WPShower.com, Rising Star of the WordPress Theme World

The old school bloggers among you will remember the days back in 2004-5 when WordPress was just starting out; a time when the themes were free and the blogosphere was alive and bristling with excitement. By 2007 the platform had begun to dominate the blogosphere and the blogging industry as a whole was about to reach its peak. Around that time a whole new market opened up for paid WordPress themes. The era of the ‘premium theme’ had arrived and with it some brilliant developments to WordPress architecture. Premium theme developers helped move WordPress on from being an efficient blogging engine to a fully-fledged CMS.

But premium theme developers weren’t without their critics. The premium boom sparked a spate of scathing blog posts lashing out at developers for what was seen as the demise of core WordPress values, namely the WordPress adherence to a GPL license and the community’s embrace of Open Source ethics. Since the premium theme developers had managed to section off and market part of the platform, generating very desirable levels of income, the sense was that the source was slowly starting to close up. Further fuel was added to this angst by a parallel trend with premium WordPress plugins.

While I’ve been a great admirer of many a premium theme developer over the past couple of years – including the legendary ‘Small Potato’ of the now defunct WPdesigner, then Adii Pienaar founder of WooThemes, Jason Schuller of Press75, Nick Roach at ElegantThemes and Brian Gardner founder of StudioPress – I’ve always looked back on the early years of WordPress with a degree of nostalgia. I miss the excitement of seeing a new free theme released and watching people share and modify each other’s work. I miss the community element that a buyers’ market simply can’t provide.

And then, a month or so ago, I came across a site that struck a chord; a real breath of fresh air. It’s a site called WPShower.com. At the time of writing, WPShower offers 6 free themes, with a seventh just announced today. Little information is given about the person/people behind this venture, but the quality and usability of the themes, the attention to detail and the alluring designs made this site an instant favorite. I connected with WPShower via their Facebook page, eager to spur them on and sing their praises. Over the past month WPShower went from around 20 followers to over 1000, and each new free theme release has been followed by a wave of appreciation and support.

It’s not clear what plans the site owner(s) has for future theme releases, whether the site will switch to a premium model and start charging for their work, or whether they will build a business on the back of this adventure; all that remains unknown. All I can say is that it’s been an amazing ride so far and I only hope it continues. I’ve been blown away by their work and generosity, and It has re-ignited some of that early passion I felt for WordPress back in 2004-05. For that alone, WPShower, I am hugely grateful. So let it rain, let it rain…

Visit WPShower.com for some high quality, free WordPress themes »

I leave you with a small gallery of WPShower’s main themes to date:

Blogum Theme     Imbalance Theme     Paragrams Theme     Portfolium Theme

Suburbia Theme     Iphonsta Theme     Sight WordPress Theme

As with all the theme reviews on this blog, my interest lies in that tiny group of themes that extend WordPress functionality through design innovation. In short, I’m looking for game changers. If you would like to recommend a theme for review, please get in touch via the contact form and I’ll be happy to consider your work.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Trackback Address

  1. [...] a recent blog post, I sang the praises of one of the WordPress community’s rising stars; a site devoted to [...]

    Pingback by Sourced » Sourced » Interview with WPShower.com — November 25, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  2. [...] Open Source Living blog has a nice post praising WPShower, a site that produces free WordPress [...]

    Pingback by Community links: All about the author edition | WordPress Toolbag — November 30, 2010 @ 8:28 am

  3. [...] been fairly vocal about my predilection for free WordPress themes in recent weeks. I’ve applauded the up and coming WPShower.com for producing clean and usable templates, and for reviving the [...]

    Pingback by Sourced » Sourced » Life on a Shelf: Musings on a WordPress Tumblelog Theme — December 3, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  4. [...] design outlets, including Smashing Magazine and WordPress Theme Garden, and rightly so since their free WordPress themes offer excellent solutions for anyone looking to set up a simple and functional [...]

    Pingback by Sourced » Review: Unspoken WordPress Newspaper and Magazine Theme by WPShower — May 17, 2011 @ 8:38 am

Comments 7 comments | Leave a comment »

Gravatar Icon
Cédric Duhame
Nov 20th, 2010, 2:47 am | #

I'm also a fan of wpshower. I've reworked 2 of their themes for personal project sites and I found the code clean and easy to work with. I hope they continue making themes.

I know what you mean when you talk about 'nostalgia' for wp. I was one of those who switched from Movable Type to WP in 2004 and I remember thinking at the time how much simpler WP was in terms of theming. I think that's been a big factor in its success.

Gravatar Icon
Nov 20th, 2010, 2:53 am | #

Thanks for taking the time to comment Cedric. I agree with you, the easy learning curve on WP theme creation has been a major factor in the platform's success. WordPress is responsible for a whole generation of web designers/developers, most of whom I'm guessing started out by tweaking free WP themes and are mostly self-taught.

Gravatar Icon
Dec 2nd, 2010, 5:17 am | #

Very interesting, thank you for your sharing

Leave a comment

Comment Guidelines:
You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted.

Email addresses will never be published.


The OSLiving blog addresses issues of import in a broadly based Open Source context. It is a space for information, opinion and informed debate.

Discover software reviews and interviews with leading figures in the field, commentary on current Open Source issues and musings on all things WordPress.

If you'd like to contribute a guest article to the blog, please get in touch.

Sites We Like

SourceForge - one of the longest running portals devoted to housing projects from the Open Source community. A great place to find OSS projects to collaborate on.

Open Source Initiative - the OSI maintains the Open Source Definition and offers a range of information on OSS licensing and standards.

OSALT - a brilliant site devoted to open source alternatives. The site compares quality OSS with its commercial peers.

Got a great OSS link? Let us know.