WordPress.com Retired Themes

Have you ever wondered what the most to least popular FREE WordPress.com themes are?

Has your theme been retired?
If you were to chose another theme which one would it be?

From time to time older themes that no longer fully support the majority of WordPress.com features are retired from the Themes Showcase. Retired themes remain available to older blogs but not to newly created ones. Existing blogs running retired themes are generally unaffected and can continue to use the retired theme, but some inconsistencies in feature support may arise.

Here’s a list of the 80 recently retired themes.

49 thoughts on “WordPress.com Retired Themes

    1. You can still use any retired theme on any blog that used it any time prior to it being retired. You cannot use it on any new blogs founded after it was retired.

  1. An intriguing and enjoyable post, but my favorite part was definitely your emphatic I hate ads!! comment. Uh, are you sure you wouldn’t like to be just a little more plain-spoken? : )

    1. Hi Mark,
      Oh my! I thought this plain speaking Canadian was clear about her hatred of advertising on blogs but I could “play it again Sam” anytime. ;)

      Just got back from the dentist – last permanent crown done! I’m feeling much better and have a doctor’s appointment at 4:30 PM. Optimistically expecting good news about all the test results.

    1. I thought I made that clear. I’m sorry of I didn’t. Themes Staff retire themes that do not support the majority of WordPress.com features. All things change and in cyberspace the pace of change is rapid. Some of these themes are very old and were designed when WordPress features were few in number. Now the features we have are many in number.

  2. I’ve used many themes, but on my older photo blog I finally returned to dear old Able because I always did like its large clear text, so comfy for weak eyes like mine! In the past I did not know (or was too silly to investigate) that it had a custom header. I used to feel I was better off without a custom header, thinking that it detracted from my photo work. But over time I decided I rather liked the idea of having one, even if it meant making new ones for each season or whatever. It’s really better to have a pretty custom header than that large blocky header-text that many themes have…

    On my newer, fractal-centric blog, I chose a new and different route….gallery style! I like Hatch and Mixfolio, etc. but Triton Lite turned out to be the best choice for me…and I might have to give it a custom header too!

    I for one am glad to see the oldest themes go into retirement. I noticed the trend from old to new–the oldest had tiny, hard to read text and very restrictive layouts. The newer ones are great with responsive width, full page displays, AND readable text!

  3. I am still trying to find my next theme, one with responsive width, which Comet is not. Just can’t seem to find one that I like any better, particularly if I use my custom background. Might just have to go back to using the harp hand pic as my header instead of the background, which would give more screen clarity for reading in other themes.

      1. Thank you, TITi! I will definitely try Zoren. Thank you so much for taking the time to check it out with my background image! I am off to a week long recorder workshop, in a place with, can you believe it, very limited connectivity, so I’ll check out the new theme when I get back home.

  4. Web technologies have advanced so much that I feel it would really be a disservice to suggest outdated themes to new members for their sites, Personally, I’m very happy for this move.

    1. I agree with you, Jennifer. I have avoided making theme selection recommendations when answering support forum threads for several reasons and you just nailed one of them.

      I watched a forum thread months ago wherein a blogger who had 3 CSS upgrades for blogs wearing the same old theme (Contempt? Sapphire? sorry but I can’t recall the theme now) found he had to redo his CSS. Themes Staff twiddled and tweaked with the theme and unbeknownst to him quite some time passed while his 3 sites were left looking “broken”. I expected Staff to do the CSS updating for him after he posted the thread but they didn’t.

  5. I have a feeling that the themes that handle WordAds and also the themes, mostly newer, that adapt to all screen sizes are the most up-to-date and versatile themes.

        1. Hi again,
          in truth you aren’t singing my tune, John.
          My tune is the ban all the ads on blogs tune.
          I pay for No-Ads upgrades on my blogs.
          I’m an old school blogger and I am the online and offline salesperson’s worst nightmare.
          I detest seeing any advertising on blogs.
          I don’t click any ad links on any blogs ever.
          When I see a blog with ads on it I don’t subscribe to it.
          When blogs I follow suddently turn into venues for marketing products I’m history.

  6. I love Fresh & Clean and I was shocked to discover, by accident a few months ago, that it was retired. I will keep using it with impunity, though, unless something else really great comes along.

    1. I have tried all the free themes in my test blog and have used many on my public blogs. I am fickle when it comes to themes and that’s the primary reason why I wouldn’t consider purchasing a cusom design upgrade. I’m not into fiddling, diddling and tweaking. I’m more focused on making time for content creation. Currently I’m using Expound here but there are a couple of small things that annoys me about it, and when I take that up with Theme Staff I may like it even more than I do now. If not … MEH … I’ll choose another responsive width theme.

        1. Everything in cyberspace and for that matter in the universe is ever changing. Technology development means adapting to changes is becoming more frequent for bloggers. A decade ago I resolved to become more open minded and to embrace change wherever possible, rather than railing against it. Today, I’m glad I made that resolution and kept it.

  7. I remember so many of those themes, and used more than a few of them at one time or another. I appreciate your assurance that even if my current theme were to be retired, I’d still be able to use it.

    1. The assurance comes from Staff and can be found in support forum threads. Nothing is frozen in time so it’s inevitable that there will be a time when your theme will not support all features and there may also be inconsistencies that may affect your CSS editing.

  8. Wasn’t Kubrick once the standard theme? I remember when K2 was kind of adventurous and Mistylook was the prettiest. I definitely tried Contempt and Tarski at one time and Grid Focus and Depo Masthead and I am pretty sure I tried Fresh and Clean.

    It’s amazing how much the names stick.

    1. Hi David,
      I recall the same time-frame very clearly. I recall using Regulus because it had a custom header. I also recall when Misty Look was the only “pretty” theme. I think I’ve tried every free theme in my test blog. I’ve used several themes over the years on my two public blogs as well. Kubrick remained the default theme right up until Twenty Ten took its place. Kubrick was still the second most popular theme as of January 2012 and that amazes me.

    2. Kubrick was actually retired a couple of years ago (or is it only my perception of it) when Twenty-Ten came out. It had been the standard theme for WordPress standalone since the beginning. Stop and think how much web technologies have changed/advanced since then!

  9. Well, well… my dear Quentin has been retired. As long as it’s still available, I’ll continue to plug along with it. I like it very much. At least now I have an answer for people who wonder why they can’t find it for their own blogs!

    I don’t have a clue what I would use if they took Quentin from me. I skimmed the offerings, and nothing caught my eye. As luck would have it, I don’t have to make that decision right now!

    1. Hi there,
      Quintus is the replacement theme for Quentin. Quintus offers an additional color style named archaic you can choose from Appearance → Theme Options. It’s also a responsive width theme that the layout adapts depending on the size of the device being used to view your site. When responsive width themes are viewed on mobiles sidebars appear below the posts in order to provide as much space as possible for reading. If you do switch to using a responsive width theme you disable the mobile theme.
      http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/quintus/
      http://quintusdemo.wordpress.com/

      If you don’t like Quintus then I suggest Fiore may suit you. It’s also a responsive width theme. I like it very much and I’m using it on my personal blog. http://thistimethisspace.com/ The sidebar tucks away very nicely and I like the full width page display.
      http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/fiore/
      http://fioredemo.wordpress.com/

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