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Headline theme - Missing volunteer support from free themes!

  1. Okay, this is frustrating...just wrote an entire forum post and because I forgot to enter a title it forced me to go back --losing all my text! WP ... please fix this!!

    Okay, here's why I'm posting. I am missing the support I had when I had a free theme. This morning I paid for a theme (Headlines) and now I'm not getting a response. Could it be because there is only one developer attending to all these people who bought this theme? He's probably out having fun on a Friday night... who knows!

    Seriously, I have 4 issues (two of them quite big) that I can't get help for. Can any of you volunteers (Sacred Path, Time Thief, etc.) help me with a premium theme?

    Can you access that part of the forum to see my issues? If not, I'll list the top two.

    (1) HUGE white space was created when I activated the slider ...extends 3/4 down the page before you even see my first real blog entry.
    (2) Tags don't match the featured posts tags. I keyed in tag: Travel, travel copy writing & blogs and got those across the slider, yes but ALSO tagged posts in different categories that I DIDN'T key in to go in Featured Posts (slider.)
    (3) Title on blog indents to left hand margin ... won't go all the way across the top of the blog as you can see for yourself AND the subhead is in such teeny-tiny front you can't even barely see it.
    (4) Nothing appears on navigation bar except two categories. Did they not migrate over from free theme (Inuit)? Because my Custom Menu and Pages look just fine. So, why didn't they appear at top of page?

    Okay, anyone want to take a stab at answering these questions? Honestly, if I don't hear from the Premium theme forum developer guy (I really think there is only one person!) by tomorrow morning I am going to question the wisdom of my having bought this "premium" theme that appears (thus far) to be getting less-than-premium help!

    I'll try and cut them (him) some slack for this first go around but I will ask for a refund if it takes too long to get some attention...cus' you volunteers spoiled me for anything less!

    Anyway, maybe volunteers

    The blog I need help with is jennikeast.wordpress.com.

  2. The best place to get support is definitely the Premium Themes support forum.

    You'll get one-on-one support from either the theme developer or one of our theme team.

    Of course, these folks do have to balance their time between building great themes, fixing great themes, and supporting great themes, so you may not get a response over there as quickly as you would with several top-notch volunteers on the case over here.

    Either way, you'll certainly get the best answers possible from the folks who intimately know the themes.

    I haven't working with Headlines yet myself, but I'll try my best to at least theorize on the problems. Again, the Premium Themes forum will be your best bet for the correct answers.

    1. I believe this could have to do with the number of featured entries you have elected to show. A larger number means a longer "list" of featured entries to the right, thus extending the overall box. The folks in the Premium Themes forum may be able to offer a better solution, but try a smaller number, like 4 or 3.

    2. I'm going to make a broad guess that this may be related to #1. You may have it set to show more featured posts than there are available using your listed tags. Therefore, the theme may be pulling in whatever it can find to fill up the number. Again, this is just a guess, and the folks in the Premium Themes forum will be able to shed more light on it.

    3. This appears to have been an intentional aesthetic choice by the theme's designer, though I suppose you could modify the length of the field with CSS. The folks in the Premium Themes forum should be able to help you with the specifics.

    4. This one I'm definitely not 100% sure on. The theme may have a special way to denote the top menu besides the Custom Menu setting. I'm sure the folks in the Premium Themes forum will have an answer for this.

  3. Update: Your topics in the Premium Themes forum have been replied to with the correct answers, and it looks like mine were almost spot-on. :)

  4. Yes, you were just about "spot-on!" However ...

    (1) This is what the developer said, but ya know that is NOT a good thing if it can't be fixed to allow however many featured posts as you want. Otherwise, why allow us to have up to 19 posts when in doing so it violates a basic rule of web design ... too much white space! Because honestly, no one should be forced to scroll 3/4 of the way down the screen before they see the first "static" (not sliding/scrolling) post! I consider that a big flaw in this theme. If it can't be fixed I will have to reconsider keeping it as that is one of the main reasons I purchased it ... to be able to give prospective clients a nice cross-section sampling of my writing.

    Any feedback from you and others would be appreciated it. I realize I'm a novice blogger but I still some things should be basic to a theme (like giving you the option of having 19 posts but then causing way too much white space if you actually exercise those options ... especially one has to pay for!

    (2) Your theory makes sense, though the developer never addressed this issue ... only you did. I'd say the answer is less tags, not less posts because again, why have the option of displaying up to 19 posts when to do so causes (a) too much white space and (b) "tag confusion."

