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EireStudio says

I’m shocked at some of the comments here.

If you listen to Justin’s thinking it makes perfect sense. I think authors just don’t want to get out of their routine.

As someone earlier said about buyers not being able to install plugins, not true. Any buyer I have had has never had any problems installing plugins. anyway, buyers should have a certain level of responsibility when installing a theme.

A shortcode plugin really is the best option here, am I in the minority that I only see this? :O

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FinalDestiny says

As someone earlier said about buyers not being able to install plugins, not true. Any buyer I have had has never had any problems installing plugins. anyway, buyers should have a certain level of responsibility when installing a theme.

Just check the number of topics for “missing stylesheet” and you’ll see how many people out there are having trouble installing just the theme. Not talking about additional plugins, tweaking them, etc.

Not at all. Your theme should work without any plugins.

Then the buyer will say he didn’t get what he bought and that he wants the demo look. Most of them are looking for just a simple .xml file to import and get the demo layout.

When I’m developing themes, it is NOT my responsability to adapt the previous layout in order to work with my theme. Even if it would become a standard on themeforest, it will still be useless. There are hundreds of wordpress theme clubs, many of them are EXTREMELEY BAD coded, how would you handle with the custom options that previous theme has? What if it has custom shortcodes? What if it uses custom post types? What if it’s totally unrelated with your theme?

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digitalimpact says

It is an extremely BAD development practice to make your themes depend on 3rd party plugins.

Totally agree. So make your own :) One for all your themes. Update it, improve it, maintain it.

A theme shouldn’t depend on shortcodes. If the buyer wants columns, they install the plugin. If they want google maps, pricing tables, buttons, alerts, toggles, accordions, etc – they install just one plugin (your plugin, for example).

But if they don’t, regular page/post layouts should still work.

I can see why this practice is happening here, but Justin said it right: the WP theme community outside TF is doing OK with this approach. It’s better for end users, unless all we care about is making a quick buck.

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infuse01 says

It is absolutly NO bad practice to separate the functionality into plugins. There are so many user-friendly solutions.

Problem: Need to ship your theme with plugins and you’re afraid that your client is to stupid to know how that works?
Solution: Include the Plugin Activation Script mentioned above and you’re good to go.

Problem: You don’t see a way how to include your shortcode plugin which relies on styles given from your theme? And it doesn’t make sense since as soon as the client switches the theme your plugin would become useless?
Solution: Code your plugin that it first checks if one of your themes is installed – if it is installed, get the styles from there, if it is not installed get the styles from the plugin itself.

You see: Problem, Solution

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infuse01 says

Oh and btw @FinalDestiny:


Just check the number of topics for “missing stylesheet” and you’ll see how many people out there are having trouble installing just the theme. Not talking about additional plugins, tweaking them, etc.

On the other hand you need to compare how many customers actually purchase a theme and haven’t any troubles with it – and even then, there would be plenty solutions for that. Some could be initiated by envato, some could be easily implemented by each developer/author.

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organicbee says

Your theme should work without any plugins.

this concept has been lost on tf, look how many themes use OptionsTree or Options Framework but would completely break without them and all it takes is a simple check…

a little more to the topic shortcodes should never be used in themes as like Justin says it locks the content to users, I always chuckle when reading blogs and see [shortcode] in the content, now Ill have to argue that CPT can be used “sparingly” and if youre going to use a portfolio post type, this is the one time you’ll here me say dont prefix it

Now including plugins in themes, Id say the best solution is using something like TGM as including them in themes can be a hassle, many users have issues with simply installing themes because the way themeforest zips them, and some have no concept of FTP programs not to say Authors shouldnt be educating people on how to use them(or pointing to resources that do)

anyways

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/shortcoder/
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/synved-shortcodes/
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/shortcodes-ultimate/
and theres always http://www.themezilla.com/plugins/zillashortcodes/

now I havent dug into the code of those plugins but Id say itd be pretty easy to hook a stylesheet into your theme http://justintadlock.com/archives/2009/08/06/how-to-disable-scripts-and-styles

and

http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/is_plugin_active
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pixelentity says

scenario: autor A releases theme + own coded plugins which break/no longer work with author B theme.
question: who’s going to support the buyer and why.

BF

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organicbee says

scenario: autor A releases theme + own coded plugins which break/no longer work with author B theme.
question: who’s going to support the buyer and why. BF

I think more of the point would be to either develop as a collective and post to the codex and leave it full GPL then have the community support/develop it so that issue never happens

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pixelentity says

Irrespective of whether the practice of embedding shortcode behavior in a theme is the “correct” thing to do or not, it the most practical approach when selling theme on a premium marketplace like TF. The original poster asked why do authors not account for the situation when a buyer wants to change their theme later on, while keeping their current layout which has been created using embeded shortcodes. The answer to this is because it to complicated and impractical.

Many of the complex themes here on TF use a range of different frameworks as a basis for developing a theme. All of these frameworks require layout elements to use specific markup and specific CSS . Because of this, it would be almost impossible to create a plugin which your buyer could use with your theme and then keep using with a totally different theme. At the very least, even if the framework was compatible, the whole CSS of most shortcodes would need to be changed to fit the style of the new theme. This is not something which TF buyers want to have to do after buying a premium theme, and as such is not a recipe for good sales.

Assume then that you want to be a very “correct” developer and you only make plugins for your own themes and dont care what happens when your buyer changes theme later on. Well then you are back at square one, only now you have to support your less experiences buyer while they struggle to install/ update your range of plugins. You also now have several different code bases, instead of one if the shortcodes were intrgeated into your framework. Furthermore, when your buyer does change theme and your plugins spits out the markup suitable for your theme, inside a 3rd party theme, then they will come looking for support and answers why this plugin is not working. This hence doesn’t achieve anything except giving yourself more work.

While it may be possible to produce a free plugin which would output the most generic markup and css which would have some chance at rendering in most themes, this would put a severe restriction on your shortcodes complexity as well as bring you a lot of support requests. This tradeoff is not worth it, neither for you nor for your buyer. Nothing is achieved except “correct” development, which actually doesn’t solve the original poster’s problems.

DOK

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organicbee says

Many of the complex themes here on TF use a range of different frameworks as a basis for developing a theme. All of these frameworks require layout elements to use specific markup and specific CSS . Because of this, it would be almost impossible to create a plugin which your buyer could use with your theme and then keep using with a totally different theme. At the very least, even if the framework was compatible, the whole CSS of most shortcodes would need to be changed to fit the style of the new theme. This is not something which TF buyers want to have to do after buying a premium theme, and as such is not a recipe for good sales.

have you heard of filters? a properly developed plugin this wouldn’t be an issue, as long as authors use those filters(and modifying the styling)

real question how many buyers actually use shortcodes?

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