1. “What I Saw And What I Have Are Different” is especially true and hugely confusing for newbies too.

    I’ve talked to too many people who bought a theme and have trouble understanding they need to visits the theme’s options page and set things up. Or even do things like put an image in their post so an image will show up with a post thumbnail. :D

  2. @Andrea_R – Yeah, been down that road plenty of times. I’ve gotten so frustrated with finding out that in order to achieve the same look, I have to do custom field this and custom field that, install this plugin, etc. It’s like WOW! didn’t know it was going to be that tough or else I would have kept my money!

  3. Yeah, I’ve come across a couple of paid themes where I thought to myself, if I knew I had to set up this many option, and this much content beforehand, I would have picked a different theme.

    (I have one specifically in mind. Not gonna call it premium. :D The coding was terrible.)

  4. Nice post.

    Really good documentation is high on my list. While time consuming to create, in the long run its beneficial for the theme developer as they will have to answer fewer support questions.

    I would like to see more themes come with a XML file for import containing the same content as their demo. That’s pretty common in the Joomla world. In fact some of the Joomla theme clubs have installers that install the latest Joomla software, the theme package and the demo content in one easy install. This would partially address “What I Saw And What I Have Are Different”

  5. I like being able to see the installation documentation also. That way I will know what plugins and various other steps I will need to do to get the site up and running. I hate not be able to see the theme documentation until after purchasing the theme.

    For example. I was using a certain templates from one theme author and a plugin was used to create thumbnails on the homepage (auto generated). The new theme just bought from another theme maker used custom fields for homepage images. I did not know custom fields for the thumb process was needed because all the documentation was hidden away until after buying the actual theme. In the long run the theme has now been collecting dust because I could not be bothered editing 500 posts to add a custom field.

    I also like to know if a theme will be updated for future versions of WordPress.

  6. Given configuration hell perhaps theme designers should include screenshot of the configuration panel also?

  7. @Brad Potter – Yeah, I didn’t even mention documentation on the list. As for your suggestion of dummy content, pretty sure we had this discussion at some point in time. I think it’s a good idea. Doesn’t Brian Gardner do this with his themes?

    @Martin – Ughh, custom fields. Thank goodness for Just Tadlocks Get The Image script!

    @Andreas Nurbo – The more screenshots of the theme, the better. It wouldn’t hurt.

  8. The beauty is that you develop your very own wp template. It`s not that hard, and with a few coding skills you can manage everything. :)

  9. @Jeffro – Yes BG does it with his StudioPress themes. He provides a xml file with the demo posts, etc. Not sure if any other theme devs do the same. It’s a nice touch.

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