Stand out from the Crowd With a Premium Theme

You love themes, I love themes, we all love themes. With millions of sites running on the state-of-the-art WordPress software and over a half-billion people visiting the Automattic network every month, there is a now a need more than ever for unique themes. Themes that make your site, your content, and your voice stand out from the crowd.

Along with this extraordinary growth we’ve been thrilled to watch a thriving marketplace of commercial themes drive innovation and quality in theme design while producing an amazing variety of theme choices for self-hosted WordPress sites.

Now we want to bring the same level of theme choices to the WordPress.com community—it’s time to give you a chance at not only more themes, but a chance to showcase your site with beautiful designs that will blow you away with their style and quality.

I am proud to introduce the very first two premium themes on WordPress.com: Headlines and Shelf.

Example of the news-oriented Headlines front page layout.

Headlines is a sophisticated magazine theme from WooThemes with a Featured Post slideshow, multiple menus, and 15 beautiful color schemes. It’s available now for a one-time price of $45.

Example of Shelf

Shelf, from The Theme Foundry, is a unique tumblelog style theme featuring a fluid and responsive design. It’s available now for a one-time price of $68.

Learn all about these two themes by visiting our Theme Showcase, or purchase and activate a theme by going to Appearance → Themes in your dashboard—look for the “Premium” link next to “Recently Added.”

Along with the distinctive features and a gorgeous design purchasing a premium theme like Shelf or Headlines for your WordPress.com site also gives you full access to dedicated support on the WordPress.com forums. The premium themes forum there will be accessible only to site owners who’ve purchased a theme.

We hope to expand the collection of themes on WordPress.com in a big way in 2011. Look for a significant number of both free and premium themes coming your way this year. And, thank you to our WordPress.com community for helping the Automattic network reach the mark of 500 million unique visitors per month. We couldn’t do it without you!


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Lance Willett

142 Comments

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  1. raditherapy

    Yay! love it!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Helping put the premium in WordPress.com themes
  3. foxinni

    Quite brilliant! Well done Woo!

    Like

  4. adventurewriter

    Those are some truly impressive themes. And certainly worth the money if you want to enhance your blog to such an extent. Shelf is simply genius.

    Like

  5. Brigitte

    I’m glad you decided to do this, along with adding new themes, having paid ones just gives us all more choice. I love the variety of Tumblr themes available but that site is just class-less, the only thing WP was missing was theme variety, and hopefully this move will meet that need!

    Like

  6. David W. Boles

    This is an excellent idea.

    Are these “per user” prices or “per blog” prices?

    If the fee is for one theme on a single blog — will there an option for a multiple blog license per theme?

    Like

  7. gabi0708

    I have no money.

    Like

    • Matt

      That’s okay we’ve all been there — there are over a 100 super-high-quality no-cost themes for you to use, and we’re adding more all the time. (29 of them last year.)

      Like

  8. Pingback: WordPress.com launches premium themes and WooThemes gets involved | WooThemes
  9. Will Cookson

    It’s great to see you expanding your themes and being adventurous like this. Thank you.

    Like

  10. Todd Lohenry

    I want to be able to add my own!

    Like

  11. sylviahubbard1

    I’m hoping you come out with more colorful themes in the future, but as always I’m proud of you WP!

    Like

  12. noushi

    I don’t like the idea of premium themes like this to be honest. You should rather let us install themes from the database.

    Like

  13. Nickie Wang

    Clean and easy to navigate layout.

    Like

  14. Ultra director

    Awesome! I was waiting for it to come!

    Like

  15. Mahfooz

    Great idea and some good themes, but the prices are a bit steep.

    Like

  16. melissaceramics

    Lovely! :)

    Like

  17. Neutral Universe

    We cannot afford that cost. That is the very reason why we stick with subdomains. We are a poor country. Poor Filipinos. There are rich people here but they belong to the government.

