Posts by carlhancock

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
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carlhancock says

That’s not true, all that column shortcode does is restricts container width, which should be handled by other plugins by using fluid daylotu (we are in responsive era after all). Same goes for dealing with autop, it can be set to be used only on custom defined shortcodes and not globally.

Here’s a great article that explains precisely why how the column shortcode as well as the raw/noformat shortcode for getting around autop are destructive and change core WordPress behavior in a majorly negative way that causes p,using conflicts:

http://pippinsplugins.com/never-remove-the-default-the_content-filters-in-themes/
49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

And why are some shortcodes allowed/disallowed, don’t all have to be plugins anyway? So you could create your own plugin for an accordion for example and require it. No? Does all of that stuff need to be transferred to a plugin to?

Why are some shortcodes allowed and others not? Because so are unintentionally destructive and others are not.

If a shortcode does anything to manipulate wptexturize or wpautop then it’s destructive and changes core WordPress behavior.

Here’s a great post that discusses why shortcodes such as column shortcodes, etc. are destructive and why they are not allowed under the new guidelines:

http://pippinsplugins.com/never-remove-the-default-the_content-filters-in-themes/

These shortcodes, such as the column shortcode, aren’t allowed be it in a theme or a plugin. Precisely because of the issues they cause as explained in the post I linked to above. It goes back to changing core WordPress behavior as it relates to content output and the wptexturize and wpautop behavior.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

Same goes for dealing with autop, it can be set to be used only on custom defined shortcodes and not globally.

I have yet to see a RAW or NOFORMAT shortcode to disable autop that didn’t have a global impact.

YES you can create a shortcode that content contained within it does not have autop applied to it.

But because of how you must implement the code necessary to do this, it changes the order in which functionality in WordPress is executed and while content within the shortcode does not have autop applied to it, it will now apply autop to ALL shortcode output.

By default WordPress dot not apply autop to shortcode output. S when this change is made it can cause proble s for plugins that don’t expect their shortcode output to have autop applied to it,

This is why the new guidelines specifically mention you can’t make modifications to WordPress core functionality related to wptexturize and wpautop. Precisely because of the issue I describe above.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

I was carefully following this discussion and I am trying to figure out what will be next step for our team, question that many other authors are asking themselves. We are relatively new to ThemeForest (joned it in February) but become very successful in just couple of months. We spent lot of effort building our framework and learning the things one way. Now things are changing. Although initially I didn’t like the request to move theme’s built-in features into plugins, I am starting to change my mind. I have to admit, some of our themes had problems with Gravity Forms and other plugins and we had to fix that. Who knows how many other reported problems we will need to fix in the future. I would rather do it right way and not worry about that anymore. I am just thinking that there is no other solution to make the people to learn how to make their themes compatible with plugins if they don’t make their own plugin. Maybe this is just practical way to fix this and I agree with many authors here that it doesn’t make sense to move everything to plugins. Maybe that’s not the point here at all, maybe that just a way to improve things. Think about that. I agree with @carlhancock that Envato is more imortant to us, then we are important to them. I trust people from Envato on their decision to change when it’s right time, not when it’s too late.

So glad to see someone with a more positive outlook on here that understands Envato is making these changes because they feel its best for everyone involved for the longterm. Wil, it suck in the short term? Definitely. But in the long run it will result in a better product.

The question of if code should be in a plugin or a theme doesn’t impact things like conflicts with Gravity Forms as much as things related to properly using jQuery, JavaScript, CSS and WordPress don’t output manipulation,

Most theme conflict ps with Gravity Forms are caused by one of the following:

- Not properly enqueuing JavaScript and simply outputting it without enqueuing it on every page.

- Using enqueue to enqueue JavaScript and CSS globallg and on every page and not enqueuing it only when it’s needed. For example, 99% of themes and plugins should have no need to output ANY JavaScript within the Gravity Forms admin pages.

If you go to a Gravity Forms admin page in your WordPress Dashboard such as the Form Editor and you view source and see calls to JS or CSS from your theme, you aren’t outputting things selectively enough. Only output JS and CSS when it’s actually needed. Sometimes it may be necessary if you are doing something globally in the WordPress admin, but this typically is not the case.

- De-enqueuing the version of jQuery that is built into WordPress and enqueuing a different version of jQuery. This will cause conflicts with any or JS using jQuery that isn’t expecting this to occur because its expecting the jQuery that WordPress ships with.

