Is WordPress (.org) Missing a Theme Filter?

For some time now, WordPress(.com) has had an additional Theme Filter (Responsive Layout) that is Not Included in the WordPress.org Free Themes Directory. Part of the reason may be the smaller number of themes offered (176) vs the much larger (1500+) in (.org). Large numbers are hard to manage. All the same, as of today 21 Themes showed up on WordPress.com’s Showcase when filtered for ONLY “Responsive Layout”. That is a 11.9% segment of current themes offered through WordPress.com. A little over half of them are Commercial, and Not Free. The following two images are current as of earlier today:

WordPress.org is a different animal. There are a large number of developers who submit their designs to the Repository, and many of them Would Not Benefit if their current products were screened for “Adaptive”, “Responsive”, or “Mobile First” design. Some of them (and they might be right) don’t see an across-the-board need for Mobile Responsive Design for all global users. That aside, what is frustrating is that the Sales of Mobile Devices is increasing World Wide http://www.bgr.com/2012/03/23/low-cost-tablets-to-control-60-of-the-market-by-2016/ and businesses will have to adapt quickly. Over 3 months ago, I suggested http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/topic/new-responsive-category-for-theme-and-plugin-directories that WordPress.org add some sort of “Responsive” category to the Themes Directory, but it never developed a large enough following to get implemented.

But now, Lo and Behold: A particular theme “Responsive” by Emil Uzelac has been picking up steam, and has currently become the 4th most popular theme downloaded from WordPress.org. I think there are two reasons for this: #1) Mr. Uzelac is one of the Core Developers and Theme Reviewers for WordPress and is providing an advanced Free theme with some of the most up-to-date components of Responsive Design; AND #2) He bypassed the standard filtering of the Free Themes Directory by simply naming his theme what people are looking for – “Responsive” (there’s more than one way, to-skin-a-cat). The following two images were current earlier today, and notice that “Responsive” has surpassed “Suffusion” (a very popular Options Theme) that is slated for some form of “Responsive Design Update” in the near future.

The downside to this is that since Mr. Uzelac’s theme is doing so well, the powers-to-be won’t see any need to add a “Responsive Layout” filter to the Free Themes Directory.  I would like to see that and also, a “Mobile First” filter added (somehow, I doubt it’s going to happen).  At any rate, below you will find two of the more popular Theme Sorters recommended for WordPress users.  One has a “Flexible” filter, while the other doesn’t seem to have a “Responsive” Filter at all.  Maybe I just missed it.  So far, it’s just “Par” for the course.

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