    Like

  18. VAJRA, South America

    Wow! Amazing themes. Thank you.

    Like

  19. rawqueen

    Woo! Hoo! Exciting. I have hoped for this for so long. I can’t wait to see what else is coming.

    Like

  20. b_y

    They look fine, but if I paid I’d still be dissatisfied. And I’d be poorer.

    Like

    • Ian Stewart

      If you don’t want to buy a premium theme, that’s OK. There are over 100 amazing free themes available now and more on the way! We’ve got you covered. :)

      Like

  21. Baden Ronie

    It’s nice to see we’ll be getting more choice! As my site has been growing I’m certainly considering getting Headlines: it’s simple and striking.

    Like

  22. Tom Baker

    This is a great offering and great opening for your first two themes. I think I like Headlines the best. I do however think in today’s economic climate that they are too pricey for most.

    Like

  23. Pingback: Stand out from the Crowd With a Premium Theme (via WordPress.com News) « Jay Ohlsen
  24. Eric

    Yay! I’ll be saving up. In the near future, hopefully I’ll be able to use this.

    Like

  25. nickshell1983

    They both look snazzy! (That’s a good thing.)

    Like

  26. Pingback: WordPress.com Adds Premium Themes to Design Options - Trotting Weasel
  27. Rike

    Great theme, the Headlines theme. Love it!

    Like

  28. crispunk

    Amazing job guys!

    Like

  29. Mikalee Byerman

    Your themes rock. Seriously. Can’t wait to play with these! :)

    Like

  30. Mary

    Not bad. I likey!

    Like

  31. sathitharan

    Love the new concept!
    The would perfectly suit my blog on world textile trade, alas it is a tad too expensive :(

    Like

  32. Breland Kent

    I love these themes. They are great.

    Like

  33. ian in hamburg

    The dot.communist in me says thanks, but no thanks!

    Like

  34. Elizabeth Harper

    Great idea and I love having access to more in the future. These two are great, but not quite right for my look. I’m looking forward to seeing more in 2011. Hurry please!

    Like

  35. David (1MereMortal)

    I like the idea of premium themes…must agree with Tom Baker regarding pricing.

    Like

  36. Pingback: WordPress.com Adds Premium Themes to Design Options
  37. igorwarzocha

    The Headlines is friggin’ awesome! That’s the thing I was looking for. Maybe except for the columns – I’d love a theme like that one, but with the possibility to display front page post as in Inuit Type (side by side).

    Seriously considering buying it! Cost is not that big (at least in my country), but I won’t be happy if you release a better one in a week or two. I’d rather pay some more for a lifetime subscription with limitation of using 1, but freely choosable, premium theme for 1 blog per account.

    My 3 cents. Hope to see more of options soon :)

    Like

  38. bjdekkers

    I would be interested to learn how the theme Headlines was created in the first place. Anybody any ideas?

    Like

  39. Charles Fernando

    Love this, hope a lot of premium themes are coming to WP.com.

    Like

  40. deepbellylaugh

    Shelf made me smile. May you keep thinking beyond the conventional in theme designs! :)

    Like

  41. Mark Bradshaw

    I’ve been waiting for this. These two premium themes look great! I’d like to see more though. See, it’s never enough. We’re never truly happy, are we? Thanks.

    Like

  42. John Hayden

    Premium themes is a great idea, and since the prices are one-time, not annual, they seem very reasonable. The “Shelf” theme puts a whole new spin on blogging. I thought WordPress was great when I started using it in 2007, but it just keeps getting better.

    Like

  43. Sandra Bell Kirchman

    I am totally amazed by these two new themes. As John Hayden just said, since they are just one-time fees and not annual, the price is very reasonable. I just wonder if we will have a whole bunch of Headlines them, for instance, all looking the same, except for different blog names. I also wonder if there is a way to make them unique?

    I also noticed when I tried it out, that “Featuring” blocks the headline title of each section as it passes through.

