Preview the New Design for the WordPress Themes Directory

A long-awaited update to the official WordPress Themes Directory is in progress. Contributors on the Meta team for are picking up speed on the effort to move the theme repository away from bbPress and into a new plugin, comprised of a custom post type for the repository package and a theme uploader.

Konstantin Obenland posted a project update to inform contributors that both the theme and the plugin that help to power the directory are now open source and available for anyone to view on meta.trac. The plan is to match the new directory design to the WordPress admin themes browser, allowing users to filter themes in a similar way.


As you can see in the screenshots above, much of the same UI from WordPress is being re-purposed for the directory. Users will be able to select from all available filters in order to narrow down results.


A live preview of the new directory is available, though Obenland warns it’s still a bit buggy. The new design also includes an update for the commercially-supported GPL themes page.

Timeline for Launching the New Themes Directory

There is no set timeline for launching the new directory, though some of the larger tasks have already been accomplished. All the necessary API changes are complete, along with the upload process, theme suspension and approval capabilities, and theme version handling.

Obenland identified a list of important tasks that will need to be accomplished before launching the new directory. These items include things like importing existing themes from bbPress, rewriting the theme API and downloads handling to work with WordPress, synchronizing theme review results as a cron job, etc.

Matching the UI to the admin themes browser means that users will have a consistent experience, whether they are searching on or browsing in the WordPress admin. It also speeds up the process by enabling contributors to reuse work that has already been done for the core software.

If you are interested in contributing with the WordPress Meta team, now is an exciting time to jump in. All of the code for the project is public on meta.trac, and you can offer feedback on the blog.


17 responses to “Preview the New Design for the WordPress Themes Directory”

  1. I’d like to see the theme’s repository have the benefits that the plugins one has where you can offer more details and information pertaining to the theme. Tabs like the Changelog, installation, FAQ’s…etc. I’d also like to see the current “Preview” method abolished as it really is the worst ever; have it as a live link to an actual demo of the theme that the theme developer should have (make this mandatory).

    • I agree, having a more info-rich set of content on the individual theme pages would be a benefit to everyone.

      Relying on third parties for demos probably isn’t a good idea though. Definitely not mandatory. The current preview isn’t great, but I think it could be vastly improved with some good content.

  2. The filters should be updated soon also, since some of them are getting irrelevant now. Instead of listing different colors, maybe the list should be changed to include stuff like:

    * minimalist
    * magazine-type
    * blogging
    * customizable colors
    * large header images
    * the list goes on..


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