I Hate Themes

The thing about themes is – they make things sooooo easy, right? Someone else takes the time to lay everything out, make it look good and all you have to do is fill in a few blanks.

Except, they still have their challenges when it comes down to it.

Take, for example, the theme I bought for this website. Everything was great for a while. Everything worked. A few things/plugins screamed at me on the backend from the start, saying they needed to be ‘activated’. Essentially, they wanted a license key. The key I got for the theme? Nope. Not the license key they wanted. One won’t even work unless I buy it, which I haven’t done. Yet.

See, each snazzy plugin wants me to buy the paid version separately from the theme. Pay $50-100 for a theme and if I also buy the plugins, I could be looking at an extra $30-100 a pop.

But, says the theme developer, I can totally use the free versions of the plugins without having to spend more money. Cool. Thanks. That works. Woot.

Until something happens. Like a WordPress update, for example. WP5.5 came along and suddenly, my header on the home page (you can see it in the featured image on this post or down below) wasn’t working correctly and the text was all jumbled on top of each other. Trying to edit said header got me tons of warnings about incapability issues with 5.5 and the changes wouldn’t save – another issue the warnings were screaming about.

When themes go wrong

AND, I couldn’t get the free version of the plugins (yes, more than one) to update through the usual methods. And trying to do an uninstall/reinstall with the latest free version didn’t work because then I lost the stuff I’d already created using the previous version – only the paid would retain everything.

Talk about frustrating… Grr…

So I bit the bullet. I bought the freaking updates. And all the issues went away. Poof. Also, frustrating in a completely different way.

Part of the issue, I suspect, was how the theme I bought, what, 6 months ago? Used versions of plugins that are at least a year – or more – old. In one case, I was upgrading from v1.7 to 3.3. That’s a huge jump and I honestly can’t blame the plugin developers for requiring an update to make things work correctly. Normally, I would do that anyway with free plugins. The fact I couldn’t update to the latest free version, though, was painful in the extreme.

I tell you all of this and yet there was still more frustration. In order to purchase those plugins, I had to go to a couple different massive theme repository type websites, create accounts, jump through hoops, and buy them, then jump back through hoops to get the license codes, register the plugins, do the updates, etc.

The whole process from researching to figure out what the heck was broken to finally fixing everything? 4 hours.