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nagaemas says




> I’d suggest taking a look at the work Mike McAlister does: http://themeforest.net/user/mikemcalister – He uses a single “Okay Themes Toolkit” plugin that houses all of his functionality, and each of his themes is very unique.

What happens if:

1.) His users only install theme and not the plugin 2.) His users go to another theme leaving plugin installed

I’m interested in how he handles that.

P.S. Maybe that could be a topic in the new episode of Please Advise
If the plugin that provides a certain feature isn’t active, then the theme should act as a standard theme. In the context of this whole discussion, the theme would act as a “simple skin”, but then when the plugin is activated, the advanced features become available.
But what about if for example, I build a framework into a plugin, and in the framework I have the functionality to easily register custom post types.

Now, since plugin is used in multiple themes, it does not know what cpt’s I will register, so I do this by hooking into it with my theme.

But, if user changes theme, there is no more hook and plugin no longer displays ctp in wp admin.

How do I handle that?

Same goes for shortcodes, I could build in all of my shortcodes into plugin framework, and call it via theme, but if I deactivate the theme, how would I handle that?

One thing that comes to my mind is to detect in a plugin if my theme is used and if not, just simply register all shortcodes (not for use but for parsing), but I am not sure how I would go about it with cpt’s.

I’ve been thinking about this also and the way I’ll go for handling this is make a custom post type plugin that basically does nothing. It only provides the functionality to register post types. It doesn’t care who registers the cpt, whether it’s plugins or themes.

Then for making the custom post types I need in a particular theme, I would create an extending plugin that uses this plugins functionality to register and configure the post types, metaboxes and fields. This way you’ll have your custom post type registered and it’s present and editable on wp-admin. Next is up to the theme how to handle the presentation of the custom post type. You could create whatever you want without limits. If you later create another theme that needs new functionality, just update this plugin and provide filters for altering what fields to show in wp-admin. This way the plugin will always work for whatever theme you create, and the change does not affect the older theme as the theme does not need to handle the newly created functionality.

This way whatever themes is used you’ll still have the custom post type on your wp-admin screen, and it’s up the other theme whether to support it or not. If it’s not supported, then it will be not displayed on the front end.

This might impact the user experience for installing the core + the particular custom post type plugins, but a way around this would be just including the core plugin into each of the custom post types plugin and make sure that the core plugin is not defined before including it. This would lead to redundant files in your theme, but that doesn’t matter as they will be only included once.

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SmoothThemes says



I’d suggest taking a look at the work Mike McAlister does: http://themeforest.net/user/mikemcalister – He uses a single “Okay Themes Toolkit” plugin that houses all of his functionality, and each of his themes is very unique.
can his plugin be used with other themes as well ? does he support it in this case ?
You’d have to ask Mike.
Let’s say I’m working on a directory and real estate theme, do you think all the functionality can be handle in a ULTIMATE plugin?
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ThemesIndep 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.

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mordauk says




I’d suggest taking a look at the work Mike McAlister does: http://themeforest.net/user/mikemcalister – He uses a single “Okay Themes Toolkit” plugin that houses all of his functionality, and each of his themes is very unique.
can his plugin be used with other themes as well ? does he support it in this case ?
You’d have to ask Mike.
Let’s say I’m working on a directory and real estate theme, do you think all the functionality can be handle in a ULTIMATE plugin?

All of the functionality related to the real estate features should be in one plugin.

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OriginalEXE says

I’ve been thinking about this also and the way I’ll go for handling this is make a custom post type plugin that basically does nothing. It only provides the functionality to register post types. It doesn’t care who registers the cpt, whether it’s plugins or themes.

Then for making the custom post types I need in a particular theme, I would create an extending plugin that uses this plugins functionality to register and configure the post types, metaboxes and fields. This way you’ll have your custom post type registered and it’s present and editable on wp-admin. Next is up to the theme how to handle the presentation of the custom post type. You could create whatever you want without limits. If you later create another theme that needs new functionality, just update this plugin and provide filters for altering what fields to show in wp-admin. This way the plugin will always work for whatever theme you create, and the change does not affect the older theme as the theme does not need to handle the newly created functionality.

This way whatever themes is used you’ll still have the custom post type on your wp-admin screen, and it’s up the other theme whether to support it or not. If it’s not supported, then it will be not displayed on the front end.

This might impact the user experience for installing the core + the particular custom post type plugins, but a way around this would be just including the core plugin into each of the custom post types plugin and make sure that the core plugin is not defined before including it. This would lead to redundant files in your theme, but that doesn’t matter as they will be only included once.

I linke your train of thoughts, but I am looking to have everything withing either theme or one framework plugin, anything more than that and it might be pain for users (it already will be).

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SmoothThemes says





I’d suggest taking a look at the work Mike McAlister does: http://themeforest.net/user/mikemcalister – He uses a single “Okay Themes Toolkit” plugin that houses all of his functionality, and each of his themes is very unique.
can his plugin be used with other themes as well ? does he support it in this case ?
You’d have to ask Mike.
Let’s say I’m working on a directory and real estate theme, do you think all the functionality can be handle in a ULTIMATE plugin?
All of the functionality related to the real estate features should be in one plugin.
It’s true, so each nice theme should have one plugin. Like real estate, directory… in your opinion?
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trsenna says

I love to develop simple themes, with not so much functionality and following best practices. But the truth should be said. I don’t design beatiful themes as you, visually speaking.

So, please, ThemeForest, would be very welcome if we, simple theme developers, could submit ugly themes too, since they are well coded! :P

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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.

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QODE 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.

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ThemesIndep 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.

I don’t think Envato is making up this rules, just wanted to understand that’s all. We are not at war here :) Also was hoping to get an answer from Envato stuff if it’s possible.

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