On this episode of WPwatercooler we will be discussing which WordPress theme best matches our viewers business goals. People are always looking for a good theme that will take their business to the next level and hopefully reach their goals. Let’s discuss which goals are the most popular and what themes would work well for those goals. Live stream starts at 11am PDT / 2pm EST / 7PM UTC

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2 Comments

  1. Julien Maury on February 7, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Hi there, thanks for this podcast. It’s pretty cool to see people talking about WordPress like that. I had to put a disclaimer before : I M REALLY NOT AGAINST THEME DEVELOPERS AND PREMIUM MARKET PLACES.

    But… I think some clients just see the demos, the ratings and the amount of purchases and then they think : “oh YEAH I can do whatever I want with this, just a few changes and that will do the job”

    This is a pretty bad analysis. If you use some premium themes use it AS IS or customize it the way theme developers meant it. Otherwise it’s a huge pain and a real waste of time for the developer who’s in charge of the installation and other stuffs.

    Plus I believe that :”if you don’t use it, lose it”. In this era of performance using multipurpose themes that load 15 js and 10 CSS for a one-page-layout is not a good idea. I do not understand this trend. I mean when you go on vacation you do not bring all your stuffs with you.

  2. Chip Bennett on February 21, 2014 at 7:50 am

    And honestly, it saddens me, but I don’t send anyone to the Theme repository – the WordPress Theme repository – because the Themes in there are… there’s… there’s not a lot going on in there.

    [Full disclosure, I am a founding member and admin of the Theme Review Team, that has spent almost four years improving the quality, quantity, and diversity of the Themes hosted in the official Theme directory. So I take somewhat personal issue with this assertion.]

    I’ve looked at these, but, yeah… maybe I haven’t looked at them lately. I don’t know.

    2010 called. It wants its Theme directory back.

    I’m really glad that the rest of the group corrected this FUD about the official Theme directory. The development quality of Themes in the directory, at this point, equals or betters the overall development quality of most commercial Themes. – to the point where the Theme directory is actually starting to drive the overall Theme market toward best practices.

    As for quantity and diversity: we’re up to almost 2,500 Themes in the directory (by comparison, ThemeForest has just shy of 4,000 WordPress Themes listed).

    The main difference between the official Theme directory and ThemeForest? Design quality. While many of the Themes submitted to the official directory come from people just wanting to contribute to the community, here are some awesome, professionally designed Themes in the official directory. We could certainly improve there; of course, the best way to do that is to encourage awesome designers to submit their Themes to the directory. Bashing the directory is counter-productive toward that end.

    I wouldn’t say to make a Theme and stick it in the repository.

    And this is precisely the attitude that will prevent the Theme directory from reaching its full potential. There are lots of developers who have directory-hosted Themes who provide great, free support in the WPORG support forums. There are many other developers who offer commercial support options for their directory-hosted Themes. There are developers who submit their Themes, and then never support them – but in my experience, the rigorous review/approval process weeds out the vast majority of such developers. Some Themes get abandoned – but many times, those Themes get forked, updated, and re-submitted by a developer willing to maintain that fork. (And older, obsolete Themes are hidden from search views, anyway.)

    As for the meat of the episode: what makes a Theme suitable for business needs – I cringed when the second thing I hear, after “blog”, is “e-commerce”. The biggest point to drive home here – that only got touched on tangentially – is that Themes should not be incorporating such functionality, and that users should be looking for Themes that integrate support for the Plugins that provide the functionality.

    (Side note: Woo offers a lot of Themes that are built for WooCommerce; but you can also find many Themes hosted in the official Theme directory that likewise integrate support for WooCommerce, and other e-commerce Plugins. Similarly, there are many directory-hosted Themes that integrate support for bbPress, BuddyPress, and many other Plugins that provide business-need functionality.)

    And thank you for reiterating that Themes are content design/presentation, and that functionality belongs in Plugins! We as a development community are going to serve end users so much better the more that we can make that differentiation as explicit as possible.

    But I disagree that designers, rather than developers, should be making Themes. Designing and developing are two entirely different skill sets, and in an ideal world, the two skill sets work *together* to produce awesome Themes. Designers make Themes beautiful; developers make Themes integrate properly with WordPress core, including proper API usage so that the Themes play nicely with others (i.e. Plugins).

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