Clearing up confusion

It seems that quite a few people don’t quite fully understand what I meant when I announced that the Options, Structure, and Visionary themes would be discontinued. I’ve gotten quite a few emails and questions on this subject, so I’m going to try and clear up any confusion here in this post.

For those of you that missed that post, I announced that those three themes would be discontinued on January 31, 2009. I also announced that Theme Hybrid would be releasing everything under the GPL.

What does “discontinued” mean?

This seems to be the major part of the misunderstanding. “Discontinued” simply means “no longer available.”

From the definition of discontinue:

1. To stop doing or providing (something);
2. To cease making or manufacturing;

Can I download the themes?

Options, Structure, and Visionary will not be available for download after January 31. You can download them before then. I will remove them from this site and after that date.

There will be only one exception to this after that (see: developer’s licenses). So, if you email me wanting a copy of one, then you’re out of luck. I suggest downloading a copy for safekeeping now.

Why are the themes being discontinued?

Quite simply, they are not licensed under the GPL and Theme Hybrid will be distributing all things under the GPL in the future. It would be unethical to re-license the themes after people have paid for separate single and developer’s licenses for them.

You can read my thoughts on this from my personal blog: Some thoughts on the WordPress community, themes, and the GPL.

What about theme support and tutorials?

Support will not be discontinued in any way for exclusive members.

I will continue answering support questions as long as necessary. For example, if you have a question about the Structure theme one year from now, I will be happy to answer.

I also plan to write more tutorials for each theme to help those of you that are using the theme.

Can I use one of the themes after Jan. 31?

Yes, you can use the themes as long as you want.

Some people seem to think that they must switch to a different theme. This is not the case.

What happens when WordPress is updated?

It is very rare that a WordPress update will break a theme. The developers at are very good at keeping things backward compatible.

I have old themes I made for WordPress 2.1 that still work on WordPress 2.7.

I don’t know what the future holds for WordPress, but it’s likely your theme will work far into the future. If something does break one of the themes, I’ll post a fix for it in the support forums.

What if I purchased a license?

If you’ve purchased a developer’s license, I will make sure the themes are available to you.

For example, if you somehow lose your copy of the Options theme, you can email me and ask for a copy. I’ll send it your way.

What is the GPL?

It is a license for distributing software, which WordPress is licensed with. Without getting into the complexities of a legal dicussion, I ask you to read the GPL yourself if you’re interested in it.

I know many of you could care less about the licenses of the themes here, but it is an important thing for me and many people in the inner WordPress community.

In an extremely small nutshell, it states that I can’t put restrictions on you when using the code.

Avoiding any more confusion

I hope this clears up any confusion some of you may have had. In short, the themes will not be available for download but will be supported.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments about this.


  1. thanks for making it more clear Justin !! 🙂

  2. tmforce

    Thanks for clearing things up Justin. I thought that new versions of WP would likely bust the theme and you weren’t going to do the fixes. Sounds like that was a misunderstanding on my part. I guess I’ll stay with it if I can get it to work with IE. Are the drop down menus supposed to work with that browser? If so, I’ll pay the membership to find out how in the forums. If not, there’s way too many people out there using that browser still for me to use it for my web site.

  3. dinu — No problem.

    tmforce — Any theme that has drop-down menus here will work on Internet Explorer 7. However, they won’t on IE6 because I refuse to resort to hacks for something as trivial as that. Few people actually use IE6 anymore. Plus, IE8 is on the horizon.

  4. Wow, glad I found this, as I was pretty worried when I read that Structure was being discontinued. As someone who is currently using v1.1.5 on a WordPress 2.7 installation, though, I can easily accept that updating to v1.3.1 will likely keep me set up far into the future.

  5. Realy nice. If Yours themes Options will work until WordPress 3.x i will be very happy. Its realy good theme, one of the best from Magazines-style.
    I would be exquisitely happy, if you created something much better, more developed than Options, with elements of the Java. I would be ready even for the version only for paid users: -)

  6. thinkjayant

    If I want to make a child theme of options freely available, How do I do that?

    I was thinking of giving the child theme for download and provide a link to themehybrid to download the latest Options theme. How can I do that post 30th Jan. I have 2 free themes ready for download, based on Options.


  7. rcadden — I do recommend updating to the latest version of the theme because version 1.1.5 is no longer supported here. WordPress 2.7 has brought the most theme-specific changes of any WordPress update I’ve seen, so it’s unlikely we’ll see a lot more in the near future.

    Midv — I don’t know if it’ll still work when WP 3.x comes out, but I hope it does.

    I do have a theme that’s much better than Options. It’s called Hybrid, and it’s free, just like the other themes around here.

    thinkjayant — You can post your child themes on your site as well as the community forums.

    Once Jan. 31 comes around, they would only be useful for people that already have the Options theme. New users won’t be able to use them because they won’t be able to download Options.

  8. thinkjayant

    I will surely post them on the forums. I guess the only way out to use options for few more time is to get the developer license. At least with a developer’s liscense, I can use the options theme on my client’s work.

    By the way, I am using hybrid on some of my client’s site and i am loving it. Just that i still keep getting many requests for Options modification. Even after I try to convince them for Hybrid.

    I need to find time out and shift all my sites to Hybrid from Options. 😉


  9. thinkjayant — People around here will still be using Options for quite a while, so you could use those child themes to try and attract new client work.

    You can do anything with Hybrid that you could do with Options, so you could easily switch your client base over.

  10. thinkjayant

    Yeah. I know. Hybrid is not much different from Options (i guess its your code that feels similar, even though they are structurally way different). Rather its much flexible and gives better control to design. I feel much comfortable to design with it.

    Lets see, I will wrap up semi finish Options themes and then decide what to do with them. Surely will give some for free to the forum members.

    Thanks Justin.


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