WordPress.com will replace PressRow with new theme Pilcrow in two weeks

7 Comments

Theme Wrangler Ian Stewart announced on the WordPress.com forums that PressRow, a WordPress theme developed by DIYThemes’ Chris Pearson and added to WordPress.com years ago, will be replaced by the new theme dubbed Pilcrow in two weeks. Users have two weeks to switch themes themselves, or at least prepare for the switch.

Describing the decision, Stewart said:

There are two main reasons for the upgrade. Firstly, PressRow’s original creator has a history of building on WordPress while limiting the freedom of his users and violating the core WordPress license. Continuing to use a theme tied to the same author is bad for everyone.

But that’s not the only reason to upgrade PressRow to a new theme. PressRow was sorely out of date and in need of a major refresh to bring it in line with the core WordPress experience. The new Pilcrow theme has a ton of options that let you customize and personalize your theme—custom menus, backgrounds, layouts, header images—while retaining a very similar feel to the older PressRow theme.

The announcement also includes helpful information for users looking to prepare their custom CSS for the new theme.

Speculation that August’s removal of Cutline from WordPress.com was driven by the growing division between Chris Pearson and Automattic seems to be validated with this announcement.

Pilcrow can be tested out by logging in to WordPress.com; a version is not yet available in the WordPress.org theme directory. Those looking to reminesce can demo PressRow at WordPress.com as well—but only for another two weeks.

Hat tip to Nickie for tipping us off to this.

7 thoughts on “WordPress.com will replace PressRow with new theme Pilcrow in two weeks

  1. I don’t believe there is a division between Chris and Automatic anymore. The original dispute was over how each company, and their legal counsel, interpreted the GPL. Instead of taking it to court, which would require time, money, and energy from both teams, Chris decided to support the GPL by using a split-GPL license on his Thesis Theme Framework. This freed up resources and time for both parties so they can focus on creating better products, which is all that matters.

    Personally, as a bystander, I think WordPress is treating their users extremely poorly. If you read that thread, you can see that people want to keep PressRow, but they’re being forced to switch, and for what reason? They say it’s because of improvements, but people don’t want those improvements. They want what they have already. Yet, WordPress seemingly doesn’t care and that worries me.

    What do you think?

    • Read what WPCOM are actually saying:

      Firstly, PressRow’s original creator has a history of building on WordPress while limiting the freedom of his users and violating the core WordPress license. Continuing to use a theme tied to the same author is bad for everyone.

      There’s clearly still bad blood there.

      The rest of your point, I agree with completely. It is the WPCOM PressRow users, not Chris Pearson, being hurt by this move.

      • I believe that is WordPress behaving childishly. Chris Pearson, on the other hand, was upstanding and complied with WordPress’s requests, despite their different interpretations of the license. The question is, why does WordPress continue to hold a grudge? Chris Pearson has long moved on from this.

  2. Pilcrow fonts are rubbish. It has been imposed on my blogsite and it’s sent all my pics haywire, which is a bind as I haven’t time to fart about with themes and adjustments. I liked Pressrow. A lot, buggrit.

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