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TheBuckmaker says

Hi everybody,

my WP theme and options framework has been rejected today. In fact, it was shot down in flames, so to speak:

“will be very hard to be improved and get accepted. It required many improvements in term of design, visual hierarchy, typography, layout and its aesthetic quality.”

which tells me something like “forget it, dude”

Here’s my preview site:

http://www.aervolution.com/

I am very willing to improve my work but if nothing seems to fit at all, I don’t have any idea where to start. Could anyone point me in any direction?

Thanks so much J

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UI20 says
Hi everybody,

my WP theme and options framework has been rejected today. In fact, it was shot down in flames, so to speak:

“will be very hard to be improved and get accepted. It required many improvements in term of design, visual hierarchy, typography, layout and its aesthetic quality.”

which tells me something like “forget it, dude”

Here’s my preview site:

http://www.aervolution.com/

I am very willing to improve my work but if nothing seems to fit at all, I don’t have any idea where to start. Could anyone point me in any direction?

Thanks so much J

Well it looks like just a regular blog theme not even a CMS . I am sorry to say it but I think there really are too many things you must improve to ever get this approved.

Better to focus more on the design part instead of making it a lesser priority as it seems you have done. Maybe your background is not in design.

Do some research before you do a theme and look at the trends.

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SilverFirefly says

Spend some time on ThemeForest checking out the quality of the templates design-wise to get some idea of what is acceptable. Then Google tutorials on how to design web pages with Photoshop (or GIMP if you can’t afford Photoshop). Practise. And then practise some more until you are capable of creating quality designs. Learn the basics of good design (typography, the Golden Section, the Rule of Thirds, usability, accessibility, etc) too because you could be a whizz in Photoshop and still not know the basics of creating a good design.

Failing that, buddy up with a good designer to concentrate on the design side of things while you work on the code side of things.

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VisualSharing says

Hi, TheBuckmaker, welcome to the forums!

Let me ask you a question:

Would you like to spend $30 on this theme of yours? Consider that there are many nice free ones with more stylish look and more functionalities, for example those posted on the SmashingMagazine.

You need to make a theme that YOU would buy. Imagine yourself as a buyer and design while thinking of what would you love this theme to have in order to spend your money on it without a doubt. :)

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ConnorTurnbull says

I had an old, frankly not-finished, Wordpress theme lying about I submitted and got the same, standard answer so that reply was fairly generic.

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unisphere says
You need to make a theme that YOU would buy. Imagine yourself as a buyer and design while thinking of what would you love this theme to have in order to spend your money on it without a doubt. :)

Exactly my opinion. I recommend you take more time and effort in the design process and only leave Photoshop when you look at the mockup and fell that you really love it. Believe me, as a programmer I sometimes want to speed the design part to get to the coding, which is what I really love, but polishing your design pays off in the end.

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ConnorTurnbull says
Believe me, as a programmer I sometimes want to speed the design part to get to the coding, which is what I really love, but polishing your design pays off in the end.

I’m new here but I still want to put my input. For my first few attempts at submitting, I submitted rushed stuff I made that day. However, i’ve learnt to take my time. I’m dabbling into my current theme for a short while each time and working on it. Even though this is a basic theme, I am taking days and making sure the design is 100% before I submit it.

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cramdesign says

You know, on one level, it is a triumph to create any theme. There is a lot to learn just to get a theme working all on your own. If you created all the code for this, with the theme options and all, clearly you have some programming skills that not everyone can claim. For this marketplace however, the bar for entry keeps getting higher and higher both in terms of code and particularly design. I am willing to bet that if some of the older themes were submitted today, they might not get approved for some of the same reasons you received. Your theme has a lot of good qualities and really isn’t that bad but with nearly every element there is work to be done before it meets the level required. Competing on TF isn’t going to be easy. Take a look at some of the top authors’ work… there is a world of learning that only costs the time to look. Best of luck…

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TheBuckmaker says

Thank you SO much for all your replies. This helps me a lot seeing things less emotionally.

You know the bad thing about this is that I felt like really having done my very best. I’m in the business since 2007 and spent the last weeks and weekends coding and documenting this framework, making it the best compromise between a lean-coded theme construction kit (“themebuilder”) and a predesigned wordpress theme.

When I changed http://thebuckmaker.com to my new design, I noticed a huge increase in terms of page views per visitor, which is some indicator that the community might like it. There are already inquiries for this theme, so things are not as bad as they seem to be.

Looking at it now, I doubt it is possible to give buyers the opportunity to tweak anything themselves, while setting up a well-designed default theme that gets accepted here.

Why? If a theme can be fixed or fluid, any width, with or withour sidebar, quicklink, header and so on, a default layout would instantly be broken once a buyer clicks the first option radio button. If I implement a slider and example images, I have to stick to one overall site width. I know there are some workarounds, but it remains a compromise.

It is very important to me that the theme is flexible. The design I set up is some sort of placeholder. I realize now that TF might be the wrong place to sell a framework that is intended to be broken up and assembled again by non-experienced web users.

I take all your suggestions to heart. I’d love to sell themes at Themeforest, it is a nice marketplace and takes off a lot of work. And one can learn a lot :) However I doubt that my ambition will return soon.

Thanks & Best, J

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Kiss_Collective says

@TheBuckMaker

Don’t despair and certainly don’t give up just because TF rejected your theme. This is not the be all and end all of WordPress design/development. Far from it.

In fact, I would encourage you to consider bypassing this market altogether and sell your themes on a solo basis. That way you don’t pay middle management fees, you can control the entire sales environment yourself, and you reap the double benefit of SEO & Web traffic that your theme will generate for your website – i.e. personal brand equity. That’s not something that you can maximise on if you sell solely via TF.

Anyway chances are, you might end up making more cash selling it solo than you would if it was accepted here.

The more alternatives and competition to TF there are, the better chance WordPress stands of maintaining its innovative nature.

Go forth and conquer, I for one salute you!

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