Opened 4 years ago

Closed 4 years ago

#5048 closed defect (bug) (fixed)

301 old featured themes URL

Reported by: jonoaldersonwp's profile jonoaldersonwp Owned by: dd32's profile dd32
Milestone: Priority: high
Component: Theme Directory Keywords: seo


Following the removal of the 'Featured' themes page, (and Rosetta variants) now return a 404 page + header. This should instead execute a 301 redirect to

Change History (13)

#1 @dd32
4 years ago

As the featured page removal is temporary, this should be implemented as a 302 if anything.

I'm personally happy with 404 though.

#2 @jonoaldersonwp
4 years ago

Nope. This is our most prominent (only) result for a Google search of 'WordPress themes', and it now returns a 404.

Because of the historical issues with this page/section, it's also where all of our equity relating to themes resides. That it now returns a 404 is disastrously damaging.

If the section had previously been in reasonable condition, we might have got away with a 302, but in its current condition, the only choice we have is to implement a 301 and to try to rescue some lost equity. The redirect can be removed/replaced in the future.

I cannot express how critical it is that we resolve this immediately. Every second which passes whilst this continues to return a 404 harms the whole site.

Last edited 4 years ago by jonoaldersonwp (previous) (diff)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta by joostdevalk. View the logs.

4 years ago

#4 @jonoaldersonwp
4 years ago

It's also worth noting that the page hasn't actually been deleted - it just uses JavaScript to clear the default/initial 15 themes which load when the page does. This makes things even messier from an SEO perspective, as we still have two different versions of this page.

Can we not just kill/disable the JS 'wipe'?

#6 @megphillips91
4 years ago

I was doing a little theme research this morning and got to a blank page. Which sort of communicates that there are no "featured" themes in WordPress. I am a committed, devoted, and active community member, but I don't think this would send a good message to a user with little or no WordPress exposure. As if there are no free themes worth featuring. I hope this ticket gets resolved with that prospective WordPress user in mind. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication :)

Version 0, edited 4 years ago by megphillips91 (next)

#7 @bradleyt
4 years ago

It seems there are a few possible solutions here:

  • 301 redirect
  • 302 redirect
  • Return the standard 404 page
  • Return a static page explaining why the new page has been removed and why, and linking to the appropriate replacement pages (suggested by @joostdevalk on Slack).

It seems there is a risk that nothing is done whilst these options are considered (and written/ coded in the case of the last suggestion), which would not be a good outcome given the seriousness of this ticket.

@jonoaldersonwp compared with doing nothing, would a 302 not be a reasonable short-term compromise compared with the current blank-page/ 404 combo?

Last edited 4 years ago by bradleyt (previous) (diff)

#8 @jonoaldersonwp
4 years ago

A 302 does nothing to stem the (already lost, continuing) haemorrhaging of value, but, it provides users with a better experience.
So, yes, it'd be better than nothing.

#9 @dd32
4 years ago

This is our most prominent (only) result for a Google search of 'WordPress themes', and it now returns a 404.

Including that (very) valuable information would've been extremely helpful in the original request.

I'll redirect it to the homepage with a 302. That URL should've never ended up there, and I'm guessing is because of our incorrect canonical implementation.

#10 @dd32
4 years ago

  • Owner set to dd32
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

In 9535:

Theme Directory: Redirect /themes/browse/featured to the homepage temporarily as we had incorrectly set it as the Canonical URL for the Theme directory.

See #5044.
Fixes #5048.

#11 follow-up: @jonoaldersonwp
4 years ago

  • Priority changed from highest omg bbq to high
  • Resolution fixed deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened

Please redirect it to the themes url.

#12 @megphillips91
4 years ago

As a fairly neutral by-stander on this ticket, I feel strongly that the best user experience for those browsers like myself who were redirected to a dead page would be to direct them to the the expected content which in this case would be the Themes ( page. It naturally lands on "popular" which is parallel to a "featured" theme as the google search keyword suggests. Thank you all. Thank you @dd32 - a hero to the human browser**

#13 in reply to: ↑ 11 @dd32
4 years ago

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from reopened to closed

Replying to jonoaldersonwp:

Please redirect it to the themes url.

Please actually test it. It's set to the themes homepage.

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