Just curious as to why the 100+ templates from the wordpress.org site aren't allowed on this site? I'd like to use "Orange Sky", if I could. I know all about the "get your own server" thing, but don't want to go that route. Just seems like we could use those templates also, somehow?
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templates from wordpress.org
Every person using a wordpress.com blog uses the same selection of themes. Many of the hundreds of themes out there are "broken" in many respects (from simply not working right period, to not working right in a given browser to more serious problems).
Where thousands of blogs are "living" on the same server space, it's just too much to expect that everyone can use whichever theme heesh wishes to use.
Admittedly, the "you can only use what we give you" should be part of a standard disclaimer to which everyone should be required to agree before acquiring a blog on .com. Of course, since they don't bother with anything at all vide TOS etc. that's obviously asking too much.
So for now, there's only two choices: use what's available and be happy that there are way more than there were to begin with; or go the self-hosted route.
For security reasons, templates have to be added by administrators. They may also need a bit of tweaking to work properly with wordpress.com, and all of this takes time which is better employed elsewhere.
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