Why did Automattic just give away 165 WordPress themes on Jetpack?
Finding the right theme for your WordPress site is hard.
One of the most difficult things, I think, is working out which features are free and which features you are going to pay for. A lot of developers fail to make it clear and you can waste a lot of time getting testing themes that don’t do “out of the box” what’s on the box.
If you’re a writer, blogger, or anyone else looking for a new theme for your site, the themes developed by Automattic for WordPress.com are amongst the best – and they’ve just released 165 of them for anyone running a WordPress site, whether you are hosting on WordPress.com or not.
There are some great themes available – just point your browser at https://wordpress.com/design and give them a try.
I’m sure there will be plenty of websites hurrying to review the themes and recommend their top-tens. I can almost hear the weight of the blog posts hitting the Internet as I write this.
I won’t be writing one of those articles..
I’m more interested in why Automattic just gave away 165 themes in the first place.
Is the flow of new, free WordPress themes drying up? There are certainly enough websites where you can upload and sell your theme very easily and, as I’ve already pointed out, more and more developers are loading their themes with pay for features.
It’s also possible that WordPress are trying to get more self-hosted sites signed up the Jetpack. They have a vested interest in pushing Jetpack’s paid for features themselves as an additional revenue stream and they’d also like to get users acclimated to WordPress.com’s interface – the interface they re-tooled at great expense and want theme and plugin developers to adopt as a new API/standard.
Without a doubt, I think this signals a clear strategy from Automattic to wrestle back control of the theme marketplace from the likes of Themeforest. Remember, #mysticchris is never wrong.
In the meantime, I’m happy to browse, steal some ideas, and think about how I can get polymath added to WordPress.com!