    I am seriously thinking of getting Headlines for my new blog, News, Views, and Gurus.

    Many heartfelt thanks to WP and the staff. The WP blogs are interesting, the theme designs are fabulous, and it’s relatively easy to operate one of these blogs. AND it’s all free. Your efforts are appreciated!

    Like

  44. CraftyStaci

    I’m glad to see something like Shelf here – can’t wait to see more unique themes!

    Like

  45. Pingback: Premium Themes on WP.com, the backstory | Andrew Spittle
  46. He Said/She Said Critiques

    LOVE the featured post on Headlines. Wish it was three columns though. Probably will hold out for something a little bit more like what I am looking for.

    Like

  47. ahlezza

    I totally love the title.

    Like

  48. solidgoldcreativity

    Can we customise a premium theme using a pre-existing CSS upgrade?

    Like

  49. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com
  50. Wez

    Nice. BTW, it would be nice if themes could be previewed without custom css messing up the display of a theme it wasn’t written for.

    Like

  51. peggyhogan

    I’m not sure how the themes would make my blog better but doesn’t really matter since I can’t spend the cash!

    Like

  52. english3368

    Clear post with super shots of the websites. Job well done.

    Like

  53. masbadar

    Yeah, the first two paid themes. $68? It’s a crazy price! How about $6?

    Like

  54. Mas Gaptek

    The Headlines theme is one theme design that I’ve been waiting for a long time, a magazine style that suits my blog. Unfortunately, when this theme finally show up, I must pay 45 USD for this. I know lot of free themes are available, but they can’t be compared with this Headlines theme. If I buy this theme, and in the future there is newer one, I cannot switch unless I pay again. What a waste.

    Like

  55. markmcdougallart

    I think paying for designs as a one off fee is a great idea, I like it. :)

    Like

  56. Vivian J. Paige

    I wish there was a “try-before-you-buy” option so that I could check out the theme in detail (especially the CSS coding). I love the look of the Headlines theme, just not the color options.

    Think I’ll hold out for a 3-column version, anyway.

    Like

  57. shamballa9944

    Ah…now we go high end! Kewl. :)

    Like

  58. David Chartier

    I know Shelf supports custom menus, but does anyone know where they appear on the site when they’re enabled? Anyone seen an example? That’s the one big hangup I have before pulling the trigger. Thanks.

    Like

  59. Deanna

    Now you have created a dilemma for me WordPress: Headlines or new hoodie? Hm – Headlines looks swanky and is tantalizing me with those clean lines…

    Like

  60. unicus.com

    Cool themes!

    Like

  61. Pingback: Premium Themes Live on WordPress.com | MacManX.com
  62. Jenn

    Those are awesome themes! Unfortunately they’re not free. :(

    Like

  63. Riftstalker

    The WooThemes site says the theme is circa 2009… I hope it’s up to date.

    Like

  64. Yasir Imran

    That’s something unexpected for me…awesome!

    Like

  65. fuliggians

    It’s a little bit expensive… you can pay one year hosting with $68.

    Like

  66. Yi

    One of these days I will. But for now, still leeching off the free services because I have no money to spare.

    Like

  67. philipscottwikel

    Nice. It might be time for a new look.

    Like

  68. cookster76

    Wow! LOVE these. Might have to raid the piggy bank, Headlines would fit the theme of my blog really well but I love the styling of Shelf.

    Like

  69. Maja

    I have the Headlines theme since 3 February.

    Like

  70. Susanne

    They are pretty and elegant certainly, but not worth the price for me. I’d stick with Twenty Ten I think.

    Like

  71. Walter Boomsma

    I’d have to agree with those who have commented that the price seems a bit out of line…expensive software (themes) for “free” sites doesn’t exactly make sense to my brain… For not much more money one could have a self-hosted site with lots more options and control. This also raises a question about what sort of support commitment is being offered to those who buy one of these themes. I’ve experienced the frustration of putting a lot of work into a blog only to have the theme (or plug-in) developer disappear or decide to stop supporting it… I accept that as part of the system, but I would not be happy if I spent $68 for something that became useless in a year or two.

