Posts by cmsgods

12 posts
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cmsgods says

When we received our first rejection on a theme that had 5 months of work put into it a couple of weeks back, we were given the same reason. Fair enough it followed a similar pattern but seriously how can you make a website built on a 12 column grid system customisable, modular and look different without looking too different? The biggest slap in the face was other themes approved on the same day and days after that which looked basically the same. And on-top of that, Woothemes getting 40+ themes approved which may have been impressive from a backend perspective but looked extremely outdated. Our theme had a custom modular page widget system built for it but that didn’t seem to make a difference.

Don’t feel so hard done by man, we know how you feel. There seems to be a lot of hard rejections like this of late, it’s not just you or I.


update.. My design was turned down because of ” It looks like everything else uploaded lately , we have to draw the line somewhere” and yet a few days later..A recent added item, exactly like mine..different colors…but accepted..dont worry themeforest reviewer, Ill stay in codecanyon…
12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
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  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

Most definitely. Keep at it and you’ll eventually get there. Designing and developing for the Themeforest marketplace is unlike any client or other website. It’s a whole new ballgame here, one you have to experience a few losses in to truly work out how things work and what you need to do.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Hang in there, you can do it!


Thanks for your time and for the valuable feedback. Feel less desperate now :) lol So you think even after the hard rejection I can work on improving theme and give it another try?

There appears to be a plethora of hard rejections of late based off of the amount of forum posts. I think your theme looks pretty good, the only recommendation is perhaps your slideshow isn’t as feature-packed or attention grabbing as some other themes. It appears as though the reviewers compare your theme to that of the popular themes within the category you are submitting, the Wordpress category seems super competitive and hard to get into (can’t speak for the others).

It’s taken a few rejections as well, but I’ve begun to understand Themeforest. Conforming to trends seems to be a big deciding factor that determines if your theme is accepted or rejected (unless of course you’re Woothemes). Currently we are working on our third attempt at a theme, the first wasn’t unique enough and we were told there were already a number of themes that looked similar, our second attempt didn’t conform to the trends enough (lack of over-the-top slider, etc) it was an attempt at a niche theme and so our third theme is hopefully a balance between the two.

Don’t take it personally. Getting a theme onto Themeforest is like a marathon, you’ve got to keep training until you finally win.

As for things like validating CSS, as a web developer even I know that there is no such thing as 100% valid CSS. When you factor in browser vendor prefixes, IE’s non-standard ways of styling things on-top of that automatically generated CSS that Wordpress and other CMS’s like to inject into the page and it’s not as easy as some lead on. The same goes for 100% valid HTML… you’re at the mercy of the inbuilt HTML/text formatting functionality of whatever CMS you’re building for. Provided you’re not missing alt tags and other serious issues like improperly closed tags, I don’t see the issue.
12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
  • Exclusive Author
  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

We are currently developing a sort of one page theme and the approach we went for was this.

1. You create your page and or pages you want. In each page editing screen there is a checkbox that you can check which allows you to specify whether or not it is to be shown on the homepage in a section.

2. Via easy to follow documentation the user is instructed to follow a set way of adding in their nav. Automatically generated navigation is a bad idea because it means that the end user can’t add custom links into the menu (links that might not relate to any of the page sections like external links).

3. The user is to add a custom link and add a hash along with the pages slug. The key part of this process is to make sure your documentation clearly and easily explains this.

We considered going down the route of custom walkers, automatically generated navigation menus and even a Javascript solution that would add menu items to an already generated menu, but issues of placement and priority arose and so the manual method is definitely the best. You’ll generally find anything you automise won’t meet the needs of all users and you’ll be spending a good chunk of your time supporting users who will want to know how to add their own links.

12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
  • Exclusive Author
  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

There appears to be a plethora of hard rejections of late based off of the amount of forum posts. I think your theme looks pretty good, the only recommendation is perhaps your slideshow isn’t as feature-packed or attention grabbing as some other themes. It appears as though the reviewers compare your theme to that of the popular themes within the category you are submitting, the Wordpress category seems super competitive and hard to get into (can’t speak for the others).

It’s taken a few rejections as well, but I’ve begun to understand Themeforest. Conforming to trends seems to be a big deciding factor that determines if your theme is accepted or rejected (unless of course you’re Woothemes). Currently we are working on our third attempt at a theme, the first wasn’t unique enough and we were told there were already a number of themes that looked similar, our second attempt didn’t conform to the trends enough (lack of over-the-top slider, etc) it was an attempt at a niche theme and so our third theme is hopefully a balance between the two.

Don’t take it personally. Getting a theme onto Themeforest is like a marathon, you’ve got to keep training until you finally win.

As for things like validating CSS, as a web developer even I know that there is no such thing as 100% valid CSS. When you factor in browser vendor prefixes, IE’s non-standard ways of styling things on-top of that automatically generated CSS that Wordpress and other CMS’s like to inject into the page and it’s not as easy as some lead on. The same goes for 100% valid HTML… you’re at the mercy of the inbuilt HTML/text formatting functionality of whatever CMS you’re building for. Provided you’re not missing alt tags and other serious issues like improperly closed tags, I don’t see the issue.

