Mike is a small web design agency owner. He likes to buy premium WordPress templates from renowned theme shops and custom tailor them for his customers. Unfortunately for him, some of the theme shops could not take the load of answering his support tickets, because Mike had created so many abusing the life-time customer support policy and tried to custom tweak the templates, screwing them up in the process.
Does this ring a bell? Whether you’re a small business owner who just wants his or her business online or you’re that theme shop, you’ve probably dealt with the likes of Mike.
Mike decided to go with ThemeForest because majority of developers there do offer unlimited support and he likes taking credit for the help he provides to end users and small business owners. Another thing that works to Mike’s advantage is the fact that most premium WordPress themes on large marketplaces never go through the WordPress theme review checks and are bloated with features that don’t belong in a theme.
Don’t get me wrong #1, I have nothing against WordPress marketplaces as many developers and designers live off selling stuff there, but I just wish they could embrace some of the WordPress.org theme reviews and the simplest of guidelines that Themes must not be used to define the generation of user content, or to define Theme-independent site options or functionality. Although, there are signs of improvement here, this is not yet done on a consistent basis. I don’t have to tell you how theme review guidelines would greatly help all small business owners, bloggers and end-users alike.
Right now, with the majority of themes on ThemeForest you’ll lose all those form and drag’n’drop template builders, shortcodes, custom option panels and other functionality extensions, upon switching to a different theme. It could take some time before you have your portfolio sections up and running again after you wake up and think: “Hey, I think my WordPress theme looks outdated, I’ll change it!”
Some of the most popular premium WordPress themes boast with color pickers for each and every design element, unlimited sidebars, close to unlimited font options, etc. With so many built-in features and plugin-like functionality, problems are bound to happen.
I sure hope you, as an end user, know that it’s probably not your “webdesign agency” that provides support for your WordPress running websites, but the theme developers on ThemeForest, Mojo Themes, WooThemes, etc.
Because a theme has an option for everything, that doesn’t make it a good one. Setting up such a theme takes days and gets you in a never-ending support dialogue with whoever developed it. They call themselves agencies, webdesign studios, all-in-one online solutions, but we know them as – middlemen.
Don’t get me wrong #2, I have nothing against agencies that take a good premium WordPress theme, make a child theme for you and then custom designed it. My fight is with Mike, a guy who wants to take advantage of small business owners who are not aware of how easy and fast setting up a WordPress site can be.
Before purchasing your next WordPress theme or signing up for the web design agency that’s going to put your business online, always ask for WordPress best practices.
Do you really need a middleman who’ll want to sell you WordPress theme bullshit marketing phrases, themes that lock your business into bloated templates, or do you need a future-proof WordPress theme where there’s no learning cure, where design serves functionality and everything can be configured in minutes?
If there’s enough people aware of Mikes and bloated WordPress themes, support would become more efficient, you could choose and switch WordPress templates without worrying about breaking something, updating would become worry-less and you’d have more secure and stable online business.
Now tell me, how do you like the idea of a healthier WordPress ecosystem?
6 comments You Can Make WordPress a More Healthy Ecosystem
Same problems here. Bought a theme from a developer whom I met via Facebook. The theme was a pain to setup. Frameworks like genesis and thesis are better options!
Majority of frameworks are like that, so it’s important to let people know about them. Glad you found the ones (frameworks) that work for you.
Hi Dragan, Aditya mentioned genesis and thesis as frameworks using best practice. I’d be interested to hear of a definitive list of others using best practice. How does does iThemes Builder compare?
We haven’t gone through the code of these WordPress frameworks, so we don’t know whether they’re coded using best practices. But, we plan to create a plugin that would check this automatically.