More themes going into retirement

Written by Magnus Jepson on June 18, 2012 Blog.

In the beginning of March we put some of our oldest and least used themes into retirement, which went down well with most of you. We still provide support for the retired themes in our forums, but the support is minimal now. So we’ve gone through our theme download stats and compiled a new list of themes that are least downloaded, which we’ll be retiring in the beginning of July:

  • Abstract
  • Apz
  • Auld
  • Bloggingstream
  • Caffeinated
  • Chapters
  • Cushy
  • Coda
  • Digital Farm
  • FaultPress
  • Flash News
  • Groovy Video
  • Live Wire
  • MyStream
  • Open Air
  • Retreat
  • Therapy

Support

We’ll continue to support these themes for a limited time period in our forums after we retire them, so current users of these themes can continue using them if they want. But we also would like to give those users a chance to upgrade to a new theme at a discounted price, so if you own one of these themes and you were thinking of upgrading, be sure to make use of the coupon code below.

Discount Coupon

Get a 40% discount if you own one of these themes and wish to upgrade to a newer theme. Just use RETIRED2 as your coupon code on checkout.

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73 Responses

  1. Sarah
    June 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    I’ve just finished setting up two new sites using Cushy and OpenAir so I have no intention of changing these to something else. What I want to know is how long will the support last for and what will happen moving forward with regards to updates? If WP release an update will these themes be upgraded if they stop working, or is that unlikely to happen?

    • Magnus
      June 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      We’ll continue to support them, without setting a clear limit on when we’ll stop, but obviously we’ll only provide support if there are any update issues with WP (unlikely), and not customization issues.

      • Sarah
        June 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

        Thanks Magnus, that makes me feel better!

  2. Rahul Sharma
    June 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Dude!!! why faultpress man!

    please let that theme be man!

    You never know when people may require that theme…
    please

    • Magnus
      June 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      FaultPress hasn’t been a big hit unfortunately, which is why it is being retired.

      • Peter Shackelford
        June 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

        There have been a few times I would have chosen FaultPress but because of the different pricing structure I ended up focusing on working with the other themes with the 3 for the price of one system. The other factor is that you can’t choose FaultPress as on of your extras. That makes it a stand alone purchase. I went with wikeasy instead.

  3. Shane
    June 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    FaultPress? Seriously?

  4. Garrett
    June 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    This makes complete sense, and as a past business owner who has had to retire many products, completely acceptable.

    I think you’d have 100% buyin if you publicly ranked the level of acceptance/buying of each product to your customers.

    The reality is that if I buy one of your top 5 most popular products every time I buy a theme, I’ll have support into, well, forever. That makes me much more warm and fuzzy.

    With product retirement now in your toolbox, adding a new sorting feature which communicates popularity will allow me, your customer, to select a theme that will always be supported. Or at least has a better chance.

    thanks guys and gals,

  5. Andy Kinsey
    June 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I think it makes sense, there isn’t anything there too surprising in all honesty and would probably be the ones I’d retire too as the others seem more relevant to todays world? just my thoughts…

    Consolidation means you can focus on new themes and making the most of today rather than spending that cash on older themes that are seldom used, well done guys

  6. Andreas
    June 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Shame about Chapters – always really liked that theme but I understand where you guys are coming from. I’ve just installed WooCommerce on a new site of mine – great stuff – way better than Shopify!

  7. Frank McClung
    June 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I wish Faultpress could be saved. Maybe making it a regular priced theme would bump up the sales? Seems a shame to lose it.

    • Magnus
      June 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Unfortunately this is an advanced theme, requiring advanced support and updates, so we couldn’t justify a normal price tag and inclusion in bonus themes.

  8. Craig
    June 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Ditto on Faultpress. Just rolled it out on some sites and clients are very happy. Keep it live, guys.

  9. Drew Jaynes
    June 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    I’m gonna concur on FaultPress and here’s why: App themes are special-use and always will be, so retiring them based on numbers really isn’t a fair way to gauge popularity. People ask for app-themes because they have a special need _once-in-a-while_ รขโ‚ฌยฆ popularity should be gauged on that metric, not number of downloads.

