11 Comments

  1. Andre
    · Reply

    I was in that meeting, mostly to observe, but even though I think the theme queue (which is now reaching 4.5 months from submission to going live) is a priority issue, the idea behind the proposed Featured List concept is interesting.

    Abuse and conflicts of interest are going to be a problem to try and avoid from that happening, but can it really be fully avoided? Over the years, there has always been some form of controversy with the whole theme directory and review process.

    As for not having themes listed that have up-sells or some form of commercial aspect integrated into the theme, as Justin mentioned, could limit the pool. The truth is, most theme authors submit themes with the hope of up-sells. Look at what the Zerif Lite brought in; who wouldn’t want to grab even a tiny percentage of that. I know others will say “it’s supposed to be about giving back to the community”. But if that is true, then perhaps “all” themes in the repo should not have any up-sell or commercial elements in themes.

    Anyway, the idea for the new Featured List is interesting, but it needs to be carefully laid out before it gets implemented. Personally, I’ve brought this up many times to only be ignored, but I would love to get rid of that Popular List. Keep the Featured one or the proposed version, and drop the popular list. The unfairness of it means that only the BIG players are monopolizing the list in the higher levels.

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  2. T Piwowar
    · Reply

    Considering we have Customizer, Gutenberg, easy ways to add CSS, and 10,000s of plugins I’m surprised to still be seeing so many templates. I guess old habits die hard. Or is it the desire for instant designs that work right out of the box? Personally, the theme clutter makes it much harder to pick a starting theme. So many themes that are essentially the same.

    I hope Featured Themes provides us with a set of themes that provide a good foundation to build on. Themes that give us a head start on designing a website: good page structure and classes that provide good support for whatever I need to do with CSS.

    But most of all I would like to see more attention to WP core. I should not have to add 50 plugins to get basic webmaster functionality. Lots of little functions that make a big difference in managing a website.

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  3. Bastian
    · Reply

    I just hope this doesn’t end up like the featured tab for plugins, which is useless (Akismet, Jetpack, Gutenberg, etc…)

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  4. Sonal Sinha
    · Reply

    Remove popular, Latest and Featured.

    And keep a simple search just like Google search and let the user decide which theme he/she likes based on their requirements.

    All of this is again giving someone else a priority over others.

    I think it is a bad decision altogether.

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    • Álvaro
      · Reply

      Totally agree with you. Wouldn’t it be more useful to have a real search, with filtering based on updates, ratings, installs, etc.?

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  5. Álvaro
    · Reply

    This discussion about featured themes not including upsells is ironic, not to say hypocritical. For how many years do we have featured plugins that include upsells? Even installed with WordPress itself.

    The “featured” sections need to be handled transparently, based on the merit of the plugin or theme, and completely eliminating conflicts of interest.

    There is no point in featuring +5 year old themes, and having a featured plugin section always with the same plugins, several from the same company, and promoting upsells. There is clearly a conflict of interest in the way these plugins are being featured.

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  6. Ambivalentmaybe
    · Reply

    I tentatively support this idea, but echo the comments of others that more useful search filters would greatly aid the discoverability of themes appropriate for certain projects.

    Perhaps the review team could not just judge themes pass/fail but give marks for code quality, adaptability, and upsell costs. Those could be search facets for people looking for a new theme, in addition to recent updates, ratings, etc., as mentioned by Álvaro above.

    There would not have to be just one curated list, either, because your choice of theme will vary depending on the project. There could be lists of themes chosen by the review team for speed, code quality, adaptability, aesthetics, etc. This might also help add some transparency to the process, so people would know more about who chose the themes on this list and why.

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  7. T Piwowar
    · Reply

    Search filters would be nice, if the tags were not of such poor quality. A few years ago I prepared a table of about 25 themes vs their tags. Admiring my result, it took only moments to notice many existing features were untagged (e.g. a theme with footer widgets but not tagged for that).

    Looking at the current list of filters terms I see the list has been thinned out. I suppose someone hoped this would improve the quality. I don’t think so.

    I think the filter terms do not provide nearly enough detail. Why is there is a tag for “footer widgets” but not for “header widgets”? There are tags for “left/right sidebar,” but what if I need 2 right sidebars, or 3? Some themes do have multiple sidebars, why no tag? Should I care about “custom colors” when I have easy access to CSS?

    The theme previews are useless; mostly showing stuff that is easily changed via Customizer or CSS. Why not provide links to sites using the theme (this could be automated so to require no maintenance) or have the developer provide an example (most already do on their own sites).

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  8. Guido
    · Reply

    I was looking for a theme yesterday, so I scrolled down the popular list and found a suitable theme after a couple of minutes. IMO there should be a popular list because I prefer a theme with at least a couple of thousand active installs and some good reviews (= hopefully properly coded and regularly updated).

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  9. Jim
    · Reply

    I am who many of you are talking about. I started my journey down the rabbit hole earlier this year. No experience at web development. Solid background in tech at lower levels (sys admin/support/training).

    I’m still trying to figure out what makes one theme better than another. Plug-ins I get. Theme’s, not so. I started with WP’s 2019. Tried 3 or 4 others off of the Featured or Popular list. Ended up using an Astra ‘free’ theme. It’s fine for my purposes and has allowed me to get better acquainted with what a theme is. I’m coming to the conclusion that what they offer I can do on my own. It will take effort but I won’t have fluff to deal with. Perhaps after I go through that process I will develop a better appreciation for other peoples themes.

    I absolutely agree with the sentiment being advanced that multiple search and filter capabilities would be far better than the current state. I can only presume that the decision makers have decided that the end user is not smart enough or creative enough to find what they are looking for ‘on their own’. It’s like a take on the 80/20 rule. 20% of end users will never figure out how to find a useful theme so we need to cater to their needs.

    Out for now, thanks for listening.

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