    (3) Yes, the designer did tell me it was a CSS option though since I don't know CSS it's a non-option for me (though I'm going to take a free on-line class that TimeThief recommended in hopes I can gain enough knowledge to tweak my own blog.) Having said that, the developer said they are looking into fixing it so that it automatically goes across the screen to the right.

    (4) There was glitch in the program which is why they weren't showing up. They appeared to have fixed that glitch however if you go onto my site you can see that these categories are practically ghosted ... meaning you can barely read them! Switching colors may help but I don't think people should have to do that to be able to have their navigation bar category headers show up. Agree?

  5. 1. In my opinion (note, just my opinion, not a company opinion), the theme seems to be designed like a major news site where you'd only want just a few featured articles highlighted, not a running category. Think like major editorials on current events. You'd only want the freshest of the fresh articles to be featured.

    Of course, that's just my opinion, and the developer could certainly decide to change that.

    2. I see you've replied to your topic on the Premium Themes forum to clarify the issue, so let's see what he says. I wouldn't say that he never addressed it, just probably didn't understand it was also a concern of yours at the time.

    3. CSS is loads of fun, I hope you enjoy your class! :)

    4. Oh, that doesn't look too good. It looks like the theme was only designed to accommodate what it can fit in that brown bar, and the rest are spilling over below it. Definitely bring this up in the Premium Themes forum. As a work-around, maybe consider categorizing those a bit more and loading them up under sub menu drop-downs.

  6. Something about the site (scrolling at the top maybe) that causes the front page to jump up and down by a line or three - I find that very annoying and would tend to not visit much if at all - one of my favorite news sites has changed things and the ads cause the front page to jump around as the ads load - so it is now one of my Former favorite sites

  7. Well, that could be (designed like a major news site). If so, then why give the theme user up to 19 posts to feature when, in fact you can only use 2 or 3 without it causing too much white space?

    Really, there are a LOT of writers like myself out there looking for a theme that will work for a portfolio. Thus far, I have not found any that work all that well for that purpose. This appeared to have the advantage of at least allow "equal time" given for BOTH image and text ... meaning, enough of the descriptive text (what the writing sample is about or first paragraph of copy) keyed into the post to be a teaser for the client to want to read the rest of the copy and yet enough of the visual to be aesthetically appealing while also showing the actual copy written within the graphic. (Sorry, that may have been hard to grasp.)

    Here is a possible solution that I just gave to the developer re: white space and tag problem that you addressed earlier:

    **************************************************************************************************
    Actually, I have what might be a possible solution to this problem of too much white space if you have more than a few posts featured on the slider. (That is, if you haven't already thought of one.) It would also solve the problem of the misplaced posts (wrong tags) displaying in the slider.

    Why can't you develop it so that instead of people deciding what posts they want featured by TAGS, you allow them to key in the TITLE of their post?

    By doing that, people could have EXACTLY which posts they want featured instead of the wrong ones because the tag category happened to be overloaded and therefore the system starting choosing random posts.

    Maybe it wouldn't solve the problem of the white space, I don't know, but surely there has to be a fix for that problem!

    Your thoughts?

  8. It's plausible, but that would certainly defeat the ease of the automated functionality.

    Instead, why not use a tag like "featured" and set your slider to only display that tag?

  9. Returning to the headline of the thread, why would volunteers assist with premium themes? Or rather, why would we do so on a volunteer basis?

  10. The big problem is that the volunteers would have to be able to set up and play with the premium themes to be able to support them, and I for one am not going to pay for a bunch of themes I might never use, and I doubt seriously that wordpress.COM would give them to us.

    Support for the premium themes should be handled by the theme team and the theme designer as wordpress has it set up.

  11. @TSP
    Excuse me but have you read what Lance posted?

    Support is here on WP.com in a dedicated support forum only available to site owners who've purchased a theme. When you activate Headlines you will see a link to it in your Dashboard, or when you are on the Forums homepage.

    All the support is handled by the theme authors themselves, here on the WP.com forum. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/premimum-theme-headlines-any-one-use-this-yet?replies=33#post-553844

    Maybe this thread was posted because Jenni didn't take into consideration the fact that theme designers are not available 24/7 or maybe not.

  12. OK, well let me reply to each point.

    Okay, I'm going to address the different issues brought up:

    First, Macmanx, I'm not sure I understand your suggestion. Would you mind clarifying?
    This is what the instructions in the slider says to do: "Add comma separated list for the tags that you would like to have displayed in the featured section on your homepage. For example, if you add 'tag1, tag3' here, then all posts tagged with either 'tag1' or 'tag3' will be shown in the featured area."

