Matt Mullenweg has, in an attempt to clear the confusion with themes and the GPL license they might or might not inherit from WordPress, contacted the Software Freedom Law Center, who was instrumental in creating the GPL version 3 license. The reply, which is presented as a whole in the wordpress.org blog, basically says that while CSS and images might not be “tainted” by the GPL license, the template files surely are since they load WordPress functions and rely on them to work. read more
There is a page on wordpress.org that promotes a select few premium theme marketplaces, as we reported yesterday. The only criteria is that the themes need to be GPL and provide professional support a well as give a professional impression.
I caught up with Matt Mullenweg for some quick questions about this via email. This is what he had to say. read more
The hub of all things WordPress, as in the kind you install on your own, is wordpress.org. There’s both a plugin and a theme directory there, and the latter has now gotten some commercial (aka premium) themes treatment. However, the new page merely lists some resellers of commercial GPL themes, so this is not the marketplace a lot of people has been waiting for.
Some of them you may pay for access, some of them are membership sites, some may give you the theme for zero-cost and just charge for support. What they all have in common is people behind them who support open source, WordPress, and its GPL license.
If you’re selling GPL themes for WordPress you can get listed, just scroll down to the bottom of the page. Personally, I think the themes should be hosted on wordpress.org so that they got automatic updates and so on, but that’s a whole other story. I do hope this is just the first step of many in this area, but we’ll see. An official blog post has yet to outline this addition, which might or might not have been up for some time, I really can’t tell.
Premium themes marketplace WooThemes are changing things, going GPL on all themes, and launches a theme club, along with the WooCamp blog. There’s a bunch of membership options for the themes club, and the whole site got a makeover. More will follow. It is hip to be GPL these days. read more
If you’re involved in the WordPress community you have probably heard of Ian Stewart. He’s the fellow running the ThemeShaper blog, home to lots and lots of posts on WordPress and its future. Ian is also responsible for Thematic, a popular WordPress theme that he proposes to be used as a framework for other themes.
And now he’s also responsible for a WordPress link site called Wpazo, and that was what sparked this interview, that also touches on his view of premium themes as well as the GPL and the proposed WordPress admin redesign. read more
Brian Gardner has decided that the premium WordPress theme, Revolution, won’t be sold as of October 31, 2008. A new set of themes will be released instead, GPL’d and free to download. The move has been applauded by Matt Mullenweg, head honcho of the WordPress project. We covered this yesterday, but I figured it would be interesting to talk to Brian about it as well.
Moving the Revolution Theme to another level, with free GPL’d themes, is very interesting for sure. If I was a cynic I would be wondering if this is a move due to the competition in the premium themes market right now, and the fact that sales of the Revolution Theme might have panned out?
This is absolutely not true – in fact, sales have been as steady as ever. My theory is that the amount of people who were purchasing premium themes grew, so the market in general was increasing. There wasn’t a reduction in % split in the market for premium designers, it probably stayed the same, just more people buying them.
Brian Gardner’s Revolution Theme is one of the more successful premium WordPress themes out there. While I have no idea how many licenses have been sold, the praise and amount of websites running it is testament enough.
As of 12:00 midnight, Friday October 31st, the themes that are currently available at the Revolution theme site will no longer be available. Ever. This was a decision that I made in order to protect the integrity of the current themes and the conditions under which they were released.
I didn’t see that one coming, but it does makes sense. The whole idea with the premium themes model is that you’ll have a small number of sites running the same design, more or less, and not thousands of look-a-likes, as you might have should you just download a popular theme. Wanting to protect your users makes sense. But there is more. read more