WP.com Marketplace Idea

At WordCamp Argentina yesterday I talked about an upcoming feature for WordPress.com, a theme marketplace, and while the feedback has been universally positive amoung everyone I talked to some folks who weren’t there and don’t speak Spanish seem to be criticizing third-hand, Google-translated information, which is a little sad to watch, so here’s some details. :)

Right now WordPress.com is a little bit like a clothing store with only XXL men’s pink ponchos available — not a lot of selection. We’d like to offer more products, hence the idea of a theme marketplace.

Imagine you’re a theme designer and if you do a custom one-off theme for a site like this you may get $500. (Keeping the numbers simple for the sake of argument.) Making a good theme is really hard, and you may only be able to do one a week. Now imagine you made a theme and uploaded it to our theme marketplace, then set a price of $50. You’re now an option on the dashboard of 1,736,206 blogs, if we split the price evenly and 20 of those 1,736,206 blogs purchase the theme, you just made as much as you would doing a one-off design. You can plug in different numbers and assumptions there and it’s pretty easy to see how this could be big for designers.

There are some obvious things that need to be in place, and probably a few we haven’t thought of yet. There need to be some theme guidelines (and good taste) enforced, an easy, safe interface for uploading and updating of themes, a system for previewing a theme live on your blog. Beyond the obvious guidelines of browser compatibility and general not-sucking, we’ll require submissions be original, link-free, not published before, and GPL-licensed. (That also means that all themes in the marketplace will be available FREE to wordpress.org users. That may force some to switch from .com to .org, but that’s fine. :)) Will .com users want to buy premium themes? I think so, but the only people really taking that risk are launch partners, and worst-case scenario you’ve got a cool WP theme on your hands. (By the way if you have an amazing theme and you want to be in this program at launch, which should give it a nice boost, drop me an email m@mullenweg.com with “killer theme” in the subject.)

At the end of the day, it’s just a market. I’m sure styles, pricing strategies, and more will develop over time.

122 thoughts on “WP.com Marketplace Idea

  1. Despite I am not an active WordPress.com user – prefer the stand-alone DIY versions ;-) I believe that a theme market place would be a great addition to WordPress.com!
    Which payment processing options are your planning to offer to designers?

  2. We handle all the payments and everything, we’ll probably aggregate and pay out to designers once every 1-3 months, depending on volume and whether they want Paypal or a check. We already have a ton of people who have bought things already, so buying something else should be low-friction.

  3. I think this would go over really well with the people who can’t or don’t want to have their own hosted blog; pretty nifty idea.

    (Random: I wonder if my Gravatar will decide to show up this time.)

  4. Matt, great idea – why not charge .org sites? I think that .org sites are a HUGE part (if not majority) if the market that would be willing to pay for a theme. So, the theme can’t be released, huh? Does this negate any chance my Revolution themes have of making it into the marketplace. I cannot tell you how many people using .com blogs have asked me of they can use the Revolution themes on their blogs.

  5. I think the ease of integration, installation, billing, and the sheer number of blogs makes the .com side pretty compelling.

    Correct that a theme needs to be not released already and GPL. It sounds like Revolution already has a large audience, maybe use it as a launch for something new?

  6. Understood Matt, and I don’t have a problem with something new. But if you have .com users who have already expressed interest in the theme, wouldn’t it make sense to allow it? Talk about immediate sales. But I respect your stance, and it will only motivate me to come up with something. One big question, is this an exclusive deal? Meaning themes that are accepted on the marketplace can only be sold there? As opposed to also being on a designer’s site?

  7. Brian, haven’t thought about that. My inclination is to say you can do whatever you like with it, as long as it’s live on WP.com first. What do you think?

  8. @Brian Sorry brian I think thats a really bad Idea. Lets not involve WordPress.org in any kind of commercial activity.

    I think the GPL themes for WordPress.com now makes sense to me. i.e. As long as the effort that the designers put into a theme is compensated for.

  9. Oh! Themes for WordPress.org users will continue to be free then it sounds like a great idea. I read about this somewhere else and got the impression you were promoting monetizing WordPress components while keeping the core free. That I wouldn’t like.

  10. Hey Brian… I’m not in the market for paid themes, but Revolution is nothing short of amazing. Props to you.

    I think the thorniest issue of Automattic creating a “.org marketplace” is the guarantee of support. There are so many potential issues with plugins and customizations and weasels like me who play with the code, you’d have too many people clamoring for this or that to be fixed.

