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Out with the old and in with the new

Written by Magnus Jepson on February 17, 2012 Blog.

Part of our 2012 strategy here at Woo is to simplify and re-focus, and one way that we want to do that is by retiring older themes. The reasoning behind this is that we feel we’ve managed to replace them with newer themes that boast more functionality / features and better designs, and also because they only make up a tiny part of our overall sales.

So from beginning of March, we’ll be retiring these 26 themes:

  • VibrantCMS
  • Mortar
  • NewsPress
  • Royalle
  • Suit and Tie
  • Exposure
  • Newsport
  • f0101
  • Antisocial
  • Paper Cut
  • Cinch
  • Productum
  • THiCK
  • Gotham News
  • SophisticatedFolio
  • myweblog
  • Slanted
  • Ambience
  • Big Easy
  • Unite
  • Groovy Blog
  • ProudFolio
  • Geometric
  • Fresh Folio
  • Foreword Thinking
  • Groovy Photo


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 RETIRED as your coupon code on checkout.


87 Responses

  1. Shane Gowland
    February 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Will you be releasing the themes for free (here or in the WP repo), or simply removing them?

    I ask this because Cinch is (still) one of my favourite themes.

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

      No unfortunately they will be retired and not released for free or elsewhere.

      • dave
        February 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

        I’m curious to know why this is… if you will not be selling them anymore, and eventually will no longer support them… why would you lock them up in a vault to waste away? Why not give them to the community?

        • Magnus
          February 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

          Hi Dave, we once made the Premium News Theme into a free theme from paid instead of retiring it, and the consensus then was that this wasn’t fair to those that had bought it. So from that experience we think it is best to retire them for good. Also, if we made them free we would need to continue to update them (like we do with our free themes), which is exactly what we are trying to avoid πŸ™‚

          • Neil
            February 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

            Makes sense

          • Alessandro
            March 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

            Aren’t all WordPress themes already free (as in freedom) and licensed under a GPL license, and the extended documentation, support service and support to your initiative what your customers are paying for?

          • Joe
            March 8, 2012 at 5:31 am #

            I have an idea, since you have a rather large assortment of themes you’re retiring, themes which im sure were the heart and soul of woothemes, with countless hours spent on them by your developers, you should consider donating them to a school, even if only piecemealed, it would surely benefit someone out there, to be honest these themes because of their age are easily available and have been through a simple 5minute google search. The styles are a bit dated which makes the choice to retire them completely reasonable, but don’t lose sight that these may still have serious value to somebody. I doubt people are going to be storming your door down for them because in the age of jquery, dojo, css3, html5, svg, responsive layouts, microformats, etc, they’re kinda history, but history has nostalgia. I personally woudn’t trash them because they have any kind of value, even if donating them to a highschool future webdesigner program tahts seriously underbudget like everything in public schools now, generoud donations make for great pr. πŸ˜€

  2. Garrett
    February 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Smart move guys. I wondered when something like this would happen. I’m sure this is inline with an “ideal” number of supportable themes. It’s looking like around 100 at any given time is what you’d like to maintain?

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      100 is a nice number that fit nicely this time, but not a specific number we are aiming at πŸ˜‰ We’ll review the themes in 6-12 months time and see if any more should be retired though.

  3. Dragon
    February 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Definitely a smart move. I also think limiting theme releases to once a month is better too.

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      Thanks! That’s something that is up for discussion also.

      • Sarah
        February 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm #


        • Riaan Knoetze
          February 17, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

          Theme releases once a month. Hmmm, dunnow about that one… 1 theme a month severely cuts down on the Woo’s magic. At best that would be a WooCommerce theme every other month: In which case I would then rather cancel my subscription and wait for releases on Themeforest.

          • Dragon
            February 19, 2012 at 4:02 am #

            I think its about focus. Maybe 1 ecommerce theme and 1 non-ecommerce theme per month. Should just get rid of the theme counter. Woo is for developers, not for people seeking out-of-the-box themes with no effort in customization involved. Can’t satisfy everyone, no one can.