  10. Pali Madra
    June 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Has the team/management thought about making themes open source though it would be gross injustice to those customers who have just bought these themes but then those customers would continue to get the support and anyone downloading the themes as open source would not get any support at all.

    Making them opensource might build a strong community around these themes and maybe forums can be the place where people can get support who opt for these themes as open source.

    I can see the downsides of this idea as well as these are Wootheme products and Woothemes has a priceless reputation to guard.

    • Magnus
      June 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

      We tried this with Premium News theme when we made it free, and that didn’t go down well with our customers, so we decided to not go down that route in the future.

      FaultPress might be a candidate though, as it was never a big seller to start with…

      • Pete Pasierb
        June 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

        Themes like Faultpress were never ever going to be anything other than niche. This would probably be the very reason the few who did subscribe jumped on it. Surely if you go down the route of offering low overall demand inducements to acquit new customers they should subsequently not be hung out to dry with precious few alternatives available to them from competitors to migrate to?

      • Tiny Giant Studios
        June 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

        What about the possibility of handing over the reigns to someone like Appthemes?

  11. Foo
    June 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Faultpress and Chapters are interesting choices. These themes would never had wide appeal but solved niche solutions. Is it safe to assume WooThemes will be cutting back on it’s development of specialty themes?

    • Magnus
      June 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

      It’s sad to see such great themes go, but some niches are maybe just too small? We will be focusing more on themes that can do more, instead of themes that only cover a small niche ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Javid
    June 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Clean up is fine – but I’m a little disappointed with releasing new Themes…

    • Magnus
      June 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      So are we to be honest, but I assure you we are getting to that soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Sandie
    June 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    No problem with theme retirement in principle. Pretty surprised Faultpress is included, as even with low download numbers it added flexibility to your offering. When viewed alongside the retirement of your Buddypress child themes and the crowding out of non-WooCommerce themes, I’m left wondering if you intend to focus solely on WooCommerce for the foreseeable future?

  14. Mika
    June 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    A little bit sad for Flashnews. This theme is still fantastic…

  15. S
    June 19, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    I use Coda, Therapy, Digital Farm, and Open Air so much, this really makes me upset. I guess I’ll have to download them and keep using them without support.

    Coda is what makes me the most upset, as with a modification (making a static homepage or post list instead of the widgets) makes it a very beautiful and functional base theme.

    ๐Ÿ™

    • S
      June 19, 2012 at 12:36 am #

      In addition, the main reason I chose to subscribe to Woothemes over other WordPress theme sites, is the number of themes that were available.

      You guys already nuked some in March, and now a bunch more. The list of themes is getting shorter and shorter, as well as the newer themes not being as impressive.

  16. Neo
    June 19, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Well Magnus more themes that do more is not what you have done lately. It is just woo commerse all the way. I am sure that will bring a nice income to the company but the reason why i bought a year sub is all the “NICHE” theme. I was looking forward to more of them but i got less. Stop retire theme and make more themes and less plug in.

    • Magnus
      June 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      Themes like Whitelight, Merchant and Canvas v5+ are good examples of themes I’m referring to.

      We’ve learned that we unfortunately can’t meet everybody’s needs as a subscriber. If we put out niche themes, then users complain that there are no magazine/biz themes and vice versa ๐Ÿ˜‰

      We’ll only retire themes that are hardly used by anyone or are outdated.

  17. Daines
    June 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Can these themes be made available for free and then only supported through a public forum?? Or will this still create a lot of work for you guys?

    • Magnus
      June 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Our existing customers who have bought these themes would not like it if we made them free. I say this from experience, as we have tried it before ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Dave
        June 20, 2012 at 1:48 am #

        Consider giving existing customers their choice of a Free theme from any available upon retirement of the one they paid for, whilst making the retired theme free for all. I doubt you’d hear many complaints then.

        Alternately, you could place all retired themes into a ‘bonus pool’ that could be accessed when a new customer buys. That way, there is still an incentive for a potential customer to make a purchase. 3-for-1, Plus…

        • Magnus
          June 20, 2012 at 9:09 am #

          Thanks for the tips, but we’ve already discussed such alternatives. Part of the issue here is that most of these themes are seeing signs of aging both in design and functionality.

