WordPress.com’s New Collection Of Themes Are Depressing

The newer themes on WordPress.com (Photo credit: WordPress.com)

I have been displeased with WordPress.com for quite some time (My article, WordPress Made Me Dwell On Blogger, discusses this in detail).

This time around, I was not looking at third-party themes for Blogger; I was looking at the newest selection of the themes on WordPress.com (That plummeted me into a depressed state of mind).

Are the themes on WordPress.com transitioning from bad to worse?

There Were Much Better-Looking Themes On WordPress.com In The Past

Those of us who were blogging on WordPress.com back in 2012 (and earlier) had access to better-looking themes.

I remembered those days when I spent extremely long periods trying to figure out which of those themes that I wanted to use on my blog.

In the old days of WordPress.com, the themes that were available to their users were:

  • The stylish-looking type.
  • Different from each other.
  • Ones that you were proud to use.

The only issue back then was that some of the sizes of the default fonts were a bit too small (But, one always had the option to adjust the size of the font or change the style of the font).

Back then, a blogger on the free WordPress.com plan had the freedom to customize their theme to almost the way they liked (Customization galore was always for those people who were on the paid WordPress.com plans).

Bloggers On The Free WordPress.com Plan Are Unable To Adjust The Fonts On The Newer Themes

Have you ever had a look at the newer selection of themes on WordPress.com?

I am making an educated guess, that most of you had a look at those newer themes.

Some of you may have liked what you saw, while others were not thrilled by the site of those newer themes.

The fonts on most of the newer themes are a bit too large.

And, guess what?

There is no option for the person on the free WordPress.com plan to change the size of the fonts on the newer set of themes (And, the person on the free WordPress.com plan is not provided with the option of changing the style of font either).

For the record, I prefer larger fonts because they are easier to read.

However, it would be nice if I had the option of changing those fonts to two or three pixels smaller.

The only way in which those fonts can be adjusted is via CSS (And, one will need to upgrade their plan to a paid one in order for them to make changes to the fonts that are on the newer WorPress.com themes).

The funny thing is that those people who created a blog of their own on WordPress.com recently, may never know that they had the option to change the size or the style of the fonts on their blog (The only way they might become aware of that option is if they explored some of the older themes on WordPress.com).

WordPress.com is giving me the impression that in the near future, I might have to end up paying to use a feature that I once used freely in the past.

We All Want Our Blog To Look Great

Our blog is supposed to be a reflection of our personality. Therefore our blog should:

  • Have a good-looking theme (One that resonates well with our taste in design).
  • Be easily customizable (I believe that this is a right that every blogger should possess).
  • Be unique-looking (That last thing that you or I want is for our blog to look the same).

At the rate of which things are going on WordPress.com, the people who are unable to (or refuse to) pay their money to upgrade their plan, will end up having generic-looking blogs.

The people who urged me to blog on WordPress.org (the self-hosted version of WordPress) are probably having the last laugh and saying, “Renard, I told you so!”

Are you fully satisfied with the way in which your blog looks?

I Would Miss You If I Left WordPress

The only reason why I am still here on WordPress is because of you.

I promised to share what I have learned about blogging over the years with you.

Also, there is no community like the WordPress.com community (Believe it or not, that is probably the only thing that some of the bloggers over at WordPress.org are envious about).

Would I ever create a blog on WordPress.org?

Yes, I would create a blog on WordPress.org if I chose to run a business-related blog (Hey, have no fear; I will not abandon my WordPress.com blog if I started a new blog on WordPress.org).

Now, to be most straight forward with you, I have no intention of starting a new blog on WordPress.org at this present point in time.

However, I might upgrade my WordPress.com plan from a free one to a paid one in the near future.

I love reading your blog posts and I enjoy interacting with you too (And, that makes it very hard for me to turn my back on WordPress.com).

Final Thoughts

WordPress.com needs all the good bloggers that they can get. If all of the good bloggers left WordPress.com because they grew dissatisfied with it, that blogging platform would only be comprised of newcomers or people who were not serious about blogging.

Someone (or some people) need to be the proverbial beacon of light to others.

WordPress.com is probably going through a dark period — one where they are not making the amount of cash that they had hoped for and decided to create an incoming revenue by forcing people to upgrade their plan; which in turn, would grant users the ability to customize their theme to their liking.

I would also like to state for the record, that bloggers on WordPress.com are in no way obligated to use the newer themes; they could continue using the older themes until WordPress.com decides to put those older themes out of commission.

