If you’ve ever tried looking for a WordPress theme, free or premium, you’ll know how time consuming the process can be. Developers release new themes on a daily basis, and while many free themes appear in the wordpress.org repository, and many premium themes are sold on leading marketplaces such as ThemesForest, there is a significant number that are still released outside these databases.
So where do you start to look?
Do you go to wordpress.org/themes? Do you go to Google? Do you go to a marketplace? Or do you curate your own list of theme developers and check their websites 1-by-1? Personally, I have always opted for the fourth option. The problem is, my current list now contains over 40 websites and searching each one is just not feasible anymore.
As a result, I began to look for a script that would allow me to pull data from all the main developers and sites, and create a searchable database of the latest WordPress themes. One of the options I came across is a WordPress plugin called “ThemesHound“. It is free and open source plugin developed by Rohit Singhal.
The installation is fast and simple. Just go to your WordPress dashboard > Plugins > Add New and type “ThemesHound” in the search box. The plugin itself does very little other than add a link in your dashboard to a page with a simple search box (see screenshot above). The searchbox is linked to a database running on themeshound.com and that’s where you’re taken after clicking “search”. In effect then, this review is not really about the ThemesHound plugin, but more about the ThemesHound.com website.
In any case, I typed in the word “minimal” and got this page
As you can see, the results are presented in a simple 3 column grid. Each entry has a thumbnail, a theme title and short description, the name of the developer, and links to download and preview the theme.
Next to the search box are two filters. The first allows you to select a platform (this plugin serves other CMS platforms as well) and then a second filter which allows you to choose a domain (wordpress.org; themeforest; StudioPress; Tesla Themes and so on).
You can also register an account, which simply allows you to create a favourites list. You can “publish” the list on the ThemesHound.com website and share it with others via social media. And that’s about as far as the plugin’s functionality goes.
I like the idea behind ThemesHound, but in its current state I cannot really say that it’s of real value or use. It lacks some basic functionality. Most importantly, the list should be filterable by the publication date; free theme; premium theme and type of theme (blog, magazine, portfolio etc.).
Interestingly, the WordPress plugin repository page for ThemesHound shows a screenshot of a previous iteration of the plugin in which much of the functionality I mention above is included. I’m not sure why the developer opted to remove that core data, but in any case it seems like a step backwards.
Finally, it would be great if the plugin functioned directly in the WordPress dashboard instead of having to go to an external site. It would also be good if the developer had a disclaimer on the themeshound.com website stating whether or not the links to premium themes are affiliate links. That remains unclear at the moment.