ThemeForest is one of the largest WordPress vendors on the web, with thousands of premium WordPress themes available for purchase. While it does look like an awesome platform on the surface, there are some pet peeves that keep coming up for us as a long-time ThemeForest user. Here are the 7 biggest issues in our opinion.
1. Mandatory Plugins to Install
One of our biggest beef with themes on ThemeForest is the number of plugins you have to install for many of the themes to make it look the same way it appears in the demos. This is kind of deceptive in our opinion.
From sliders, page builders, to full modules, every third party plugin you’re forced to install just leads to more maintenance issues down the road.
2. Code Bloat Issues
They say never judge a book by its cover. The problem with ThemeForest themes is that you can’t open that book before you buy to see just what you’re really getting.
From personal experience, many ThemeForest themes come with excessive baggage. Apart from poorly written code, as mentioned before, a lot of themes also force you to install a ton of plugins to even work:
These add-ons slow your site down and create more openings for security breaches.
3. Lack of Timely Updates
Each year WordPress itself provides periodic updates for security, to address bugs, and add additional new features. The problem with many ThemeForest themes that the vendors do not update their themes in sync, making the theme incompatible with the latest WordPress version for weeks or even months on end.
4. Confusing Setup
Over the years, we have worked with several ThemeForest themes. And we can tell you, each time it’s a frustrating experience due to the hoops we have to jump through just to get the theme running properly. From complex page templates, scattered admin areas, to confusing widgets, it’s not a fun experience.
5. Poor Dashboard
When it comes to organization of all the various pieces in the dashboard, ThemeForest vendors have a knack of making it 10x more complicated than it needs to be. Things are scattered across 10s of menus on the sidebar. Even a simple task like updating the theme color takes us 3x as long in many ThemeForest themes compared to say something from StudioPress or Elegant Themes.
6. Disappearing Themes
Finally, when you buy a theme from ThemeForest, you’re betting your entire business on unknown vendors that could just be a 5-year kid working part-time in his basement. As such, there is no stability or guarantee the theme will be around in 5 years. We see themes getting pulled from ThemeForest all the time.
7. So What’s the Alternative?
These days, we try to stick to WordPress themes created by dedicated studios. This way, we know they are going to be around as long as our business is. Also, support is usually a lot better, and updates are much more timely compared to themes on ThemeForest. Some of our favorite places for themes these days are: