Problems with themes on ThemeForest, are problems with themes
This morning I got up at 5:30am to attend the WordPress Dev Chat, as I do every Thursday. I had a bunch of notifications from Twitter, which usually means people are excited about something. Here’s the tweet from @carlhancock that got the discussion started:
Fucking ThemeForest.QUIT GLOBALLY REPLACING CONTENT OUTPUT AND BREAKING OTHER PEOPLES CODE YOU ASSHOLES. !@$@#%
— Carl Hancock (@carlhancock) September 5, 2012
It went on from there, mainly with Carl, @pippinsplugins, and @michael_silva talking about ThemeForest themes including bad code that breaks plugins (Pippin specifically trying to make it clear that not all ThemeForest developers write bad code).
The problem is essentially WordPress theme developers include code that removes or overrides core WordPress functionality that WordPress plugins may rely on.
Specifically, things like removing
wptexturize with a shortcode, which is a strange thing for a theme to be doing in the first place. It seems to have been promoted in Step 3 of a tutorial on adding a column layout with shortcodes.
Because quite a number of ThemeForest authors are including this code in their WordPress themes, it’s causing big problems for plugin developers like Carl (founder at Gravity Forms). Having this code in a theme breaks plugins.
So what can we do about it? If this is a problem with themes on ThemeForest, then really that means it’s a problem for themes anywhere. There is already a great plugin called Theme-Check that theme developers can use to check their themes for issues or bad practices, so I’m hoping we can create a ruleset for Theme-Check to stop these issues in any theme, including on ThemeForest.
I spoke on Skype briefly with @iandstewart, who seems to think it’s a good plan, and will be getting some discussion happening on the Theme Review mailing list to make sure it’s a good idea and to get help making it happen.
So that’s been my eventful morning, and it’s only just hit 9:00am!
This post is mainly to get my thoughts out, but if you have any thoughts of your own t contribute, please feel free to leave a comment.
[Update:] To clarify, as my wording above is a little ambiguous, the ThemeForest review team do currently use the Theme-Check plugin. However, it doesn’t currently cover the specific issues being discussed.