- Manipulating the output of post and page content. Such as manipulating how autop behaves. This can have serious negative impact on how shortcode content is output. By default, autop is not applied to shortcode output. Manipulate the content output to change this behavior and you can unintentionally then make autop be applied to all shortcode output… which isn’t default WordPress core behavior and therefore not expected by plugins and can break things. We see this a lot with shortcodes such as the RAW shortcode, columns shortcode, etc

These are a few examples of what themes do that can cause conflicts with plugins. There are of course others, but these are the major ones. These are the types of things the new guidelines will help curb, along with many other issues.

None of the above even touches on the whole theme we vs. plugin issue when it comes to features that should be in a theme vs. a plugin. That’s more of a best practice thing than something that’s going to help prevent conflicts. Because if your plugin still does the things I describe above, it could still cause a conflict with Gravity Forms.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

Hey, why does columns shortcode is in Inadmissible list? We have seen on our buyers sites, that they use this shortcode a lot actually and find it very useful.

Why? Because of how it is implemented it typically changes the content output and breaks things such as shortcodes that may be used within one of the columns. Typically in order to implement the columns there is code that manipulated the output.

This manipulation then has unintended consequences. So while the column functionality works great for basic text. It causes problems for other plugins when a user tries to do something like use a shortcode within a column.

This is a great example of theme developer implementing a feature that appears to be great, and users love… only to discover it has major implications down the road because it causes problems with shortcode output for other plugins.

It’s like the RAW or NOFORMAT shortcode that allows you to disable WordPress autop on a block of text in your content using that shortcode. Sure it works and does disable autop on the block of text within that shortcode. But it has the unintended consequence of the. Applying autop to ALL other shortcode output, which WordPress doesn’t do by default. So by introducing a feature, it changes default WordPress behavior in a negative way and breaks other plugins that use shortcodes to output content.

This type of situation is why I’m guessing the columns shortcode is not being allowed anymore. I’m sure they are looking into what types of features seem to cause the most issues and conflicts with plugins, etc.

Apparently some in this thread seem to think Envato is just making up these guidelines out of thin air while I can assure you they wouldn’t be implementing changes like this lightly. They’ve put a lot of time and research into the support issues and conflicts caused by certain functionality and that has contributed a lot to why some things are no longer going to be allowed.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

I’d like to think that discussions like this, if we let them run their course, will ultimately lead to a better and more advanced community here, which will help us all make more money. I believe that Envato has their heart in the right place, as do the authors that have helped Envato reach its current summit. At the same time, I do hope that Envato maintains its unique voice in the end, because despite being the red headed step child, a lot of people value it for that very same reason.

You are exactly right. Envato has not gotten to where it is by making bad decisions. They didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hey… let’s implement all these guidelines”. They put a lot of thought, research and discussion into these new guidelines and they feel that it is the right thing to do for the longterm future of ThemeForest as a marketplace.

A lot of the theme authors in this thread that are complaining loudly should take a deep breath and think about what Envato has done for them and trust that Envato is making decisions that are in it’s best interests which will ultimately be in the best interest of the theme authors.

Envato is in business to make money, in order to do that the theme authors must make money. Envato isn’t looking to jeopardize that. They are implementing these guidelines to help it’s authors build better products that ultimately will result in better results for it’s customers and in turn better sales in the long run. Better sales means more money for Envato and in turn more money for theme authors.

Change never easy. People naturally hate change. It’s human nature. People get comfortable doing things one way and then when it change… they freak it. But in this particular situation it is definitely warranted and it will ultimately be a good change.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

Also, you are a plugin developer, but if you were a buyer (the most important person in all of this) would you see it as a positive or negative change that themes have less built-in features and need free external plugins to be installed to work as the demo shows?

If Pippin and I were buying a theme we would see it as a positive thing for themes to have less built-in features. But you should know that based on our opinions. Plus Pippin and I technically are potential buyers. We develop plugins, not themes.

Customers don’t know best practices nor do they typically know what is good for them. Of course they are going to want all the bells and whistles, but they don’t know the full impact of going down the wrong path until it’s too late. They don’t care about things like best practices until something goes wrong, and then they’ll be furious and angry and wonder why the theme author didn’t build things the correct way once they find out Plugin X doesn’t work properly because the theme they are using wasn’t built properly.

It’s up to the developers that provide the themes and plugins to build things correctly and do so following standards, guidelines and best practices. You are supposed to be the experts. The customer only knows what he’d like to accomplish, it’s up to the theme and plugin developers to direct them to the RIGHT solution that helps them accomplish that goal.

