it has been closed since July to theme designers needing to updated their badly out of date themes!

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 …

  1. There are plenty of themes out there with security risks. Without the authors having the ability to upgrade, users are put in danger by using the WordPress Theme Viewer, because users trust WordPress to handle this more than they do any other theme distribution site.
  2. Many themes are restricted to WordPress version 2.2 and below. Most people don’t have the ability to upgrade a theme themselves, so they are stuck.
  3. There could be a higher rate of theme related questions in the support forum, due to authors not being able to upgrade their themes.
  4. Theme authors have to answer the same email and comments over and over about why the theme doesn’t work, because the user can’t upgrade it!
  5. Frustrated users may decide to go to alternate download sites to get their themes, some of which are very shady and dangerous!
  6. Users are generally unhappy at the quality of the themes on the viewer – think they have a good reason?

I’m not blaming anyone for this. I’m sure it’s no single person’s fault. In the end, the users lose if we don’t open up the WordPress Theme Viewer soon. I certainly hope, for their sake, the Theme Viewer is back up and running soon. Seriously, 5 months … and as far as I’m concerned … that’s long enough.

Please! Open the Theme Viewer back up to designers to update our themes! As long outdated themes remain on the Theme Viewer, everyone loses.

Reader Interactions


  1. Once upon a time, the WordPress Theme Viewer was relevant. You used to be able to browse through the site and find new themes that were of reasonable quality and as you point out, “up to date”. Such is not the case any more by any stretch of the imagination. The search feature is horribly broken and the majority of the themes are horrendously out of date. New themes often go weeks, if not months, before they even have a thumbnail of the design. There can be no denying that the site is in a serious state of disrepair and while I have very little faith that it will rebound any time soon, here is to hoping.

  2. @dandyman

    I wasn’t aware that “new themes” could be posted at the moment? I thought everyone was locked out until they are done with the “upgrades”? Do you have an open account?

  3. I don’t know much about the situation, but your appraisal seems about right. I’ve just started playing around with WordPress themes, but my “application” to be able to post to Theme Viewer is at least a week old and hasn’t seen any hint of a response. I’m disappointed.

  4. I just reported my own (1.5-era!) theme through their contact form for insecurity and dodgy licencing. I’m not hopeful that they’ll take it down, but it’s worth a go. You could try reporting your theme to get it removed, but there’s a risk they might not let you re-upload it if the site ever reopens.

  5. It’s one thing to disallow new site submissions, it’s another to leave the page completely ambiguous. Until recently, there was still a “submit your site” link which looped back to the original page, with no explanation.

  6. The theme viewer badly needed a professional cleanup and redevelopment, it has taken a while to get things straight but I am sure when it is launched, it will be bigger and better. TV has not seen the last of it yet!

  7. Begin Searching public records of people all across the United States by doing a Public Record Search today! You too can have instant access to gain new found knowledge on millions of individuals accross the US.

  8. 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.

  9. What about tag pages? I’m finding that alot of my traffic is coming from tag pages. I didn’t see any settings for true/false with regard to tag pages. Thx.