3667 posts Ruben Bristian
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KrownThemes says


What would be the best way to provide upgrades for a premium plugin using TGM?
TGMPA would simply initially install the plugin. After that, the plugin would manage its own updates, as all plugins do.

Yes, but the buyer won’t have access to that plugin. We need to pack that plugin inside the theme to release it, so it would be the same as a theme update, bringing us back to step one.

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orth3rion says

Hi, I’m not an author, but I’ve been around long enough and invested in resources from envato marketplaces. I haved also purchased wordpress themes. You know why? I like that here on theme forest, I can trust the level of individual features on every theme. I am not sure but from what I understand you are actually asking your authors to give up the privilege of inovating themes. I beg you to reconsider if not for authors … for maketing purposes. They will have to create standard wordpress themes? Well the internet is full of those.

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carlhancock says

if that shitty code is moved from the theme to a plugin shipped within the theme which is auto installed, your support issues will still be there after the change.

You won’t see any features reduction in TF themes because TF buyers don’t care what you, other plugin dev or wp core dev thinks a theme should be. They want turnkey products or they are agencies providing cheap complete websites to their clients.

You wanna change that ? feel free to join TF and educate the buyers yourself using your own products. Our main income comes from selling themes here and to tell buyers “you’re doing it wrong” isn’t what pays our bills end of the month.

What will happen is, each theme will ship its own set of custom plugins, mandatory to replicate all demo features which will only work when used within the original theme and not supported as standalone product (as in free item support).

But who cares right ? this move isn’t about buyers or authors after all. Let’s move all the custom code into a plugin which would be useless once the theme is replaced just so envato can say “look, our themes are not feature bloated anymore, code is inside a plugin!”

The part of the guidelines that will have a substantial impact on curbing theme created conflicts has nothing to do with moving major functionality from the theme into a plugin.

It is other parts of the guidelines that we are most happy with because it is other parts of the guidelines that will have the biggest impact on preventing theme conflicts that cost my company money in support costs.

Guidelines around properly enqueuing jQuery and only enqueuing javascript when necessary and NOT on every single admin page. Guidelines around using the built in core jQuery and not loading another version from the theme or a CDN. Guidelines around not manipulating page content output and manipulating autop, etc.

If you weren’t too busy throwing a hissy fit over the plugin issue you might stop and think about what would cause the problems other commercial plugin developers encounter with poorly developed themes and it’s primarily the issues I mention above.

These are the parts of the guidelines that will have a major impact on reducing theme conflicts.

As for moving substantial functionality into plugins? That has nothing to do with reducing theme conflicts from my standpoint but everything to do with best practices. THEMES = DESIGN, PLUGINS = FUNCTIONALITY.

I keep seeing that people want cheap complete websites, or agencies want to provide cheap complete websites to their clients. I keep seeing cheap. Cheap. Cheap. You, the ThemeForest authors, are the people that have created this culture of cheap, cheap, cheap. And it’s results in code that matches the price: cheap.

The fact that so many authors on this thread are replying with questions that show they don’t even understand some of the new guidelines or why they need to do so tells me there are a lot of authors on here who shouldn’t even be selling themes because obviously they don’t understand best practices or why the separation of design from functionality is a good thing. They are too busy copy-n-pasting functionality from each others themes and too busy racing to create themes that contain the most functionality possible because they are only worried about selling as many themes as possible… they aren’t working about making a quality product.

Do you guys even realize what theme authors with this attitude have done to Envato’s reputation in the overall WordPress community? People like Japh and Collis do.

These guidelines are being put in place because Envato wants to quit being the ugly stepchild of the WordPress development community that everyone points and laughs at and uses as an example of terribly coded themes. They want to change their image and improve the product that is offered to the customers.

If that means themes have less functionality, then so be it. It doesn’t mean a theme should now have 50 plugins that it must install. If it does, then you are doing it wrong because a theme shouldn’t bring that much functionality.

People are using themes for things they weren’t intended. The more functionality a theme has the more code a theme has. The more code a theme has the greater the chance there will be bugs or security vulnerabilities. Themes, unlike plugins and WordPress itself, are rarely updated once installed. Which means once a security vulnerability is introduced via a theme and it’s exploited… well the customers are screwed. Sure you can update things just like plugins, but most users never update their theme because they’ve customized them directly and they’ll lose their customizations.

With WordPress itself and with WordPress plugins, when a security vulnerability is discovered it’s patched and an update is released… and users can easily update the plugin. They are used to updating plugins and it’s assumed that plugins will have updates. When an update appears, they’ll update. Security problem solved.

