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BrianHermelijn says

Yes, I agree that many templates look alike. As I posted in another topic.

They’re getting fancier and slicker and more complete all the time. And they’re responsive as well lately. All great.

BUT : where’s the originality? The’re all versions of the same setup, especually the homepage. A top menu bar, followed by a giant slider, followed by a row with blocks with text and pics and icons, followed by a row of portfolio thumbs, followed by this and that and a footer. But all nice graphics, and slick sliding, rotating and expanding content cannot hide the fact that so many layouts look the same.

Most original themes are creative portfolio ones, but when do you need a portfolio site? I am a website creator since 2004, and I had exactly one client who wanted a portfolio site. One. My clients are local and regional business that want a busines site that looks good, professional and attractive, with a nice twist that makes it stand out from the crowd, withhout going over the top.

They never ever ask for sliders, rotators, expanders and certainly not for giant sliders that fill your screen. They don’t need a blog, and they don’t need a portfolio with sliding categories. They want a decent flexible page layout, show content, news, images, product and service details, a contact page, etc. Basic stuff. A good foundation that looks modern, but aims at an optimal usability experience. Not a site where I can show off technical skills and fancy dynamics.

Also very important: it needs to function well at least in IE7 , 8, and 9, and of course the other browsers as well. But IE7 and 8 support is essential! IE6 can be some simple version, but it should not crash or not function in IE6 .

Many new templates don’t offer support for IE7 and sometimes not even IE8 . That’s fine when it’s used for an audience that uses latest browsers, but the average Joe and especially many company employees often still use IE7 and 8. They appreciate a professional looking site that focuses on content delivery, and supreme usability. I don’t make sites for other web designers, I build them for businesses.

True, there are lots of templates that offer that, but I’m getting bored of them because they all look the same in their layout stucture, and the new responsive one often don’t support IE7 and 8.

So PLEASE developers: create original templates and themes that offer a good foundation for general business use, and support IE7 and 8. Fancy stuff is okay, but I can add that myself if I want that. It’s an original business design that hooks me and my clients! Not over the top fancy dynamic stuff, no giant wide sliders, no beautiful images that look great in the theme, but are useless to me and often even don’t come with the package, no portfolio and blog oriented setups. I need original, appealing, professional, general, flexible business layouts. And again: get rid of those giant sliders, I can’t see them anymore! At least proved several homepage versions without a big slider.

Do be honest with you IE 7 is bad let alone IE 6 . Internet Explorer is like the worst nightmare for developers or at least most dev’s especially in this new era. The reason is due that most newest codes aren’t supported in IE. Which is why you mainly see themes that doesn’t support the oldest browser since it’s more work and you do not even know whether or not you will gain some sales by supporting IE.

Aside from that you’re gonna be running through a lot of hassles when it comes to designing for older browsers as well. So all in all we will see peoples developing for latest browsers more then oldest browsers.

Besides that we’re not living in the era of 2000. It’s 2012 now. So it should have been enough time for peoples to switch over to another browsers, but they want to stick with older browsers etc..

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AlexFjord says

It doesn’t matter what version of IE it is – it will always be awkward! As Enquilo rightfully said it does not even support media queries in many versions so things like responsive design is hopeless.

Besides that we’re not living in the era of 2000. It’s 2012 now – Love it!

As for the originality question – yes its always great to see original work here and simple functionality should always be a top priority; however many of the authors are successful for a reason.

With the greatest respect to any person in this thread – if the files here do not suit your clients then as a “designer” or “developer” then is it not your responsibility to do something about it and create something that does suit their needs.

I am all for seeing original and functional work here I just think it is important to remember we are talking about $50 themes (no matter how well coded or put together they are) in a general marketplace where the authors rightfully appeal to the masses by producing adaptable themes using impressive features.

The themes here are not meant to be out of the box, ideal, client solutions and I would hope that most genuine web professionals create their own work from scratch rather than mark up template designs. Just my opinion though.

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argosmedia says

You’re right. I never use a template as it is, and I always modify it to fit what I and/or my client has in mind. But since price is getting more important lately (due to the economic crisis) clients won’t pay several thousands anymore for a typical business site. So to get clients that still want a professional site, but on a much lower budget than the past decade, I have to work cheaper, and use templates that require little tweaking. But since most of them are either boring or unusable portfolio/blog types, I would love to see templates with more original designs/layouts that still appeal to typical small to midsized companies. Change some colors, logo and other minor stuff, build the site with client content, do some SEO magic, and sell it for 1500 instead of a custom design and custom built one for 3500.

And as far as IE7 and 8 goes: it’s totally irrelevant what we think of those browers. In my country (The Netherlands) the far majority uses some IE version. IE7 about 10% and IE8 about 35%. The rest is IE9 and about 10% all other browsers together. I just can’t say “IE sucks, I don’t uspport it”. Besides, I actually don’t dislike IE, but that’s also not important. The fact is I HAVE to support it.

