How to evaluate a theme?

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  • #28118

    engtech
    Member

    (this isn’t a support question, it is a request for suggestions)

    With the announcement that wordpress.com will be getting more themes (yay), I was wondering what criteria should be used for evaluating them.

    This is the list I came up with, please respond with any other suggestions of things to look for.

    Theme name
    Theme version
    Theme colour
    Theme image
    Custom image header
    Firefox support
    Internet Explorer support
    Page width
    – Max image width
    Sidebar width
    Pages with hierarchy
    Categories with hierarchy
    Blogroll with categories and images
    Sidebar support
    Sidebar location
    Sidebar widgets bugs
    Top navbar support
    Page template support
    – Archives
    – Categories
    – Feedback
    – Page comments
    HTML tag style bugs
    Trackbacks different than comments
    Custom features

    #28527

    nosysnoop
    Member

    More than one sidebar. :)

    #28528

    drmike
    Member

    It’s an actual WordPress theme, there’s someplace where you can download it, and you don’t have to pay money for it.

    /drmike looking at a few of the “suggestions” within the comments.

    #28532

    sulz
    Member

    http://wordpress.com/forums/topic.php?id=2132&replies=30

    near the end of the thread tt and i pointed out some features wp should consider before adding a new theme.

    #28533

    sulz
    Member

    http://wordpress.com/forums/topic.php?id=2859&replies=44

    this thread also says which are the best templates available now and why and what kind of features we look out for in new themes in the future.

    #28534

    sulz
    Member

    http://wordpress.com/forums/topic.php?id=2904&replies=25

    and finally this thread tells us what we don’t like and why.

    #28559

    shashiingale
    Member

    Just out of the topic (and I have send feedback also)
    Why all themes don’t have header customization?
    eg. Polo is the best theme (as it is clean and also has links below the header) but it doesn’t allow header customisation which is annoying…

    #28567

    @shashiingale

    Do you mean the ‘Pool’ theme? ;)

    #28569

    shashiingale
    Member

    Thanks..
    Its pool…

    #28572

    sulz
    Member

    i did wonder if the new theme wasn’t added to my list… ;P

    #28573

    britgirl
    Member

    Regulus also has header customisation doesn’t it? I think it is one of the best themes there is.

    And i would also add as a must have (didn’t see it above) the ability to add pages. Whether the theme is 1,2 or 3 column is a matter of personal taste as far as evaluation is concerned and if these were going to be introduced then I would suggest for each category (e.g 1 col, 2 col, 3 col).

    #28581

    drmike
    Member

    Um, do you mean Dashboard -> Write -> Pages or am I misunderstanding here? All themes should have that ability.

    Adding to the list:

    Widget support
    Page templates – Contact page

    I actually suggested this a few months back to staff but didn’t get much support for it from them.

    #28590

    timethief
    Member

    @ shashiingal
    And there I was riding around on my trusty pony (he’s 32), mallet in hand looking for the POLO theme – what a disappointmnet. My steed and I were seeking a green as grass theme and what found we found was yet another blue and white one. ;)

    @drmike
    I’m with britgirl. IMO every theme should have the capacity to
    (1) add pages
    (2) have comments on pages
    (3) choose the template option for creating a contact page and
    (4) to set the page order by numerically to over-ride alphabetization.

    #28595

    drmike
    Member

    *sigh* Folks are suggesting themes that we already have over in the comments.

    I would love to know of a theme here that we can’t add in Pages.

    I agree with the comments on pages issue. That should be a given.

    I agree with contact page. That’s why i listed it as well. :)

    Agree with the page order. This is built in into WP but themes override it.

    #28618

    timethief
    Member

    Let’s hope that Matt comes to the forum and uses the search box to pull all the threads that sulz pointed to. It seems that folks contributing to his thread haven’t done that. *sigh*

    #28639

    britgirl
    Member

    OK – we can add pages so scratch that, since this already exists in all themes. My bad. With some themes it looks less obvious than in others.

    #28652

    engtech
    Member

    Updated list based on reading those threads.

    Theme
    – Theme name
    – Theme version
    – Theme colour
    – Theme image
    – Custom image header
    – Top navbar support

    Displays the same in FF and IE

    Main Page
    – Max image width
    – font typeface
    – font size
    – post titles show dates
    – text capitalization
    – links stand out from text
    – next / prev post
    – HTML tag style bugs
    — Bullets for lists

    Single Post View
    – sidebar displays

    Sidebar
    – Number of sidebars
    – Text alignment
    – text capitalization
    – Sidebar width
    – Sidebar location
    – Sidebar widgets support
    – Sidebar widgets bugs
    — Calendar mouseover shows titles
    – HTML tag style bugs
    — Bullets for lists
    – Search gives security warning

    Pages
    – Pages with hierarchy
    – Page order displayed properly
    – Page edit links
    – Long page names

    Categories
    – Categories with hierarchy
    – Category numbers on same line (also prob for Archives)
    – Long category names

    Blogroll
    – Blogroll with categories
    – Blogroll with images
    – Long blogroll names

    Page template support
    – Archives
    – Categories
    – Feedback / Contact
    – Allows page comments

    Comments
    – Displays edit comments link
    – Displays trackbacks different than comments

    Custom features

    Short list of the best current themes (from the best theme thread):
    Blix, Regulus, Default, Light, Andreas

    #28654

    sulz
    Member

    my, are we that demanding? lol

    #28689

    poppy8sd
    Member

    The Number One way to evaluate the fixed Templates? Designers Rarely get it, and neither do bloggers. The thing that matters most: FONT.

    ~Type duplicates speech~

    You should post that on your desktop. While I am puter/tech illiterate, I DO know design. I’ve been studying typography for Years, yet what I know is Miniscule compared to what there is to learn. Most writers Think “design” of template is important –to readers, but it isn’t. HOW you ‘sound’ –HOW you convey what you are saying is First. –How you ‘sound’/ font –influences reaction –even by those who don’t understand/know a bit of it.

    Proof? Look at Tt’s reaction to someone who started a thread by posting question: in all caps. That was yelling; she protested, corrected the ignorant author.

    So Template who-haw’s/doodads –are all for the writer’s convenience, and nothing to do with communicating what one has to say.

    Having said that: I am Mystified at not having ability to Contact a blogger/receive an e-mail from my blog. Why is that? –More surprising that Dr.Mike proposed and got ignored??? Granted, So far: the only who desperately want to contact want me to know about slot machines,
    AdSense and educating a mythical child in my home(???), still “CONTACT” a serious lack. Also I want “Contact” link because: I will not post Comments in blogs any more, now that my comments are ‘tracked.’

    Poppy

    #28693

    nosysnoop
    Member

    Poppy, if you don’t want your comments tracked, then edit your profile here on the forum and take out the url of your website. I did that for different reasons. But now when I comment on other WordPress blogs, my Capri name isn’t clickable.

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