          • Joe
            March 8, 2012 at 5:39 am #

            you’ve bought themes on themeforest before right? I’d prefer to not go back. when it comes to themes with good support, that are clearly coded, and a large variety of attractive but rather white label aka ready for customization and branding, and the child theme support, i know where i’m putting my investments and reccomendations. woo offers a great value for web designers and their clients who have the skills to seriously customize these things into something completely different and save a fortune in time and money by not reinventing the wheel. woo helps you stay competitive and among the companies doing what they do they are doing it best imo.

            and woocommerce is a worthy project, it’s the only decent shopping cart on wordpress, ever use wp e-commerce? Give it a try, its worse than a virus.

  4. Prashant
    February 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Hi Magnus,
    I have lot of themes from the early days Gazette, VibrantCMS, etc, at least 10 from the above list. Maybe after many, many years, these would be collectors items? πŸ™‚

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

      We might release them as a “retro-pack” in 10 years πŸ™‚

  5. Bigsky
    February 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    I don’t see Gazette on the list – this will still be supported?

    Which theme do you recommend as a clear replacement for Vibrant CMS.

    These are my two major sites !!

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

      Gazette is still a theme that is used quite a lot πŸ™‚

      As a replacement for Vibrant, I would recommend Whitelight πŸ™‚ For a more similiar look to Vibrant, probably Delegate.

  6. Anthony
    February 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Haha, I just noticed the little ninja had a tear. πŸ™‚

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm #


  7. Richard
    February 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Why not just ‘reuse’ or ‘redesign’ the old themes into something new?
    Like making ‘VibrantCMS’ into ‘VibrantCMS II’.
    That would also inspire people to upgrade to these new and redeveloped themes as it would be the old ‘reborn’.

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

      I think many of our new designs are based on the old designs, like VibrantCMS -> Delegate πŸ™‚

  8. Sarah
    February 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    I think it’s a bit of shame because some of the older ones had good designs, they are just lacking the functionality.

    Still, I can understand why you are doing it.

    • Magnus
      February 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Yes we think it’s sad to see many of them go too, and I agree they are lacking functionality that you see in our more modern themes.

  9. Jonathan
    February 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Is any one theme a direct successor to newsport, are there any newer news site themes?

    • Tiago Noronha
      February 18, 2012 at 4:57 am #

      Currents πŸ™‚ – http://woocommerce.com/2011/11/currents/

      • Serg
        February 20, 2012 at 5:15 am #

        Currents is one I use a lot! it’s my daugther’s fave:) Well designed theme!

  10. Nikola Ovcharski
    February 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Great news πŸ™‚

  11. pedro67
    February 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    It is important, that you always update your wp, framework and theme as the net is changing fast. At least for security reasons.

    How should I explain a client who received his custom page, based on a template from Woo, that some day I will have to make it entirely new? And it will look different?
    He would ask me if I am a bit crazy, because he did not plan to change his homepage every 2-3 years.

    Or did I misunderstood here something?

    • Joachim Kudish
      February 18, 2012 at 1:49 am #

      I don’t think Woo is forcing you to stop using them. They’re just retiring them for new users, and for downloads right?

      This begs a good question though, will you still be able to update the WooFramework if you have one of these themes installed or will those be disabled too?

      • Tiago Noronha
        February 18, 2012 at 4:59 am #

        The framework is the same for all themes. Just copy and paste the “functions” folder from your theme to another.

        Unless something big changes in the framework, I don’t see why updates wouldn’t work.

  12. pedro67
    February 18, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    good point – framework updates

    I am using ROYALLE for one client and she is super happy with that.
    She was already hacked ones and the hackers did use the theme to add code.
    So it is important that you can update framework too.

    • Tiago Noronha
      February 18, 2012 at 5:00 am #

      See my reply above πŸ™‚

  13. Brett Morrison
    February 18, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    This is a standard process for software and systems vendors. If you continue to support seriously aging designs they are going to hold you back from achieving the future due to the time and effort required.

