I think there’s a bit of confusing opinions here. It’s not a matter of having a lot of functionalities and ways of building pages, it’s a matter of performance, you can add a lot of features but if the user will end up using just a few, the site must only load what it needs so that it doesn’t get heavy even though the user is making something simple.
These are key things envato should look at, in resume a lot of features is not bad every time, but if you do it, it must comply to some performance standards.
What about a major review to the themes on themeforest, remove outdated files as a start, themes that don’t sell or that don’t even have mobile support.
This would have a great impact, as someone who came from activeden I would remove outdated files if they weren’t selling or if I feel they hadn’t enough quality no more according to current standards.
It’s a simple thing that would improve not only searching for good quality themes as well as motivating developers to work for this premium market.
Just my two cents, hope someone from envato have some feedback to say on this
Why don’t reviewers for example analyze the frame rate using dev tools. Or memory leaks for codecanyon items? There are so many things that I feel are starting to be key things to keep this marketplace on top and running I could share a few more but just think it’ll be ignored
Just a humble two-cents from somebody who considered selling her themes here, but changed her mind after having seen what absolutely ridiculous trends are going on.
Last year, I worked with a client who was previously doing project management for some signage and had no clue about web design and development. He was stubborn and he rejected my concept of a base bare-bones theme which would then be build up on, ONLY adding the things the end users will actually need. He insisted on a theme from this website. I am not going to mention its name. He also insisted on a popular budget hosting company.
I should have know this would not turn well.
The theme had a ridiculous number of options, unnecessary scripting which would load EVERYWHERE (ever heard of enqueue and register functions, perhaps?), unnecessary zoom on front page images, more divs in the base layout than one could ever imagine being necessary and it loaded nearly 1000 custom values into the wp_options database table. Naturally, there was a custom-built control panel type of a thing, too, as if Settings API would look amateurish or something. Nonsense!
The client then wanted me to hard-edit it, as it seemed somewhat impossible to create a child theme out of that mess. I basically only changed about twenty to thirty CSS entities. Then we installed a location plugin which was necessary to the end user.
The result? The front page would load upon every fifth page refresh or so. The heavy js built in the slider, zoomed images, some ridiculous script used for a menu on mobile screens and a bunch of other gizmos did not play well with the script the website needed in order for the customers to find the nearest hair salon. An user would literally need an optic cable to load everything, and only if the server allows it, given its quality.
I suggested rebuilding the theme, load scripts only when necessary, removing all the unnecessary gizmos and replacing the control panel with only the functions we need, properly registered and sanitized using Settings API.
I also made a point that there are some themes in this repository that work fine and that would pass the Theme Unit Test with no problems. But the client did not consider them beautiful enough.
Eventually, he blamed it all on my “lack of competence”, despite the resource hog theme and the worst hosting company he and the end user could find.
I resolved never to accept a job involving somebody else’s theme again, unless the said theme uses Settings API and unless I’m allowed to view its functions.php file or anything hooking into it before I even agree to work on the website.
To put this simply: a person who does not agree with the opening post in this thread either expects very little from life, does not understand what WordPress is or both. Not to mention that they’re clearly getting a lot of us in trouble, just because of the word “premium” which apparently means something to an average end-user.
Can we get some envato attention here?
I’m happy that most of you understood my message. To be clear for those that still don’t get my OP. I’m not talking about a price increase for these themes that offer hundreds of options and “all in one” solutions, most of them still don’t deserve this price increase. I’m talking about optimization, the authors are looking to make money but don’t think about quality. Offering support or different post, portfolio styles, layouts, sliders, page builders, is awesome, but think about the CSS and JS that are added by those components.
For example: If a user decide to use only the blog and nothing more, and if he choose to use only the blog layout classic, then you must load only the necesary resources for this, other CSS and JS, should not be included. In this situation, he would not need the JS for portfolio, page builder, mansory blog layout, etc. As @chrisakelley said, most of these problems can be resolved by an if/else statment. See as an example the WordPress Conditional Tags.
As a last note. I saw approved themes here on TF, that show a “one page” style layout, and after waiting almost one minute to load the content(I’m on a fast internet connection), I checked the content with YSlow. Guess what? This page loaded 15 JS files, 13 CSS files, and 40 images in CSS with a total weight of 18Mb. I’ve inspected the source code, and I can say that only a few CSS and JS files were required, everything else was for other pages.
Today everyone advertise responsive design, but loading so many resources on a mobile phone, just does not make sense since they are not required and result in a very slow page loading, because mobile internet in most countries is not very fast and cost a lot of money.
I don’t know how similar themes pass the review process, but I think that reviewers should look at that, and reject themes made by authors that don’t care about optimization.
You make multi-pupose themes? Do it, they are great, but think twice before implementing something. Please do not make it just for money.
Best regards, Andrei.
Actually, the TF authors are making full-site solution, not only theme. The TF market is kinda ridiculous at my first time here, but finally it’s a game of demand & supply, that’s all. We, authors sell things which people are looking for.
I used to uncomfortable myself to make fullsite-not-theme things but it changed, we get used to that, we offer comprehensive solutions to buyers which solve their problems. But it’s always good to keep optimizing those solutions as good as possible. At the end of the roads, buyers will know which is good, which is bad. So, if you are good developers, then you will get better sales than others, that’s the way this game goes on.
My 2 cents.
- Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
- Won a Competition
- Halloween Competition Winner
- Exclusive Author
- Has been a member for 4-5 years
- Sold between 50 000 and 100 000 dollars
- Referred between 100 and 199 users
- Bought between 1 and 9 items
- United Kingdom
It’s a ridiculous trend, we’re creating themes, NOT a full blown CMS, include only what is necessary.
It’s not just the multiple styles/layouts that is an issue either, it’s the stupid amount of options authors seem to think they should add, there is no need.
The people who buy themes usually aren’t designers / don’t want to design, that’s why they buy our themes in the first place.
Yes, allow color options, logo upload and such, but when you give the option for 500 Google fonts, how many pixels wide a sidebar should be then things just start to get silly.
Recently a client of mine asked me to do some work on their site, it was running a WP theme from a Power Elite author, which happens to be ‘one’ of the best selling themes on Themeforest.
Honestly, I couldn’t stop laughing, the codebase was a joke, it loaded an absolute ton of scripts & CSS, none of which where combined or compressed, so each one created a HTTP request which in turn slowed the site down.
The options panel was just as stupid, why would someone need 4 text inputs for adjusting the logo margin?
Keep It Simple Stupid.
I know that we are all crazy about this, but let’s face it. Those themes are selling well, and other specific themes aren’t. Those authors won’t stop producing those huge themes because of the money and sales they get. Even if it will ruin the marketplace. We tried to create some really fresh and unique themes, like our PSD Angelicas, and guess what “It didn’t sell well”. We all hate multipurpose themes with tons of options and same old layout, but that’s obviously what clients want as those themes are from week to week in most popular files category.
Yea well, last rating we got on a new theme says the opposite,
Main reason: Feature Availability Extra comments from the buyer: Missing many common Theme Options; Not much customizable unless you work on custom css and edit themes php files.
And the theme is packed… so… i can imagine if we had even less People also buy niche themes and still want everything possible in it.
Every extra option that is offered to the customer is one less decision made by the designer. And what customers really need (although most of the times they do not know it) is well-thought design decisions, and well executed concepts.
I love this game