As a result of perusing countless blogs on WordPress.com, I have noticed that some bloggers are still using themes that came out in the year 2012 (And, I would not be surprised at all if some of them are using themes that predates 2012).

In regards to keeping one’s WordPress site secure, the wise thing to do is to make sure that the theme and the plugins being used are kept up-to-date.

So, in reality, a blogger on WordPress.com (and on WordPress.org) cannot ignore the importance of utilizing an up-to-date theme.

In the meantime, I will do my utmost best to ignore the situation pertaining to WordPress.com’s newer themes.

And, I will continue to focus my attention on creating fabulous content for my viewing audiences around the world to enjoy (That in my opinion is way better than going on a strike).

82 thoughts on “WordPress.com’s New Collection Of Themes Are Depressing

    1. 🤔 Google will view that sort of thing as duplicate content if you post the same thing on WordPress and Blogger.

      However, writing in a different language is a great idea.

      By the way, running two blogs can be time-consuming!


  1. My goal is to eventually upgrade to a paid version, hopefully in 4 years. I could afford to do the two cheaper plans, but those don’t offer the option to monetize the site my preferred way. I would need to hire an IT person or company to do some of the things I want done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 Four years will come quickly (Hopefully, you should have the finances by then to upgrade your plan).

      Hiring an IT expert is not a bad idea, but that in itself is an additional cost.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 You would be pleased to know that I have no intentions of leaving WordPress.

      And, I am surprised to learn that you do not like the paid themes.

      What is it that you do not like about the paid themes?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I made the switch from wordpress.org to .com this summer and was thrilled that I did. I never paid much attention to what theme I was using, andin fact when I made the changeover, I just kept whatever one my site converted to. As you note, the best thing about wordpress.com is the community. I went from getting maybe 10 likes and 5 comments per week when I was using wordpress.org, to now receiving 20-30 likes per day and 10-20 comments per day. That alone has made the transition all worth it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 🙂 Jim, I would say, “You are reaping the benefits of being part of the WordPress.com community.”

      Ironically, a blogger on WordPress.org has the ability to customize their theme in countless ways.

      On the bright side, your blog posts are being recognized on WordPress.com.

      Thank you for your participation!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even though I had that ability on WordPress.org, I never really used it. I spent my wordpress time creating my blogs, and there never seemed to be time to really focus on the design.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Content is king. what percent browse on a phone? Mobile versions of themes look very different to desktop ones. Firefox and chrome handle making comments differently. So many variables. A months cheap plan here in the UK is about the same price as a pint of beer. 30 minutes work for an adult on minimum wage.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 🙂 Yes, Neil. Content is king!

      Honestly, I cannot tell you which percentage of my viewers browse my blog on their smartphone (If I was on Blogger, I would have been able to know that because it is part of the Stats system).

      And, you are right about the theme looking differently on a mobile device.

      However, a blogger should have the ability to adjust the size or the style of their fonts.

      Do you know that there are some themes with fonts that look small on mobile devices?

      That issue can be simply rectified by increasing the size of the fonts.

      On a positive note, the fonts on the newer themes are readable on mobile devices.

      Thank you so kindly for sharing your perspective, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do understand your concerns Renard, and this is a very interesting and helpful article as always…however, I have a confession to make…95% of the time I only use WP Reader to read other blogger’s posts. It is only if I click on their pingback link (like on Share Your World or Song Lyric Sunday, or even a blogging party) that I ever actually visit the sites of other bloggers.

    I think my own site is pretty basic. It;s very blue. I like blue. The only thing I try to maintain is the menus on the widget section. But other than that, I always assume that most other bloggers are also reading my posts through WP Reader.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 🙂 I also peruse blogs via the WordPress Reader. However, I am taken directly to the person’s blog whenever I click on the “Visit” tag.

      Thank you for sharing your point of view!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It seems to me that if you’re worried about templates of all things, that you’ve got “grass is always greener” syndrome. You’ve already got your blog running after all, and themes are something you can heavily modify anyway. When there’s already a bajillion themes out there, you can only reinvent the wheel so many times. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 😉

    Personally, I think you hit the biggest point on Blogger vs WP in the other post: Blogger is seriously hamstrung for networking. THAT is the big factor on how you build and maintain an audience… Well that and that silly quality content thing… LOL. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Actually, you can heavily modify the older WordPress themes.

      What you see is what you get with the newer set of WordPress themes.

