119 Responses

  1. Joel G Goodman
    Joel G Goodman Published |

    This’ll be awesome to watch. Truly.

    Reply
  2. Lee Rickler
    Lee Rickler Published |

    Having earned a fair bit ‘fixing’ TF themes, I totally understand where you’re coming from.

    Also, this from the TF comments = “Another awesome theme by themeforest” Errr … I think this guy missed something along the way.

    Reply
  3. The Frosty
    The Frosty Published |

    Good luck, I am actually in the process of doing the same thing with one of my old hybrid-code themes I updated to current standards..

    Reply
  4. Pontus
    Pontus Published |

    Hah, I’m currently working on a similar approach for a couple of themes. Trying to utilize built-in Wordpress functions rather than adding tons of bloat.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  5. Gareth
    Gareth Published |

    I think it’ll be very interesting to see how this pans out. I’m thinking that most themes on TF are so full of features because users want a single solution. They want to install one theme that provides all the functionality they’ll need without having to look for other plug-ins. It’s not necessarily the best way – it’s just market forces.

    Obviously, I could well be wrong.

    Reply
    1. Liana Mir
      Liana Mir Published |

      I think the natural solution to that dilemma is the one that Gantry uses: provide one theme and one plugin. Bundle the download on their site and provide them both separately in the Wordpress.org database.

      Reply
  6. Japh
    Japh Published |

    Hey Justin, I just wanted to say a big thank you! That thread on ThemeForest is a fantastic discussion, and I really appreciate the effort.

    I have a couple of ideas of my own that I think would be complimentary with yours, and would love to work with you to help this experiment succeed! It’s in everyone’s best interests, after all!

    Reply
    1. Will Ellington
      Will Ellington Published |

      Sorry to sound like the in-house sceptic here, but I find your line “It’s in everyone’s best interests, after all!” very dubious indeed.

      The same discourse is being used by governments across EurAmerica to justify stringent spending cuts that hit poor and working people, while the plutocrats continue to reap bonuses etc etc…I’m sure you know the discourse.

      Different field of course, but similar tactic.

      Exactly whose interests are you talking about when you say “everyone”. You make it sound like a level playing field, when clearly Envato is ultimately the one who reap the reward, since I assume (perhaps I’m wrong) that Justin is not being remunerated for his forum contributions.

      In any case, perhaps you might reverse my charge by explaining how you would contribute to this experiment?

      Perhaps you could also explain why it is not part of Envato’s basic theme evaluation criteria to reject submissions that contain poor code bases and dubious WP hacks – plugin code integration etc. etc.? Now wouldn’t that be something in everyone’s best interests? Unless of course the interest you’re talking about is the proverbial bottom line…

      Reply
      1. Japh
        Japh Published |

        Hi Will, it’s fairly clear from your comment here that you haven’t seen much of my participation in the WordPress community. As such, I’ll chose not to take offense, but rather clarify as follows:

        Improvement of the situation at ThemeForest as Justin has explained it above is in everyone’s best interests. As Justin and others point out in the TF forum thread linked above, these issues have much a more far-reaching impact than just TF users.

        As an example, Carl Hancock spends a great deal of time supporting users of Gravity Forms who have issues due to conflicts with poor TF themes. I imagine it’s in the best interests of Carl and his staff for this situation to be resolved.

        ThemeForest and CodeCanyon authors who do a great deal to ensure they produce quality items, such as Orman Clark, Mike McAlister, Pippin Williamson, and others, are all tarred with the “ThemeForest themes are crappy” brush. I suspect they’d be very happy if this situation was improved so that the wider WP community didn’t make negative assumptions about them due to association.

        Envato wants TF and CC to be places where people can buy quality items that work. At the moment, this isn’t always the case. Obviously this would be a benefit. We also want to educate people on how to produce quality WordPress themes and plugins.

        And of course, we all need to eat, and marketplaces like TF and CC don’t run themselves, and themes don’t code themselves. Envato and marketplace authors (including Justin) want to make an honest living.

        You can read into my words what you like, but I assure you, I’m an open book. I contribute code to WordPress core, I do my best to ensure quality content is published on Wptuts+, and I champion the WordPress community within Envato. If Justin and other known names within the WordPress community are willing to help fix this situation through education and tools, I’m here to help. The more hands the better, as some of these things need to be driven from within the community.

    2. Will Ellington
      Will Ellington Published |

      Japh, thanks for taking time out to respond and glad you didn’t take my remarks as a personal affront. Sorry for the delayed response – radically different time zone here.

      As far as

      (a) making conscious efforts to improve the WP code base, be it the WP core or its peripheral properties such as themes and plugins,

      and

      (b) raising awareness within the WP community to the importance of coding standards and respect for the liberties that WP’s GPL license affords,

      I wholeheartedly agree that that is in everyone’s interest. Which is why I say Amen to Justin’s project on both a semantic and cultural level.