    Like

    • Lance Willett

      …purchasing a premium theme like Shelf or Headlines for your WordPress.com site also gives you full access to dedicated support on the WordPress.com forums.

      Support is provided by the theme authors in a dedicated support forum.

      Like

  72. Robert M Palmer

    Shelf is cool, this format opens up a lot of possibilities… Keep up the great work!

    Like

  73. yvonnesim

    I’ve been waiting so long for this!

    Like

  74. El Mundo De Sexo y Seducción 16

    Quite brilliant! Well done Woo!

    Like

  75. Ivan Vassallo

    At last, long overdue!

    Like

  76. Jennifer

    Reading the backstory on ThemeShaper also helped me to understand why this idea, which has actually been brewing for quite some time, is now finally possible. Awesome! Looking forward to seeing lots more new themes, both premium and free.

    Like

  77. Pingback: WordPress.com Introduces the Premium Theme Marketplace
  78. Kimberly A. Kitchen

    These new themes are great. As someone who manages multiple blogs and authors all posts across multiple industries of my clients, I am anxiously awaiting more themes with author anonymity and plug in availibilty. Consider adding author info as a search term, or a highlighted feature and of course, consider adding the use of plug-ins ;)

    Like

  79. dannymeagher

    Some fantastic themes there.
    :)

    Like

  80. albertocogo

    Very good, it’s good for my pictures. ;)

    Like

  81. Carlo Briones

    Very nice premium themes! Unfortunately, I still don’t have budget to purchase one.

    Like

  82. orocontinua

    Sweet! I am totally getting Shelf for my blog ASAP!

    Like

  83. Gnt

    Can you create a theme for the content of technology? I want the most expensive. :-)

    Like

  84. Kelly Whitman

    Love them!

    Like

  85. Jacqueline Jax

    I like the new themes but what about something really cool for those of us who like black background themes? I would love to see more themes that rotate your featured or newest posts with a photo on the front page. I love that feature but can’t find it in themes. I would also love to see a widget that rotates the photos in the image widget. Thanks WordPress Today’s Truffles loves you guys.

    Like

  86. Leia

    Love it! Keep on doing it!

    Like

  87. eof737

    Impressive! :-)

    Like

  88. Intelligent Challenge

    What a great idea. Keep the free ones coming though!

    Like

  89. Pingback: WordPress.com Launches Premium Themes « Weblog Tools Collection
  90. Michael Hauri

    These themes are really cool! The only thing is they are so expensive. May I ask why?

    Like

  91. poetgranny

    Great job! I still love my Twenty Ten though.

    Like

  92. chowell18

    Really lame… why would we pay for these themes (they aren’t that good).

    Like

  93. Babygirl

    These are very nice.

    Like

  94. Pingback: WordPress now Sells Themes | hakre on wordpress
  95. penguinpurple

    Shelf looks super cool but I hope we still get free themes as well – I love to browse through those and that’s what themes I use for my blog!

    Like

  96. jaimeestagner

    I keep meaning to look at the new themes out there, they look awesome! (I hope to soon, I’d like to cross that off my to do list!)

    Like

  97. jbfrogie

    Very nice, but don’t you think more color may be more appealing?

    Like

  98. bienthoughts

    Great job, I’d love to have one of these themes, but for now, I’ll stick to what I am using. Maybe next month. :P

    Like

  99. Jessica Y.

    Oh my gosh. Headlines is professional, but Shelf is just beautiful. Love it to bits!
    Would it be possible to lower the price a little, though? Please? :)

    Like

  100. Gaby

    I wish I was able to buy this, but unfortunately I cannot. Thank you for the free themes, though. :-/

    Like

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