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Why Are Theme Store Blogs Missing Important Features?

Posted on by in Blog

Theme developers are regularly pushing the boundaries of what WordPress can do. Premium theme developers in particular have helped raised the bar with most designs coming with advanced admin panels, short codes, several colour schemes and custom page templates.

This makes it all the more surprisingly that many of the best WordPress theme stores are lacking important features. For example, the ThemeFuse blog only has a category widget in the sidebar. There is no archives widget or search box to allow you to search older posts. This is frustrating if you are trying to find a particular announcement or tutorial.

It’s not fair to single ThemeFuse out as many theme stores are guilty of this. In fact, the vast majority of theme stores make it difficult to search their older articles.

  • Allure Themes – Recent posts are listed however there is no link to categories, no archive links and no search bar.
  • Aloha Themes Blog – Only categories are displayed in the sidebar.
  • Band Themer – Only archives in the sidebar.
  • Bizz Themes – Only Twitter is listed in the sidebar.
  • Chimera Themes – Only Facebook and links to their support area in the sidebar. Nothing that helps you search the blog.
  • CyberChimps – No links to recent posts, categories or archives.
  • Designer Themes – Only categories are linked in the sidebar.
  • Dolce Pixel – Only categories are displayed.
  • Elegant Themes – Categories and recent posts are displayed but no archives or search bar.
  • Gabfire Themes – Only recent posts and comments are displayed.
  • Gorilla Themes – No way to search archives.
  • Graph Paper Press – There’s a search bar discretely tucked away at the bottom of the page but no other way to search through the archives.
  • Howling Dog Themes – Search box but no other way to search through older posts.
  • iDesignEco – No sidebar in the blog design and no way to search older blog posts.
  • InkThemes – Only recent posts are displayed in the sidebar.
  • iThemes – No way to search older blog posts.
  • iWakThemes – Nothing displayed in the sidebar except two banner advertisements.
  • Kreative Themes – No way to search older blog posts.
  • Magazine3 – Only categories are displayed in the sidebar.
  • Mint Themes – Only Facebook and Twitter are linked in the sidebar.
  • Mojo Themes – A great looking blog design that doesn’t use a sidebar. There is a drop down category menu at the top but no other way to search older posts.
  • Museum Themes – Recent posts are displayed in the sidebar but there is no other way to search posts.
  • Organized Themes – Only Facebook an advertisement are placed in the sidebar.
  • Premium Themes – No way to search older posts.
  • PriMo Themes – No way to search older posts.
  • Press75 – Only recent posts are displayed in the sidebar.
  • RichWP – A search box can be found at the top of the site but there is no other way to search previous posts.
  • Rockable Themes – Only recent comments and links to Twitter and Facebook are shown in the sidebar.
  • RocketTheme – No search box.
  • Solostream – Archives and categories can be searched but there is no search bar.
  • Startbox – No way to search older posts.
  • Storefront Themes – No way to search the blog.
  • ThemeJam – No way to search posts at all.
  • ThemeLoom – There is a search box in the sidebar but no other way to search the site.
  • ThemeShift – Categories are displayed in the sidebar but no archives, recent posts or search box.
  • Themes Kingdom – No way to search the blog.
  • ThemeTrust – No way to search the blog.
  • Theme Warrior – Recent posts are displayed but nothing else.
  • Theme Wars – Only recent posts are displayed in the sidebar.
  • Theme Weaver – No way to search the blog.
  • Themify – Only categories are linked in the sidebar. No archives or search box.
  • Thesis Awesome – No way to search the blog.
  • Thesis Ready – Recent posts are shown but there is no other way to search older posts easily.
  • Theme Foundry – Only categories are listed in the sidebar.
  • Up Themes – No way to search the blog.
  • Viva Themes – No way to search the blog.
  • Voosh Themes – No way to search the blog.
  • WordsPop – No way to search the blog.
  • WP Crunchy – Categories, recent posts and tags are displayed however there is no search box.
  • WP Look – No way to search the blog.
  • WP Zoom – No way to search the blog.

Many theme stores don’t give updates to their customers via a blog. I do think that a blog is the best way to keep your user base up to date with your latest developments though I think no blog is better than a blog that is rarely updated.

The following theme stores have no blog at all:

Thankfully, there are theme store blogs that make it easy to search through older posts such as:

I didn’t critique so many theme store blogs above to simply ‘name and shame’. Rather, to illustrate my point that the vast majority of theme stores make it very difficult to search their archives.

Why Are Theme Store Blogs Missing Important Features?

So how important is it for readers to be able to search your blog? For me, it’s vital. I frequently find it frustrating when doing research for WP Mods that theme stores make it very difficult to find past announcements about theme releases and updates. I imagine customers find this frustrating too.

Whilst I can modify themes and do a little coding, I consider myself to be primarily a blogger. As such, I do not believe I will always understand why theme developers use certain design techniques over others. I do believe the opposite is true. Most theme developers are probably not bloggers or avid blog readers which is probably why many theme stores lack what I would consider to be important features of a blog design.

They are perhaps looking at their own blog through the eyes of a developer rather than a blogger. I still find this a little surprising though as the vast majority of premium themes have everything you will ever need i.e. why not apply these features to their own blogs?

Have you noticed that theme stores are lacking many important blog features?

Kevin

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Comments (10)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

[email protected] Shah good to hear :) I’m keen to know what changes you will be bringing to the theme store.

Comment by Shilpa Shah says:

Agree with you completely – thanks for reminding us about these basic necessities which we tend to gloss over. We have taken over ChimeraThemes recently and are working on improving the overall user experience on our site. Just added a search feature on the support forum – we have plans to do more, but it’s a start :-)

Comment by Rob says:

It is quite frustrating to get a theme and then after hours of installing it etc.. realizing that the basic components actually suck… The the quest for the next theme that might actually work the way you want it to, then adding dozens of plugins just to make it work, then the headache that they all work together :0 The fun never ends!

The fun part of making a blog for any client though is trying to get them to use it at all! :(

On the plus side there are usually plugins that can help you out!

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Sounds good. Make sure email me when they are being released and I’ll check them out and possibly do a review on wpmods :)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Hi Francis,

I would have but I’ve never came across your site before :)

I’ve added your site to our theme store page. Your peax-02 design looks great :)

Comment by Francis says:

We still have few themes right now but we planned 2 releases for january. Hope it will helps for more visibility ;-)

Thanks for the addition on the themes stores page.

Comment by Francis says:

Hi Kevin, even if we are not mentioned in that article (http://peaxl.com) I do agree with you. I think most of us don’t pay enough attention to the blog attached to the website, despite the fact that it can bring a lot of people and some conversions. It is an incredible communication tool we must not forget. We need to pay more attention to the sidebar too, even if we have not a lot of posts right now.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Good to hear Felix. Too many theme stores add the blog as a second thought and use it mainly for SEO purposes.

If they aren’t going to update it often, it’s probably best not to have one. If they are going to add a blog, it makes sense to update it frequently and make it as user friendly as possible.

Comment by felix says:

You are right on with this post and I am about to change the blog section on RichWP completely.

I long knew that I am under utilizing my blog right now. To say it boldly. If you bloggers are your main target group, you should walk the talk and show how it is done right. I am on it.

Comment by Praveen Gowda I V says:

You are right, a few days back the absence of search feature on elegant themes made me so frustrated

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