[theme-reviewers] Theme selection is great frustration

// ravi ravi-lists at g8o.net
Thu Sep 18 00:46:40 UTC 2014

Hello all,

this is a bit larger than theme review, so apologies beforehand if it is misdirected, but I want to relate my experience in trying to help some friends choose a theme for their site. In this effort, searching on wordpress.org using the provided filters is a very frustrating experience, mostly stemming from a disparity between the filter selection, the theme preview image, and the actual theme preview.

First, what shows up in the preview is a far cry from what is in the screenshot. It is understandable that the screenshot was carefully crafted with various features enabled in order to display the theme at its best, and therefore some discrepancy is inevitable. But what one sees in the preview at times has almost no relation visually to the screenshot.

Next, what appears in the preview seems to have no relation to the selected filters either. Say I select “left sidebar”… well, in many cases, the preview has none.

Having written a few themes myself, back in the stone ages, I realise that there are reasons behind all of this, but consider the experience from a regular WordPress user’s perspective. Selecting a theme is one of the first, and certainly the most defining activity, for a new user. Whatever the underlying reasons may be, their experience has to be better than what occurs today.

Apologies if I have missed some obvious steps that would have improved my experience.



P.S: background: this was for a self-hosted blog, not one on WordPress.com.

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