      I also agree with your point that we all need to eat and have the opportunity to make an “honest living”. Or to put it another way, I’m not simply a cheap anti-capitalist.

      I think one of the big issues with regard to Envato – which let’s not forget is widely recognized for running the largest premium theme and plugin marketplace on the Web – concerns the distribution of revenue, or wealth differential, across the marketplace as a whole.

      More specifically, what is the proportion of profit minus time generated by the sales of themes and plugins that the top tier of Envato management and stakeholders receives versus the sum total of profit minus time that each individual developer devotes to the production of his/her digital goods?

      Access to that sort of data might reveal a good deal about just how equitable the entire operation is. I think for a lot of people (myself included), it’s quite hard to see Envato as anything more than a landlord raising rent on other people’s intellectual property; cornering the market as they say; and as a result forcing more and more independent developers to either join or perish. It doesn’t produce goods, it

      Now of course that’s an entirely legal operation and one that’s replicated the world over across myriad marketplaces, but there comes a point when the operation grows so large, so all pervasive, that it begins to undermine the core values of the very platform it derives its profit from. I think it’s only right that we ask ourselves, as WordPress users, developers, designers, educators and so on, whether this is really the sort of WordPress we want. More than that, I propose a critical debate that brings the key people from all areas of WP together to assess the situation, including the top tier of Envato management.

      What about products and standards. Well, Envato’s model relies on product volume, and without a large increase in the provision of staff to properly vet each theme for poor code, hacks and other dubious practices, those sorts of sub-standard will remain an integral part of the system. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into trying to make a difference, if it is not addressed at a systemic level, this degradation will continue to perpetuate and increase as the scale of the marketplace increases.

      Now, let me end with some thoughts on what Envato does well:

      Yes, ThemeForest and CodeCanyon provide a framework that a small group of power sellers benefit handsomely from (you mentioned Orman Clark for example) and that a rather large group of average to low sellers try hard to benefit from.

      Yes, it provides users across the world with a wide selection of themes and plugins at competitive rates.

      Yes, in some cases competition within the marketplace drives developers to innovate.

      Yes, it provides spaces for people like yourself to raise WP standards and kudos to your for doing that.

      And yes,, I’m sure that Envato HQ would happily reel off a long list of philanthropic projects that it’s involved in and that open source is part of its core ethos etc. etc.

      That’s all brilliant.

      But when all said and done, does the capital it generates, the rent it receives, not far outweigh the contributions it makes to the WP platform and community as a whole?

      So my question finally repeats itself. What sort of “honesty” are we talking about? And exactly whose “interests” does Envato have at heart?

      Reply
      1. Japh
        Japh Published |

        Hi Will, I’ve read over your comment and blog post, and I felt it would be good to get Collis’ thoughts on this. So he’s writing a post now, and we’ll be publishing it soon.

      2. Japh
        Japh Published |

        Following up on this, Collis’ post has now been published on WPCandy. It’s titled The State of WordPress Themes and ThemeForest.

  7. Will Ellington
    Will Ellington Published |

    What a fantastic idea. Bravo for the positive action. Themeforest is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that it has helped bring the WP platform to a whole new generation of users. A curse in that its get-rich-quick model breeds opportunism and lacklustre standards as you rightly point out. I’ve argued on several occasions that TF does way too little for the WP community and for its own users and focuses instead on “raising rent” on the WP theme and plugin landscape.

    Reply
    1. Japh
      Japh Published |

      Suggestions are always welcome :)

      Reply
      1. Will Ellington
        Will Ellington Published |

        Proaction is also welcome ;)

      2. Japh
        Japh Published |

        Already on that, we do more and more for the WP community every day. I meant if you have specific things you’d like to see happen, let me know!

      3. Pippin
        Pippin Published |

        Japh has single handedly turned WP Tuts+ (the WordPress tutorial site Envato runs) around and made it into a phenomenal site, and he’s make huge strides with Theme Forest as well. I have nothing but major props for Japh.

  8. Andrea_R
    Andrea_R Published |

    Kudos for doing something that is actually contributing to a solution. :) I know that we both know how hard it is to be on the opposite side of complainers who just complains with no solutions.

    Reply
  9. tson
    tson Published |

    You know…

    I was this close to calling you butt hurt that these so-called “clowns” in the themeforest circus are laughing all the way to the bank…

    But you have now officially earned the right to moan and complain. Thanks for putting your skills where your mouth is.

    Reply
  10. chrismccoy
    chrismccoy Published |

    ive had nothing but problems from the staff at envato, you would think after spending the amount of money I have they would treat you a little better, I gave up and had to move on.