    Yes, if support is included, the theme designer needs to be around to answer. But if Automattic is involved in the sale as a middleman in some way, there might be an inherent legal liability assumed.

    Either way – let the free marketplace deal with that. I don’t want Matt spending his time poring over contract law or putting us through stuffed and padded EULAs to get to the poetry.

  11. It’s really obvious. There should be not only a marketplace for WP themes but you should extend it to WP related services as well. Make it worldwide and tag the offers by language or country.

    If your road is from a fine software boutique for blogging to a general CMS industry with a strong social networking background… then there is a huge international market for services. Because there are much more customers who want a good living web presence then blogger.

    Just go ahead.

  12. As i told you at the WordCamp, i think it is a great idea, as long as you enforce the requirement of releasing the themes under a GPL-compatible licence so they are available for .org user in the case they want to switch over and keep everything the same.

    ps, remember the es.wp.org thing when you get back home, you have my email :)

  13. I wasn’t sure how I felt at first after reading this, but now I think I like it.

    Not only will it provide income for theme designers and a more “custom” theme for WP.com’ers, it’ll also create new, quality themes for us WP.org’ers.

    It’s just a shame my skills lie in the plugin department rather than the theme department. :(

  14. This sounds like a good idea except $500 sounds cheap.

    I wouldn’t be doing it personally since my pretty design skills suck.

    So as a non-biased person I would say if someone makes a totally hot theme I’d pay $2,000 – $5,000 to own it out right. Take off 30% and divide it by 10 users if its available for 10 users or whatever.

    It’s all pretty subjective really therefore there should be some kind of bidding feature.

  15. Matt, when you say that the theme must be “link-free”, you’re talking about sponsored links only or even author link is forbidden? (i.e. Theme by: Author link).

  16. Samuel, credit and promotion is still there in the theme metadata and dashboard, but on the theme itself there should be no external links.

  17. Doug, we’d like to have a ton of statistics both for users and for theme authors. I could also imagine a day when themes are recommend to you based on what you like or have used before, or what blogs you link to use.

  18. The market is definitely there and I think the idea is good, I just don’t understand the business model. A lot of people who blog on WordPress.com host here because they want to use the awesome software, but either can’t afford or don’t want to pay for hosting. It’s hard for me to imagine them buying a theme. For the cost of the theme, they would probably be able to pay for their own hosting and download the theme for free.

    Maybe I’m missing something and hopefully you can enlighten me :)

  19. ses5909, I think people use WordPress.com mostly because of the easy of use, not because they can’t afford to pay anything. We’ve also seen a ton of adoption of our existing products in the store, so it’s obvious people don’t mind paying for things. I think a theme help defines a site’s identity, and people would gladly pay for one that fit their personality.

  20. I think this sounds like a very good idea. I don’t really understand why people would buy a theme, but if there’s a market for this, I’m glad you’re filling it by providing this service. I might even consider creating a theme. If all of the 1,736,206 blogs buys and installs my $50 theme, I’d become a millionaire! Yay! :-)

  21. Matt, as long as free themes don’t go away, a premium site or marketplace for themes is a great idea. I find myself changing themes every quarter. This is because I always find something interesting on some other blog that I want to implement on mines. One day I’ll be happy with my theme, if I have to pay for that, that’s ok. Good luck.

  22. Matt, I would suggest that you allow the designers to offer it up on their sites at the same price that is agreed with Automattic. This is the only way to address the issue Ike referred to in regards to support. (Ike, thanks for the kind words re: Revolution) I can tell you from personal experience that there are a TON of emails that will result from the offering of premium themes, Matt, and I know you guys don’t want to have to wade through them all. I get requests for customizations as well as simple “how-to’s” and it would be an administrative nightmare for you guys to try to tackle that.

    Considering that my Revolution sites get nowhere near the traffic that .com and it’s 1.7 million blogs get, your email servers would literally fry.

    My suggestion is to offer the theme on your marketplace, allow designers to do the same on their sites and then point all support questions to the url of the designer’s theme, so we can deal with all of the support.

    I’d take a guess at saying that sales would probably run between 80-90% through your marketplace vs. 10-20% through the designer’s sites, so you will have your hand in most of the sales anyway. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with supporting hundreds of themes!

