Featured themes section – boring!
I still ask myself, why? Why there are still same featured WordPress themes for the past year or two? Still same boring, not attractive themes, which are up to date. What’s the system for collecting of the featured themes? Transparent? Not at all! I have filled the WP survey which was here a time ago but with no response. Unfortunately, there will be always themes of an individuals who update their themes once per year. Hello WP, wake up! Those themes are already boring!!! Start to promote themes which are really worth it and not those ones (of your company) or some (which really have no reason to be there!). This community is made by people or by a company? Not sure about the answer.
P.S. As a theme designer I don’t care if my themes will be featured or removed. I just had to say what I think about this “system”!!!
I saw your post – I’m wondering about the process, but for a different reason. I’d like to build a system that automatically tests the themes against YSlow or PageSpeed. I found out the hard way that a poorly written theme can take down an entire server.
In my scheme, each theme would be listed with its Page Speed rating, in addition to the star ratings.
They’re not the same. Hatch, for example, is pretty new, as is News and Responsive.
The ‘system’ is a manual curation.
yeah I noticed those new themes. but there are still ones which are there pretty long time and their ‘design’ is pretty out of date – suffusion, toolbox, easel, news etc. what is not fair, that those theme authors don’t need to care about their theme updates as they are still on the top in the list so they get a good download counts while authors who have nice designs and update their themes are not highlighted. there is only one theme which I can say it worth to be in the featured section – delicate.
Tomato, tomato 😉
Not to discount it, but themes are a very personal decision. What you may love, someone else may hate. From what I recall in a beery conversation, the decisions are made by ‘That code is wicked!’ and ‘This theme is popular!’ and ‘Woah! SMEXY!’
(Easel and Suffusion would both be on there for awesome powerful code)
I think word ‘theme’ usually means design. who from the wp users care or understand about coding of those themes..??? anyway, all themes which are in the directory have to fill the basic wp requirements otherwise they wouldn’t be there :/
Suffusion is really a framework, so it’s not really fair to describe it as boring since it is what you make of it. Toolbox, OTOH, is an really excellent foundation for creating custom themes if you don’t want to go down the framework route. Again – it’s not supposed to be used “as is”.
I think word ‘theme’ usually means design. who from the wp users care or understand about coding of those themes
In reality, I think there’s a very large group of developers & designers who are using these themes. And they understand that themes are tools. The Featured Themes section is trying to present a range of themes/tools for all different kinds of “users”.
but it’s really little bit not transparent when there are still the same themes selected by someone. this is community, so I think they should be selected by people, I would welcome more, if the section was built on the featured list on the right sidebar, which is really shown depending on the count of downloads. then even the new themes could have chance to be top for couple of days, weeks and don’t be in a shadow of the ones who manually chose them because he/she likes them.
so I think they should be selected by people,
They are. Just not YOU and ME. 🙂
Full disclosure: I am one of the Theme Review Team admins. We (the admins) are tasked with updating the Featured Themes listing.
To be completely honest: there are no big secrets; it’s just not something that we often put a great deal of thought into. For almost two years, we have been nose-to-the-grindstone, focused on getting the review queue under control. That has consumed so much of our time that we honestly haven’t had the time to spare even to begin to think about how, long-term, the Featured Themes listing should be managed.
If and when we can maintain the review queue under control, we will very likely approach the Theme developer community regarding how the Featured Themes listing should be managed. Until then, it is a far greater benefit to the community for us to keep our focus and efforts on turning around Theme reviews as quickly as possible.
yeah, I noticed the review process is now much faster. big thanks for that.
I still hope there can be something done with the featured section as soon as possible, as it can motivate people to work hard and bring really great designs which are important in the present day…not only coding, ‘poets’ 😉
Unfortunately, there will be always themes of an individuals who update their themes once per year.
suffusion, toolbox, easel, news etc. what is not fair, that those theme authors don’t need to care about their theme updates as they are still on the top in the list so they get a good download counts while authors who have nice designs and update their themes are not highlighted.
As @ipstenu said, liking or not liking a theme is a very personal preference. But that being said, are you suggesting that I wouldn’t be held to scrutiny by users if I stopped updating my theme just because it is featured? I wish you had told me this earlier – it would have saved me a few thousand hours of effort!
To set the record straight, Suffusion has had 30+ updates since it became featured and this is actually slower than the pre-WPTRT days, when theme reviews would take 1 day at the most. Most of these updates are not minor one-liners. Changes have included massive fancy features like mega-menus & custom layouts, compliance with every recommendation the WPTRT puts forth, support for every new feature WP provides, and a bunch of things that are hard to come by in themes that you pay an arm and a leg for. In 2012 itself the theme has had 7 releases, and there is a new big release round the corner. This is way higher than more than 95% of the non-featured themes.
