Beware of WordPress Theme Authors Who Abandon Their WorkJanuary 16th, 2019

Blog - Abandoned ThemesOne of my pet peeves is a theme author who abandons their work. A couple years ago I built an e-commerce site for a client and emailed the theme vendor a couple questions about one of their themes. The author told me that that theme was going to be discontinued and we should use their newest theme that they promised to support.

Fast forward a couple years and I went to upgrade my server to PHP 7.2. I did this first in my staging environment and the website broke. The theme could not handle the new version of PHP, which is much faster and more secure.

I went to the Themeforest website and told the author that the theme breaks with PHP 7.2. I didn’t hear back and a few days later noticed they took the theme down. I emailed them and they said it was too expensive to keep the theme up.

So I am writing this post to warn you to be careful of theme authors that don’t support their theme and abandon projects.

Here are some of the warning signs:

  • Theme hasn’t been updated for several months, even years. When looking at a theme make sure that it has been updated recently. If not, go elsewhere. Good theme authors keep themes up to date with each new version of WordPress, WooCommerce, etc.
  • Bad Reviews: Check out reviews of the company creating your theme, as all theme authors are NOT equal.
  • Theme doesn’t work with latest version of WordPress, PHP and if it’s a shopping cart, WooCommerce or whichever cart you use. ALWAYS Check that the theme works with latest versions.

Sometimes in an effort to be original, we try new themes. The problem is unless it’s a good company; the theme may come and go very quickly. So I tend to like themes that are popular, but have tons of configuration settings. Most of the new page builders allow you a lot of latitude in what you want to do, so there’s no reason your site has to look like a duplicate of someone else’s using the same theme.

Suggestion for Theme Sellers: Minimum standards are needed. When a theme author takes down a theme they should be required to announce a theme is being discontinued and they should have to support the theme for a minimum amount of time. I would say 3-6 months.

Bottom Line: Do your research; check out the theme you will use carefully as well as the theme author. A few minutes of research up front will save you agony down the road when a theme is abandoned.

Is your website the unkempt neighbor?July 15th, 2015

Is your house that one on the block that the grass is never cut? Is yours the house that is unkempt, in need of a paint job and in all around disrepair? There is one of these in almost any neighborhood. There is one of these eyesores around the corner from me. I don’t think they’ve cut their grass this year, nor have they picked up the leaves from the year before. Last winter we had a historic snowfall in my area and almost everyone has damages. This particular house I’m talking about lost part of their gutters. Well they just let them fall to the ground and left it there in the deep grass. So, they are a disgrace, and the neighbors talk about them until they’re blue in the face.

So what does this have to do with my website you ask?

Consider your competition, how is their website compared to yours? Is yours the same one you built 10 years ago by friend of yours? Perhaps someone’s kid you know built it? Does it looked terrible on mobile or not display at all? Is the content still the exact same as you had when you built the site?

Well I hate to tell you this but you’re the unkempt neighbor.

But, unlike a messy house, an unkempt website costs you business. We know that 90 something percent of the people who find us, do so via the web. Well if they happen upon your site and it’s a mess, they are going somewhere else. Make no mistake, a bad website costs you money.

The worst part of all this? It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to have a respectable, professional website. If money is the issue, there are ways to still have a wonderful website. And that website can be responsively designed so you look great on every device. And, if you are in a rush (as you should be with a horrible website), you can actually have a brand new site up and running within a couple of weeks. No, it won’t be 200 page website, but it will be a great start and one which will allow you to grow. And as we like to say stale equals fail. We will provide you with the maintenance plan to keep your website up-to-date 24/7/365.

So the question remains, can you really afford to have the “sloppy house on the block”?