12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
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  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

It looks very cluttered. My eyes don’t know where to focus exactly, it feels as though your design doesn’t have enough breathing room. The sizes of the numbers at the bottom are too big and fonts appear to be rendering poorly in Google Chrome on Windows 7 64 bit. The green colour you are using also doesn’t look very appealing against that background.

Good luck, we feel your pain.

12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
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  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

There is not anything “wrong” with the design it is just that there are too many others like it out there. As you rightfully said – make it unique and stand out. Add some cool features and design elements and you should be good to go. Good luck

Thank you Charlie. I can see where they are coming from, most themes that follow a similar layout have over-the-top parallax slider effects, CSS3 animations and very over-the-top additions. Call me old fashioned, but I see these elements which are considered the norm on Themeforest to be somewhat gimmicky and trend-following.

I can appreciate people like to be wow’d, but as a developer primarily there is nothing worse than digging through a theme littered with unnecessary CSS animations and severely poor code. I have bought numerous themes from my non-author account on here before and the number of times I’ve encountered poorly coded themes is astounding.

I feel as though I am on the cusp of something great here. The underlying framework is clean, easy to use and well-coded. As I said, I put a lot of effort into commenting every function and line of code so people can easily change things. I also added in a lot of hooks/filters so the theme can be used with child themes and functionality altered or overridden in the child theme with ease. I’ve considered not only the consumer but the developers who have to dig through the code to change things.

I am in the process of regrouping and will see how I can improve it. As much as it pains me, I think gimmicky things like parallax and layer sliders are features I need to consider. I’ve got this powerful framework just waiting to show-off, it’ll be one of the cleanest and well-coded themes on the marketplace when it’s eventually up.

Thanks for the kind words and unbiased feedback everyone.

12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
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  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

Hello, I think that reviewer’s message can’t be more clear. Your design is not bad, but ThemeForest is just packed with the same designs as yours. You must add something original.

From my point of view it definitely lacks colors, it looks very boring. I know that it can be changed and stuff, but it is not a good approach to show such generic style to customers. Also typography can be improved.

Good luck

This is very helpful advice, thank you. So what you’re saying is the theme is a little plain and needs some more pizzazz to make it stand out from the rest? More colours, perhaps a better slideshow with those corny parallax effects and a few other tweaks. I will regroup on this and see how things go.

I would also like to thank everyone else for their responses as well.

12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
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  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

Sometimes embedding a plugin in a theme is the right move. For example, a theme I created uses a plugin that provides functionality I didn’t want to code myself and couldn’t really find done anywhere else either. So I forked a copy, updated it for Wordpress and embedded it in my theme. I control the updates and when I need to bring it up to scratch, I’ll issue a theme update with the updated plugin.

12 posts
  • Australia
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
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  • Has been a member for 2-3 years
cmsgods says

Recently I submitted our first theme called, Aphrodite. It’s a multi-purpose theme for Wordpress. It has a completely unique way of adding in content via a page building system that doesn’t use shortcodes. Yet, after all of the hard work and effort that was put into the theme it was rejected with the following message.

“Unfortunately your submission Aphrodite – Responsive Multi-Purpose Wordpress isn’t quite ready for ThemeForest and requires significant improvements and changes before it can be resubmitted and reconsidered.

Additionally, we have some extra feedback for you:

We have reached a point where we have enough of those minimalistic designs with the generic [header-banner-teasers-footer] layout. If your item doesn’t bring anything new to the table it can’t be accepted.

If you want to submit any more files that falls into this category [similar items] they not only have to be up to our standards, but really outperform any existing ones.”

What does this rejection message actually mean and does anyone have any pointers perhaps from experiencing this rejection message before to bring it up to scratch? The feedback seems to be somewhat vague and doesn’t clearly indicate (at least not to me) what it is exactly about the theme that warrants it being basically called generic. It’s a multi-purpose theme that can look like anything, was the review based on the demo site content perhaps and not the actual theme files themselves?

From a backend perspective the theme was attentively crafted and we even added in custom hooks/actions so non-destructive changes can be made to the theme by developers. Pages are constructed using modules; content, grid module, blog posts module, contact form module, accordion module and a Google Map module with live preview and custom styles.

The grid module is something I am especially proud of. It allows you to add in gridded content to a page without copying/pasting shortcodes for layout. Choose the number of columns you want, simply click “add new column” and a new grid column is added in, add your content and then save. If the grid module is too simple, there is a grid shortcode that can get even more advanced

The theme has implemented great support for the Theme Customization API as well and even has a custom options page for controlling settings for various parts of the site (even the ability to exclude particular pages from search results).

Not only that, but the theme was tried and tested on multiple server environments under various restrictions. An importation file that pre-populates the site with actual content was included as was super-detailed and well-laid out documentation that was written and proof-read by a professional copywriter.

It’s somewhat disheartening considering the amount of effort that went into the theme. If any constructive feedback can be given based on the rejection notice, it would be gratefully appreciated from the bottom of our hearts.

The theme can be seen on the demo site here: http://goo.gl/HpeVo

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