A fellow WordPress web site builder just lately recommended that I embrace the WordPress.org Theme Examine plugin in my repertoire of theme analysis and choice instruments. At first, it appeared like an amazing concept, however the longer I considered it, the extra my opinion modified.
Evaluating and choosing a WordPress theme is just not for the faint of coronary heart. Each WordPress web site builder has their very own theme analysis and choice course of, which may develop fairly sophisticated. We will all be forgiven for desirous to fall again on instruments like Theme Examine that, at first look, appears to work as an easy-to-use filter to simplify the theme choice course of.
Sadly, issues aren’t so cut-and-dried. Theme Examine was by no means designed to be a general-purpose theme choice software and understanding the messages generated by the plugin requires a reasonably superior information of PHP, the WordPress core, and WordPress.org theme necessities.
After toying with the plugin and studying about its function I’ve determined in opposition to utilizing the Theme Examine plugin as a technique to consider themes. Listed here are 4 the explanation why you must do the identical.
The Theme Examine plugin is obtainable to obtain at no cost from WordPress.org
Proceed studying, or bounce forward utilizing these hyperlinks:
<ahref=”reason1″>Cause 1: You Need to Personal a Theme Earlier than You Can Use It
<ahref=”reason2″>Cause 2: WordPress.org Themes Have Already Handed
<ahref=”reason3″>Cause 3: Premium Themes Gained’t Cross
<ahref=”reason4″>Cause 4: That Isn’t What It’s For
<ahref=””>When Ought to You Use the Theme Examine Plugin?
4 Causes Why You Shouldn’t Use the Theme Checker Plugin
Cause 1: You Need to Personal a Theme Earlier than You Can Use It
Listed here are the steps it’s good to undergo to make use of the Theme Examine plugin:
Set up the theme you wish to consider.
Set up and activate the Theme Examine plugin.
Navigate to Look > Theme Examine.
From the drop-down field, choose the theme you wish to examine and click on Examine it!.
Evaluation and interpret the ensuing warnings, suggestions, and informational notices.
Do you see an issue with this course of because it pertains to theme choice? I positive do.
It’s a must to set up a theme in your website earlier than you should use Theme Examine to judge it.
In the event you’re contemplating buying a premium theme, this could imply buying the theme you’re fascinated by shopping for earlier than working it by way of the Theme Examine gauntlet. Doesn’t make sense, proper? In the event you’re something like me, by the point you drop cash on a premium theme you’ve mainly dedicated to utilizing it. You aren’t even within the theme analysis stage any longer. You’ve moved on to theme implementation.
Nicely, OK. Theme Examine isn’t any good for evaluating themes it’s a must to pay for, however not less than you’ll be able to examine free WordPress.org themes with it, proper?
Positive, you’ll be able to, however why hassle?
Cause 2: WordPress.org Themes Have Already Handed
Earlier than a theme makes it into the WordPress.org theme listing it has to fulfill the entire WordPress.org theme necessities. In different phrases, any theme you choose from WordPress.org is assured to cross the entire checks. You may see a number of suggestions present up however no outright warnings as a result of the theme needed to cross the entire checks earlier than being added to the listing.
What about themes that aren’t within the WordPress.org theme listing? Assuming you may get your arms on a duplicate of the non-WordPress.org theme at no cost you’re nonetheless in all probability higher off skipping Theme Examine. Why? Due to motive quantity three.
Cause 3: Premium Themes Gained’t Cross
Since Theme Examine is designed to mildew themes into conformance with the WordPress.org Theme Pointers, it follows that premium theme builders typically don’t make any effort to make sure their themes will cross Theme Examine. At the least, that’s my concept. To check this concept, I ran three premium themes by way of Theme Examine: Creativo, Aegaeus, and Vantage Premium.
Of the three, solely Vantage Premium handed, but it surely ought to have handed as a result of Vantage Premium is simply an unlocked model of the free model of Vantage, which is obtainable from the WordPress.org theme listing.
The opposite premium themes I checked out all threw up an avalanche of flags.
