Templates & Themes - Make Up Your Mind!


I’m a designer with limited knowledge of coding (hence the reason that themeforest exists, for people like me).

I have a problem with some authors on this website getting away with calling what i regard as being a template, a theme.

I believe that the template is very much bare bones of a platform, building a website on it and all that needs changing is the content (with very little changes to the structure at all).

A theme to me is a very customisable framework where with the help of a proper custom theme option section (not the built in Apperence>Customise…), a site can be customised in many ways very easily.

On themeforest these days I see people trying to pass off templates as theme giving customers the false impression that the theme is a theme, which includes theme options to circumvent the need for custom css and coding knowledge generally.

what is the point in themeforest if not to avoid the need to code? when you buy a theme/template, it really isn’t clear which is which until you make a purchase because you rarely get to see the backend before purchase.

After searching and previewing countless themes to find the right one, and purchase it to find out there is a lot more to modifying the website (E.g. you need to add custom css to change something as simple as wanting to change a colour scheme), it then leads on to countless hours of contacting authors and ridiculous hours/days waiting for a reply.

Can there be a better effort to make authors outline whether they offer theme options and if those theme options control all aspects of the site(rather than it being a choice?). I also believe that themeforest themselves should be checking the descriptions out more when it comes to people advertising with terms like “easily customised” and then you find out you need to code to change anything!

I’m coming across some really poorly made themes/templates lately and i’m even thinking someone like me (more designer than developer) could do better (but i’ll be sticking to the job i do now thank you).

This may seem a bit negative, but I imagine my frustration is the frustration felt by everyone who is a designer and not a developer. Also people, stop giving bad themes/templates 5 star ratings when they are clearly half baked. If you paid for it , giving 5 star ratings won’t get you better support, tell the truth so people know to avoid if need be.

I believe (happy to be corrected if I am wrong) that “theme” is an official term for a set of files that together define how a WP website should look.

In contrast html versions are properly described as “templates”.

People may have their own interpretation but not confusing these standard descriptions eg calling a html template a theme or the other way round is probably the most Important step to prevent confusion

Here is a great description from an expert author @Enabled Difference between WordPress theme and HTML template!

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In fact HTML templates are either static or semi dynamic. On the other hand, themes like WordPress themes are completely dynamic. Furthermore, themes work on CMS. They need some backend programming languages like PHP to work. In web development, theme is used for CMS like WordPress, Drupal,Joomla etc.

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