1579 posts Chris Robinson
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contempoinc says



The mentality that “Standards” mean you can’t be creative is so horribly wrong. By embracing standards, theme and plugin developers can build things that work in tandem instead of constantly fighting conflicts.
But if all theme’s functionality need to rely on the plugins, I’m wondering how can theme authors push their ideas and creativity to the edge?

Just because major functionality needs to be in a plugin doesn’t mean you can’t create your own plugins.

For example, if your theme is based around major portfolio features (filtering, categorization, grids, galleries, etc), build a portfolio plugin that is built specifically with the features you want, then style / implement the features provided by the plugin in your theme.

Just because the code exists in a plugin doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. The code is the same no matter where it exists.

Also by placing your major features in a plugin, you can really easily include those features in all of the themes you build. Update the plugin once and all of your themes have the update. So much easier to maintain.

Completely agree, common features that are used across your themes should be built into plugins — makes life so much easier when it comes to making updates.

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Themerize says

Unsure about the whole plugin concept – theoretically you’re making it hard for buyers to “buy” a theme. If what your stating is concrete a user will buy a theme via TF and have to download additional plugins for that theme to work, doesn’t this mean that a user is purchasing a broken theme from the start and will have to piece it together like a jigsaw puzzle – this is very bad for business and will force a lot of users to start selling away from TF (We saw it and thought we might move somewhere else for our debut theme).

The coding standards seem fine as it promotes clarity and cleanliness of code +1 on this.

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bitfade says

For example, if your theme is based around major portfolio features (filtering, categorization, grids, galleries, etc), build a portfolio plugin that is built specifically with the features you want, then style / implement the features provided by the plugin in your theme.
and what would be the advantage for the end user ? Once theme is replaced and js/css are gone, it would be useless.
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Net-Labs says

If you think themes that use the same plugin as the base of their functionality all have to be identical, I’d question whether you even understand how functionality works, whether in a plugin or in a theme.

It’s not that simple.

Some of us have functionality in their themes that’s far beyond what any plugin offers, and while there’s these rules with regards to plugins, there’s no vehicles to deploy updates and improvements on the plugins but through updating the themes. Simple as that.

I cannot support a table bookings plugin because my functionality is the most advanced there is.

And while the “woo commerce” is one way of spreading your product, where you get part for free and pay for added functionality there’s also the “gravity forms” way where you pay for using the product no matter how basic or advanced.

The woo commerce way of adding my functionality is supported but not the gravity forms way. That’s where the problem lies.

Same with your comment on the forms, you accepted my “ignorance” by likening it to all the functionality that gravity forms offers, which is totally beside the point.

There’s no denying gravity forms their business, but a quick contact form on a web page is not their business, and that’s where the problem comes in.

Your “quick lines of css” is also no easy feat for mr restaurant owner who wants to cook pasta and now have to work through “css for dummies”.

Point is, that this thing is more complex than making a few basic rules and then expecting 10000 or 20000 items to all jump through the same hoop.

It’s not about ignorance, but understanding that the commerce that drives this market is complex and cannot be directed with three rules that needs to fit all, but you already made that point so i digress.

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mordauk says

One key element of using plugins for features that I think a lot of people are missing is that no theme (without exception) should completely rely on a plugin. A theme should still be fully functional without the plugins, it will just be less. It will be a “standard” theme that does what the core concept behind themes is: style the default WordPress functionality.

If the additional plugins, be it WooCommerce, a page builder, a portfolio, etc, are present, the theme provides complete support for them.

As plugin developers, we follow the same concept often by providing “conditional” support for additional features available in other plugins that automatically becomes available if the plugin(s) is active.

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mordauk says


For example, if your theme is based around major portfolio features (filtering, categorization, grids, galleries, etc), build a portfolio plugin that is built specifically with the features you want, then style / implement the features provided by the plugin in your theme.
and what would be the advantage for the end user ? Once theme is replaced and js/css are gone, it would be useless.

One major advantage is that you, the theme developer, can now use the same, shared functionality in multiple themes.

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FinalDestiny says

So, let’s see, our theme is built using shortcodes or a layout builder, the whole homepage for example. If the user doesn’t install any of the theme-related plugins, he gets a blog theme, nothing else, right?

And my another little problem would be the fact that, each theme being unique, having one plugin for shortcodes isn’t enough, each theme has individual features, individual shortcodes, basically demanding a new plugin for each theme. And this only for the shortcodes, if you have a portfolio too, you need another plugin. If you have something else, another plugin, we end up selling more plugins than the whole theme itself, let’s not forget that we’re on ThemeForest and not CodeCanyon.

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mordauk says

@Net-Labs I’m confused by this:

“Your “quick lines of css” is also no easy feat for mr restaurant owner who wants to cook pasta and now have to work through “css for dummies”.”

Where does the restaurant owner come into play with the CSS? That’s handled by the theme developer. With ~50 of CSS you can easily style all of the most common contact forms, so it doesn’t matter which one is used.

In regards to your table booking feature, why not just turn that into your own plugin that you use throughout your themes? I suspect you already have a framework for the features that you include in your themes, so move it into a plugin and it will behave exactly the same, but with a major advantage: you update it once and all of your themes have the new features and bug fixes.

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mordauk says

So, let’s see, our theme is built using shortcodes or a layout builder, the whole homepage for example. If the user doesn’t install any of the theme-related plugins, he gets a blog theme, nothing else, right? And my another little problem would be the fact that, each theme being unique, having one plugin for shortcodes isn’t enough, each theme has individual features, individual shortcodes, basically demanding a new plugin for each theme. And this only for the shortcodes, if you have a portfolio too, you need another plugin. If you have something else, another plugin, we end up selling more plugins than the whole theme itself, let’s not forget that we’re on ThemeForest and not CodeCanyon.

There are always exceptions, but when it comes down to basic short codes (columns, buttons, drop caps, etc) they are all nearly identical, and those that aren’t identical are simply because they were built by different people. There’s no reason a theme needs to build it’s own set of short codes for columns or buttons when the markup for those will end up being the same as all the others. The same goes for things like alert boxes.

If you have a truly unique short code, fine, put it in the theme, but don’t convolute things by re-including all of the basics time and time again.

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DavidGuns says

twitter api v1.1 need curl and base64_encode, so it’s allowed? or ignore it and don’t use twitter feeds as widget

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