$100,000 per month, two months in a row. That is the pile of money that a partnership of Theme authors has been making by selling one Theme on Themeforest.
This Theme made two guys a million dollars.
I pretty much agree with Brian Krogsgard’s statement that “[the Theme] represents everything I hate about the theme landscape today” and I appreciate his thoughts on the Theme market in general.
So we have two WordPress developers in agreement that the Theme is doing it wrong. However its authors have pocketed a million bucks since August, so why is this Theme so popular?
Despite the efforts of the WordPress community, numerous books and countless articles, there are still a lot of crappy Themes out there.
While there are a handful of reputable commercial shops as well as the WordPress.org Themes Directory that feature high quality Themes, there are so many more great things to discover.
There are a lot of very small shops and independent Theme developers out there, and we shouldn’t punish them because of few bad apples. Yes, even ThemeForest has very good Themes available.
But if you can’t rely on the reputation of the vendor, how can you know if a Theme is safe to install on your website? Here are a few easy checks that help to determine the quality of a Theme.
If you don’t follow Make/Core, you might have missed Jen Mylo’s recent update Post Formats, Schedules, and Philosophy.
In her post Jen criticizes the current implementation of the user interface as too confusing and in need of improvement. After this she goes on talking about the planned release schedule and WordPress.org’s philosophy concerning deadlines.
She closes by asking the question if it might not be better to punt the whole Post Formats feature to the next release and focus on the remaining new features.
Of course, this has resulted in quite a lot of interesting discussion via the comments, including contributions by a lot of WordPress Core developers.
But WordPress is more than just the Core Team, so I encourage everybody to participate in the discussion!
It’s the weekend, which means that I spend a few hours reviewing Themes as part of my involvement with the Theme Review Team. And what do I see: yet another Lite version of a crappy commercial Theme.
It’s simply mind boggling to me how you can ask users to pay 50$ for one of your Themes while selling them complete crap. I’m talking PHP notices all over the place, no clue about what function does what, sloppy indentation, a mishmash of copy-paste in functions.php and other such nasty things.
Worse of all the website of this commercial Theme shop advertises them as being “exceptionally high quality”, “professionally developed” and “built on top of a rock-solid framework”. And this is not an isolated case, I downloaded another free Theme from this vendor and it is just as bad as the one I reviewed.
So please, if you want to sell commercial Themes, either learn the basics or hire someone who knows them. Otherwise, stay out of this business. You are only making WordPress worse for everybody.
Last week I read through the code of a commercial Theme that was build upon a custom framework. The code quality of the Theme was actually pretty okay, the problematic parts were hidden in the framework code.
This is not the first time that I stumbled upon a badly coded Theme framework from an upstart commercial shop. What I don’t get about this is why someone who just got started selling Themes would invest his time into writing his own framework, especially because of the numerous open-source alternatives that are available.
So if you are just getting started, here a four good reasons not to write a custom framework.
I’m not a plugin author per se, although I’ve already written a few of them. But the code of these plugins is not publicly available and so in my view, they don’t count.
A lot of people get started doing WordPress development by writing plugins, but for me the starting point was Themes. However I’ve always wanted to develop a plugin and host it on WordPress.org, if not only for the money and the fame.
Here is a quick update on my effort of writing a 100 words a day on my blog.
Yesterday Cam Brennan of WP Daily posted an article complaining about the lack of backwards compatibility in Twenty Thirteen.
He makes various points, which I’d like to comment on, in order to find an answer to the question should Twenty Thirteen be backwards compatible?
About two weeks ago, I wrote about the first iteration of the MP6 plugin, which is used to test a new design approach to the WordPress admin.
I’ve been catching up with my RSS feeds today and I’m happy to report that the WordPress UI team has been busy with iterating on the new UI. Version 0.4 of the MP6 plugin has been released this Friday.
Creating a high quality WordPress Theme is about more than just a nice design. What’s going on under the hood is equally important: using the right Template files, writing clean code and testing for all kinds of content.
Luckily there is a wealth of information, plugins and other helpful tools available on the web. This is an overview of the best resources to help you develop Themes according to the best practices.