One pet peeve of mine, as a heavy WordPress user, is the lack of variety in modern blog themes. Modern themes are so blank and formless, almost universally, while all the good, old themes from the mid-2000s or so have seemingly disappeared off the visible internet. It's damn near impossible to find any for download if you don't know where to look.
Thankfully, the Internet Archive never forgets, and most, if not all, of the themes featured in the former WordPress.net Theme Viewer were saved with the site itself. Unfortunately, like most archived sites, many of the assets and thumbnails have gone missing. It's also just plain cramped to browse. These themes really do deserve better than that.
So, thanks to dcb's scrape of Theme Viewer (1,700+ themes!), I've been able to start putting together what I'm calling The WordPress Theme Archive. Themes from around 2006 are the focus here. I haven't edited any of these, merely sorted out the broken or duplicate ones, installed the good ones, screencapped them, and noted down their names and authors.
If you're unfamiliar with manually installing WordPress themes, I'm not gonna go into it here. Basically, unzip and upload the folder to
wp-content/themes/ in your WordPress install. Then you can activate the theme from your blog's dashboard.
- I didn't make any of these, and I'm not responsible for what they do.
- I did my best to verify these as working, but these are about 15 years old now, firmly legacy stuff. If WordPress comes out with an update tomorrow that breaks them, them's the breaks.
- Naturally, even if they do still work, they're not up to code. Expect deprecated functions and security practices modern web people frown upon. (For what it's worth, I use one of these themes on my own blog and have yet to run into any trouble.)
- URLs and names are just what was listed in the
style.cssof the theme. These may be long-defunct.
- The screenshots were all taken with Vivaldi's capture function, which has some trouble with backgrounds and elements not showing up in the capture at times. If something looks wonky in a screenshot, it's probably just the screenshot.
As long as you understand these, we'll be fine. Keep checking back for updates, I'm just getting started.