That’s why WordPress has plugins in the first place.

I could spend all day talking about why MOST themes shouldn’t contain complex functionality that is better left to being a Plugin but it’s pointless. Most of you won’t get it anyway. But Envato does get it. Which is precisely why these guidelines are being put in place.

If you don’t like it, take your toys and sell them elsewhere.

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Jaynesh says


So this plugins have to be compatible with all themes?

A plugin shouldn’t break anything even if the theme doesn’t support it. Sure, it might not look so hot on a theme that doesn’t support it, but that is the case with most plugins. I’m not sure what you’re asking here?


Ok. Yesterday I finished my theme. What I have to do?

Submit it! :D

Nothing has changed yet, besides us making public what our requirements list is to be implemented in eight weeks time. Based on all the feedback here, there’ll be some revisions before then too.

Will you be extending the deadline again after you have made the revisions so we have enough time to voice our concerns on the revised requirements?

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bitfade says

That is certainly not the solution we envisage.

And what you expect it will happen ? Authors to convert stuff like this into self contained plugins which could be used in any theme ?

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Japh Envato team says

Will you be extending the deadline again after you have made the revisions so we have enough time to voice our concerns on the revised requirements?

That would depend on the extent of the revisions, when we finalise the revisions, and the general feedback immediately after we announce them. But certainly we’ll take that into consideration.

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carlhancock says

@carlhancock. That’s great then.

believe it or not, but all of TF is not about the accordion shortcode.

There’s guys like us who have a passion for specific industries, and spend our waking moments building solutions for that industries. and one of the solutions is to make our solutions not look like sh*t in themes.

I would like to see the rest of the theme shops get in line with this big community cleansing. Because the things that you are screaming against are not compliant in their themes as well.

I want to bet that if we get together in 6 months time and revisit this discussion we will realize that all the rhetoric was another blow in the themeforest witch hunt, and other theme shops will still have all this “non” compliant code in their themes, and nobody will notice, because the next wave of screams will come running towards us.

I worked for 10 years making industry specific internet solutions for the main, power sports, motorcycle and automotive industries. You want to do it right? You’ll create a plugin that handles the major functionality. In your case you mentioned restaurants. Create a plugin that handles things such as menus, reservations, etc. Then create themes that you can sell that work with that plugin.

If you really want to build a good industry solution, build a plugin that provides the functionality doesn’t even require one of your themes to work. But then sell a line of themes built specifically for that plugin. Sell the plugin on CodeCanyon by itself, and sell the themes bundled with the plugin on ThemeForest.

Now you’ve gone from not just selling themes, but selling a plugin as well in the process.

The issues that ThemeForest cause for me as a commercial plugin developer have nothing to do with the modularization of functionality into a plugin. It’s primarily a lot of the other guidelines surrounding jQuery usage, not manipulating autop, etc. Those are the guidelines that i’m most happy about because those are the issues that typically cause the conflicts.

As far as removing functionality from themes, there are a lot of theme developers outside of Envato that don’t have a lot of functionality in their themes. Their themes are primarily just that: themes. They leave more advanced functionality to plugins and they handle what they were designed to handle… the design.

Sure there are theme companies that have app like functionality such as AppThemes. But that’s what they are designed to do. That’s why App is even in their name.

However, I will say the growing trend in the community as a whole is for theme developers to make their themes as streamlined as possible and leave the major functionality and features to plugins.

Envato is making a smart decision. They’ve made a lot of you a lot of money. Maybe instead of bitching and fighting you should listen to what Envato is saying…. chances are despite the fact you are somehow going to get screwed you’ll likely end up making more money if you do things right.

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Japh Envato team says

Everyone, I’d like to say a big thank you for all your feedback. I realise you have businesses to run, and that these changes affect them.

Please understand that we’re trying to improve things, and that means change. Change is rarely an easy thing for a business.

We are listening to your feedback in this thread, which is why we used a forum thread to do this announcement in the first place.

It’s now 11:30pm Friday night my time, so I’ll be leaving the thread for a couple of days. I’ll be taking my notes from all this discussion with me though, and thinking over everything that’s been said throughout the weekend.

Talk with you again next week!

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carlhancock says

WordPress Assets

3. Themes will be required to use whichever version of jQuery ships with that version of WordPress.
4. Authors are not allowed to deregister the default version of jQuery and load another one.

Whats wrong if we use the newer version of jquery?

What’s wrong with using the newer version of jQuery?

Well let’s see. Any plugins the user is using that is built using best practices will be expecting the version of jQuery that is built into WordPress.

introduce a different version of jQuery and you introduce functionality that could be deprecated and boom. Your theme just caused a conflict that has broken a plugin.