Suffusion is emphatically not a theme of “individuals who update their themes once per year”. And no, there is no up-sell either: there is only one version of the theme which is fully loaded and free and comes with free support. It is built as a “roll your own theme” framework to give good designers a helping hand so that they don’t touch any code, and this is something it does quite well.
You might not like a theme and you might not understand why people like it, but insinuations about a developer’s work ethic are uncalled for.
@sayontan I am saying there should be something done with the featured section, as it’s not fair, transparent, equitable.
The section should show only the themes which are most downloaded, which people like. I think 60 milion people can say more than someone who picked those designs and still keep them. And only if the section is built by real stats, then you (we) will know which designs matters.
Just have a look which designs are on the top in the section and they are not even “featured” (picked) by an admin – delicate, twentyten and twentyeleven are on the first places because of regular Wp updates (of course), silesia, new theme and growing, because has new modern, design. Sorry guys, my personal opinion is (I hope you are not gonna kill me for that, I fight for the others ;), that if some themes which are not featured in the section with screenshots, they wouldn’t have even 100 downloads a day, as their design (in my eyes) is out of date.
I am really sure, there should be something done about that section, as this is kinda demotivating for really good designers. Let’s community to choose the best designs. Yeah, there can be some admin’s picks, but not on the first page ;), it’s too personal then… 😉
The section should show only the themes which are most downloaded
That is what the “Most Popular” section is for. I think you are missing the point of the “Featured Themes” section. It isn’t meant for pretty themes or popular themes. As @ipstenu said, it is to showcase different types of themes:
- Nice designs: there are several of those each time the list is refreshed. Currently you have ButterCream, Hatch, Patchwork, Esquire etc.
- Powerful frameworks and solid code: WP’s default theme will always be here because WP wants people to use clean and well written code.
- Interesting concepts: Around a year back there was a theme called Quality Control, which presented the capability to transform WP as a ticketing system (the developer later pulled his theme). Currently you have Annotum Base, which does pretty unique stuff.
Just have a look which designs are on the top in the section and they are not even “featured” (picked) by an admin – delicate, twentyten and twentyeleven are on the first places because of regular Wp updates (of course)
Oh, you are very very very wrong. TwentyEleven has had only 3 updates in its lifetime and it is currently featured. TwentyTen has had only 4 updates and it was previously featured. Both TwentyTen and TwentyEleven have a high download count primarily because they are a part of every WP installation. Delicate has probably had around 5 approved releases in its lifetime and truth be told its stats look very weird, because there are stretches spanning a few days when it gets 50-100 downloads, then it suddenly shoots up to consistently 1000+ (without any new release). It is almost like people suddenly stop liking the theme and then start liking it again.
that if some themes which are not featured in the section with screenshots, they wouldn’t have even 100 downloads a day, as their design (in my eyes) is out of date.
You are really making things up here. Design is not the be-all end-all of themes. Neither is basic adherence to standards that every repository-hosted theme has to comply with. Some themes are just supremely powerful in what they can do – if you activate Thematic you will see nothing visually striking in what comes out of the box. But Thematic was for a very long time in the top 15 popular themes list (without being featured and without frequent updates), because of just one reason – it is an awesome framework. The News theme is based on the Hybrid Core framework, and again, apart from being one of the nicer looking “magazine” themes, its strength is in its foundations. Toolbox is awesome when you want a starter kit for building an HTML5 theme for yourself.
And only if the section is built by real stats, then you (we) will know which designs matters.
Is the average theme rating a good enough “real stat” to show which design matters? Since you keep talking about popularity, just check out the average ratings of the themes you have a gripe against: Toolbox – 4 stars over 37 ratings, News – 5 stars over 25 ratings, Suffusion – 5 stars over 235 ratings and Easel – 4 stars over 20 ratings. Also check Thematic (4.5 over 147 ratings) and Hybrid (4.5 over 92 ratings) – these weren’t featured, but they are probably the most powerful code frameworks amongst free themes. Users have rated all of them higher than Delicate – 3 stars over 10 ratings. Obviously the so-called boring themes have something that makes them tick: they all do the task they are intended for very well.
Unlike you I am not suggesting themes be made featured based on average rating – you already have a list for that, and the featured list is not a popularity contest. Think of all stats as box-office numbers (popular themes = weekly earnings, lifetime downloads = all-time earnings, average rating = IMDB rating), and think of the featured list as an expert’s picks from various categories. That is the simplest analogy I can think of here. You might not like the expert’s picks, but citing that he should change his picks because of your dislike is amusing.
The point is, if you want pretty themes, there are always places such as ThemeForest. If you want more than just pretty themes, come to wordpress.org, and the featured list will give you a preview of what a theme can do for you.
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