    Just my two cents.

  23. @ Arpit (and Matt) – one thing I forsee being an issue is not allowing .org bloggers to purchase the themes. If you don’t, then I can assure that .org bloggers will whine like crazy, and I will be getting email after email asking if they can still buy the themes.

    Which brings me to a possible change in opinion, in regards to offering the themes on designer’s site. If the decision by Automattic is to only sell the themes on the marketplace, then I would say it would make sense that the designers cannot offer on their own sites.

    IMO, there would be no real good way to regulate .org users from not using a theme, so you’d have to somehow block them from purchasing it. And the only way to do that is to limit the theme to .com users, sold only on the WP marketplace and the theme they purchase would somehow have to be delivered to their “presentation” tab somehow.

  24. Brian I think you might have a fundamental misunderstanding about the system, let me try to spell out the workflow for a user a little more clearly.

    You go to the Presentation page on your .com dashboard and there are two tabs, available themes and premium themes. You click on Premium Themes and you see a screen just like the one you were on. You can filter themes by tag, and page through them, you click on a theme and see a live preview of your site in that theme just like you would for a free one, but instead of an activate link there’s a buy link. After you’ve bought a theme it becomes your active one and is permanently available under “available themes” for that blog. The themes function just like the current ones to on .com, which means there is little to no support on installation, customization, or upgrading.

    You can try out parts of this workflow right now on .com.

  25. Don’t you think that idea is going to kill WP free theme releases? I mean everyone who was designing free themes for wordpress will start to design premium themes only.

    Moreover, what about plugin developers? Are you planing to create a marketplace also for plugins in the near future? By this way, free plugin development also would be stopped.

    If you really would start to sell themes, you can be sure taht WordPress will lose reputation inside of its community.

  26. I think I’m missing something –
    so I make this “killer” GPL, CSS only theme. you sell it for $50, on the premise that it’s not a generic XXL poncho (I know you said pink, but what you meant was gray with a blue hood). Immediately on release, any self-hosted blog can download it and install it themselves. Since it’s CSS-only, anyone on wordpress.com can pay for the CSS Upgrade and start using it.

    Suddenly it seems like my theme is another XXL poncho, and the guy who bought it trying to get a unique design is seriously screwed.

    I must be thinking about this wrong.

  27. adam, for themes that are CSS-only, we can easily take steps on .com to detect and prevent that, and don’t forget we also host the blogs and can talk to their owners.

  28. no offense here, but I do have a question related to the discussion of the theme market place on wp .com :

    is this theme market place idea the reason for the themeviewer still being closed to updates and new theme uploads?

    I have a dash of high-quality themes (similar to the ones I have released for free so far that received 40,000+ downloads) that I would like to share with the wordpress audience, it is a pity that the themeviewer has been “dead-alive” for so many weeks, I really appreciate all work being done to it. my5cent

  29. jez, the technology we’re developing around turning a ZIP upload into a subversion repository, allowing updates, theme tagging, previews, moderation, vulnerability scanning, and more will be used for both. They’re both being worked on concurrently.

  30. Though the concept is good I am one that has to disagree with it. The themes I have come across off of WordPress have not been up to par. From every 10 that I download I find I cannot use nine of them. The reasons for it varies from looking different different than the test version, to not being described properly, to display problems, plug-ins not working, and many other issues too numerous to mention.

    I would hope that any theme being offered for sale on WordPress would be thoroughly independently tested along with a statement of any known ‘bugs’. Otherwise it is my belief you will have a lot of disappointed customers paying a lot for something that lacks quality.

  31. John, a marketplace rewards quality, and it’s in our best interest to ensure that people have a good experience with themes. Since we host everything we have an easier time with this than if the themes were downloaded and installed, because we can update them for everyone in an instant.

  32. If theme owners have to have their themes added to the WP.org directory as well, then why would anyone specifically design a premium theme?

    Instead, won’t they just make their regular themes, and happen to add those to WP.com as well as the free directories they usually do?

    The marketplace is a good idea, but is this really the best way of doing it? :)

  33. Matt, you’re right, I didn’t know how that worked. So how would this all work then if designers were to sell it on their own sites? It seems as though Automattic should be in charge of the .com sales and the designers for the .org sales. All in all, WP will show itself better if both sides can use a theme, especially if it’s premium! In all reality, the #1 reason I created the original Revolution theme was to convince companies/other bloggers that WP can be used as a CMS. Allowing these premium themes on .org blogs only widens your userbase and altogether makes you that much better/stronger than “those other blog platforms”.