    No other marketplace has given me the headaches they do.

    Reply
    1. Pippin
      Pippin Published |

      That’s really unfortunately. Support staff mainly?

      I know that I, and a huge number of other authors, owe you a huge amount of thanks for all of the money you have invested in us.

      Reply
      1. chrismccoy
        chrismccoy Published |

        authors have been great, i know i bought most of your plugins, but ya the envato employees, not support.

  11. Filip
    Filip Published |

    Hate to be the one to tell you, but it doesn’t sell that well…

    Reply
  12. Puneet Sahalot
    Puneet Sahalot Published |

    A commendable job!
    I personally do not like using themes from ThemeForest for the way they are coded and the “million” options every theme comes with. It’s just a pain to configure and make it work.
    Above all, most of the themes are not as per WP standards. I look for best themes in WP Repo or StudioPress.
    Will look forward to your “experiment” and “contributions” at ThemeForest. :)

    Reply
  13. Pippin
    Pippin Published |

    I’m thrilled to see you doing this, Justin. Now we just need more developers / designers to get on board.

    Reply
  14. Adam
    Adam Published |

    Unless what’s deemed as “best practice”, becomes “enforced rule” – theme shops, including Theme Forest, will still suffer from the same issues of poorly coded themes.

    It’s unlikely that what’s best, is ever to become rule, because of its far reaching implications that are not yet fully explored which extend beyond the end user and I’m speaking here about the theme shops, their pockets and their profits!

    Justin, you say…

    “Many of us are tired of fixing issues with or coming up with workarounds for ThemeForest themes.”

    Really that shouldn’t be the motivation for this at all. If you (or anyone) is tired of [ it ] – then let someone else who wants the work do it as there’s no shortage of those willing.

    The real motivation should be the end user, the client. Standards and best practices.

    Caring about whether or not they have a theme that is going to be interoperable with other elements of WordPress, including plugins and data preservation when switching themes – is what should matter the most.

    Maybe that’s what you meant, in not so many words :)

    Caring about good developers being tainted with a bad brush, that also matters too and yeah, we should all care about it.

    But seeing as it always appears to be the “purist” developer type who’s always banging on about sh!ty theme developers and making the most noise and the most jokes about certain “theme shops” its become a case of tainting yourself and your own kind.

    Hilarious really.

    It really illustrates that there’s more whining and whinging than proactive measures being taken. Isn’t that always the way though?

    But it’s good to see you making one such effort.

    Unless Japh applies some intervention though, efforts like this will largely fall in deaf ears for those developing for TF/CC who would rather place profits in place of standards.

    I’m not saying its not worth it, because it is, but we need high level co-operation and better still some way to unify the development community with best practice standards so that they begin to become the norm.

    Good luck mate, will be interested to see your results.

    Reply
    1. Japh
      Japh Published |

      Unless Japh applies some intervention though, efforts like this will largely fall in deaf ears for those developing for TF/CC who would rather place profits in place of standards.

      I’m ready and willing for us to get on top of this. If people such as Justin are wanting to get involved, I’m here to help them do so in an effective way.

      Reply
  15. Edward Caissie
    Edward Caissie Published |

    Good for you!

    I have been mulling over the idea of releasing my next theme on Theme Forest as well … for much the same reasons you are doing it. I’ll definitely be watching and reading how this “experiment” turns out.

    Reply
  16. Lisa
    Lisa Published |

    Good to see, Justin – it needs to start somewhere and hopefully more devs will follow your lead. Good luck with the Unique theme sales – looks like a very nice theme.

    Reply
    1. shubham
      shubham Published |

      Will be eagerly waiting for your new theme. Best of luck.

      Reply
  17. Filip Stefansson
    Filip Stefansson Published |

    This is great. I love the idea.

    However, it looks like you have created some buzz around this. That kinda ruins the experiment since it would probably make people buy your theme even if it were crappy.

    But if the buzz were you intentions in the first place(and not sales), then congrats!

    Reply
  18. Ellis Benus
    Ellis Benus Published |

    There is little better than a person who stops complaining and starts trying to fix something.

    Absolutely awesome.

    I’ll be looking forward to implementing Unique on a new client website as soon as possible!

    Reply
  19. Jeff
    Jeff Published |

    I think that this is an excellent, something definitely needs to be done. I was going to take the adventure, but don’t have the time to do it on my own. So if there is anything I can do to help push TF themes to something better than it is now, I’m in….

    With that said, I had a TF account, and was going to sell, but it seems there standard is ( Unique, sellable, and as many options as you can fit).

