Introducing Theme Finder: find WordPress themes visually

42 Comments

I’m very excited to be announcing a new WPCandy project called Theme Finder.

A few friends and I built the WordPress Theme Finder to solve a problem of our own. I don’t know about you, but a number of people sort of know me as “the WordPress guy”, at least in my circle. So now and again I’ll be asked to help someone find the right WordPress theme for their new website or project. To find a theme for them, I would pull up a bunch of websites with themes—paid and free themes—and start looking. I would pick any themes I thought might work, and then narrow it down to 5 or so to show my friend.

So that process was pretty tedious, and involved a lot of work on my part. Now, with Theme Finder, that kind of job is a bit easier to tackle.

Now I just open up Theme Finder—it’s at themefinder.wpcandy.com, or you can click the new button in WPCandy’s sidebar. With Theme Finder I have visual access to hundreds of WordPress themes, in one place, and I can sort them by color, by cost, and by layout.

Using Theme Finder

So let’s say I want a blue, three column theme, and I’m not afraid to pay a few bucks. Those themes are going to be highlighted, and now I can scroll through and check them out larger on the theme author’s site.

The themes that match the filter are highlighted, and the rest fade into the background.

Then, if I want to try another search, I can hit the reset button and start over again.

Theme Finder solves a problem

We really built this to solve our own problem, but we think it can help others too. Save time, find the perfect theme, and get back to building cool websites.

We’ll be adding more themes (tons more themes) and sorting features over time. If you get a chance, next time you need to find a WordPress theme, try out Theme Finder and let us know if it helps you find a theme.

42 thoughts on “Introducing Theme Finder: find WordPress themes visually

  1. Thanks for the great resource. It’s nice to have several sites in one location. I usually have 5-8 tabs open, and click back and forth to compare them. With this theme finder, it’s significantly easier to compare themes. Thanks!

    • Thanks Jared, glad you like it!

      There do seem to be some bugs to iron out, and we’ll get them taken care of. We have noticed that that bug tends to go away (sometimes) on a page refresh.

  2. Interesting concept but I’m not sure how I feel that each theme is linked with an affiliate URL. It seems odd that there’s a stance against ads.. granted, these aren’t ads per say but.. eh.

    I’m less inclined to utilize it based on the affiliate URLs.

    • Yes, we’re using affiliate links on Theme Finder. We feel it’s a fair way to make some money with Theme Finder, in order to justify the amount of time it takes to maintain it. We’re not pushing, or even encouraging people to buy themes with it. But we hope it helps people make the buying decision (when they purchase, we have, and will be adding, many free themes as well) and they get what they’re looking for easier.

      I’d encourage you to reconsider. We have thought a lot about it, and feel that this is an entirely appropriate use of affiliate links. But, I’d be happy to hear about any thoughts you have on the matter.

      • It’s first thing that caught my attention. Not that I don’t understand the affiliate thing (you guys deserve some money for this project) but somehow forcing the user to use the affiliate link doesn’t make me feel completely at home.
        Still, it’s an awesome project guys!

      • There’s been a need for a wp.org theme filter alternative for a while. Great work. And don’t feel bad about the affiliate links … especially since you are promoting themes from multiple sources.

        You should crowd-source this though. Allow users to upload their own themes, categorize, etc. and then you modify and approve their submissions.

    • What exactly IS wrong with affiliate links?

      Do they do something to you? No. Do you pay more if buying something through an affiliate link? Hell no! Then what? I never understood what people have against them. They always bash them, but never give a good reason as to why…

      Back on topic – I really like the finder, but I’m really surprised too see ThemeForest themes missing from your “search engine”.
      Considering many TF themes are WAY better than half of what’s on ThemeFinder right now, I need to ask.. why? :)

      All in all, good job guys, awesome and pretty original idea :)

  3. Nice idea, I’ve sort of wanted something like this for a while. I think it’s just a little off the mark at the moment, but if you’re willing to let it evolve/grow I’m sure it can move towards something more usable.

    For me I think it could do with a few improvements:

    1. Add search functionality & Tags
    2. I think the design of the Top Bar needs re-thinking. Nice idea, and functions etc, but the style feels a bit dated to me.
    3. I’d remove the bottom “about” bar completely.
    4. Perhaps have it on it’s own domain name too?
    5. I’d like to be able to zoom in on a preview as well as go to it.

    Not got anything bad to say about it, what you have works. But if you are looking for ideas/feedback then feel free to do whatever you want with my two cents.

    • Thanks for the two cents, Liam. It is most definitely a work in progress. Now that we’re at a point where we have a decent number of themes, we can start to look at refining and adding features like this.

      Hey, I hope you do end up using it, and I hope it helps you find themes now and then :)

  4. Is there a way for users to submit their own themes? Seems like it would grow a lot faster if everyone made submissions. Would also mean less work for you.

  5. Thought it is/was a brilliant idea…
    but stuffing the complete thing with “premium themes” makes it just another “aff” theme site.

    • Thanks for checking it out Milo.