      There is no option for the person on the free WordPress.com plan to adjust the size or the style of the font on the newer set of the WordPress themes.

      I am left feeling as though my hands are tied behind my back.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. 🤔 Maybe, WordPress cares more about the business-related blogger because they are the ones who are going to make them money.

      The most a personal blogger might do is upgrade to a domain or monetize their blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Please do not go on strike your content would most definitely be missed. I usually use WordPress from my phone. The convenience of it has kept me away from my laptop for some time. The downside is that I find it difficult to do things like upgrade themes etc. I’m dwelling on whether to upgrade. I would love to reach mire people but there’s no guarantee, I like the idea of growing my blog organically over time…we shall see. Do you know if I can update themes from the mobile app? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I no longer use the WordPress mobile app, but I do believe that there is the option to update themes via the app.

      And, I am sticking with WordPress for the time being.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. One thing that initially turned me against wordpress.com was the very limited theme when I started. The level of customization I could do on a wordpress.org was intense, and wordpress.com was a downgrade in that aspect. I was also running the wordpress blog on a free webhost, so there were also limits.

    But — my self-hosted blog was lonely, and wordpress.com ‘s blogging community is really awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤔 Well, one can think of it as some kind of trade-off.

      If one sets up a blog on WordPress.com, they will have the experience of engaging with a wonderful community in spite of using a theme that is limited in the area of customization.

      Thank you for your participation, Jomz.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very true! WordPress.com has very less no of themes and also not that appealing.

    On wordpress.org you get more & better options to choose a theme.

    By the way, you can still be in contact with all of your wordpress.com readers after migrating to wordpress.org.

    I’ve switched to the org version 6 months ago & I migrated all of my posts & subscribers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 That is good to know, my friend.

      In regards to going in the direction of WordPress.org, one will have to choose the right host along with a most suitable plan.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!


  9. I left blogger in April/May 2004 and have never considered going back to them – that blog was (still is) a political blog, and Google seemed threatening at that time. Been with WordPress ever since – had the same Theme until this year…forgot the name, but it was a clean looking one, and easy to use. Thought about going back to it, but it’s gone down the WP ‘Hole‘ never to be see again. Have wondered if they allow purchasing a paid type of Theme, but still remaining on the free blogging section; however, usually find a free Theme before ever having to ask about the paid ones. Yeah, WP pushes to have you upgrade to a pain plan…irritating at first, but not as bad now. I’d probably leave if they did away with the free plans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Having a blog that is based on politics can be a risky thing (You were worried that Google would have taken it down but they did not).

      Google never pulled down any of my blogs on Blogger (And, I had two of them).

      I deleted those blogs.

      WordPress does have paid themes and you do not have to upgrade your plan in order to use them.

      WordPress will always have free plans but as time goes by, they become more and more limiting.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective, Karmi.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for info! Next time I’m looking for a change in themes I may stay on free plan, but buy one of those paid Themes. Yeah, back then Google was blocking blogs (shutting owners out) that had content opposite to their political beliefs, and I didn’t wait on them, i.e. just transferred over to WordPress w/o much trouble at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. So many rubbish themes, took me forever to find the one I use now and it still has aspects that I’m not keen on but it works the best for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That answers my question I left on another post of yours regarding .org.
    There is something wrong going on with WP and I am fearful for my blog. Will it just stop existing one day?
    I’ve noticed weird (bad) changes, too. I use an old theme because the new ones are just not up my alley. I wish we were able to customize them more.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on MrTechBot and commented:
    I feel this same way. I get that you get hat you pay for but my goodness they are getting horrible and using this to push you in a corner to upgrade to their paid tiers. I too was thinking about moving but I’d have to start my blog all over and then leave my current roots and peeps behind.

    I have even contemplated about having a WordPress blog and another somewhere else, maybe tumblr? Any suggestions?


  13. I feel this same way. I get that you get hat you pay for but my goodness they are getting horrible and using this to push you in a corner to upgrade to their paid tiers.

    I too was thinking about moving but I’d have to start my blog all over and then leave my current roots and peeps behind.

    I have even contemplated about having a WordPress blog and another somewhere else, maybe tumblr? Any suggestions?


    1. 🙂 Tumblr is out of the question because it was designed specifically for microblogging.

      Since you have laid down your proverbial roots with WordPress.com, you might as well stay here.

      There is also the option of asking your audience to follow you over at WordPress.org (That is provided you are willing to manage a self-hosted blog).


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