    I’m about performance, and not killing the clients site!
    I recently told a client to save money buying a TF theme instead of me designing and building custom. MISTAKE, it ended up costing me a boat load in money with the amount of time I spent stripping garble – plugin code, tons of js scripts, css files to no end, out of the theme. 90 – 120 http requests on a default install is ridiculous and most TF themes that I see are just that out of the box.
    Then you still have to put into account all of the extra memory and DB queries that gets added with (the devs special code) that it seems the devs all share.

    In my opinion TF themes have no standard, and 90% of the clients that end up with the theme couldn’t run it on their $10 a month hosting. Heck, I don’t think I would want to pay for the bandwidth for one of these themes…

    Something definitely needs to change, TF is a big chunk of the market and it should be focusing on the best solution for the themes/products end user (not the seller / the buyer).
    I realise the sellers need to make money on sales, but these themes need to have a standard that includes coding, benchmarks and performance.
    I think if this type of thing is addressed it would only make TF stronger and especially make the products more reliable.

    I would love to see this change and would help where I can.

    Reply
  20. Bartosz
    Bartosz Published |

    The idea is fantastic.

    I think many people who share your thoughts on themes developement will be watching carefully. I’m really curious what will happen in both – discussion and sale.

    My first thought on the Unique theme – many features (like templates, newsletter, slider) but oldschool design. I’m afraid people will focus on that, not on the idea behind. But, we’ll see…

    Reply
  21. Mitch
    Mitch Published |

    This is a great discussion!

    I would love to see some standards on TF as I have purchased some insecure and bloated themes there; only to never use them for those reasons.

    I have purchased some from one developer that seems to care. Not saying his are perfect but they are pretty well coded.

    As a rookie WP user, I’m still wondering what the difference is between bloating the “theme” with code that a plugin can do vs bloating your install with a dozen plugins?

    Especially considering there are so many out-dated and poorly coded plugins in the WP repository. With outdated plugins that lack dev support, the security risk goes up for everyone using them.

    So, isn’t there some aspect of this that speaks to an effort to get WP to empty the crap out of the repository?

    Again, I’m a rookie so I am just curious about all this.

    Sincerely,

    Mitch

    Reply
  22. Silvan Hagen
    Silvan Hagen Published |

    That’s an awesome experiment Justin, I had to fix a couple of ThemeForest themes in the past as well. Going so far that I submitted patches to in the forums of the authors. Some thanked me, some even gave me a theme for free (which I never used) others just took the code and deleted the thread on their support forum.

    Looking forward to the results of your little experiment!

    Reply
  23. DJ
    DJ Published |

    Justin… Here’s a thought. In my town we have had a long time TV “talking head” who is a consumer ombudsmen that does video segments of how he solved people’s complaints/frustrations with businesses they have dealt with. By now he’s solved a LOT of problems and is a household term. Everyone knows what “get Gephardt” means. This year he has “branched out” into “seals of approval” that companies can use in their ads. [Ignoring, for now, remuneration issues] We have no clue what he uses as review criterion; but, for us is pretty much doesn’t matter because we (at least think) we know him.

    It seems to me that the same thing can be said of you. We know what you espouse as your development standards and a “JT approved” or rating would be extremely meaningful to the web development community. It seems as though you have done a lot of “homework” reviewing the themes on “the forest” – frankly, it seems a tremendous waste not to at least make a record somewhere of your assessments. That, I know, would have saved me countless hours (literally) in a fruitless search through their cumbersome UI.

    If you should entertain such an endeavor, the only request I might make is to NOT call a “960 down the middle” web site responsive just because they have a media query which entertains a mobile device. “Responsive” to me includes a design for a desktop which doesn’t have 40% wasted “white space.”

    Reply
  24. In response to Justin Tadlocks's project - "ThemeForest: An Experiment" - Wpliving
  25. Sue Surdam
    Sue Surdam Published |

    I just ran over the TF and took a look at the theme and I love it. I also say three cheers to adding the options to WP options page. I find themes with what I call “mega options” pages a pain to navigate through and set up.

    Envato TF and CC have many far from perfect practices going on. Hopefully your experiment will inspire others. Of course instant feedback should come to those who don’t follow best practices in the result of loss of sales – it is always important to rank and comment on a product. In an ideal world positive and negative rankings/comments should be a true indicator for the potential buyer to make an informed decision.

    Thanks for creating such a great theme.

    Reply
  26. Iva
    Iva Published |

    I was waiting for this to happen at some point. Not to mention that it can serve as an example of good practices to us who have been reluctant about trying ThemeForest for all these years. :)

    Reply
    1. Iva
      Iva Published |

      By the way, this previous button is in a somewhat weird place, I expected Post Comment to be there and I screwed up my own comment; so I thought I’d let you know. For some reason, I believe many people would expect that button to be on the left.