      I recognize we have a modest collection of themes right now. Though many do cost money (sometimes the best things do), we have free themes in there too (sometimes the best things don’t cost). There are still a lot of free themes we want to get in there.

      We want to push through the themes we’ve selected to include now, and then we’ll move on to other sources as well, including the .org directory themes. We’re not interested in creating a site like all the rest, but a tool that people can use to find themes easier, and even find new themes. It has been working for us so far, and we hope it might help some other people too.

      We truly feel that the affiliate links are fair here. You don’t think they are?

  6. Well, if you really “need” the affiliate links, then try to get some special wp candy coupon codes for the users,
    like 10% off with this wp candy link, this way you might also built more user loyalty and it would seperate you from the average “aff” site.

  7. Nice job on this Ryan…Very useful! Can’t wait to see it evolve as new features and themes are added. Don’t sweat the affiliate links. A brotha’s gotta eat!

    One comment I would make – When clicking to view a theme, it opens in the same window. Then when I go back, I have to select my filters again. I know I can right click to open a new tab, but I’m lazy. Would be nice to have theme links open a new tab/window automatically.

  8. I love this idea, I do.

    I know this would be hard to pull off, but I’m often looking for a theme with a particular structure. Colors can be changed relatively easily, but there are time when I’m looking for themes with such criteria as – “big header, menu, widget area on home page”, you know?

    Good start with the number of columns. The “flexible” selection on the top bar isn’t quite clear on what exactly that means.

  9. Pingback: WPCandy Launches WordPress Theme Finder | Theme Lab

  10. This is a great idea and exactly why I launched something similiar a few months ago. There are alot of people and businesses out there who are running a WordPress or Tumblr site and would love to be able to buy premium theme but have no idea where to begin looking, so I think we’re going to start seeing more of these type of sites popping up.

    Don’t sweat the affiliate links, if there’s any legitimate use of them this would be it, the whole point is to help others find themes they want to buy and help designers support their business, there isn’t any reason you should be paid a commission for facilitating this.

  11. Pingback: Theme Finder: browse WordPress themes easily | WereWP

  12. Pingback: Buscador visual de temas WordPress | Ayuda WordPress

    • Humm…maybe your server was having problems earlier. I just retested and it is much faster. :D However, I am still not a big fan of the screenshots. Maybe if they got bigger when hovered over?

  13. Really like Theme Finder. Planning on using it as a resource for my customers.

    I have over 500 themes pre-installed for my customers, and getting them to pick one is difficult. This should help.

    I have most, but not all, of the themes you display, and I don’t mind picking up a new one now and then if a customer requests it.

  14. As the number of themes grows, I think scrolling will become a problem. It would be nice if the selected themes moved to the top or the non-selected themes would collapse. I bet there are some quick jQuery plugins that could help with that.

  15. Pingback: Daily Tip: Interactive WordPress ThemeFinder Makes Theme Shopping Fun - WordPress, Multisite and BuddyPress plugins, themes, news and help – WPMU.org

  16. wuuuuuw super cool

    What theme did you use for this??
    (with the ajax scroll updating, and width-flexibility, etc)

    Please let me know, this kind of grid theme and theme-functionality is exactly what i’m looking for, please help me out..

  17. Pingback: Interactive Theme Search by WPCandy » WPCanada

  18. This is very cool and I’m not the least bit turned off by affiliate links. I’ve always had a hard time understanding why affiliate links on a useful website bother people. It’s like saying, “good product, but you don’t deserve compensation for it.” Keep up the good work.

  19. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong, but on a fast, Windows 7 system with great graphics, it seems that no matter which selections I make, none of the displayed offerings are dimmed to focus in on any choices. I have, in each case waited a considerable amount of time with no response. There are also no clear instructions as to whether selecting a button turns the option on or off. As they appear to dim when selected, I am assuming it is turning off. In that case, selecting the “$$$” button turns off both paid and free. Right now, this is a great idea, but a big “I don’t get it”

  20. I am specifically looking for a clean designed 2 or 3 column theme with custom background, header, colors and menu with widget areas. I don’t know how to build that stuff myself, so it’s required in the theme. On wordpress.com you can search for these features. It seems no one else allows you to search for them. They only let you search for things like color, columns and a lot of stuff I don’t need. It would be nice to have a filter set up like the one on wordpress.com for the free sites. Transitioning to a self hosted blog is proving to be harder than I’d like because of this. :(

  21. Awesome project, Ryan! As always, you’ve found another great way to help the WordPress community at large.

    Any new announcements on plans for the future? What kind of enhancements are next?

    //Frankie

  22. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong, but on a fast, Windows 7 system with great graphics, it seems that no matter which selections I make, none of the displayed offerings are dimmed to focus in on any choices.but a big “I don’t get it” I have, in each case waited a considerable amount of time with no response. There are also no clear instructions as to whether selecting a button turns the option on or off. As they appear to dim when selected, http://www.cheers4all.com I am assuming it is turning off. In that case, selecting the “$$$” button turns off both paid and free. Right now, this is a great idea, …

Leave a Reply

Please note that WPCandy is a moderated community.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>