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marlnet says

As a theme end user, I have to look at Wordpress themes and to try to visualise how I can turn it into a living a breathing site.

And increasingly I am struggling – they all look the same! Please no more!

It’s the same predictable ‘agency’ demos, the same hollow ‘shop’ demos and same bland ‘creative’ demos. Please no more!

You will find that your themes are used in way more other online sectors than what the ‘agency’ vertical could ever hope to provide the majority of you in terms of sales volumes.

Of course you have to provide demos – but does every ‘corporate’ demo have to send the viewer to sleep?

When trying to envisage how I could work with a theme, I struggle to get past the simplest of things – like how the content could jump off the page at you to deliver its message in an immediate and accessible manner – all I see are the same small fonts in the same washed out grey font colour. Even H1 tags have succumbed to the excessive minimalism that may look swanky when you’re trying to achieve the Less Is More arty look, but really – out here in the real world – they just suck. Please no more!

Elements:

Tabs – not everyone wants understated all the time – sometimes we need big, bold and bright!

Quotes – my lordy, arguably one area where even the most capable of designers produces ugliness beyond comprehension…

Sliders – however lovely they look, the vast majority of web traffic hits a website on an internal page – so flexible sliders that can work seamlessly on content pages are needed at best. Otherwise they are nothing but fairly pointless eye candy on the homepage. And a lot of designers here need to take the ‘Above the Fold’ test more often. I work on a 27” Mac, but I’m fairly confident that most of my website visitors do not…

Add to the mix everyone’s fascination with Font Awesome icons and its gets even more depressing: they are not awesome, they are bland, totally devoid of personality and they are everywhere! Please no more!

I can’t work though every element, but my point is – and obviously this is only my opinion – but designers need to think about how real end users are likely to use design/page elements, and it’s in a million more ways than creating an awkward homepage for a backstreet corner lawyer.

How many designers have ever stopped to wonder how many people want to use a magazine layout for a non-magazine website? There are plenty of questions online about how to remove time & date stamps and author bios to let a post look and behave more like a page – I suspect it’s not just me that would snaffle up any theme that thought outside the square like this.

There are some amazing Wordpress designers on Themeforest, sadly not all to the bold levels of virtuti, but nevertheless extremely talented people who can create some truly lovely looking themes.

Your efforts allow people like me to make a living in creating content and online destinations that we couldn’t hope to achieve by ourselves. And for that, thank you!

But please, no more of this current trend of all using the same stock images, the same colour schemes and the same freaking icons to create clone after clone after clone.

And finally, when you’ve gone to all that effort of designing an awesome site – when I hit the demo, talk and walk me through it – excite and captivate me! (And here’s a clue – your “lorem ipsum dolour” isn’t doing much for making your theme come to life…)

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+5 more
ThemeProvince says

People wanna make money asap without realising they coudl make more if they just took a little more time on a theme, sad but true :)

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supersimple says

You are one out of thousands of buyers who doesn’t like the general “We Are Creative Agency” themes that you can buy for about $ 50,-. Developers are adding general elements such as quotes and pricing tables in their themes so the buyer can choose to use or don’t use them. You can see this as a bonus, a bonus that you can delete if you don’t like it.

There are lots of underrated themes and templates without the things you are mentioning. You only need to look a little bit further then the most popular files.

A theme or template is exactly what it is, a starting point for customers who don’t know how to code and/or design. When it comes to the content: Please, use your own imagination. What’s your next topic? ‘Author don’t help me installing theme on my website?’ and then ‘Author don’t help me manage my e-commerce store’ ?

This is a typical ‘I don’t want to spend over $50 for a website’ topic. Here’s a fun fact: You don’t have to buy a theme if you don’t like it. You could also consider hiring a freelancer via Envato Studio who will listen to your commands.

Thank you, come again! :chuckle:

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marlnet says

You are one out of thousands of buyers who doesn’t like the general “We Are Creative Agency” themes

Good of you to notice – that’s quite a market to leave on the table…

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CRIK0VA says

Good article.. I will take a look on my future projects and will make them better..

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supersimple says

What I ment: you are one vs 1000’s of buyers who don’t seem to complain. Reading your message I think you’re looking for a more unique / custom layout. The majority of theme- and template developers focus on a bigger audience (so their items result in a more general layout and features), so I think you have more luck when you hire a freelancer.

Anyway, good luck with it!

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+1 more
pixelgrade says

@marlnet I agree with you mostly (I for one am sick of the so cold multi-purpose trend). This is why we strive to find a niche for our themes, but also know from the start (and actually look forward) that some clients will use our themes in unexpected ways and domains. We like to believe that our designs can handle that kind of “abuse”. It’s quite rewarding to see clients that bring fresh approaches to the table.

On the other hand, you can’t help but see that the clients are “guiding” authors into these murky waters by favoring some styles (or lack of one).

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Anps says

Hi

Heh the interesting is that this kind of specific different themes in most cases don’t sell, and if you do it people still demand all the functionalities the big multi-purpose have, this market you mention if it is so big why then this kind of themes never sell. The main problem is that most of clients think we the authors are some kind of big agencies that sit on pile of money and wait to chat for support and custom job for free for ever.

Sorry to be a bit ruff but have got so unreasonable requests on support and such a rude attitude and extortion that it just got to me.

Once envato implements the advanced search/filtered system maybe things will change, but the multi-purpose themes offer you to build yourself anything you want, from the type of the theme to the colours, font sizes, so i don’t get you, the out of the box themes you want just doesn’t go since then you get 5 sales and 3 of them you have to support all the time (figuratively speaking).

Cheers

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charlie4282 says

While I agree with the OP about many themes being ‘bloated’ in places with unnecessary features supersimple hit the nail on the head with “A theme or template is exactly what it is, a starting point for customers”

At the end of the day as rightfully pointed out “Your efforts allow people like me to make a living in creating content and online destinations that we couldn’t hope to achieve by ourselves and this has been discussed a thousand times and the fact remains that generic with a ton of features sells better than creative, unique or refined, hence authors go down this route to allow themselves to ‘make a living’.

Don’t get me wrong I have the UPMOST respect for authors like those you mentioned in the OP, but there is a reason that the generic themes vastly out sell their work.

Beyond this I would bet having done this for some time that while I do not debate there is a market of more knowledgeable people buying files here that the majority % of buyers do not think that strategically about how the site will look, are more interested in just having a site at all, saving money .v. hiring an agency and most of all lack the expertise and knowledge to leverage great content or visual UX even if it existed anyhow. (no offence meant to anyone)

A supersimple said “the buyer can choose to use or don’t use them. You can see this as a bonus, a bonus that you can delete if you don’t like it.”. I know some people who use themes from here for client work and actually go to the effort of fully removing all CSS and JS etc which is not being used but it is a lot easier to remove what you do not need than to find something you do need and have to find a way to achieve it, and long term a lot less hassle for the author to prevent buyers emailing and asking for more element’s or cusotmisation.

You clearly know about content and experience and I imagine you charge more than $50 for your services right? Just like you turn to the expertise of the authors here to create the templates, your customers are turning to your expertise to deliver the best UX and content right? As supersimple said themes are a building bock where people like yourself can add their knowledge and expertise to create a premium service besides – surely every client is unique also and therefore any theme would need modifying to suit their needs?

Again don’t get me wrong, as I said I agree that the over used features could be removed BUT it is not the nature of the marketplace.

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Anps says

+1 very nicely put! People all to get forget that mostly this is not out of the box business and once they get additional requests from clients they start to ride us, so lets me get this strain you buy y theme for $45 you get payed from the client for example $600 and we are suppose to do your clients that you got payed for bidding?

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