    So, I added the following tags: travel, travel copy writing, blogs. What happened was that those posts did show up that had those tags, but also posts that DIDN'T have those tags showed up. Why? I think you said in an earlier post it was because I had too posts with those tags and the slider couldn't handle that many (since I only had it feature 8 posts.)

    Okay, so you're saying: "Instead, why not use a tag like "featured" and set your slider to only display that tag"? Are you saying that I should insert the tag "featured" in ONLY those posts that I want featured in the slider and then insert ONLY the tag "feature" in the Featured Tag section of the slider controls?

    Just speaking generally, maybe I have too many tags on each post? I confess I haven't really studied the ins and outs of "tagging."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Now to everyone else's posts ...

    Second, let me clarify that my header may have created some confusion. What I meant was that I MISS the wonderful volunteer response! And no, I did not anticipate that the ONLY support for a premium theme would actually be ONE person (the developer/designer). Trust me, if I had known that up front, I would have seriously re-considered buying Headlines ... especially when it seems to have so many bugs (or less-than-optimum working features) in it. In fact, I discovered another one today.

    I didn't factor that there would be NO volunteers available in the premium support section. How could I since (a) I had no idea that there wouldn't be ANY volunteers using a premium theme and (b) just in general I'm simply too new to this forum to know how the volunteer "system" works.

    Bottom line here is that I certainly did not want to insult or offend any of you because I value your feedback, knowledge and time a great deal! That's why I said "I'm missing the volunteer support from free themes."

    And Sacred Path, I think that WP SHOULD give you volunteers a premium them to try out and play with ... I mean it appears to me that you guys are doing a lot work on WP's behalf ... how could that not be a real benefit to them? (Correct me I am wrong with this perception.)

    Okay, I think that about covers it. As always, I am always open to correction, guidance, suggestions, etc.

  13. WP has chosen to separate the support for the premium themes from the general volunteer support forum, and quite truthfully, the theme team, and the theme designer have a lot more knowledge to bring to that table. Volunteers here in the main forums could certainly add to that and take care of perhaps a good deal of the questions regarding the premium themes, but I seriously doubt that WP is going to make all the premium themes available to us.

    How well the separate premium theme support is going to work out, only time will tell. For now though, unless we volunteers buy each theme, we are simply not going to have the answers.

    This forum has to a large extent sort of spoiled wordpress.COM users in that the response time here is magnitudes faster than any other forum around. That is not a bad thing since there have been many say that the support in these forums is beyond their expectations and their prior experience. The only negative, if you can call it that, is that it has set a high bar for premium theme support. That isn't to say that these volunteer forums are perfect, but they are darned good.

  14. Yes, my word exactly (posted elsewhere) ... you have spoiled us (me)!

    BTW, I did just hear from the Headline theme designer. You can read his response ... and my reply. Can you access that section? Let me know.

    My biggest issue with this theme (macmanx i hope you're reading this) is that the developer claims I can't put more than 3 posts (max) in the featured slider or else I will get that awful white space. And yet the section where you set the Featured Posts allows up to 19! This certainly does not makes sense to me at all.

    I think before they try to sell this theme they need to put a disclaimer about the sliders that says something like: "Slider only safely accommodates three posts maximum."

    Now I have to seriously consider getting a refund on this theme and either trying to find another free WP that has will work as well for me, or go the WordPress.org route. I had to do that for many reasons, not the least of which is leaving this great community forum!

  15. We volunteers do not have access to the premium forum, so we cannot see the response. I would think they need to make a change so that it will accept only 3 max as a numeric input, and perhaps put a not there about that limit.

  16. My biggest issue with this theme (macmanx i hope you're reading this) is that the developer claims I can't put more than 3 posts (max) in the featured slider or else I will get that awful white space.

    Yes, I am reading this, and have read the replies to you in the Premium Themes forum. So far the developer has only issued a general response speculating on the cause. The developer has yet to respond to your reply asking for specifics on the 19 post maximum and the apparent 3 post visual limit.

    Now I have to seriously consider getting a refund on this theme and either trying to find another free WP that has will work as well for me, or go the WordPress.org route.

    Your Premium Theme purchase is eligible for a 30-day full refund, so you're welcome to hang on to it for the duration of that time and see if anything changes.

    I hope you don't mind, but I think it's time to close down this topic.

    It's only serving to repeat concerns and split support efforts between two groups: the theme developers who intimately know the theme in the Premium Themes forum, and the volunteers and myself who haven't used the theme and can only offer speculation.

    Please stick to the Premium Themes forum for Premium Theme support. Going forward, all future Premium Theme support requests will be moved as necessary.

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