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PixelBin says

You’re right. I never use a template as it is, and I always modify it to fit what I and/or my client has in mind. But since price is getting more important lately (due to the economic crisis) clients won’t pay several thousands anymore for a typical business site. So to get clients that still want a professional site, but on a much lower budget than the past decade, I have to work cheaper, and use templates that require little tweaking. But since most of them are either boring or unusable portfolio/blog types, I would love to see templates with more original designs/layouts that still appeal to typical small to midsized companies. Change some colors, logo and other minor stuff, build the site with client content, do some SEO magic, and sell it for 1500 instead of a custom design and custom built one for 3500. And as far as IE7 and 8 goes: it’s totally irrelevant what we think of those browers. In my country (The Netherlands) the far majority uses some IE version. IE7 about 10% and IE8 about 35%. The rest is IE9 and about 10% all other browsers together. I just can’t say “IE sucks, I don’t uspport it”. Besides, I actually don’t dislike IE, but that’s also not important. The fact is I HAVE to support it.

10% is for all intents and purposes dead. Google dropped support for IE6 (and maybe even IE7 , can’t remember now) when it reached 10% as did ThemeForest review and many other large sites. Unfortunately, catering to those 10% is worth more than 10% effort so it’s actually counterproductive both economically and logically to support it.

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jonathan01 says

Here are some stats for browser usage / versions for your country (Netherlands)

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version_partially_combined-NL-monthly-201110-201210
  • IE9 26 .4% 2nd
  • IE8 12 .6% 5th
  • IE7 less than 1% 8th (or less)
  • IE6 not enough data to pop on the chart

Of course these are not local markets – just thought I would throw in some stats as it’s nice to back up with some figures :)

  • Chrome #1 with 28+%
  • Firefox #3 16%

Both Chrome and Firefox plus Safari on iPad and Safari main browser are all on the increase – others on the decrease.

Also note these are not figures released by the browser creators but are real world usage stats – for what any figures for browser usages are worth (non are 100% accurate of course)

Jonathan

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refaktor says

This is also something that has been on my mind a lot. I’m a new author on ThemeForest with 1 Drupal theme and I have had some trouble getting HTML templates approved because of lack of originality. I see where the reviewers were coming from and it forced me to change my latest template pretty drastically into something very unique (was soft rejected but should be up tonight or tomorrow). There is a risk in this though because like some people have mentioned, there’s a reason a lot of these similar designs are being made and are selling well. I think my new template will either do really well or go unnoticed because it’s not like all the others.

That being said it was also frustrating because of the fact that other templates with similar designs were recently approved and mine was not. My reviewer did specifically mention that they have been receiving a lot of templates with similar designs and that they need to draw the line somewhere, so it will be interesting to see how things go over the next little while.

Perhaps a line is being drawn and we will start seeing less templates and themes with similar designs.

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premiumwd says

Here are some stats for browser usage / versions for your country (Netherlands) http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version_partially_combined-NL-monthly-201110-201210
  • IE9 26 .4% 2nd
  • IE8 12 .6% 5th
  • IE7 less than 1% 8th (or less)
  • IE6 not enough data to pop on the chart

Of course these are not local markets – just thought I would throw in some stats as it’s nice to back up with some figures :)

  • Chrome #1 with 28+%
  • Firefox #3 16%

Both Chrome and Firefox plus Safari on iPad and Safari main browser are all on the increase – others on the decrease.

Also note these are not figures released by the browser creators but are real world usage stats – for what any figures for browser usages are worth (non are 100% accurate of course)

Jonathan

I am quite surprised with these stats Jonathan because it is amazing to see a trend where Google is taking over in all areas from products, to internet services I am quite shocked on how fast they took over and even chrome! Wow

About the themes, I feel it is fair to say that in previous posts you can only do so much, but it’s all about the customer experience and how easy you make it for the customer to use your products in the end. You can have the best features, the best freaking support, the coolest themes, but if it’s harder to use and more complicated then the next joe. You’re outa luck. Steve Jobs said it best “I always start from the end at the customer experience than I go backward”

Or Tom Green famous:

The Backwards man The backwards man I can walk backwards as fast as you can O,the backwards man the backwards man

Moral of this post, start at the end and go backwards :P

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Anps says

Kind of repeating myself. Unique themes are cool but they sell poorly most of the times. From buyers side individually this is great but from authors side (that lives from this market) it just doesn’t or poorly sells.

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BrianHermelijn says

And as far as IE7 and 8 goes: it’s totally irrelevant what we think of those browers. In my country (The Netherlands) the far majority uses some IE version. IE7 about 10% and IE8 about 35%. The rest is IE9 and about 10% all other browsers together. I just can’t say “IE sucks, I don’t uspport it”. Besides, I actually don’t dislike IE, but that’s also not important. The fact is I HAVE to support it.

I believe that this data: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version_partially_combined-ww-monthly-201110-201210 already proves a concrete evidence on how many peoples uses IE 6 / IE 7.

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MagentaManiacs says

Glad to see all the discussion on this thread!

I disagree that you should give the masses what they want though. As a creative agency, we actually make the difference by doing it the hard way.

It’s difficult, but if you hang on, in the end it pays of. Take a look at Themezilla for example. Orman Clark & Co build themes that have a unique touch to it and he’s quite the premium author ;)

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