It’s a great time to be a blogger.
No, seriously! For one thing, if you’re an old guy like me, who’s been blogging for ten or fifteen years, the golden time we all knew was coming has arrived; according to The Atlantic, Millennials are finally craving long-form reads.
So, you can finally setup that blog you’ve been dreaming of and write to your heart’s content. And, while you can always setup a free blog on WordPress.com, I would personally suggest that you NOT become a digital share-cropper and invest in your own website with a self-hosted copy of WordPress, freely available from WordPress.org.
You can install free or premium themes on self hosted WordPress as well as WordPress.com, but what if you want a theme for your self hosted WordPress that’s only available on WordPress.com? Of course, you can probably find it free on WordPress.org, but what if you want to modify it, or maybe even use the free, open source code as a basis for your own, very special theme? Well, then I have good news for you! Automattic, the folks who run WordPress.com and are responsible for a lot of the greatest stuff for WordPress.org, maintain a free repository of their themes.
Now, you could just go to https://wpcom-themes.svn.automattic.com and laboriously download each theme, one file at a time. But, if you’re like me, you’re too lazy for that. So, do like I did and get an SVN client installed and use it to download the lot of them!
I used Tortoise SVN because it’s free and easy to use. So, go grab that and install it.
Once it’s installed, make a folder somewhere on your computer to hold all the themes. And, make sure if you’re on a network to make it on your local machine. If you do it on a network, Tortoise SVN will keep timing out when you try to download the files.
Right-Click on that folder and select ‘Tortoise SVN’ then ‘Export’ if you just want one copy of the files and don’t plan to update it frequently. If, however, you want to periodically check for updates, choose ‘SVN Checkout’, instead.
Where you’re asked, enter the URL of repository as ‘https://wpcom-themes.svn.automattic.com’ and click on ‘OK’, or ‘Export’, depending on your goal.
Then, kick back and watch the themes download!
Once you have the theme you want, upload it to your self-hosted WordPress blog/site and activate it and enjoy the beauty of the latest and greatest theme from the folks who are the power behind WordPress!
(And, I know this might not appeal to everyone, but, hey, at least it’s not another photography post!)