What does this imply? Does it imply that these themes are problematic and must be prevented? In fact not. It implies that the builders of those themes – Rocky Themes, and HB-Themes – by no means supposed for his or her merchandise to be added to the WordPress.org theme listing or to be evaluated with Theme Examine. Because of this, they didn’t attempt to adjust to the WordPress.org theme necessities.
Operating a premium theme by way of Theme Examine is like checking the Kelly Blue Guide worth of a 1969 Camaro. You’re utilizing a software to make an analysis it wasn’t designed to make, which is a degree that brings us to the actual crux of the matter.
Cause 4: That Isn’t What It’s For
The perfect motive to not use Theme Examine as a theme choice software is as a result of that isn’t what it’s for.
What’s the function of the Theme Examine plugin? To examine themes, clearly, however examine them for what precisely? Listed here are a number of highlights:
Harmful PHP code, such because the eval() operate;
Hidden embedded Adsense code;
Declaration of necessary doc metadata akin to DOCTYPE, charset, and language;
Inclusion of WordPress capabilities like wp_footer and wp_head;
Duties that must be dealt with by plugins moderately than by the theme;
A heck of much more.
There are some issues Theme Examine evaluates that each WordPress theme actually ought to adjust to – akin to avoidance of utilizing eval() (holy yikes!) or burying Adsense code within the theme code. Nevertheless, lots of the checks the plugin performs are actually about ensuring that themes within the WordPress Theme Listing will work with just about all WordPress installations and just about all plugins within the WordPress Plugin Listing.
And don’t take my phrase for it. I’ll simply let the Theme Examine Plugin FAQ communicate for itself:
The theme examine is designed to be a non-perfect technique to take a look at for compliance with the Theme Evaluation tips. Not all themes should adhere to those tips (emphasis mine). The aim of the checking software is to make sure that themes uploaded to the central WordPress.org theme repository meet the newest requirements of WordPress themes and can work on all kinds of websites.
If that isn’t clear sufficient, this quote from plugin writer Samuel Wooden (Otto) in response to a plugin assist request makes issues crystal clear:
Theme Examine is for pre-flight checks earlier than submission (to WordPress.org). It’s not a technique to charge a theme’s high quality (emphasis mine).
In different phrases, Theme Examine is a software to rapidly determine issues that might forestall a theme from being added to the WordPress.org theme listing, and that’s it.
When Ought to You Use the Theme Examine Plugin?
In all seriousness, there’s a big backlog of themes to evaluation at WordPress.org. You need to take into consideration becoming a member of the evaluation workforce.
Don’t get me incorrect. I’ve acquired nothing however love for the Theme Examine plugin and respect for the oldsters who give of their time to take care of it. Theme Examine actually lowers the bar for changing into a theme reviewer for WordPress.org, which is fantastic. It’s a really great tool when used appropriately, however that’s the important thing: It needs to be used appropriately.
So when do you have to use Theme Examine?
Situation 1: You’re a theme developer and also you wish to have your theme added to the WordPress.org Theme Listing
In that case, this plugin is actually going that can assist you out. Use it to examine your work and determine points that can have to be addressed earlier than the WordPress theme evaluation workforce will be capable of approve your theme and add it to the listing.
Situation 2: You’re on the WordPress.org theme evaluation workforce evaluating themes for potential addition to the WordPress.org Theme Listing
In that case, use of the plugin is necessary. It’s one of many first steps you’ll take when evaluating a candidate theme.
These are actually the one situations I can consider by which Theme Examine must be used. The outcomes of the Theme Examine plugin should be understood inside the context of the WordPress.org theme necessities.
Theme Examine is a good plugin when used for it’s supposed function: Ensuring themes meet the necessities for addition to the WordPress.org Theme Listing. Nevertheless, utilizing the plugin as a theme analysis software for themes that from sources apart from WordPress.org is a well-intentioned misuse of the software.
Little doubt, choosing a WordPress theme is difficult enterprise. Nevertheless, the temptation to fall again on Theme Examine as an analysis software is misguided. Take the good distance round by growing a considerate theme choice course of and keep away from needlessly ruling out helpful themes whereas concurrently including an pointless further step to your theme choice course of.