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  • #979211
    Zava Design
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    Came across this article, which highlights some important issues about so called “good” templates can have. It has a few technical terms in it, but I think overall a non-technical person should understand most of what’s written:

    http://foliovision.com/2011/03/28/paid-wordpress-themes-woo-vs-elegantthemes

    And this article is about two of the “better’ theme stores. Themeforest is a bit more of a jungle when it comes to quality, so I’d hate to think what research there would uncover.

    Aim is to help non-tech folk appreciate the trade off when you choose a pre-built theme to save money.

    Cheers.

    #1112818
    Greg_M
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    Read the article with interest, it highlights how easy it is to write bad code.

    My question would be, how does the average punter know that a particular developer is going to write better code in a custom application than what’s available in an off the shelf template?

    Possibly look at how extensive their portfolio is and how popular?

    You can do this on theme sites, possibly even read the comments of people who’ve used them and issues encountered, something most developers don’t offer.

    Mr and Mrs average are primarily only looking at visual presentation, a real trap but it get’s them in every time.

    Having used both free and paid themes in WordPress. I certainly think you still need someone who knows what they’re doing (really knows, not your mates, cousin that has a couple of sites) to implement anything more than the generic themes available in the admin backend even if you can’t afford to go down the custom built path.

    In my case, was the cost tradeoff using paid themes worth it?

    No.

    It got a few sites up and running cheaply and quickly but the maintenance was more trouble than it was worth.

    #1112819
    Zava Design
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    estim8, post: 125791 wrote:
    My question would be, how does the average punter know that a particular developer is going to write better code in a custom application than what’s available in an off the shelf template?
    Portfolio and client references. I offer my previous clients as contacts for any potential client, as do many others I’m sure. I think if a developer doesn’t offer that alarm bells should start ringing.

    And you’re 100% right about the setup of the site & site admin being just as important as any visual presentation and code base. Majority of my clients logging into their wordpress website admin wouldn’t recognise it from the default set up, with the implementation of Custom Content Types plus overall admin customisation I make it far simpler and easier to manager their site. Again, I’m not the only one who does this, but it does take someone that knows WordPress at an advanced level to do so.

    #1112820
    MatthewKeath
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    Zava Design, post: 125787 wrote:
    Aim is to help non-tech folk appreciate the trade off when you choose a pre-built theme to save money.Not sure any non tech people would even begin to understand this article…

    Of course there are trade offs between a 5000 site and a $500.

    Why not show some positivity? You can nit pick anything if it doesn’t fit your narrative.

    #1112821
    Zava Design
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    Sorry?

    estim8 is a builder, not a techie, yet he seemed to understand the article. Give people some credit.

    I use templates occasionally for some clients. But even with templates all aren’t created equal, hence the validity of this article. And I’m a big believer that information = power to the client.

    There’s plenty of posts on here about themes and pre-built services, have you criticised those similarly as well?

    And who mentioned $5000??

    #1112822
    MatthewKeath
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    I’m going to sit this one out : )

    Enjoy!

    #1112823
    JohnTranter
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    estim8, post: 125791 wrote:
    My question would be, how does the average punter know that a particular developer is going to write better code in a custom application than what’s available in an off the shelf template?

    The short answer is that you don’t know really; Same as you can’t be sure that your plumber is following best practices.

    You can judge a coder on their prompt delivery, support and how the website runs through testimonials, as Zava Designs suggests.

    #1112824
    Zava Design
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    Ooh yeah, a plumbers a good analogy! I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to find a reliable, trustworthy one.

    #1112825
    Greg_M
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    Zava Design, post: 125816 wrote:
    Ooh yeah, a plumbers a good analogy! I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to find a reliable, trustworthy one.

    If it’s any consolation, after many years in construction neither do I.

    Just a little clarification on my earlier post, I’m not a pro techie but I’m useful in a couple of server side languages mainly Ruby with a dash of Java, plus I’m regularly working with HTML and CSS, until recently I also managed my own Linode VPS, I didn’t think about it at the time but Matthew has a point about the article you referenced, PHP is not my thing but I can follow the code, so what was said made sense to me.

    That said, it’s still a good idea to proceed with caution using elaborate paid templates for WordPress or I guess any CMS system, I nearly went nut’s trying to keep spammers out of the one I was using … so if you want to go down the paid template track to save money, fine but if you don’t want any grief, get an expert to implement it.

    I was playing the devils advocate a little with my question about knowing how good a developer is but for the average punter coming to grips with web technology is an opaque process at best, possibly even worse than dealing with a plumber.

    To me the Web is a bit like the old Wild West, no regulation, boundless opportunity, with a few bandits and chancers mixed in, I love the idea that anyone can have a crack if their idea is good enough but if your not a techie, pick your guides carefully or you might get scalped.

    #1112826
    NathanB
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    The problem with WordPress is that it is not Flash.

    #1112827
    Greg_M
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    NathanB, post: 126069 wrote:
    The problem with WordPress is that it is not Flash.

    Is that a technical, or colloquial comment?

    #1112828
    John C.
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    NathanB, post: 126069 wrote:
    The problem with WordPress is that it is not Flash.

    Ummm… what? You have me scratching my head with that comment!

    Cheers,
    John

    #1112829
    MatthewKeath
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    onsiteTECHS, post: 126148 wrote:
    Ummm… what? You have me scratching my head with that comment!

    Cheers,
    JohnNathan B and flash go together like a bowling ball with a liquid centre…

    #1112830
    Zava Design
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    estim8, post: 126068 wrote:
    To me the Web is a bit like the old Wild West, no regulation, boundless opportunity, with a few bandits and chancers mixed in, I love the idea that anyone can have a crack if their idea is good enough but if your not a techie, pick your guides carefully or you might get scalped.
    100% right. I’ve lost count of the number of times either myself, or various other people I know in the industry, have had to “fix” a site for a client that was just a mess from one of these cowboys. Like you I appreciate the low cost of entry point, but it does leave the uninformed open to so much exploitation.

    And Flash? What’s that?? :p

    #1112831
    Divert To Mobile
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    estim8, post: 126068 wrote:
    To me the Web is a bit like the old Wild West, no regulation, boundless opportunity, with a few bandits and chancers mixed in, I love the idea that anyone can have a crack if their idea is good enough but if your not a techie, pick your guides carefully or you might get scalped.

    Well put

    Steve

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