      Reply
  27. Jason McVearry
    Jason McVearry Published |

    Fantastic post and interesting initiative Justin… Not knocking TF at all, but any efficiencies inserted into the WP community/platform etc is always a positive thing.

    JM

    Reply
  28. converse
    converse Published |

    I look forward to see your new themes

    Reply
  29. Brian
    Brian Published |

    I am glad that you are getting into this. My opinion in themeforest is good. It’s more of an experimental playground I reckon. Good and bad design meet, people try to slam as much features inside it to do it all but create havoc when used from newbies. (which brought me some good work also ;) I will buy you theme in support of good standards, support for all the help I’ve found on your site and to make you closer from a “top-seller” on theme forest. Keep it up! Cheers.

    Reply
  30. Seth Shoultes
    Seth Shoultes Published |

    Nice job Justin, this looks great man! I am going to buy it right now and load Event Espresso onto it.

    Reply
  31. Justin Tadlock hopes to improve ThemeForest from within | WPCandy
  32. Mario Peshev (@no_fear_inc)
    Mario Peshev (@no_fear_inc) Published |

    Just got a copy of the theme just for the sake of the proper code popularization and I’d be pretty curious to see how it goes. As an author selling on ThemeForest for a while I’m still incredibly curious on triggers that pull all clients to the ‘buy’ button. So far my experience hasn’t proven anything particular, more of a combination of: light but powerful theme, useful templates/options, unique and sellable design, great support and a proven author. Unfortunately the code quality doesn’t seem to be very meaningful in TF but that could probably change.

    Also, how long did it take you to push this in? I am smelling some carte blanche for someone who is a top notch author in the overall WP community.

    Reply
  33. E Okul
    E Okul Published |

    Hi Justin. I just wanted to thank you for your Get The Image plugin. I am trying to configure how to use it for my website and hopefully will use it for a better look and visitor satisfaction. Thanks again.

    Reply
  34. Michael Bastos
    Michael Bastos Published |

    I think what it really comes down to is uniqueness, you can have a standard theme all you want, if your theme looks like every other theme on the site than people aren’t going to pay attention to standards, they are going to pay attention to how customized it looks, or how unwordpress it appears. If you can do both then you’re golden but no disrespect, the look and feel of a theme says it all.

    Reply
  35. Kreativ Theme
    Kreativ Theme Published |

    I think it looks great … and I’m amased that ThemeForest accepted without any custom options panel … That make me push my Oceania back to heavy development and send post it to ThemeForest see how it works out!

    Congrats btw!

    Reply
  36. Thord Daniel Hedengren
    Thord Daniel Hedengren Published |

    Awesome idea Justin, will follow this closely!

    Reply
  37. hedron
    hedron Published |

    No offence to ThemeForest reviewers, but Justin’s “Unique” theme would have never gotten approved if it were submitted under a lol-unknown-guy alias. A better experiment would be (for someone out there) – post such theme on “Item Feedback” section on the forum and also submit to the reviewer. You’ll be surprised by the kind of comments you get.

    It almost seems not just the authors but the TM buyers and staff themselves want the thousand-options-layout-builders-shortcodes-widdgets-kungfu-nuclear-weapon in the themes.

    Reply
  38. Miriam Schwab
    Miriam Schwab Published |

    What a great initiative! We’ve been using more and more themes for clients as a basis for their websites, but every time we download a ThemeForest theme (and themes from some other providers), we know we’re going to encounter issues. If it’s not straight out bugs, it’s the crazy layers upon layers of “helpful” options that make modifying a theme a nightmare for a developer.

    I’ve been thinking for a while that ThemeForest should have themes that target developers – they’d use WP best practices and UI, wouldn’t have option panels since we can add whatever we want ourselves, and are coded properly. So this is a great start! I hope you make many sales :)

    Reply
  39. Susan Silver
    Susan Silver Published |

    I think the main reason things do not change is that people do not know. It sounds like a silly statement, but ignorance is probably the greatest enemy we have. It causes a lot of damage.

    If you do become active in the forums, especially in responding to questions, you are going to gain clients,friends, and people to mentor. It will be very exciting.

    Reply
  40. Marcus Sykes
    Marcus Sykes Published |

    Good approach Justin, looking forward to less TF conflicts with my plugins in the future :)

    To be fair to them, they are making a much bigger effort these days to fix this issue of poorly written themes. I can say that as Japh was very keen on getting my personal insight as a plugin developer regarding broken themes I know of on their marketplace.