If the RIGHT solution is a theme along with some plugins to accomplish what they would like to do, then that is the solution that the customer should be advised to use.

If I incorporated everything our customers requested or wanted into our product my company would be out of business because our product would be a bloated disaster.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

Do you realize that Japh and Collis have done that to Envato’s reputation themselves and you are still blaming the authors ? Authors have followed the guidelines that Envato has set.

You are 100% correct and i’ve never publicly said otherwise which is why whenever i’ve called out a ThemeForest theme for having poor code on Twitter, etc. which I have done MANY MANY times over the last few years, i’ve always called out ThemeForest and Envato and not the specific theme author.

Envato itself deserves a share of the blame. But at least Japh, Collis and Envato as a whole are trying to correct the mistakes of the past by bringing more standards, best practices and order to what is sold on ThemeForest. I commend Japh, Collis and Envato for taking the steps necessary to clean up ThemeForest.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

Authors are the second most valuable and important asset for Envato right after Buyers, if we stop making themes, they having nothing to sell and make no money.

This quote reminds me of so many people i’ve worked with in the past at various customers prior to starting my own company, including myself, who i’ve heard make a similar statements about their job, “If I quit, they’ll be screwed.” and when they finally quit… in every single instance the company continued to chug along as if nothing happened.

Unfortunately for the authors they’ve allowed themselves to be commoditized. Unlike other theme developers that built their own brands and businesses (Organic Themes, Press75, iThemes, StudioPress, WooThemes, Headway, etc.), most ThemeForest authors have placed themselves at the mercy of ThemeForest.

I say most, not all. There are a few that definitely have been able to cultivate their own brand. Themezilla for instance. Okay Themes is another. They could walk away from ThemeForest and weather the initial downturn in sales and survive in the long run. But the vast majority of ThemeForest authors? They’d be screwed if they walked away from ThemeForest.

This is what happens when you allow yourself to be commoditized.

This means you need ThemeForest MORE than ThemeForest needs you. I say more because you are replaceable. They can always find people to create and sell themes on ThemeForest.

49 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 6 years
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
carlhancock says

Do you have any data to show that this will work and buyers suddenly want to educate themselves and are willing to spend a lot more time on setting those products up ?

You shouldn’t need data to know that you should provide products to your customers that are built using best practices and do things the right way.


They will be still looking for a “complete solution”, which is wrong, I know, but you have advertised yourselves so for about 5 years, they don’t expect anything less. A good in-house support channel and a lot more workers could ease the pain, but this wouldn’t be the case.

Customers always think they want a “complete solution” until they realize what a mistake they’ve made because that “complete solution” doesn’t work with plugins X, Y and Z because it’s poorly built. Then they quickly realize the errors of their way when they are educated by developers that know what they are doing.

Once they are educated they avoid the source of that “complete solution” and it stains it’s reputation. That reputation is Envato and ThemeForest, not the theme author as these users don’t distinguish between them. They know they purchased it from ThemeForest and that’s who they then have a bad opinion of. We encounter this regularly.

A customer is going to want a theme that does their laundry, makes them coffee in the morning and mows their lawn. That doesn’t mean you should give it to them. You’ve admitted that it’s wrong, so you know it’s wrong. Envato knows it’s wrong. Everyone that gets best practices knows it’s wrong. So it’s time to do something about it.

Will it hurt? Sure. But ultimately everyone will be better off because of it. ThemeForest. The theme authors. And above all and most importantly the customers. It may not appear that way initially, but it will most certainly be a positive thing down the road.


In conclusion, I think that everything should be built correctly and I am happy that there are people like Justin, Carl, Pippin who try to educate me/us and I have learned a lot from them and I know where to strive, but on this marketplace this just won’t work.

Thanks, unlike many others on here i’m glad that you do at least appreciate and listen to the input that people like myself, Justin and Pippin provide.

The only reason I am replying to posts on this thread is to help give advice that will benefit everyone involved (ThemeForest, theme authors and customers). I don’t sell on ThemeForest nor do I sell on CodeCanyon.

What I do know about is how to build a highly successful product and how to do so without the advantages a marketplace like ThemeForest provides. The advantage that ThemeForest provides theme authors is huge and some of these authors should more appreciation for Envato enabling many of them to make a living from their marketplaces.

Instead of fighting things how about this… TRUST ENVATO. They wouldn’t be where they are today by making bad decisions. Envato is implementing changes that are going to better the industry as a whole.

These changes can be implemented on a marketplace like ThemeForest and be successful. But the theme authors that don’t embrace it will not be.

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