100 posts Norris & Tanita
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ThemeVillage says

Hi, I’m a new author on ThemeForest. I want my themes to clean. I want them ultimately to be modularized.

For example if you want a “portfolio”, you’ll enable “Pure Portfolio” plugin, and you’ll get your portfolio custom post type (and not have it registered within the theme).

But this means that I have to rely on the buyer to install the Portfolio plugin. Furthermore, I recently saw somewhere around here a note from Envato, that authors shouldn’t advertise that the theme contains a feature, if the feature is a plugin. In my (ultimate) goal, this would mean, that I could present my themes just as a plain-blog theme, because the custom functionality would rely on Plugins.

Another example. There are a gazzilion good plugins for displaying Maps in Wordpress. Why in the world would I develop my own shortcode for that, when “MapPress” has evolved to version 2.4 and I could just support the styling for that (which a theme should do, instead of trying to imitate a plugin). Instead, I see myself rolling out a maps shortcode, just to be able to tell users/buyers “I haz maps”.

At the moment I’m a bit frustrated with where the theme marketplace is going with the feature bloat. I think we (as developers) have the responsibility to educate our users/clients/buyers in Wordpress functionality (like plugins), instead of including half-baked plugins into the theme folders (I’m not going to point my finger anywhere here, but I’ve seen themes here do that)

I also saw somewhere (but I lost the link, if you know what I’m talking about, pelase post the link) a snippet/plugin that you could include with your theme, to notify the user about some required plugins for the theme. Would it be okay for me to require 9 different plugins from the user for the theme to function properly ?

If I’ve misunderstood somethings, please clear them up for me, and feel free to post your thoughts about all this.

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Smartik says
100 posts Norris & Tanita
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ThemeVillage says

That fresh discussion started like 15 minutes after this one. What gives ? The TGM Plugin activation (from that thread) answers my question about plugin-auto-activation, at least in part.

3449 posts Ruben Bristian
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KrownThemes says

Would it be okay for me to require 9 different plugins from the user for the theme to function properly ?

What are you creating? A theme or a collection of plugins? I say no.. It’s not illegal or anything, but it’s not too creative either..

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FRESHFACE says

That fresh discussion started like 15 minutes after this one. What gives ? The TGM Plugin activation (from that thread) answers my question about plugin-auto-activation, at least in part.

That’s correct, your thread was here first, but I did not read your thread because the title of your thread seemed to be only about plugins in general, had no idea.

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greenshady says

But this means that I have to rely on the buyer to install the Portfolio plugin. Furthermore, I recently saw somewhere around here a note from Envato, that authors shouldn’t advertise that the theme contains a feature, if the feature is a plugin. In my (ultimate) goal, this would mean, that I could present my themes just as a plain-blog theme, because the custom functionality would rely on Plugins.

Don’t advertise a plugin as a theme feature. Be up front about the feature and make sure users know to install the plugin. You should definitely show off the use of the plugin in your theme demo though.

Treat it as if you were building a BuddyPress or bbPress theme. You don’t advertise your theme as having those features built in. You advertise it as supporting those particular plugins.

Would it be okay for me to require 9 different plugins from the user for the theme to function properly ?

It’s never okay for a theme to require any plugin to function properly. A theme should work out of the box with zero plugins installed. However, certain theme features can certainly require the use of a plugin.

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ThemeVillage says

What are you creating? A theme or a collection of plugins? I say no.. It’s not illegal or anything, but it’s not too creative either..
Creativity has nothing to do with building a a google maps shortcode. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t want to put TwentyTen theme with 19 plugins and call it a theme. But I don’t want create the functionality of 10 plugins in my theme folder and call it a theme, that’s what my main concern here is about.

It’s never okay for a theme to require any plugin to function properly. A theme should work out of the box with zero plugins installed. However, certain theme features can certainly require the use of a plugin.
My thoughts exactly. A theme should look like a simple wordpress blog out of the box. Which is why I’m thinking – a theme should function as a theme. When you want that portfolio feature, you enable that Custom Post Type plugin, and the theme has everything in place for it to display. When you want a map, you enable a plugin, and the theme displays the map properly as well, etc. But it seems that it isn’t the way most authors build their themes.
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greenshady says

My thoughts exactly. A theme should look like a simple wordpress blog out of the box. Which is why I’m thinking – a theme should function as a theme. When you want that portfolio feature, you enable that Custom Post Type plugin, and the theme has everything in place for it to display. When you want a map, you enable a plugin, and the theme displays the map properly as well, etc. But it seems that it isn’t the way most authors build their themes.

Actually, it’s how we do it in the rest of the WordPress community. You’re not even allowed to add those things in a theme on WordPress.org. It wouldn’t make it through the review process. And, most theme companies realize the value of code reuse and have moved away from putting everything in individual themes.

I often get frustrated with some of the things I see coming from ThemeForest though. This is why you’ll find me here preaching on the forums sometimes. :) This has improved vastly over the past year or so though. I think as more authors here change methods, others will follow suit.

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