    The above can only help the community as a whole so I applaud these efforts! Another upside is hopefully all that extra money NOT spent on fixing bugs in the future will be spent on making WP better in some way or another…

    Whilst I didn’t name them directly they were a major inspiration for this post, hopefully this’ll help anyone debugging themes with JavaScript clashes – http://msyk.es/blog/prevent-jquery-wordpress-theme/

    Reply
  41. Neil Davidson
    Neil Davidson Published |

    As usual, Justin, I poke my head in from time to time simply because we have similar code philosophies. That and sometimes you bring something up to the public that I can see ways of improving on, if only to challenge myself – hence a couple of my tutorials.

    That said, I have had an interesting time with Envato TF. I once attempted to add 3 themes, all cleanly coded, W3C and Wordpress standards, all, and optimized. All were denied. Not because of design, or lack of proper coding, but because the themes didn’t have enough options.

    Yep. The themes didn’t have enough options. This was about a year ago and, byt the success of your submission, I can see Envato is starting to improve their criteria. Far from where we would like to see it, but there is improvement.

    Now, to add to that – I even wrote to the editors of Envato and offered my services to help review themes for FREE to make sure they kept good standards. No bites there either.

    In the end I cam to the conclusion that the individuals that review the entries, well, don’t. Like any cheap factory one or two good ones make it through, but most are crap because the standards and review process is simply not up to par.

    Reply
  42. This Week In WordPress: Sep 24, 2012 - Max Foundry
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  44. David Hancock
    David Hancock Published |

    Very interesting post and one that shares my sentiments.

    I too have had to fix so many bugs and vulnerabilities in poorly coded ThemeForest themes. Granted they all looked amazing but damn the code was awful resulting in many hours sat in frustration trying to ponder what the theme author was thinking!

    I decided to give ThemeForest a shot and uploaded a couple of themes to them last year. I considered the design of both to be professional and unique. The code adhered to best practices/standards and the themes were not littered with 1001 shortcodes to do all but comb your hair for you.

    A few days later the dreaded rejection email came with the generic response stating that my theme did not provide enough options to the end user. Disappointed in their decision, I gave up. I wasn’t going to fill my themes with pointless options that a handful of buyers might use and compromise the simplicity of the themes.

    I am glad to see your theme made it in and hopefully this signals a change in their theme review process to score a theme based on its overall design AND code rather than just bad code with a pretty design slapped on.

    Only time will tell.

    Reply
  45. jane
    jane Published |

    Justin,

    I’m a designer, not a programmer – but I’ve done my fair share of hair-pulling when a client wants customizations made to a theme forest or elegant themes layout. And the custom shortcodes leave behind quite a mess when the client switches to a different theme that doesn’t support them.

    I’d like to learn how to build WP themes from the ground up, and build them right without all the seemingly problematic ‘extras’ the themes I’ve had to fight with have. Where would you recommend I start? The functions file befuddles me but I can build the rest of the .php files without too much issue. I’d like to know how to learn with standards in mind.

    Reply
  46. Joe
    Joe Published |

    @Justin. Please allow my last comment yesterday, so I can also get some support. I am still on the learning phase on this, esp. its for themeforest too..

    Reply
  47. Joe
    Joe Published |

    ok. this is weird, I commented yesterday and it didn’t get through(can you pls delete my post above me,it looks silly lol), but anywho, I’m new to wordpress myself but as an old school web designer(CSS/XHTML) and still on the learning curve, striving to achieve my goal = to become Themeforest Author. And of course, be able to sell my theme. But, still there are some areas that I really need to get help with, like creating theme options. I know shortcodes,custom sidebars. But not theme option and Slider.

    Questions:
    1. can we sell our theme at TF with no theme options?
    2. What slider that is in GPL that we can incorporate to our theme, and would this method be accepted over TF? I mean having a slider not created by me. If yes, can you pls suggest a good Slider?
    3. I’m using naked theme starker in my quickseorankings website(which btw, my first running wordpress created from scratch- PSD to html – Html to WP.), or is there any good wp theme framework that we can use with GPL, and be able to use it for our theme. Would be good if there’s theme option..

    your reply is greatly appreciated for I’ve been asking everywhere in TF forum and non of theme answered me straight. Just give me hints.. I would not blame them if they go selfish on me. But I’m in dire need of help here. Anyone care to mentor?

    Reply
  48. دردشة صوتية
    دردشة صوتية Published |

    Thank you dear Justin

    Reply
  49. Justin Tadlock hopes to improve ThemeForest from within - WebsiteDesainer.com
  50. Phil
    Phil Published |

    Hi Justin its been a while since you started your experiment with themeforest, i would be intersred to see how you are getting on with it so maybe an update would be a great idea for a post

    Reply
  51. epidotisimag
    epidotisimag Published |

    I have only basic programming knowledge but I love web development and Wordpress. So my point of view is that of a Themeforest theme buyer, although I think I understand the developer point of view. Justin, your theme hasn’t been very popular on TF so far. I can’t get it, why would someone try to test his ideals, professional views, best practices etc. on an established market such as TF. Why even run such a test to begin with? I believe that you can keep coding standards and best practices, but also provide what the clients need. It is sth like a novel writer. If you write a novel that you are excited with and believe it to be the best piece of work or even the best part of yourself ever, but then you sell zero, is it worth the mental effort and your time? Does it make you any income? Every freelancer has to be extrovert, see market trends and go along. If I believe I’m the best, it’s good. If my clients believe it as well and by my product/service, it’s great! I repeat: Quality of work, uniqueness and best practices ar always appreciated, but you need to find the balance if you want to sell.

