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What Should Theme Companies Improve On? (Poll)

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We’re only a couple of weeks away from the 2013 New Year! So far in 2012, many WordPress theme companies have enjoyed a surge in the overall global marketplace as more individuals and firms discover the benefits of using the WordPress platform. In this week’s poll-style article, we will reach out to our readers and ask your opinions on theme company features that could be improved going forward. There is a poll located at the bottom of this write-up where you will find options to vote on, which will help us in deciphering the most pressing areas of concern by those who use premium products on a routine basis.

Discontinued Themes

One issue that has been brought up a number of times is the fact that some template firms eventually “discontinue” certain premium products. This at times can be frustrating for those who are still using the product in question, and especially disconcerting to those who made a full purchase of the item only to have the automatic update service revoked once the theme has run its marketable course and is no longer a breadwinner for the company.

The options a website is faced with in these cases often comes down to how attached the administrators are to the back-end interface, and how much loyalty to the theme has been generated through front-end readership and traffic. If an overwhelming need to continue using the template exists, then the website owner at times must invest his/her own funds to make improvements and updates to the template, which can result in a smaller budget for other areas depending on how extensive the alterations are.

Hiring outside help or an in-house programmer to manipulate code within the Editor is an action that is counterproductive to the promotional guidelines of many companies in this day and age, so many will ultimately decide to simply switch to another theme, which will still incur an extra expense in the case of high traffic websites.

Customer Support

Although a large percentage of our readers are highly experienced with WordPress, many website owners are just now learning about how to manage a WP Control Panel. Customer support has become an indicator of how willing a theme company is to relate directly to its customers and move forward on grass-roots requests.

WooThemes, which is known for its popular e-Commerce templates, is currently in the transition stages of moving to a new format for its support queries and is even bringing back its forum in an effort to improve customer relations. As far as we can tell, the change has received a lot of positive feedback and, if nothing else, demonstrates how important customer loyalty can be in a competitive environment.

Features And Functionality

The word functionality encompasses quite a few features that customers have come to depend on in order to get their WP site up and running as quickly as possible. A major shift has occurred over the past 12 months that has theme companies offering “more” when it comes to general use, but there are still templates that get released which require a large set of plugins to lay an effective groundwork for the corporate aims of a specific online business.

More customers are demanding themes that come with a responsive design, portfolio and blog feeds, content sliders and fully widgetized areas without having to do a lot of coding work or buy more plugins just to take care of specific market segments.

This Week’s Poll

This week, we are asking our visitors to tell us what they feel could most be improved by theme companies during the 2013 calendar year. Please take a moment to answer the poll, and we will provide a follow up article with the complete results next week.

[polldaddy poll=6776025]

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