[theme-reviewers] Removing core features

Bryan Hadaway bhadaway at gmail.com
Thu May 23 04:05:15 UTC 2013

There are no examples to use (that I'm aware of), we're speculating about
things to possibly come.

Yes, but what's your audience, mostly tech-savvies or at least moderately
familiar? Also are you dealing with tens of thousands of people, mixed of
free users and paying customers?

The dynamic changes too.

For instance, you can safely assume that people on wordpress.org browsing
for stuff already have experience (with themes and plugins) and already
have WordPress installed.

But, when you're attracting customers directly to your website, many of
them have never even heard of WordPress (they might not even have hosting
yet or are coming from .com [which involves remolding their thought process
in and of itself]). They're not necessarily looking for a *WordPress theme*,
but a *website solution*.

I certainly cannot speak for all communities, but among those I run or
manage, I'm 110% accurate when it comes to expectations and pitfalls. Also,
who the product is aimed at severely impacts the savviness of the attracted
end-user. It sounds like your community is very self-efficient (the same is
true of one of my very developer/designer driven projects). However, the
big premium communities I work(ed) with are generally very much looking to
pay, set and forget.

The idea of even needing to upgrade to newer versions of themes is
startling for many. I am very thorough and informative, it's often just
something they don't want to hear.

I've managed support, including helping to actually create the support
methodologies and procedures for two huge theme shops now. Paying customers
are a tough breed. Informing them and controlling expectations is a
massive, yet delicate task. Throw a pie in their face, they might still
miss it. That isn't an insult, they just have no intention, interest or
time to learn. Stuff that may be simple to us can be very daunting to
others, if they even care to try.

I've also witnessed the vast difference in free communities vs paying
communities, from the users to those managing them. And if you combine the
two, methodologies butt heads and your way of thinking has to evolve.
Again, I'm not sure whether you mainly offer free products, premium ones or
a balance of both. I'm also not familiar with the general demographic your
products attract.

But, I have a finger on the pulse of all 3 scenarios and a
headache-inducing amount of experience and knowledge of what I'm talking
about. Certainly, it won't apply to everyone, but I know there are other
companies that know exactly what I'm talking about. I've managed maybe 4-5
different WordPress related communities and other non-WordPress-related
ones. While there's subtle differences and nuances, I think support in
general no matter what community/company is difficult and deeply
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