  34. Brian, .com is a hosted version of WordPress with a fixed number of themes. You can’t sell anything to .com users, because they can’t modify PHP on the site, this is true whether you do your own store or not. What you choose to do with your theme outside of .com is totally up to you!

  35. I think it’s a good idea to try to offer more themes to your WordPress.com users. Heck, I think you’d have plenty of decent designers trying to submit themes just to as a sort of design ‘milestone’ having gotten a theme into WordPress.com. Besides, doesn’t hurt to try something new :)

    On that note, I’d suggest that if you do implement a new premium theme offering, you come up with a list of requirements/suggestions that theme designers can work from. Such as, themes must be tableless xhtml valid, should support plugins X, Y, and Z, ideally support plugins B, C, and D, should not use [something], have been tested live on WordPress version 2.3.x etc…

    It will make it easier to design themes if there are some specs of what WordPress.com needs supported, and it will make it easier on you guys to weed out the ones that aren’t up to par.

  36. ZIP upload into a subversion repository,

    that’s exciting. SVN is simpler than people think, but that sounds _really_ easy.

    back to what your reply, The GPL license is really innappropriate for what you’re suggesting. to tell a user that they’re doing something wrong by excercising the 4 freedoms of the GPL is confusing at best, illegal at worst.

  37. Thanks Adam. I think the more GPL code in the world, the better it is for everyone in it, so I have a moral interest in encouraging GPL for everything we support.

    This is an experiment, and we can change things if it doesn’t go as expected.

    Overall, I’m much more inclined to take an iTunes approach and out-perform “piracy” rather than take a music industry approach and try to DRM or attack customers who were never going to pay for something anyway. (Not a clean analogy, but I think it gets the gist.) Let’s try treating people like people first, not criminals.

  38. David, CSS themes can be based on any template. I think Sandbox is the best foundation, but it’s not required.

    Premium Themes can also be full, more than just CSS, it’s just faster for us in the beginning.

  39. thanks for your reply matt, your explanation really means a lot to me.
    The features you mentioned are probably really time-intense and eat up a lot of labor. I am almost certain that many talented people from the WordPress community would volunteer to help speed up things.

  40. Matt:

    I used to be a wp.com user before coming to .org, and believe me when I say paying $50 for a theme seems very high. I understand the service wp.com is giving is free (for a good service), but the price should be much lower. I believe with a price point of $5 – $15 would be much better.

    Not only will wp.com retain its identity of a “free” site with premium service, but it will sell themes in volume, at the end of the day bringing the same amount of $ to WP and the designer. tks!

  41. Matt, this is a very good idea. I’ve been developing templates for WordPress (and other tools like Drupal and Joomla) for a few years now, and the option to have a simple, straightforward marketplace linking directly to clients is fantastic. This will vastly improve the quality of the templates and blogs in wordpress.com

    I only have nice words to say. Congrats!

  42. //That also means that all themes in the marketplace will be available FREE to wordpress.org users.//

    I like this part (being a freeloader!) :)

    Thanks,

    S.K

  43. I honestly think this is a terrific idea. As long as you allow theme authors to keep the rights to their work, that is, and you’re consistent about the GPL requirement.

    Been toying with the idea of building a free theme in my spare time, and the opportunity to have my work exposed to literally millions of individuals is a great one—and combined with a chance at some passive income, this is quite enticing indeed. Even if the themes don’t get purchased, this could be a valuable opportunity for talented designers.

  44. Matt:
    Grist for the mill — why not include a “active on x # of wp.com blogs” field for the forms? I’m sure you have the access on the back end to run that sort of a report and then those that are paying for custom themes can trend towards ones that haven’t been used before.

    You could even offer a ASC/DESC sort on theme popularity, etc.

  45. Matt the idea is fine but the 50/50 split seems kind of rough for the developers. I think you might get flooded with new designers selling themes for very low prices.

    Look at things this way. Every transaction has a cost-correct? Figure out the cost add some gravy for wordpress and than set a commission fee cap. That way some top designers might list their $150 theme and not worry about losing $75 (the cap would likely be much lower).

