(Locked) Studiopress vs. Themeforest for WP: 3 Questions


#1

Someone recently recommended Studiopress Genesis over anything on Themeforest, and elsewhere, for having the cleanest, fastest code, and for being the best built for SEO.

Does the way code is written made a difference with SEO? Obviously the speed of how something loads is integral to traffic, and a bare bones theme would decrease page load times. But beyond a basic theme (because let’s be honest most Studiopress themes look basic), is there anything else that would make Studiopress Genesis uptake faster with google, compared with WP Themes on Themeforest?

Secondly, Studiopress claims to have an easy to update system whereby if a theme gets updated it doesn’t overwrite previous code (Child themes) however don’t most Themeforest WP themes use Child themes? And maybe I’m just out to lunch, but why haven’t I heard the term Child Themes in a while?

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#2
Chrishobs said

Someone recently recommended Studiopress Genesis over anything on Themeforest, and elsewhere, for it having the cleanest, fastest code, and being the best built structure for SEO.

StudioPress is a theme shop, all of their themes use same frameworks / theme structure.

ThemeForest is a theme marketplace, different authors use different frameworks / theme structure. So, different theme has different style. You need to check every items that you want to buy here. TF is in process to update WP Theme Submission Requirements, please check it here http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/update-wordpress-theme-submission-requirements/103347

Chrishobs said

Does the way code is written made a difference with SEO? Obviously the speed of how something loads is integral to traffic, and a bare bones theme would decrease page load times. But beyond a basic theme (because let’s be honest most Studiopress themes look basic), is there anything else that would make Studiopress Genesis uptake faster with google, compared with WP Themes on Themeforest?

There is On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. WordPress Theme is responsible with On-Page SEO. Check this post for detail explanation. http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/seo-friendly-wp-theme-what-is-it-exactly/64928?page=2#575051

Chrishobs said

Second question, Studiopress claims to have an easy to update system whereby if there is a theme update it doesn’t overwrite previous code. Makes sense however does this completely limit the customization to simply the theme options? And isn’t that what most Themeforest WP themes offer anyway?

Genesis Frameworks from StudioPress has built-in auto updater to update their parent theme. They are highly promote parent theme and child theme concept, so you will never use Genesis parent theme when working with them. You have to work with child themes and they sell Child Themes basically. The theme options is very simple but customizable for developer, not really for newbie.

Again, ThemeForest is multi-author marketplace. If you child theme fans, you have to know that not all of themes here are 100% child theme friendly, you need to check and recheck before buy. ThemeForest themes sell a “complete” theme with advertised features that you can control from theme options.

Chrishobs said

Lastly, I haven’t heard the term Child theme in a while but Studiopress uses it freely, is it an out of date term? Thoughts?

Child theme concept has been introduced on WordPress ecosystem few years ago. You can read the official documentation here, http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes .

" A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify, or add to, the functionality of that parent theme. A child theme is the safest and easiest way to modify an existing theme, whether you want to make a few tiny changes or extensive changes. Instead of modifying the theme files directly, you can create a child theme. A child theme inherits all of the templates and functionality from its parent theme, but allows you to make changes to the parent theme because code in the child theme overwrites code in the parent theme. source: http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes "

Not everyone is familiar with Child Theme concepts, but many ThemeForest authors support child theme on their themes now. This is good.


#3

EDIT: Above says it all better than I could@


#4

Thanks @primathemes and @charlie4282 it’s all starting to make sense. The SP auto update would be nice, still curious whether something can be coded ‘better’ for SEO. Less plugins + less features = faster?

The idea of Child Themes seem to make a lot of sense. I’d like to do more digging about what the ethics of code are in terms of speed and efficiency. The other thing SP has because they are a theme shop are some smart people running it. Not to say they’re aren’t smart people behind TF themes. Anyway, the debate continues.


#5

Do you mean SEO or load speed?

Yes well written and semantic code improves SEO BUT it is a pretty bold claim for anyone to make that their code is any better than anyone else’s when you are talking on the scale of a marketplace like this.

Load speeds yes are better with less plugins, scripts and other stuff going on but even with the most minimal themes or frameworks it also comes down to user input and how they put the theme together etc.

I DEFINITELY would be very cautious about assuming that because they are a theme shop that they are smart people and certainly not any smarter than many TF authors. Again the scale of the marketplace mean there are some better than others but I know a few authors here personally and their intelligence and work is of the highest standard.

You could also argue that by coming here and not running an outfit like StudioPress they make far more income and that in itself is the “smarter” option?! :wink:

Good luck with your decision.


#6
Chrishobs said

Thanks @primathemes and @charlie4282 it’s all starting to make sense. The SP auto update would be nice, still curious whether something can be coded ‘better’ for SEO. Less plugins + less features = faster?

