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WordPress: Finding the Perfect Themes and Plugins

WordPress: Finding the Perfect Themes and Plugins

With over 30,000 plugins and over 5,000 themes out there in the wild west of the Internet, it can be an intimidating job finding just the right ones for your WordPress sites. In this presentation, we’ll cover all of the best techniques for finding quality plugins and themes that you can trust, and what you can to do to avoid messy upgrades.

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Bryan Petty

March 15, 2014
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  1. Finding the Perfect Themes and Plugins Bryan Petty bpetty@bluehost.com github.com/tierra

    @ibakunet
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  3. You’re Doing It Wrong!

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  5. • Pick your theme first, then build on plugins that

    work with your theme (they don’t always play nice). • Break down your workflow to four steps: Making Life Easier 1. Free Themes (2,300) 2. Premium Themes (~3,000) 3. Free Plugins (30,000) 4. Premium Plugins (~2,000)
  6. Themes Photo by firetrd (CC BY 2.0)

  7. (as in beer and speech) Free Themes

  8. • http://wordpress.org/themes/ • All themes go through a thorough review

    process. Most popular themes are well supported and ratings help filter out the bad ones. • Support is not guaranteed. • 2,300 themes categorized by colors, columns, width, and features which you’ll mostly find useless for filters. WordPress.org Themes
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  12. • Stats on the theme itself: ◦ Last Updated ◦

    Number of Downloads ◦ Reviews ◦ Support threads solved • Stats on the theme author: ◦ Do they have other themes approved? ◦ Are they active in the community? Evaluating WordPress.org Themes
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  14. (as in paid or commercial) Premium Themes

  15. • Commercial Theme Shops Individually ◦ http://wordpress.org/themes/commercial/ ◦ Use caution

    trusting anyone not listed. • Trusted Marketplace ◦ Creative Market ◦ MOJO Marketplace ◦ Theme Forest Premium Theme Locations
  16. • Blog • BuddyPress • Business • Creative • Corporate

    • eCommerce • Entertainment • Landing Page • Magazine • Mobile Premium Theme Categories • Nonprofit • Photography • Portfolio • Responsive • Restaurant • Retail • Technology • Theme Frameworks • Wedding
  17. • Documentation • Is it actively updated? • Support •

    Reviews (if using a Marketplace) • Is the author active in the community? • Is the code high-quality? Evaluating Premium Themes
  18. Never let your theme handle a feature you’d like to

    keep using after you replace the theme.
  19. http://themeshaper.com/jumpstart/ Jumpstart: More Theme Search Tips

  20. Plugins Photo by popculturegeek (CC BY 2.0)

  21. (as in beer and speech) Free Plugins

  22. • http://wordpress.org/plugins/ • All plugins go through a thorough review

    process. Most popular plugins are well supported and ratings help filter out the bad ones. • Support is not guaranteed. • 30,000 plugins categorized by useful tags WordPress.org Plugins
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  24. • admin • buddypress • comments • email • facebook

    • gallery • google • images Common Plugin Tags • links • media • pages • photos • posts • seo • shortcode • sidebar • social • spam • stats • twitter • video • widgets • youtube
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  26. (as in paid and commercial) Premium Plugins

  27. • WordPress.org - usually in the form of a free

    plugin with “premium features”. • Trusted Marketplaces? ◦ MOJO Code ◦ MOJO Marketplace (plugins shutdown) ◦ WP App Store (shutdown) ◦ Code Canyon ◦ Easy Digital Downloads ◦ WP Plugins (shutdown) • Commercial Plugin Shops Individually ◦ Unfortunately no WordPress.org listing. Premium Plugin Locations
  28. • Documentation • Is it actively updated? • Support •

    Reviews (if using a Marketplace) • Is the developer active in the community? • Is the code high-quality? Evaluating Premium Plugins
  29. Recap • Never Google free themes or plugins • Only

    download free themes from WP.org • Know your themes and plugins: ◦ Documentation ◦ Support ◦ Reviews ◦ Actively Updated ◦ Contribution Activity
  30. Questions & Discussion speakerdeck.com/u/tierra Bryan Petty bpetty@bluehost.com github.com/tierra @ibakunet