  46. 50/50 is too much. Why have 1 centralized place for the best premium themes and lose half of your time? Independent designers can still work together to make sufficient wp themes. Anyway I think its bullcrap, wordpress is supposed to be one of the best open source tools out there. Now their tryin to steal half our money.

    You just inspired me to buy a new domain: http://www.buywpthemes.com. I tell you what, ill split profit 25/75 :)

  47. sethuhdiah, that’s a good idea. You should also start a version of eBay that takes a lower cut. I’ve heard that’s worked out well for folks in the past.

  48. It’s safer to do free themes. I think your liability if you’re a designer is not limited to the design. In case of flaws, the person who bought your theme might contact you for questions like “your theme does y, how can it do x?”

    Customizing wordpress for commercial use requires a lot of custom code, which would naturally depend on the categories, database stuff like determining the category id.

    I have absolutely no problem about the idea. I am just contemplating the possibilities.

  49. Adam’s query was the obvious hazard of someone simply accessing the CSS and copying it. Thus an upgrade buyer could access all the premium themes at no charge. Matt your answer was you could *lean on* the blogger. Surely that is completely contrary to the GPL and the Open Source notions?

    Secondly you seem to envisage some non CSS only themes as well. At the moment any org theme needs considerable inhouse redevelopment by yourselves to get it to integrate with com. So how is that going to work?

    Finally if you are heading into true *premium* themes – many of them deliver real added value by being bundled with plugins, and by admin panel options (like my own Gemini Plus) – presumably neither of these two productive lines of approach towards high quality, original and innovative themes is going to be allowed?

  50. Root, thanks for your feedback.

    1. We can decide what to do after we see how big an issue it is. By default we’ll treat people like people, not criminals, and see how people use the service, and perhaps adjust our TOS as needed.

    2. There will be guidelines for theme authors, and the submission and moderation process will include feedback.

    3. I think some theme options add value, and some just add options. The most commonly requested functionality, like widgets and custom headers, is built-in and can be implemented with a dozen lines.

    4. Does this mean you don’t want to be a launch partner? You’ve let some pretty personal and critical comments on other blogs.

  51. I dont get why authors couldn’t leave the traditional footer link “theme by Joe”. Also, 50/50 splitting seems a bit too unfair to me. This said, I like the idea of such a market place. Too bad I’m no designer :)

  52. Ozh, the feedback so far from authors in the program has been if they’re getting paid they’re not so concerned about the link. It also saves us the trouble of having to make judgment calls about whether a theme authored by “Find Credit Cards” should be in the system, as sponsored theme people have been “authoring” themes lately to get around rules about sponsored links.

    That said, if feedback from folks in the program changes over time, we can change. We’re not carving these rules into stone at the top of a mountain.

  53. Matt said: “What you choose to do with your theme outside of .com is totally up to you!”

    Does that comply with GPL? Suppose, not.

    According to GPL (v.2) “You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License” (2(b)).

    WP template tags are functions. Functions are parts of program. Thus all templates which contain WP tags (that are all WP templates) must be GPLed.

  54. @Sam,

    The pricing will be something that the designer decides. The $50 that Matt mentioned was just selected at random, I’m sure there will be 50 cent themes on the site ;)

    Although having a bare minimum would certainly be in the interest of everyone, it’s a free market. I assume the same applies on WP.Com, Matt?

    Keep up the good work. :)

  55. @Mikhail,

    They are being GPL’d. They’ll be available on WP.Org free of charge.
    I suspect his reference to “What you choose to do with your theme outside of .com is totally up to you!”, e.g. sell ‘support’ for it, modifications, installation, etc.

  56. David, there will definitely be a pricing floor, probably $10-15, because we want to encourage a certain caliber of theme and also the transaction costs (Paypal, etc) just aren’t worth it below a certain price.

    As for your second comment, as the copyright owner of a theme you can license your theme any number of ways you like in addition to GPL, we’re just saying that for WP.com it must be GPL or compatible.

  57. I didnot understand this :
    how can we sell the theme and have it as GPL at the same time?

    i would be very much interested in this tough….

  58. Hi Matt,

    I’m liking the sounds of this :)

    Would the TemplateMonster.com approach of allowing the buyer to purchase the theme outright work? What about reducing the price of the theme the more it gets downloaded?

  59. What would happen if tomorrow you remove a wp function I used in a marketplace theme ? Am I obligated to upgrade the theme ? What happens if I dont want to do that upgrade ?

