The WordPress Theme Index and the Garbage Invasion
One theme to rule them all, one theme to find them, one theme to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. This is a rather exact description of the current situation in the official WordPress theme index. It seems as if there was only one theme left which is uploaded and presented in new versions all the time. In between, the index is loosened up by themes that are so ugly that they could give you eye cancer.
WordPress Theme Index: One Theme, Many VariationsEvery month, I have to write an article about the ten best WordPress themes of the month. Generally, I love this article, as I enjoy discovering new and exciting things. However, the article is upsetting, since the content that is uploaded and offered is always the same trash, which is very annoying. It seems like every third person feels like founding a premium WordPress theme provider and selling themes. In general, this is not a problem, as competition is good for business. However, the "theme providers" try to make money off of reduced versions in the public theme index. This happens using the basic theme, which is constantly only slightly altered and then reoffered. Sometimes, only the colors are changed, at times other photos are used, or the landing page's structure is changed a little. A close look shows that it is the same theme in different variations.
One Theme Rehashed RepeatedlyOf course, it's a great thing for a business to be able to repeatedly rehash a template. Simply offer these variations as a reduced version in the official theme index, create a homepage that explains the functional differences between the lite and the full version, and make money. The clueless users want more and more features, even when the loading time is beyond good and evil.
One Theme Can't do EverythingMost of the time, a multi-purpose theme's basic layout is a business layout. This is not necessarily bad, as many companies want to create a website using WordPress. However, a financially strong company would not use a free theme for that purpose, but would prefer a custom developed template. In addition to that, the developers of the free themes mostly focus on the landing page, leaving out a lot of important elements, like the blog, causing them to look terrible. The goal is fast and easy money, which is why there's not as much time put into the theme as it would be necessary for a product of quality. A proper multi-purpose theme should cover the following aspects with high quality:
- A special, highly customizable landing page
- An "about us" section
- A portfolio in at least three versions
- A tenderly designed blog
- A perfect contact page including Google Maps
- A perfectly designed shop (based on WooCommerce, for example)
- All settings should be accessible via the WordPress theme customizer