    Reply
  52. Kim
    Kim Published |

    Justin, is your experiment working out? 1 sale a day essentially.

    Always wondered if Unique should be more marketed as a “magazine theme framework”. Wp-Tuts could then promote it as a standard.

    Reply
  53. TGM Plugin Activation
    TGM Plugin Activation at |
  54. Satılık Daire
    Satılık Daire Published |

    Good theme Justin. When I was developing my website, I got inspiration from your applications.

    Reply
  55. David H
    David H Published |

    Justin, a year ago I bought Professional WordPress Plugin Development and refer to it often, even when I don’t understand it!

    Now I am going to hope that you understand my next question, because I am surprised how many plugin developers and theme developers do NOT!

    I have been dumbfounded for months as I research the apparent insolubility of this issue all over the internet:

    * Well Developed WP standards Plugin Activated
    * Login to Membership setup where each user has their own posts with Author role
    * User Dashboard in Twenty Eleven shows effects of Admin installed Plugins
    * Author logged in has use of Plugin for altering or modifying their individual Post content
    * If plugin author has given individual Post Authors subsets of options they will see these links to open up and save options for their own “version” or instantiation of that plugin
    * If the plugin creates specific Options in the Content Editor toolbox the Author will see them and can use their functionality, say, to generate shortcode from Options

    Fine and Good

    Install Custom Theme — any of them that provide their own Templates for the Member/User to login and generate new posts/listings and modify posts

    * ALL Plugin functionality listed above has disappeared for the Member/User !
    * NOBODY, it seems, in the development community of themes and plugins sees this as an ISSUE!

    NO Theme that I have seen even addresses this issue of Invalidated Plugins for USERS that are not Admins!

    It seems logical that a plugin that adheres to all good practices for WP ought to automatically and by default be recognized by the Theme template that purports to “give the user a cleaner, more attractive interface for Creating Posts and Modifying Posts”.

    Think of all the Plugins that give shortcode generators for embedding various cool things into a Post and give post and author exclusive modifications.

    All Custom Themes I have paid for and used blithely Kill Plugins in the thousands that grant Members/Users new function in the CORE WP.

    Justin, do you have an answer or workaround to give back to Users what Themes so crudely take away?

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
  56. denver chance
    denver chance Published |

    I like this theme. I used this theme on my wordpress website

    Reply
  57. David H
    David H Published |

    Hi Justin, thanks for your reply to my questions even though you didn’t understand me!

    Let me try again.

    There is one problem that happens habitually with Frameworks, pick any of them, install it, and then observe that it is quite commonly accepted that tons of well-made WP plugins, once installed from the Default Admin role, default WP Admin dashboard, only work for the Site Admin.

    If a plugin offers Editing capabilities for individual Members these cease to show up or function in the standard Member templates that so many Frameworks and Themes utilize.

    For instance, consider a Calendar plugin, any of them, that depend on offering the Logged In Member/Author the ability to generate and customize that instantiation of the plugin Calendar.

    In the default WP Member dashboard this plugin produces a sub-set of options. Some plugins will recognize the User permissions, recognize the particular Post and Owner of that Post, and give the Member extra settings or options.

    Some of these plugins will show dropdown choices in the Custom Fields sections. Some will offer the Member options in a Member Menu link in the standard left column.

    Others will offer links in the text menu that will generate shortcode to produce a Calendar with the Member settings and dates displayed in the Post for the End User.

    Plugins are trying different schemes to let the Member have individualized control over each calendar that is called up as part of the Post content.

    However, Frameworks and Templates are based on taking away WP default Member rights that remove the intended Member editing/options/settings for plugins that offer these or their plugins have no use.

    In all my Googling, in my reading of your Wordpress Plugin Development book, in all my searching over the past 2 years I cannot find WHY this is not a more commonly discussed issue.

    Frameworks and Theme Templates don’t seem to have a WP Plugin Extension function or Class that can be accessed by Frameworks builders that RESTORES or Accesses the same MEMBER functionality outside of the WP Default install.

    I installed your User Roles plugin but that does not work to give Members in a Framework any more functionality than before.

    I cannot figure out why experienced Word Press gurus never talk about this or acknowledge that this is weird and wrong.