  60. Oscar, part of what we’re developing is a system for automatically detecting things like that. Also part of our quality control for incoming themes is to make sure they use the correct API functions rather than direct database queries or other things that may be insecure or likely to break in the future. It’s in your interest to keep a theme updated though, so you can keep selling it to new users and the cost of updating is much, much lower than creating.

  61. “Michael, are you familiar with how WordPress.com works? You can’t add arbitrary themes to it.”

    Matt, I don’t think you understood what I was trying to say. What I was trying to say was about the enforced GPL license.

    Because of that, I think the people this will appeal most to aren’t “premium” designers, but the designers who already add free to the WP.org directory. Once they’ve uploaded a regular theme there, then there would be no reason not to add it to the WP.com marketplace as well.

    For designers looking to earn serious money, why would they want to release the theme for free?

  62. Michael, as a designer you can choose to promote the GPL version or not. However I think people will make so much from the theme marketplace that the .org side will be like a rounding error or not worth the trouble to set up a custom billing system, police piracy, do support, etc.

  63. @Michael,

    I think that’s one of the points, is it’s essentially a way of convincing users to produce ‘better’ themes for .org (not that there aren’t a lot of exceptional ones in there already, though) & at the same time allow them to get some good ol’ coin.

    Quite frankly, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved :) I can’t wait to see it solidify & launch.

  64. I agree with Brian Gardner’s Comment -

    “My suggestion is to offer the theme on your marketplace, allow designers to do the same on their sites and then point all support questions to the url of the designer’s theme, so we can deal with all of the support. – Brian”

    A distributed system is definitely the way to go. Not only will the support be distributed, but designers get increased exposure too – and playing to designers’ wants and needs is key to the success of the market place – focusing on increasing incentives for designers will only result in a wider variety of themes and increased popularity of the Theme Marketplace.

  65. One reason why people choose free themes is because eventually they’ll have to customize the themes by themselves.
    It’s a great idea, and WordPress needs the chance to grow and expand commercially too, but hopefully WordPress facilitates the marketplace to right market target, not just regular bloggers who would –for the love of WordPress!– spend nights grappling with the CSS and PHP files, making the most out of their WordPress blogs.

    It’s love that makes loyalty. And love is free, people.

    -Regular blogger-

  66. Matt, as long as free themes don’t go away, a premium site or marketplace for themes is a great idea. I find myself changing themes every quarter. This is because I always find something interesting on some other blog that I want to implement on mines. One day I’ll be happy with my theme, if I have to pay for that, that’s ok. Good luck.

    is good

  67. I for one welcome the idea of premium themes, I like the way it’s being handled in that Matt & Co. will have guidelines for designers so that there won’t be the problem of unworkable unusable themes; they will all be designed around one spec (hopefully) and the latest version of WP. Much the same way that “themes” work at CSS Zen Garden is how they will (should) work in Matt’s model (am I correct, Matt?).

    And as for support, since Matt will be putting up an author/designer page, I would hope that users of the Premium themes will avail themselves of the designer’s link and ask the designer for help with any problems.

    And as a designer, I certainly would want to know if anyone has a problem with my themes (whether they are free or not), as my reputation is at stake either way.

    And I don’t think it’s true that most WP.com bloggers are necessarily broke, poor or cheapskates. I think it’s a matter of convenience, and sometimes you just can’t tell what someone will decide to pay for. It may be convenient to be hosted at WP.com and yet have a nice slick design without having to “roll your own.” I have been doing web design for over three years and I just paid someone else to create a design for my personal blog. Why? I was in a design rut at the time, and it’s a bit like cooking. I may be a good cook (I am), but sometimes, it tastes better if someone else does the cooking for a change. :-P

    P.S. Sorry to be so longwinded.

  68. I think it’s a great idea and would immediately be in the market for 2-3 themes @ $50. However, being able to find the right theme out of 1000s would need to be addressed – I hate nothing more than browsing through endless themes with no real direction… a nasty way to waste a couple of hours. A great filter and recommendation system would be invaluable and some kind of “lightbox” would be handy too… you know, a place where I can put together a shortlist of themes I like.

  69. I love the idea of a premium themes marketplace for the WordPress.com community. Can’t wait to get them. Its a great way to have a distinct look and more professional blog on the wp.com platform. Thanks Matt!

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