What’s Your Perception Of ThemeForest?

Philip Arthur Moore has published a great post that I think strikes a nerve for many. Although the entire article is blockquote worthy, I think the most important point he made is that WordPress developers need to step up their game and stop contributing to the perception that WordPress sucks.

Whether you’re a theme or plugin developer, turning on WP_DEBUG only helps you. It’s a simple step and helps catch general coding errors before shipping products. Later in the article, Moore requested that ThemeForest sellers turn on WP_DEBUG before selling a theme.

All ThemeForest authors need to turn on WP_DEBUG. I don’t care about your GPL choices or your mega-menus or your features arms race towards taking a 70% cut on $40 USD for an unsustainable lifetime of support and free updates. All I care about is that you turn on WP_DEBUG. Your buggy products are hurting WordPress and making everyone in the WordPress community miserable, from support people to developers to consumers. You’re ruining trust in WordPress and you’re making the platform seem amateurish and childish.

theme forest logoThemeForest is a huge presence in the community.  It’s the go to marketplace for commercial WordPress themes for several users, so it’s really important that the marketplace does everything it can to encourage best practices. In fact, their theme submission guidelines specifically state that, “Themes must not have any PHP notices, warnings, or errors – please develop with errors enabled, and WP_DEBUG set to true.” There’s no excuse for ThemeForest themes to generate errors.

That brings me to my poll question.

What Is Your Perception Of ThemeForest?

  • A marketplace with good looking themes but are poorly coded (50%, 266 Votes)
  • A great place to find a variety of good looking themes (28%, 148 Votes)
  • Stay as far away as possible (22%, 117 Votes)

Total Voters: 531

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Based on everything I’ve read and the commercial plugin developers I’ve talked to, the perception of ThemeForest is that it’s a place to buy good-looking, poorly coded themes. I’ve never purchased a theme from them myself, but have interviewed theme sellers such as Jonathan Atkinson doing their part to try to change this mind-set.

Ironically, the comments on Moore’s post have been disabled which is terrible considering he raised a number of great discussion points. What do you think of his article and the general idea that every developer is responsible for the perception of WordPress?

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