Who will end up fixing this conflict? The plugin developer. Because the user will think the plugin is what is broken, meanwhile it’s the theme that is causing the problem because it isn’t following best practices.

You use the version of jQuery that the current version of WordPress is using precisely so that there is consistency. You don’t know what plugins the user is going to use. The plugin developers don’t know what theme the user is going to use. But if you following best practices, everyone will know what version of jQuery is being used and conflicts caused by jQuery version issues will not occur.

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Cubell says

As for moving substantial functionality into plugins? That has nothing to do with reducing theme conflicts from my standpoint but everything to do with best practices. THEMES = DESIGN, PLUGINS = FUNCTIONALITY.

I keep seeing that people want cheap complete websites, or agencies want to provide cheap complete websites to their clients. I keep seeing cheap. Cheap. Cheap. You, the ThemeForest authors, are the people that have created this culture of cheap, cheap, cheap. And it’s results in code that matches the price: cheap.

The fact that so many authors on this thread are replying with questions that show they don’t even understand some of the new guidelines or why they need to do so tells me there are a lot of authors on here who shouldn’t even be selling themes because obviously they don’t understand best practices or why the separation of design from functionality is a good thing. They are too busy copy-n-pasting functionality from each others themes and too busy racing to create themes that contain the most functionality possible because they are only worried about selling as many themes as possible… they aren’t working about making a quality product.

Do you guys even realize what theme authors with this attitude have done to Envato’s reputation in the overall WordPress community? People like Japh and Collis do.

These guidelines are being put in place because Envato wants to quit being the ugly stepchild of the WordPress development community that everyone points and laughs at and uses as an example of terribly coded themes. They want to change their image and improve the product that is offered to the customers.

If that means themes have less functionality, then so be it. It doesn’t mean a theme should now have 50 plugins that it must install. If it does, then you are doing it wrong because a theme shouldn’t bring that much functionality.

People are using themes for things they weren’t intended. The more functionality a theme has the more code a theme has. The more code a theme has the greater the chance there will be bugs or security vulnerabilities. Themes, unlike plugins and WordPress itself, are rarely updated once installed. Which means once a security vulnerability is introduced via a theme and it’s exploited… well the customers are screwed. Sure you can update things just like plugins, but most users never update their theme because they’ve customized them directly and they’ll lose their customizations.

With WordPress itself and with WordPress plugins, when a security vulnerability is discovered it’s patched and an update is released… and users can easily update the plugin. They are used to updating plugins and it’s assumed that plugins will have updates. When an update appears, they’ll update. Security problem solved.

That’s why WordPress has plugins in the first place.

I could spend all day talking about why MOST themes shouldn’t contain complex functionality that is better left to being a Plugin but it’s pointless. Most of you won’t get it anyway. But Envato does get it. Which is precisely why these guidelines are being put in place.

If you don’t like it, take your toys and sell them elsewhere.

I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with all the standard code practises, in fact, everyone seems to be happy with those. They are for the better and if you can’t provide standard JS, PHP, etc code, then you shouldn’t really be coding in the first place.

Regarding the plugin issue. Yes it may make sense for being “standarized”, but it comes at the cost of User Experience. Therefore, I could not disagree more with you. Yes, strictly speaking a theme = design and plugin = functionality, however, that is not the REALITY of the Themeforest market. Themes here are known to be the easy install of a “full-package-for-$50”, it’s what it is KNOWN for and EXPECTED by buyers. You may disagree with it all you want but that is the FACT. In other words, if Themeforest was just another “theme = design” only solution, it would 1000% not be as popular as it is today and a lot of authors would not be selling their themes here, and to argue otherwise is naivety.

I do know what theme authors attitude has done to Envato’s reputation actually, it has made them be worth millions of dollars.

You need to accept the fact that a lot of people think that a full-package websites shouldn’t cost more than $50. You may call it a cheap culture and say it’s this or that person’s fault, but it’s the reality of the market, no way to change it back. Besides, I don’t see how you can correlate selling a theme here with bad code. Coding skills have nothing to do with price or market.

And regards to the “more features = more code = more vulnerable to hackers”.. come on man, themes features are often just basic (Even if super long) php functions to create specific simple dynamic html and is one of the worst reasons to include less features in a product I have ever heard.

Either way, the bottom line is very simple:

Buyers expect full-package-themes-for-$50 on Themeforest, and changing it to “wordpress design theme that needs plugins to be installed manually to be like the demo” is a great reduction in the overall User Experience and perception of the quality of themes and Themeforest as a whole.

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