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jpelker says

I wrote a post for WPCandy.com today asking “How did ThemeForest become the red headed stepchild of the WordPress community?”: http://wpcandy.com/thinks/themeforest-is-the-red-headed-stepchild

What will always stick in my head about that WordCamp was how the developers there scoffed at my usage of ThemeForest. One developer even whispered to me, “don’t say that around Brian [Gardner]”. To this day I can’t understand how buying themes from ThemeForest became such a dirty proposition. What made this service so poorly regarded compared to buying themes from StudioPress, WooThemes or any other of the big WordPress development companies?

There’s also a very lively commenting battle occurring below the post. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts after you’ve read the article. Thanks!

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crozer says

Great post.. and comments’ war.

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EireStudio says

Read that today, nice!

I think I completely agree with:

As a sidenote, I’ve actually got a solution to solve any issues of quality that pop up on a theme marketplace; have the best authors create an open framework for all themes on the site (or for the whole WordPress community, for that matter) and then mandate that framework for all newly submitted themes. If the backend can be separately upgradable (like the WooFramework), even better.

Themeforest needs to become more unified with regards to theme options. I personally think Envato should pay someone like Freshface for the right for authors to use his options panel. :)

Of coarse, lots to figure out about this but it’s a good idea

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Parallelus says
Read that today, nice!

I think I completely agree with:

As a sidenote, I’ve actually got a solution to solve any issues of quality that pop up on a theme marketplace; have the best authors create an open framework for all themes on the site (or for the whole WordPress community, for that matter) and then mandate that framework for all newly submitted themes. If the backend can be separately upgradable (like the WooFramework), even better.

Themeforest needs to become more unified with regards to theme options. I personally think Envato should pay someone like Freshface for the right for authors to use his options panel. :)

Of coarse, lots to figure out about this but it’s a good idea

I disagree completely with this idea being a good one. For starters, how an options panel looks and the framework behind it are completely different things. FreshPanel looks awesome, but I don’t want my themes using a design heavy options panel. Also, I have my way of doing things and you have yours. If ThemeForest were to mandate a framework it would impact how I write my code, the functions I use and the organizational structure of the files. Not only do I believe they would never do something like this, but I know they would alienate many authors if they did. That would be the same day I started selling my work somewhere else.

The comparison of ThemeForest to just about any other premium theme site is completely invalid. ThemeForest is a market place for web design, not a premium WordPress theme company. This is where I sell my products. These are not ThemeForest’s themes or templates as many of the uninformed comments in the article mistakenly elude to. They are my products and ThemeForest is my partner in selling them. They do the advertising and payment processing and by that description they are nothing more than a service provider for my business. There shouldn’t even be a reference to the quality of ThemeForest’s products because they don’t have any. If someone has a problem with a product it is with the author that created it, but that concept seem to be getting lost in this article. It’s definitely lost in the comments made by the “WordPress elite” that look down on ThemeForest and by association the authors here as well.

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jpelker says
I disagree completely with this idea being a good one. For starters, how an options panel looks and the framework behind it are completely different things. FreshPanel looks awesome, but I don’t want my themes using a design heavy options panel. Also, I have my way of doing things and you have yours. If ThemeForest were to mandate a framework it would impact how I write my code, the functions I use and the organizational structure of the files. Not only do I believe they would never do something like this, but I know they would alienate many authors if they did. That would be the same day I started selling my work somewhere else.
Theme options could be turned on/off by the developer with an API . In fact, it would be very nice if the customer could also decide what options were on/off, as well.
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organicbee says
I disagree completely with this idea being a good one. For starters, how an options panel looks and the framework behind it are completely different things. FreshPanel looks awesome, but I don’t want my themes using a design heavy options panel. Also, I have my way of doing things and you have yours. If ThemeForest were to mandate a framework it would impact how I write my code, the functions I use and the organizational structure of the files. Not only do I believe they would never do something like this, but I know they would alienate many authors if they did. That would be the same day I started selling my work somewhere else.
Theme options could be turned on/off by the developer with an API . In fact, it would be very nice if the customer could also decide what options were on/off, as well.

that means the framework would dictate what options can be coded in to a theme because if an author turns parts off because they don’t want to add it to there theme when the customer tries to turn it on then complains it doesn’t work. plus I think that if envato put a mandatory framework in place the themes were be very very similar(even more than many are now)

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mikemcalister says

A framework is a very interesting concept for sure, and it could work if done right. From Jeff’s comments on the article, it sounds as if a framework is coming anyway.

If it was made mandatory, naturally it would see a lot of opposition at first, but I think eventually authors would see the light. Personally, I wouldn’t mind adopting a framework if it was flexible enough.

plus I think that if envato put a mandatory framework in place the themes were be very very similar(even more than many are now)

Maybe authors would have more time to make their themes unique by spending extra time in the design process, and less time writing code they’ve written 1000 times before. The important thing to remember is, it’s not the tools you have, rather how you use them. Authors who make badass themes would still produce badass themes!

Definitely intrigued on how this will turn out though!

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Bebel says

A framework would be a good idea for the less experienced Authors on Themeforest. For the others it would probably be some kind of restriction, because they already have their own php framework.

I don’t really like the idea of imposing one. But if it would be kind of open source and authors were welcome to work on it, we’d probably help out.

Maybe authors would have more time to make their themes unique by spending extra time in the design process, and less time writing code they’ve written 1000 times before.

These authors should really think about at least creating some library. The first themes will take more time, because you have to think of a flexible and bullet proof concept, but once you’ve done it you will be faster than without. :)

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Parallelus says
plus I think that if envato put a mandatory framework in place the themes were be very very similar(even more than many are now)

I had the same thought when I first considered the idea of an “Envato Framework” for WordPress. I almost said something in my previous post about the downsides of bottlenecking authors into a structure that could influence the design in some fashion (kind like how some people think Thesis sites all look the same). However, upon reading some of the newer comments and a little more thought, I can’t imagine a mandatory framework being put in place.

A framework would only be possible as an optional feature. It might act as a suggested starting point to encourage best practices when developing a WP theme. Kind of like the sample help document that so many authors including myself use as a foundation for their help file. I would still rather use my own framework, because I have my own methodologies, but that’s pretty common for most developers and designers. We can be a little stubborn sometimes. :grin:

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mikemcalister says
A framework would only be possible as an optional feature.

That could actually work well I think. An optional feature for authors who don’t already have a framework in place. It would give them something standard to work with. That could cut down on some of the complaints TF is getting about compatibility, etc.

So if an author doesn’t provide support (which, IMO is something that should be mandatory) at least there will be others who know the framework. They might also be able to check out a codex or get help in the forum easier.

I can’t help but think the “stigma” everyone’s talking about is due to some authors just creating quick and dirty themes, miraculously getting them through review process, and hoping they sell without updating or supporting them. As I said on the WPCandy post, from what I can tell, the top authors provide top support, so I can’t see the problem stemming from there.

Regardless of where the issues are arising, they need to be fixed. I have plenty of confidence the staff will handle all of this. They’re probably having a meeting about it right now! :)

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