          • Marcus Tibesar
            July 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

            How about when you retire a theme, offer an alternative.

            For example, take your Canvas theme (which will be around for a long time due to its popularity) and, offer for sale a “new” child theme with customizations similar to the retired theme.

            To determine whether WooThemes should develop the new Canvas child-theme or not, you could ask the designated-retired-theme customers if they would purchase the proposed new child…..

  18. Charlie
    June 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    I am sad to see FaultPress go. As a subscriber I really love the app themes. Even if I don’t need each niche, there is a lot that can be learned from these themes. They have certainly kept my interest as a member.

  19. Lee
    June 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    May not be popular to make them free but thought that it would help to maintain interest in the themes if supported in a public forum, just a suggestion ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Paul Hastings
    June 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Yall should totally release these retired themes into the WordPress repo or as free themes on WooThemes!

  21. P
    June 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Have you edited these themes already? I just downloaded Coda and went to edit it then found some of the effects are gone. Gimme till at least July to download all the ones I need to use, please. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • P
      June 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

      Figured it out, new firefox update doesnt have rounded corners working yet I guess haha

      • P
        June 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

        Update: In Gecko 2.0 -moz-border-radius was renamed to border-radius; -moz-border-radius was supported as an alias until Gecko 12.0. In order to conform to the CSS3 standard, Gecko 2.0.

  22. Steven
    June 20, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Like many others before me… why FaultPress? That’s an unique theme which serves an unique purpose / niche you won’t find that easily elsewhere in this setup!

    Hopefully you re-consider the retirement of FaultPress ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Ricky Lee
    June 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Wow, WooThemes. We pay a subscription for a reason. Don’t retire FaultPress.

  24. Vikk
    June 22, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    I was just going to buy Chapters. This is terrible. I think it’s perfect for what I want but now I don’t know whether I should get it.

    Is there a comparable alternative?

    • Magnus
      June 22, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      You can still buy Chapters as we’ll continue to support it after we retire it. Alternatively you can buy it on wordpress.com http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/chapters/

      • Lena
        June 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

        Will purchasing from WP.com allow us to download for a self-hosted WP site?

        • Ryan Ray
          June 27, 2012 at 5:47 am #

          Unfortunately not. ๐Ÿ™

  25. Elliot
    June 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Massive shame about Faultpress – one of the reasons I became a member fyi…

    Understand the need to cut out the rest though.

  26. Scott Kane
    June 23, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    With the likes if FaultPress – seems to me these kind of themes would make excellent standalone plugins, given they are essentially custom post types with some styling.

    Just a thought.

    • Ryan Ray
      June 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      Very interesting idea indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Moonworks
    June 24, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    It’s a shame to see some of these go, but it shows something else too.

    WooThemes is all about Quality and not quantity. Many companies would keep themes listed just to add to the numbers of themes available for marketing purposes. Instead, you are streamlining things.

    • Moonworks
      June 24, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      One question though, are you likely to be coming up with any further themes for writers?

      • Ryan Ray
        June 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

        Glad you understand and like our reasoning for doing so. It’s been the mantra for WooThemes this year, simplify!

        We’d rather have quality themes for sure!

        Concerning your ideas for themes for writers, shoot us your ideas here. ๐Ÿ™‚ – http://woo.uservoice.com/forums/72423-ideas

  28. JJ
    June 27, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    If one has two themes being retired, may one use the coupon for two purchases?

    • Ryan Ray
      June 27, 2012 at 5:46 am #

      I believe it should work, if not please do let us know! – support[at]woocommerce.com

    • Magnus
      June 27, 2012 at 7:49 am #

      The coupon can only be used once, but when you purchase a new theme with the coupon, you’ll get 2 (or 3) free bonus themes.

  29. Paul Kaiser
    June 28, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    I think it’s important to retire older themes, and it seems there are newer replacements available with similar functionality. I do hope we don’t lose “typebased” any time soon. I find myself coming back to that one time and again, adding new WP features like editor stylesheets, and telling folks to use it.