  14. WordPress designer
    February 18, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    I think this is brave and smart. Out with the old and in with the new. You guys have lots of amazing themes to still utilize and with your new additions there are plenty to choose from.You still have like 5 times as many themes as a certain other competitor we won’t name names πŸ™‚ I’m excited to checkout and customize some of the news ones you guys have added! Thanks for building such an amazing framework!

    • Serg
      February 20, 2012 at 5:34 am #

      I agree. You can’t keep working on a theme that is not responsive or mobile friendly. The web design marketing is going to that direction, were code changes every 2 months. More importantly you design for challenging customers who are requesting progressive designs and solid frameworks.
      I believe the Woo Team is going in the right direction:)

  15. Dave
    February 18, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Those themes are pretty dated and are probably a nightmare to keep up with. The time and resources to maintain them with new wordpress versions for very little new conversions/sales for these templates hopefully made it an easy decision.

    Personally I’d institute a 2 year life cycle for most themes. After 2 years they go to “unsupported” still available for download to those who bought them and club members, but no individual purchases

    WordPress moves a long at a fairly rapid pace, the web moves a long at a semi-rapid pace, and the browsers are now moving a long at a rapid pace to. Maintaing the old just doesn’t make much business sense.

    Good move.

  16. Mustafa
    February 18, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    What a terrible news for multisite users.Will them still serving on dashboard? or limited time?

    • Magnus
      February 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      What makes this news especially terrible for multisite owners? The themes will still be in your dashboard as long as we have support for them. We will just be removing them for sale.

      • Mustafa
        February 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

        If the themes won’t update,multi-network owners must update by themselves or will remove them.Anyway good to hear support in here.

  17. Ryan
    February 18, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I appreciate the 40% discount coupon. How long will the special run?

    • Magnus
      February 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      That coupon expires end of May, but will only work if you currently own a theme in the list above.

  18. darren
    February 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Not sure on that comment about going down to 1 theme a month…especially as so many of them now are already geared towards woo commerce which holds no value for me at all. With 7 of the last 14 themes being woo commerce, that would be 1 new theme every two months. Or w? Which would then be basically the same as you are doing now anyway.

    • Magnus
      February 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      If we went to 1+ theme a month we would obviously make sure that each theme catered to as many users as possible, and WC only themes would be in addition to the monthly theme.

  19. Michael
    February 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Hey folks,

    tried to use the RETIRED coupon (for upgrading f0101-theme) but unfortunately it doesn’t work. I’m logged in but there’s no chance to validate the discount coupon. The loader.gif is shown – but nothing happens πŸ™

    Would be glad if you could help!

    • Magnus
      February 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

      Thanks, I’ve fixed that up now πŸ™‚

      • Michael
        February 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

        It works… Thanks a lot!!!

  20. Peter
    February 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    Great products, great support, great attitude. OK, so you make me proud to be South African. We’re hoping to relocate to the Western Cape soon, irrelevant comment but just thought I’d throw it in anyway. Can’t wait to try the incredible restaurants, the luscious sea food and the laid back life-style.

    • Magnus
      February 19, 2012 at 12:53 am #

      I’ve been there a few times and can attest to the good food and laid back life style πŸ™‚

    • Riaan Knoetze
      February 19, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      Been here for 6 years now – I’d never move back up north; I’d rather live in London than Gauteng. Peter, the sooner the better πŸ™‚

    • jeffikus
      February 19, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      I agree πŸ™‚ Cape Town is definitely awesome!

  21. Rick Adlam
    February 19, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    This makes a lot of sense.
    Some of your older themes are becoming dated, and with over 100 themes you are always going to have “ugly ducklings” will will never turn into a swan.
    I suspect that html5 and responsive themes are the way ahead, and you seem to be adding more functionality into the later themes, so they are not just a look and feel anymore, but have a purpose for a niche.
    More themes like untitled and whitelight would be great, and more use of custom post types for products, services, or the niche the theme is intended would round out the themes on offer. Can you ever have enough photo and portfolio themes? IMO yes.

    • Rick Adlam
      February 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

      Correction. That should be Unsigned, not untitled, BTW.

