Last week, I was working on some updates for a clients site. And I was quickly becoming sad that it wasn’t a StudioPress theme. I even tweeted about it.
“days like today make me happy that @studiopress exists. i may not use their themes all the time but I know when I do, they make sense” 7:47 AM Jan 7th
WordPress is awesome and I love making custom themes for WordPress so that people can have a more owner-friendly and visitor-friendly site. However, there are times, whether at the customer’s request or because I don’t want to reinvent the functions wheel, I’ll use a pre-fab theme from sites like StudioPress or ThemeForest. And after using several of these pre-made themes, I have to applaud StudioPress on their attention to detail in the thought process of someone using their themes. For the most part (ie not counting some features of the original AgentPress theme), using StudioPress themes is easy and intuitive. They thoughtfully include a very useful theme options page that makes it obvious what you need to do to make the theme do what you want it to. Beyond that, the coding structure makes sense so if you do want to tweak and such, it’s easily doable.
A client requested that I use a theme once that required a user’s manual – really? Not a good choice, in my opinion. Home page content was entered via a widget, regardless of what you had set in your WordPress options for the home page. Fonts were weird. Creating a blog was horrible which, considering it runs on WordPress, is just sad. So many frustrations that it takes away, for me, one of the key pros of using WordPress, that is is so user-friendly.
The theme that spawned my tweet last week was specifically for photographers so it’s designed to handle galleries and integrate with some industry standard tools and web apps. It looks beautiful. On the back end (where I mostly spend my time) it makes me want to pull my hair out. Much of the content is controlled by widgets – I’m seriously not liking this trend. And, when I patched the theme due to the recent WordPress security update, the widgets broke. Urgh. Really makes me wish StudioPress had some more great photography themes because I would have moved my client over in a heart-beat.
And, if their themes weren’t awesome enough before, they now have the Genesis Theme Framework, that makes it easy to create your own theme from their awesome beginnings. It’s got SEO stuff built in, so you don’t have to think about it.
On top of having a great product, there’s a great support community in place, too. All kinds of videos and helpful answers await anyone that wants to stretch what can be done or is having a brain-train-derailment moment (we’ve all been there.)
Full Disclosure – Yes, I am an affiliate for StudioPress. Because I love them. And if you click on the StudioPress links in this post (or really anywhere on this site) and then buy something, they will give me a little bit of money. Because I gush about them so. But, I wouldn’t gush about anyone that I didn’t like or use myself. Thanks for listening.