    • Magnus
      June 29, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      Typebased is free, so we won’t retire it anytime soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Sarah
    June 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    With regards to the list of themes which you can order by popularity, is this purchases or downloads?

    And, if I reuse one theme for more than one project you won’t be aware of this so your figures will be skewed.

    • Magnus
      June 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      They are listed by number of themes sold last 30 days.

      You are correct that if you use a theme many times it won’t show up on this list, but we don’t have any good way to gather that data correctly.

      As a business we need to go by which themes are generating sales to decide which themes to retire.

      • Joshua Thomson
        July 6, 2012 at 11:14 am #

        But this is not the way to go about it, you do have PressTrends which allows you to see this data.

        You may be removing themes which gave you the edge (in my case FaultPress) and loosing club subscriptions (I shall head over to Theme Forrest now) because maybe these themes where being brought once and used multiply hence making them popular. However, for the business I understand, you need to put profit before customers?

  31. Lynn
    July 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    I also feel strongly that FaultPress — even though a for small niche market — is a valuable addition to the variety of themes you have created, and it’s that variety of niche themes that has us stay subscribed. I’m intrigued by the suggestion to create a plugin instead, though; I have more than one client for whom FaultPress is the exact thing they need and retiring it becomes a problem for me and them. Ditto for Auld and Chapters — both are unique and I just finished installing them. Bad timing for me …

    • Joe Jenkins
      July 2, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      I also feel that FaultPress is one that people would still want.

      The plugin idea would be good, but maybe you could do something like include it free with the WooCommerce software Add0on, making it a software bundle (http://woocommerce.com/extension/software-add-on).

  32. Prospective Buyer
    July 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    From what I can see there have been 43 themes ‘retired’, leaving people to fend for themselves.

    From a business perspective I’m not sure how much sense it makes to purchase a membership when there is a high rate of retirements. What I buy today could well be unsupported tomorrow & not receive any further updates. It is also spooky to think I could purchase themes only to wind up using a 40% off coupon because the themes I bought vanished.

    From the perspective of a new customer, I could see how (if I would have purchased in, say… March) I would be spending money just to wind up having to spend more money. Never mind any time invested in an abandoned theme.

    I’m not trying to be hyper critical, I understand to some extent, but this really makes me nervous.

  33. Joshua Thomson
    July 6, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I also agree with the above, features like FaultPress was giving your company the edge, I was literally going to take out a Club Subscription today for this! ๐Ÿ™ But now I must look to a company such as ZenDesk for Support software, which tbh I can’t customise myself.

    Is there not anywhere I can download the files still and obtain the themes without support from you guys?

  34. Ricky
    July 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Shame FaultPress has been retired, I was looking to buy a copy.

  35. Kathryn
    July 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Is it still possible to use the Chapters theme? Does retirement mean we already have had to purchase it? We were about to begin a publication using this theme. Any other suggestions if this is off the table?
    Thanks!

    • Joe Jenkins
      July 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Get in touch with us Kathryn, and we’ll get you sorted with the theme.

      Adii has said that we can sell the theme ourselves, but you will not be able to get support from WooThemes from it, we do provide it though.

      We will soon be adding it to the site, but we can sort you out with a copy before that happens if you want to.

      Send the email to Sylv, and she’ll sort it for you:

      sylv@moonworkspublishing.com

  36. Angelita Cerminaro
    July 14, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    Completely agree! I have only recently started utilizing things like Newsletters and to some extent social media and it’s shown very positive results overall. Good article.

  37. Jason
    August 3, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    I agree with many others here FaultPress should stay. I myself purchased this theme and love it. It’s certainly a niche theme, but there isn’t another WP Theme (or arguably another service) that does bug tracking better than this. Please, live and let live.

    (Ditto on Chapters too. Great Theme)

  38. Ian
    August 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Are you sure you guys actually know your numbers? Approx half of the comments on here are upset about the imminent demise of FaultPress?

    Someone is telling porkies!

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