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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Opinions on DYI themes

    I've recently started developing on WordPress and have been loving it. The code base has reached a state of maturation that is a joy to work with.
    When I build sites on it, I use a well organized structure with javascript and css easily identifiable in the theme directory. The template files could be readily interpreted by other developers.

    Recently I've been asked to modify some pre-existing sites, altering drop-down menu behavior or the layout. In many cases, I am encountering themes for very simple sites that are very difficult to understand. They use themes with options that allow non-developers to build sites without knowing code.

    I'm curious what people's opinion are of them. From my perspective, they are really problematic. They tend to load in tons of Javascript. What should be simple changes can take hours just to find. They might be OK if they are exactly what is needed, but when does that really happen. The well structured WordPress architecture/admin is changed into a maze of code and panels.

  2. #2
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Northeastern USA
    56 Post(s)
    1 Thread(s)
    If I have to change anything significant in a pre-built theme, I usually end up re-building it from scratch since it usually ends up taking more time to fix issues than to re-create the whole theme. That's simply because the code quality of free theme wildly varies and the bar is pretty low for whipping up your own theme. You might have better luck with paid themes from well-known theme shops.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy Slackr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    New Zealand
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    I'd second that. There are tons of low quality WP themes around. Each one takes on the quirks of the programmer most of the time with no need for them to document or support the theme. That's the reason if I have to use a theme I only ever use a paid theme that has lots of sales and good support forums. Otherwise you may as well design your own or start from a framework and build off of that.


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