      • Magnus
        February 20, 2012 at 12:59 am #

        We’ll definitely have more themes like those πŸ™‚

  22. Cain
    February 19, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    I don’t mind so much, I rarely go past the first page anymore when looking to pick up a new theme. If it will free up more time to focus on the awesomeness that is Canvas and more recent ventures, then I say, have at it.

    Much in the way you guys cut off your themes for the non-WordPress platforms, I think this to will benefit the community greatly.

  23. Artepick
    February 19, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    I think that if I paid for a theme, you don´t should me force to buy for a upgrade of this theme (with discount or without discount). Simply, you MUST give to current users (paid users) the new updated theme free, like your terms and polices explain CLEARLY. I dont want pay for a upgrade of the theme I had paid in past. I dont understand this Woo move and I think that its a BAD move.

    a old user.

    • Magnus
      February 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm #


      I think you might be misunderstanding a bit. We are not forcing you to buy a new theme here, we are just giving you the opportunity to change to a newer theme at a discounted price. You can keep on using any of the themes above, we just won’t be selling them to new users any more.

      • Artepick
        February 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

        Yes Magnus, but if I want the upgrades themes I must pay for them… I think that if you will use the old design with new functions, its an upgrade of a theme I have paid. I dont understand why old users of this themes must pay for get the upgrades themes. This would sound nice if WooTeam give free the new themes to old user of this deprecated (no more upgrades -timeline of upgrade broken-, no more support in few months) themes.

        But I think really are not deprecated themes: may be only upgrades themes and users should able to get it like a upgrade of the same theme.

        For example: if i have a theme in version 3.2 and you launch version 3.3 I can download without fees and without any problem. Now, you make upgrades (yes, really big-nice-cool upgrade, but only is an upgrade) themes and we can´t dowload them without payment…

        Please, say me if I am under a mistake. Thanks Magnus.

        • Artepick
          February 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

          May be I am under a mistake. May be you dont use the deprecated design themes in the news themes? If the anwser is yes, then i agreed that its a good idea the discount (if I can use the discount when I want). Well.. really I have some doubt about this movement.

          • Magnus
            February 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

            I don’t understand what you mean here? πŸ˜‰

        • Magnus
          February 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm #


          We’ve never advertised that we would be building new functionality into our themes when we release them, we just promise to update them and make sure they work properly with WordPress. We have revisited some themes like Fresh News and updated with new functions, but there is not much value in doing this for themes that do not sell any more.

          Again we aren’t saying you need to update to another theme, you can keep on using the themes on your websites. We will continue to support your theme and issue bug fix updates for an extended time beyond March. If you want new functionality, then you would have to find a new theme that has that functionality.

          • Artepick
            February 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

            The new (future) themes will be build with the design of the retired themes?

            If the anwser is “yes”, then i don’t agree with this (and you may be consider to give us for free the new update themes). If the awnser is “not”, then i agree with this (but I think you should give support while WooThemes project continue alive, without times restrictions).

          • Magnus
            February 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm #


            No, we will not be designing any new themes that look like the old themes.

          • Artepick
            February 20, 2012 at 12:38 am #

            why then ypou give us a coupon discount? πŸ˜‰ remorse?
            :)) Dont worry. No problem.

          • Magnus
            February 20, 2012 at 12:56 am #

            We thought that you might like to move on from your older theme to a new one πŸ™‚

          • Artepick
            February 20, 2012 at 11:57 am #

            Ok Magnus, Really, no problem. I am sure you make awesome themes in the next years and I buy some of them with this discount. Thanks.

  24. Martin Jarvis
    February 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    A brave but sensible move – well done. This should enable (even) more quality to be built into new themes and (even) better support to go into the remaining themes, so it gets the thumbs up from me.

  25. Summer
    February 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m confused… is the reduction in the number of new themes per month a done deal, or just a future possibility that’s still being mulled over?

    Would the reduction in the number of new themes released each month mean there would be a lower monthly price for those who signed up for subscriptions, or would there be other goodies added to make up the difference?