First, you need to make it clear between SEO Friendly and Faster Website Speed. Basically, these terms are different but it has high correlation. In the last Google algorithm, speed is also ONE of factor for your SEO. But it is only ONE factor, please remember that, there are still many others SEO factors that you need to review.

When working on speed, you need to make sure that the php functions are optimized (make it hosting server resource friendly), the HTML code is optimized, the images are optimized, the javascript files are optimized. Everything is optimized. Using many active plugins are still okay as long as you can still optimize the output.

Also, improving your website speed can be done using any compatible cache plugin. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache plugins are the most popular caching plugins and you need to make sure that your theme (and your active plugins) are compatible with these caching plugins.

But don’t forget that hosting can also be one factor for your website speed. :wink:


#7
PrimaThemes said

But don’t forget that hosting can also be one factor for your website speed. :wink:

Completley forgot that one! Sorry!

#8

Great discussion @primathemes and @charlie4282

The person who made the “SP best coded for SEO” comment is actually an SEO guru making huge income from his strategies. Very smart guy. Which is why I found this theme/Genesis structure comment hard to understand. He already optimizes all content, images, uses Total Cache, it was more just a coding and structure comment in the context of the success he’s had using SP. I wanted to really just see how grounded this comment was, but also understand how code can be better optimized for SEO. I also understand how general a claim this might be and how many variables.

Which begs the question, if you have great hosting, use the best plugins for seo optimization and choose a theme, what is considered (today by best code practices) an example of this? maybe a biased opinion on a TF theme that has incredible minds behind it? :wink: I’m sure there are some amazing coders on here that are also SEO experts, I’m really curious


#9

@offshore74,

And, don’t forget, in the past, SP also sell their themes here, but now they removed it… :frowning: When I write this, click also this link http://themeforest.net/search?term=genesis+child+theme to see that there are still two Genesis child themes here.

Not only that “guru”, if you know Matt Cutts, his blog also use SP… :slight_smile:

Again, it is all about personal preference and it is always based on your site/project requirements.

I can say that there is no “The Best SEO Optimized WordPress Theme”, it is only marketing gimmick. It always depends on how you use it to reach your SEO goals. So, improving your SEO knowledge is a must. :wink:


#10
PrimaThemes said

Again, it is all about personal preference and it is always based on your site/project requirements.

I can say that there is no “The Best SEO Optimized WordPress Theme”, it is only marketing gimmick. It always depends on how you use it to reach your SEO goals. So, improving your SEO knowledge is a must. :wink:

I was curious about the speed thing too reading this as we have quite weak connections here. I am not 110% sure of validity of these tests but check out SP (which I am NOT criticizing!) with their latest theme "agency" http://postimg.org/image/t11hwiylx/ AND NOW LOOK AT Kresi's wonderful "Enfold" theme http://postimg.org/image/9znz1rv7n/

Of course there are external factors involved like hosting but as a more beginner coder I find it interesting that Enfold is twice the size (in the demo so you would be much smaller when actually using the theme with less features etc in action), has a magnitude of greater features and yet has a much smaller load time!

#11
PaddyTaylor said

I was curious about the speed thing too reading this as we have quite weak connections here. I am not 110% sure of validity of these tests but check out SP (which I am NOT criticizing!) with their latest theme “agency” http://postimg.org/image/t11hwiylx/ AND NOW LOOK AT Kresi’s wonderful “Enfold” theme http://postimg.org/image/9znz1rv7n/

Of course there are external factors involved like hosting but as a more beginner coder I find it interesting that Enfold is twice the size (in the demo so you would be much smaller when actually using the theme with less features etc in action), has a magnitude of greater features and yet has a much smaller load time!

You need to compare it “apple to apple”… :wink:

First, their hosting can be different. Okay, let’s assume that their hosting are the best… :smiley:

Second, that test results are not exact number, when you re-test it, you can get different result.

Third, CACHE:wink:

The SP Agency demo doesn’t use any cache plugin, the js files are not minified, what you see in the view source code is the real code that produced by this theme.

The Enfold demo uses WP Super Cache plugin, and all js files are combined and minified. So, on general speed testing, it can be faster. Yup, that is the purpose of using cache plugin.


#12

About the “external factors”. I can make my themes grade 90+ in Google Page Speed service. But this involves setting up a CDN, a caching plugin that combines static assets, a powerful hosting (we’ve got that covered since we use our own server, not shared hosting), run an image optimizer script (server side) for optimizing all the uploaded images (there are some WP plugins that do this for you also like http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/), and so on. But from this, to state that my theme is +90 in Page Speed, it is a lie. You need to understand that there are limits to what we can do from a theme’s point of view. The buyer needs to do his part also.


#13