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tonvie says

I’m wondering how a theme gets approved when some of the most basic functions don’t work on some newly posted themes.

Does envato actually install the theme on a live environment and try to create a few pages, posts, slider entries, categories, prior to approval? Based on the first versions of themes I’ve downloaded, I can’t believe they do.

I just wonder because past threads debating the level of support required by the author for their theme had me thinking about what constitutes a ‘working’ theme.

Most authors rightfully feel they go above and beyond with support and I agree. However, it seems like with any theme I buy at ver 1.0, based on my experience, I expect things aren’t going to work. Sometimes it’s big things like NO pagination works, Sometimes it’s HUGE things like NO ONE can add a slider post until update 1.0a.

So if this author had left this work at version 1.0 is this a working theme that should not result in a refund because this theme does 100 different things and only 1 doesn’t work?

Do all listed functions of a theme have to work? Or do they just have to work in 3 particular browsers? I’d just like to see some clarification on what authors and Envato consider ‘working themes’ worthy of selling if no other update ever came out.

Cheers :)

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stevebluck says

I believe TF should test themes as you have said, I don’t think they do as of yet.

I learnt recently that they are checking for certain functions in a Wordpress theme that must be present, such as wp_footer, wp_head and nav menus.

Sometimes these get forgotten but are very important for plugin’s to function.

I think if the reviewer had to test each custom feature like slider posts, colours etc the review process will take much longer. But maybe this is what is needed to get better quality themes out there.

Good point you have brought up.

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CreatingDrew says

I believe TF should test themes as you have said, I don’t think they do as of yet.

I learnt recently that they are checking for certain functions in a Wordpress theme that must be present, such as wp_footer, wp_head and nav menus.

Sometimes these get forgotten but are very important for plugin’s to function.

I think if the reviewer had to test each custom feature like slider posts, colours etc the review process will take much longer. But maybe this is what is needed to get better quality themes out there.

Good point you have brought up.

We test themes, we’d be crazy not to! :)

@tonvie If you have a malfunctioning item, send all of the full details to support. We will then have a reviewer personally test the item out again and happily give you a credit if we can actually confirm issues.

I’d like to note that nearly every time someone sends a ticket in about a malfunctioning item, it is working just fine and is due to an error on the buyers side.

Thanks!

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tonvie says

@ Drew I will definitely do that next time.

And please realize, it’s not a refund I want at all. Just a little better quality control ;)

I’ve just come to expect that if I jump on a theme as soon as it’s posted, there are functions that are most certainly not going to work until the next version.

In my most recent case, I purchased a theme as soon as it went on sale. After installing, the slider did not work. After a couple emails with the author he indeed admitted it didn’t work and he would fix it. Only problem was it took 3 days for what I would consider a working theme…unless you consider a sliderless theme functional.

Now even in this case, I gave the author 5 stars after he fixed it, and I’m very happy with his theme.

Now, if he couldn’t create a slider entry, and neither could anyone else who bought the theme…how exactly did Envato test this in the review process? There’s no way you could have. It simply wasn’t user error.

I don’t want to get any authors in trouble but if you’d like the entire email log to verify what I’m saying, just tell me where to send it to :)

Thanks for your reply :)

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Potshot says

Well, you can’t really expect perfection from the reviewers. They have a lot of little details to check when reviewing a theme, and something like a functioning slider, which may seem very obvious to you, can be easily overlooked. The main problem with quality control is the authors. Some authors don’t seem to have any self pride in the quality of their work and just submit whatever will get them money faster. People want instant gratification…

Personally, while I don’t have any item on TF yet, I have a very specific process I go through when readying to release a Wordpress theme into the public. Obviously I check that everything is working. I check the theme on different computers, different browsers, differs ISPs, different operating systems, different resolutions, you name it. Then I check every possible combination of options or Wordpress functions in all of these environments. So I need to check is such and such slider works in such and such browser on such and suck operating at such and such resolution. Which can be extremely time consuming, but I constantly do routine bug checks along the way to divide the process. Every the possibility of bugs is gone, I make sure all of my code is clean and easy to understand and write the documentation. Finally, I show the theme to a friend web designer/developer who can look over everything and point out problems in the setup or use of the theme.

With all that, it’s pretty unlikely that a buyer would find any problems in a theme I submitted. The reviewers job would be pretty easy as well. But obviously that meticulous and down right obnoxious level of quality control can’t be expected from many authors, as many of them DO in fact need to pump out as many themes as possible in and little time as possible or else they can’t pay rent or w/e.

But in a perfect world…

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DesignSaga says

I agree the review process needs an overhaul. More reviewers or better yet, let the buyers review an item. If it gets so many positive reviews then accept it or reject it.

I have seen the queue go from 60 items down to 10 in less than an hour. What they do is just take a look at the homepage and decide whether or not it “impresses” them. Load of crap.

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BroOf says

I wouldn’t say so…

They also check if the theme CSS and HTML is valid and a lot more. If you would let buyers decide there were tons of low quality themes on this site. A lot of buyers just don’t have the knowledge how a good website should be coded. They just see the design and not the process behind.

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Potshot says

Well DesignSaga is right about one thing, the amount of items in the review queue does change ridiculously quick. The reason for that though is probably not because the reviewers are lazy and skip over things. It’s because 90% of the themes submitted on ThemeForest are a load of crap and they can see that after looking at it for 10 seconds. That’s an easy “Aesthetic improvement” rejection for 90/100 themes. About 8 more of those themes take a few minutes of review to see problems and are rejected. And for the remaining few themes they actually spend a larger amount of time reviewing for quality control.

So yes, for most themes they probably do just look at the homepage and decide whether or not it impresses them. In Web DESIGN you most certainly should be reading a book by its cover.

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Orbital_Themes says

I agree the review process needs an overhaul. More reviewers or better yet, let the buyers review an item. If it gets so many positive reviews then accept it or reject it. I have seen the queue go from 60 items down to 10 in less than an hour. What they do is just take a look at the homepage and decide whether or not it “impresses” them. Load of crap.

Sorry to say that DesignSaga, but I think you’re just upset because your theme has been rejected. No offense, but I’ve seen your theme and I’d reject it within 10 seconds upon page load with the “not ready for ThemeForest” message. And that’s exactly why the review queue goes down so fast. You can’t blame it all on reviewers.

Now on the topic itself – from my experience I know that reviewers check the functionality pretty well, but most of the time they check the most general theme functions, the ones that are common across all themes and probably a native functionality of WordPress (like pages, posts etc.), as well as coding. Some theme specific functionality may be overlooked, and that’s because sometimes theme documentation is really extensive to read so it would take hours to extensively test everything.

Anyway, once something definitely doesn’t work I’m sure every author will fix it within few hours/days, just because everyone cares about his/her sales and reputation :)

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DesignSaga says

Sorry to say that DesignSaga, but I think you’re just upset because your theme has been rejected. No offense, but I’ve seen your theme and I’d reject it within 10 seconds upon page load with the “not ready for ThemeForest” message. And that’s exactly why the review queue goes down so fast. You can’t blame it all on reviewers.

Yeah I would probably reject your stuff also.

My themes are premium quality, [self promotion removed]

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