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Should Child Themes Be Listed on

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There has been some discussion recently on child theme inclusion in the official theme repository. Child themes are WordPress themes that latch onto a parent theme to do something a little extra, whether it be adding additional styles or functionality.

There are a lot of great child themes out there that do some amazing things on top of frameworks like Thematic and Hybrid, but unfortunately those who don’t look for themes anywhere but will probably never hear about them.

I made a site over at Themelets to list all of the child themes you won’t see on the official theme directory a while back, but nothing will beat the promotion of child themes than on the official WordPress website.

Great designers who support WordPress deserve to have their themes listed in the official theme directory. Not only is it a disservice to them, but also to WordPress users who miss out on these awesome themes, such as these free Thematic child themes from Cozmoslabs.

I think as long as the child themes are designed for parent themes already listed in the theme directory, there shouldn’t be any reason why they’re not included. Be sure to vote if you think they should be included.

  • Keith Donaldson

    Only if the main theme is on WP.ORG should the child-themes be, IMO :)

  • Leland

    @Keith: Yeah, like I said in the post. I don’t really expect them to list child themes designed for parent themes that aren’t already in the directory.

    That way people could install a child theme with the parent theme all from the WordPress dashboard.

  • nythemes

    i think they should be included, as there are some really innovative child themes out there.

    one minus point for themelets might be that the child themes add to the complexity, they no longer work as stand alone with wordpress they require the particular framework which now wordpress becomes dependent on. They are also more time consuming if you want to customize a themelet since you must learn the inner workings of the framework, even for simple mods and that can be a turn off.

  • Leland

    @nythemes: Interesting point. I guess we’re getting back to the old “average WordPress users can’t wrap their heads around the child theme concept” issue.

    I can see why this would be a turn off to a lot of users, it would be nice if there was a choice though.

  • Adam W. Warner

    Thanks for calling this out Leland. Theme frameworks and child themes should most definitely be included. However, some thought should be given to how they would be displayed. There is a lot of confusion among newer users as to what child themes are and what they do.

  • Leland

    @Adam: There is probably confusion about parent/child themes among newer and older users alike, although if the child theme pages were set up something like this I think it could really cut down on the confusion if people new they needed to have a parent theme installed as well.

  • Patrick Daly

    Leland, thanks for bringing some attention to the topic. Themelets is a great idea. Any more attention we can give to child themes the better.

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  • Sean

    A big fat YES!