It was just two weeks ago that we brought to your attention the Custom Skins gadget for iGoogle personalized homepages. This gadget allows users to create their own skins and submit them to a directory where everybody has access to them. The directory for these custom skins is a great addition, and some of you commented on how nice this was. Along the same lines as the skins directory, Google has just launched an iGoogle Themes directory which I’m sure many of you will appreciate as well.
What’s great about the Themes Directory is that now not only can you easily flip through the options Google provides, but you can also view the themes that others have created. That’s right, now users can develop their own themes for iGoogle. Google has released the Themes API and put together a whole developers guide to get you started. Now, before you say that there’s no way you could create your own theme, just note that Google says creating your own theme “isn’t rocket science” and that “if you can create a web page, then you can create a theme.” Apparently there are only three steps involved.
To access the directory from your iGoogle homepage, click the “Add Stuff” button where you’d go to add gadgets. Once you reach that page, notice that there’s now a tab for “Themes” at the top. You can also access all of the themes with this direct link. From there you can sort by “hottest,” “most users” or “newest.” Additionally, from the directory you can rate themes and add comments. You can also see how many people are using each one, although I think their counter is a little off because every theme I’ve viewed in the directory, including the most popular Google themes, show that they have under 100 users.