Portland WordPress Meetup Message Board › Theme "factories"

Theme "factories"

A former member
Post #: 2
I am not a themer (I want to learn it, but don't know it at present). I am working on a freebie project for a local preschool and I'd like to have a "preschool" oriented theme for theme (and so would the preschool folks). I have found some acceptable themes online from a number of places that are not terribly expensive and that I might be willing to spring for out of my own pocket.

However, I am a bit reluctant and my sleaze alarm is going off. I have found the same themes -- identical themes -- on several apparently unrelated sites being sold by apparantly unrelated companies for exactly the same money. In fact, the "live previews" pull from the same URL. I have hears stories about themes being stuffed with keywords for the themes and definitely want to avoid that. But just as much, I am suspicious of the fact that there is apparently one business behind the curtain attempting to present themselves as numerous independent companies. [Update -- I have since confirmed that there is a single company behind the "different" companies/web sites selling these identical themes.]

So, my question is this: Does anyone have any experience with the themes from on-line theme companies? If so, was it good or bad? Were there issues with the themes being stuffed with keywords or links?

Thanks.
Daniel P.
tualatinweb
Tualatin, OR
Post #: 27
I trust www.elegantthemes.com, www.woothemes.com, www.diythemes.com
Lorelle V.
Lorellev
North Plains, OR
Post #: 6
If you are working on a WordPress Theme for anyone, you can call yourself a "themer" or web designer, whether it is for volunteer or not.

What is a "preschool" oriented Theme? One with a picture of children? That defines it for me. Then use the free Themes like 2011 or 2010 and create a custom header picture with children. Done.

If you want more, than define "more" as any WordPress Theme can be made to look like anything for anyone or business, paid or not.

I'd start simple. With the free ones. In fact, you can even use WordPress.com as they have all the features you would need with none of the fees or hassles to help get them and you started. Start simple. Throwing money at something does not always fix it.

Examples on WordPress.com

http://sunrisebend.wo...­

http://mossleyhillpre...­

http://belairpreschoo...­

http://noblechurch.wo...­

http://songgardenpres...­

http://ucanpreschool....­

http://fbccabotchildr...­

http://primrosepinnac...­

http://mycrosspointec...­

Using WordPress.com will work within your skill set and take away the majority of the stress you have about this whole thing.
A former member
Post #: 3
Daniel, Lorelle : Thanks for the leads. Unfortunately, preschool doesn't want anything that smacks of "business" which means that most basic themes aren't going to satisfy them. They are looking for something color and style wise that says "pre-school", something along the lines of < http://cmsthemefactor...­ > (although I am not inclined to purchase from them).

My drawback at the moment is that I don't have any real experience in customizing a theme by going into the code so my inclination is to find something that is to try to find a ready-made theme from a reputable source that fits. But if I can't, I'll have to dive into customizing. I'm not adverse to that because it is something I do want and intend to learn, but I hate to delay their site while I learn. :(
Kathryn D.
user 12816850
Portland, OR
Post #: 4
From what I can understand with regards to places like themfactory and other places is that they are probably middle men for the theme designer. Yes you will see it in several places particularly if the designer is shopping it out to these websites that sell themes for a living.

Read the terms and conditions carefully and the faqs, and then just jump in and give it a try. Particularly if the client likes this one as is. It would perhaps make your life a little easier in learning how to customize a paid theme. You are protected to a degree if you pay with a Credit card or Paypal if you feel that you might need to get your money back for lack of delivery or whatever other concerns you have. Also do a search for reviews on this site and see if there are any negative feeds on it. Pick the company you are most comfortable buy from.

I prefer premium paid themes vs free ones precisely because they are more likely to provide support forums and the PSD files so you can customize the overall look, change out colors etc.

Hope that helps.

A former member
Post #: 4
Kathryn, thanks for the info and comments. I understand about sellers being middlemen and I sorta had an inkling that might be the case, but to some degree that is even more concerning to me. After all, we've all read about vendors using software created by third parties that have nasty surprises inside and the middle man scenario is ripe with possibilities for such things. Granted, I'm probably being overly paranoid....maybe....on the other hand, a little paranoia is not necessarily a bad thing. And I've had enough exposure to what I consider less than honorable business tactics that I am maybe a little more than a little paranoid, but I think I've earned the right to it!! biggrin

I will look at some of the dealers and check the terms. Thanks again.
Kathryn D.
user 12816850
Portland, OR
Post #: 5
Leslie
You are welcome. Also if you go with some of the bigger names mentioned above you are more protected. I use themeforest.net a lot and never have had an issue.
Good luck
Marsha L.
catwingz
Portland, OR
Post #: 3
Fyi, Themeforest is a theme reseller too…
A former member
Post #: 5
Leslie
You are welcome. Also if you go with some of the bigger names mentioned above you are more protected. I use themeforest.net a lot and never have had an issue.
Good luck
Fyi, Themeforest is a theme reseller too…

Thanks for the tip. I'll check them out.
Lorelle V.
Lorellev
North Plains, OR
Post #: 10
I just wanted to add that you can create a non-business looking site (which some of the ones I featured were not) with WordPress 2010 or 2011. To change the look of a site to make it non-business and more preschool is an image or two in the design and the rest in the content which has little to do with the design, so a minimalistic design is best so you can "clutter" up the look with pictures, drawings, video, etc. to capture the spirit of the company and the children's experience.

There is tremendous support here and on the WordPress Support Forums for that Theme as well as other issues with WordPress. Premium Themes are not a guarantee of good nor quality support. I've had too many clients and issues with people not getting the support and help they needed, so go only with a very trusted and recommended company, and even then, you might not get the personal help you need as some of these are just template factories.

WordPress.com now offers some excellent premium WordPress Themes, another reason I recommend hosting with them as you have all the security at your fingertips without any of the hassles. Good luck with your project and I do hope you will report back on the results.
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