    Is this not a functionality that ought to be added to the WP core?

    One class, one function, one method that when dropped into any Framework or Theme passes along ALL the Member functions that were programmed into a plugin that means to enhance the powers of a Member in a Membership site to alter or add extra goodies to their post.

    Let me state again, this is a frustration I have with all Frameworks being built these days.

    In Frameworks for Membership based sites it is the USER/MEMBER Add Post, Edit Post Pages that are created by their developers that invalidate such plugins as Member Calendars.

    Is this because WP has not been anticipating the need for such a core functionality?

    Or is there a method that all Frameworks developers should be using to “Open up” Plugin usability that ports across all of the functions of plugins sitting in the default plugins folder?

    I have done my level best to explain this issue!

    Reply
  58. David H
    David H Published |

    Hello Justin, thanks for replying so quickly!

    I have seen so many articles and tutorials about building Custom Templates, Custom User Manage Post pages that specify limiting permissions for that Member once logged in. You say they have “no business” but this is a business that I see written up in quite a few Tutorial places that have high Google rankings.

    Thing is I have three custom “themes” for Real Estate applications from pretty well known developers. But they are obviously not simply child themes. They have custom searches, they install supplementary tables, they redefine Posts to different named types to handle dynamic and expandable categories of listings.

    They all have Custom User Interfaces and they all have obviously messed with things that you say are not messed with in the three frameworks you mention.

    I am going to play with the Carrington core and some plugins. I am hoping in their files that I will find something that I can alter my present Real Estate template files with. The developers of these themes/frameworks do not respond kindly to requests for “core” changes in their suites of Frameworks/themes.

    I thank you for the names of these products. I will see what knowledge I gain from products that you say do not bind the Members from full plugin functionality.

    Reply
  59. Sam
    Sam Published |

    This will be a good Theme, and it’s always nice to make some money along the way. Good luck Justin!

    Reply
  60. Joe
    Joe Published |

    Hi Justin, just a quick question if I may – why did you choose not to make your theme responsive? I know that you code beautifully and was going to purchase this theme if it could work on mobiles nicely and would provide me with a good platform to build my site. Thanks, Joe

    Reply
  61. James Levine
    James Levine Published |

    It’s pretty crazy that the Unique theme has no options page. I was planning on using it for my company until we realized its limitations.

    Reply
  62. aliraza
    aliraza Published |

    i am using this can any 1 tell me how can i change the whole theme colour ?? Please

    Reply
  63. Igor
    Igor Published |

    I could totally relate with this part of the post “I thank them for the work they sent my way. ” :) But it would really be nice to have themes that would enable customers to use plugins without incompatibility problems…

    Reply
  64. David
    David Published |

    Wow!

    Sounds pretty interesting experiment I think we have to wait to see how this goes.

    I really wish you luck, and I’ll be on the lookout for your blog to see how it continues.

    Greetings and a big hug from Mexico! ;)

    Reply
  65. notadev
    notadev Published |

    Comment text removed because this person didn’t follow the commenting rules for this site.

    Reply
  66. John Lewis
    John Lewis Published |

    Justin, Thanx dear !! Pls do get us your next innovation quickly :)
    Thanx

    Reply
  67. John
    John Published |

    I do not like using ThemeForest themes. The best way is always to create your own. Make them simple and efficient :)

    Reply
  68. waynegomez
    waynegomez Published |

    So there it goes, no options or short code gooddies and stuff like that but got accepted and 81 sales at this time.

    Reply
    1. slaFFik
      slaFFik Published |

      Not really a good result…

      Reply
  69. keha76
    keha76 Published |

    I will adopt this way of creating themes.

    Of curiosity, are sales going well?

    Reply
  70. Matt Hill
    Matt Hill Published |

    I’ve been following this since the start and I’m very curious if there is now a conclusion to this ThemeForest experiment?

    Now that you’ve been on the TF site, made a theme and interacted with the customers there, what are your thoughts Justin?

    It would be very interesting to read your experiences with a follow up post.

    Reply
  71. Victor
    Victor Published |

    Wow, it is amazing how many people get offended because you just want to help to improve wp practices..

    Reply
  72. The ThemeForest Experiment: One Year Later
    The ThemeForest Experiment: One Year Later at |
  73. Amber
    Amber Published |

    Theme forest are a bunch of crooks that sell themes that are not working, and they know they are not working fully too. Just look at the Ripoffreport complaints. When a person demos a theme, they are showing features that really don’t exist in the real theme itself. Just read the below linked article on this.

    http://techlivewire.com/2652/themeforest-sells-fake-demos-that-dont-work.html

    Reply
  74. This ain't a theme, it's a goddamn arms race | Barn2 Media

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