    I’m brand new to Woo, so I’m still learning what’s what here πŸ™‚

    • Magnus
      February 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm #


      This is just something that we have up to discussion πŸ™‚

  26. Frank McClung
    February 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Good move Woo!

  27. John
    February 20, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    I think this is a smart move as although i like the look of some of the older themes, i never think about using them because they lack functionality.

    On the theme of functionality – have you considered releasing bolt on / replacement features that can be added to themes? For instance, a range of different sliders that can be interchanged or added to themes that don’t have them.

    • Magnus
      February 20, 2012 at 12:57 am #

      We’ve considered it, but would like to improve on the slider in the theme instead… got plans for that in 2012 πŸ™‚

  28. Kenny
    February 20, 2012 at 5:56 am #

    What do you recommend as a replacement for antisocial?

    • Magnus
      February 20, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      Antisocial is a simple blogging theme with a unique design, so not sure if there is a direct replacement. Have a look through our theme gallery and see if you find one that you like the design on, as that is the most important part.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Nice post, always something interesting on here πŸ™‚

  30. Sandie
    February 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    No problem with the approach, but would it be possible to update the download page so the retired themes are clearly identified? I wouldn’t want to start a new project with one of these now πŸ˜‰

    • Ryan Ray
      February 23, 2012 at 2:50 am #

      They aren’t retired just yet, but is a good idea! Thanks for the input. πŸ™‚

  31. Lyndsy Simon
    February 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Excellent business decision. Removing the themes for purchase is infinitely better than leaving them to languish using an old admin interface, with little support.

  32. Nick Cobb
    February 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    I only have one concern with the themes mentioned on this list: Exposure. That theme won’t be the easiest to port over to a new theme, mostly because the homepage is completely widgetized and because it has an attachment page template for the images… which leaves me with a bunch of indexed pages that will no longer be present if I switch to another of your themes. Of all the themes on your list, it is the most unique and of most use to a photographer IMO. Can’t we just dust if off some, add a portfolio template, contact template, subscribe and connect, and re-release it? I think it has been overlooked by Woo’s customers and love it, as do the majority of the people who I am in business with that have visited our implementation of it: http://PhotogenicImage.com. Please reconsider! πŸ™‚

    A loyal customer from the start,

    • Ryan Ray
      February 23, 2012 at 3:00 am #

      I think the idea of a modular home page isn’t something we’re against. I just think that making it widgetized caused a lot of trouble for us and our users. At least from what I perceive. πŸ™‚

      For example, if some of the widgets from Aperture became modules in a theme I think it would work out better for both us and our users. As you noted, not many themes have a widgetized home page. If you wanted to change themes it may require significant work on your part, we’re trying to not have that happen with our themes.

      We hear your plea though, we definitely want to have something for you that replicates Aperture and provides a path forward for you.

      • Nick Cobb
        February 23, 2012 at 9:01 am #

        Just to clarify, we are talking about Exposure. πŸ™‚

  33. Ralph Klocke
    February 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    From an economic point of view this probably has to be done but I´m going to miss Gotham News – any recommendation for a replacement?

  34. Serge
    March 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm #


    I bought the theme “Exposure” and like to buy another theme. But the coupont “RETIRED” does not work. Can you please check?

    Thanks a lot!

  35. Robin
    April 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    I’m sure this is an odd and late comment; but, have you considered trying out community-supported themes? Not saying with these ones; but perhaps if you have a theme “on the fence” at some point you might consider letting users contribute patches and support to it, if fairness is a concern you could only allow those who have bought some other woo product access to the “community kitchen”.

    Or, perhaps that’s the wrong question entirely; perhaps the right question is would you consider making a place for us to contribute patches to themes in general. Many of us do patch themes and have no issues contributing those patches back. If you wanted to get fancy you could connect git to your current login system and allow folks to use git to create their own branches.

    Just a thought, keep up the good work!


  1. WordPress Community Roundup for the Week Ending February 18 - Charleston WordPress User Group
  2. WooThemes is Retiring 26 Old WordPress Themes as of March 2012 | WPbase


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