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Let’s Encourage Designers to bring Classic WordPress Themes back to Life

Posted on by in Blog

There have been some amazing WordPress themes over the last few years. Unfortunately, some of these great themes have not been updated in years, therefore they are not compatible with the latest versions of WordPress (particularly themes released before WP 2.7).

Although trends change, some of these iconic themes have stood the test of time well. Which is why I was pleased to read that a few designers are keen on bringing classic themes back to life.

WordPress designer Leland Fiegel, who did a fantastic custom theme for me 5 months ago, outlined his plans on this in his article ‘Resurrected Themes – Bringing Old WordPress Themes Back to Life‘.

And Leland his not the only one who is keen on doing this. He notes that he got the idea himself from WordPress designers Remkus de Vries and Ian Stewart was keen on the idea too. Leland’s plan is to choose an old GPL licensed theme and then an up to date framework like Thematic. He will then convert the older theme to work as a child theme of the framework.

I would expect the process of upgrading a theme would be much quicker than creating a theme from scratch. And with many sites releasing themes to the WordPress community in order to get a little traffic back, it’s surprising that older themes aren’t upgraded more regularly.

Tung Do, the WordPress designer better known as Small Potato, commented:

I’m +1 for theme resurrection. Plugins get abandoned and re-supported all the times. It’s about time someone does it for themes.

Leland already has, though it would be great to see more designers join the ‘resurrection party’ and release some classic GPL themes.

What do you think about all of this? Is there a classic WordPress theme you’d like to see upgraded to WordPress 3.0?


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Comments (7)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Thanks for dropping by Jason. I’m sure many people will be pleased with this announcement :)

Comment by Jason says:

If there is enough interest, I might potentially consider updating those themes to be released for free on

Comment by Kim Parsell says:

Perhaps someone can contact Jason about redoing those old wp-elements themes and see what he says. Can’t hurt to ask. ;)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

WP Elements now redirects to Press75 so I assume that won’t happen (unfortunately).

Comment by Eric Hamby says:

Would love to see the old “original” wp-elements themes come back.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

I’m sure many will value your input Darren. :)

I think it’s always best to contact the original author out of courtesy. I think most authors will be pleased to see their themes being carried on. If their theme was released in GPL then you can rerelease them keeping their credits without their approval.

Though it would be great to get the original designer on your side, particularly if they can help out in some way.

Comment by Darren says:

Although I’m not sure many people will care about my input. I definably feel like resurrecting a few themes as well!

I have a few themes in mind too. Do you think contacting the original author of the theme would be a good idea? Out of courtesy, they may link to the new theme to direct users of the old theme to it.

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