Should plugins support all themes?

I intend to create some useful WordPress plugins but my fellow author’s past experience about plugins is not so good.

He created a plugin with careful test with some popular themes he got but not all tested.
Later when he has a lot buyers come to request the refund since the plugin is not compatible with their theme.
He follows the best practice and got approved by reviewer but still there is some incompatibility for sure (for bad developed theme or good but another development approach) and if we re vise we will need to change the whole core code.
In most cases, he approved the refund but this is a pain in the asssss.

My question is “Should plugins support all themes?” or we are allowed to say “no, we cannot refund, the theme is bad in term of development or different with what we developed. We cannot refund”.

Open discussion and past experience is welcome!

No, you won’t even be able to test with all themes. All of them have some kind of framework that were built on and this can create problems for plugin developers. In most cases when the plugin is not working with a particular theme then the problem is with the theme way of handling something. It depends what the plugin will do and how it will affect the theme, if it’s a feature that will require something from a theme to have then it’s the plugin problem.

Anyway you should test with WordPress default themes if it’s working then you should be fine. If problem arise it’s good to contact the theme developer and ask the way the are doing something.

For a simple example can be with translation, some of the theme caches the whole html. Doing so the plugin will be unable to change the language after. In this case the problem is with the theme.

If for most themes the plugin is working without any flaws then you shouldn’t stress about it, your plygins is fine and the theme developer should check in their theme what’s wrong.

I’m not sure about the reasons why your customers requested refunds but if they asked the same problem, you should’ve updated the plugin instead of refunding

I doubt that the users will think the same.
They used the theme before using our plugin.It’s so hard for us to advise/persuade them to ask for help from the theme and what if the theme author passes the ball of responsibility to us.

(My fellow authors, not us).
It’s just they cannot buy all themes users are using and test it.
Even some are free and bad developed, if they just follow and fix them all, I am really afraid that they will go to hell :slight_smile:
They did try to use our different approach that is theme independent but no luck.
I wonder how other authors test their compatibility with 3rd party plugins or themes?
Any tips for us?

There is simply no way for any author to test their items against any available theme or other plugins out there. The best one can do is to test with some of the most common ones (WooCommerce, Yoast, WPML, etc.), and only test with others if any issues are reported.

And even if there are issues, there is always a 50/50 chance that the cause is with the other item, which means it can’t always be fixed through you, but needs to be fixed through the other author. In those cases, all you can do is to advise the end user about the cause of the issue and what you think the other author might need to change with the conflicting theme/plugin, while making it clear that there is unfortunately nothing else that can be done through you, as the cause for the conflict lies with the other item (if that’s the case).

I usually only offer/approve refunds if my item is at fault and I’m unable to fix it, but I’m not taking responsibility for issues caused by other items.

You’re missing my point (above) . For example, if 10 buyers are reporting the same issue within different themes, you cannot blame the theme authors.

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I got your point, actually you quoted my reply for @hawk95 rather than my answer for you. :slight_smile:
Thanks anyway!