Theme Matcher: a Review
The screenshot above left is a screenshot of a site we wrote with our friends at Sharp Hue for a local church. The screenshot on the right is a free WordPress theme developed from that website by a service called Theme Matcher. The Theme Matcher version used just one of the rotating banners — it happens to be a different one from the one in the screenshot — and it pulled the content from the lab site where we installed it.
It’s not an exact match with the original, and it’s not as good, but it’s surprisingly similar.
Here’s how Theme Matcher works.
Go to your website (I guess you could use this service to snag someone else’s design, but let’s assume it’s your own.) Copy the URL. We used Liquid Dispatch, a site we built with designer Tom Hapgood several years ago.
Paste the URL (the web address) into the text box at Theme Matcher. You will be shown a screen capture and you can identify the section that you’d like to have serve as a blog. In this case, we were only able to grab a paragraph, but in other cases, we could grab a larger section. It depends how your site was built to begin with.
Step 2 is showing the section where you’d like to have a sidebar, if any. You can skip that if you don’t want a sidebar. You will then be given a chance to remove anything you want to get rid of.
You’re given a choice of free or “professional” options. We just tried out the free one. You must give your name and email address, and then — literally in minutes — you can download your free theme.
Here’s how the free version of Liquid Dispatch’s them looked, installed at a lab site (the original is on the left):
Again, it’s not the same, it is surprisingly similar.
The free version has an announcement that the theme was generated by Theme Matcher; the paid version does not.
You can create a blog theme to match your website and have it installed into your website. If you have a very simple website, and especially if you plan to have the blog as the main content, you might even be able to use a Theme Matcher theme for your whole website.
Overall, I’m impressed. I haven’t actually tried it in a website; it might be hard to get it to play nice with plugins or it might be hard to customize. At first glance, though, it seems like a reasonable alternative to trying a DIY conversion with a basic theme and your header.
We’re going to try it out for a bit and I’ll report further.