When are WPMUDev responsive themes expected?

When are WPMUDev responsive themes expected? I know I have seen this mentioned in the community pages, just wondered if there's a target date yet.

Non responsive themes are pretty much useless these days. More than 50% of all web page requests are now originated from hand held devices. Savvy customers won't accept anything less than a perfectly responsive web site.

Cheers

Chris J

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for your question and your interest in our upcoming theme project!

    We don't have a target date set yet and don't post ETA's in-case we end up with delays. Nothing worse than setting a date and getting all our members excited only to let them down with a delay!

    What I can say is that the project has been making a lot of progress in the past few months and I can't wait for you and everyone else to see it :slight_smile: It'll be a game-changer!

    We appreciate everyone's patience on this - we know we have been teasing this project for awhile; however, trust me when I say I don't think anyone is more excited to release it than we are :smiley:

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • Mike

    The Blog Post that you refer to has, for me, nothing to set the heart on fire.

    Sneak Preview? It wasn't worth the effort; just two screenshots of what appear (to me) ordinary-looking themes; each with a bold photograph on the front page. A boring theme is still boring.

    WPMUDEV will need to do better than that to get me singing and dancing with joy!

    The web is utterly littered with 'ordinary-looking' corporate-style themes.

    Placing a stunning photograph on the front page can't hide boring :slight_smile:

  • aristath

    Hello there Mike, I hope you're well today!

    We do not have many themes coming up... Just one.
    But that one theme is more of a framework, that will allow you to build anything you want with a simple drag-n-drop environment, making building sites as simple as it can get. In other words, it's a theme to make all other themes obsolete.

    I know our current themes are not as good as one would expect, but that's about to change.
    I'm sorry but there are no ETAs and there never will be.
    It will be done when it will be done.
    When that's released everyone will be dancing with joy as you said.

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Mike

    Just One Theme. I see.

    So, you are going to insist that your subscribers make their own themes. What, if anything, leads the Devs to suppose that folk have got the inclination - or indeed the time - to learn a Framework? Furthermore, what about the beginners amongst us who might not know much about design, let alone WP themes who need to have a working site or blog up by yesterday - the reason most of them will choose a ready-made theme they like in the first place

    The value of my subscription and I suspect others too has just dropped by a large margin.

    And, what about all those folks here - those that have been crying-out for a responsive version of their existing themes, including the 133 Farms Pack, then?

    Let me check today's date because this really smacks of an April Fools joke. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • aristath

    Just One Theme. I see.

    So, you are going to insist that your subscribers make their own themes.

    The value of my subscription and I suspect others too has just dropped by a large margin.

    Let me just quote a sentense from my reply above:

    That one theme is more of a framework, that will allow you to build anything you want with a simple drag-n-drop environment, making building sites as simple as it can get. In other words, it's a theme to make all other themes obsolete.

    I would hardly call that low value... and please hold your jusgement until you actually see it. :wink:

    And, what about all those folks here - those that have been crying-out for a responsive version of their existing themes, including the 133 Farms Pack, then?

    Pending the release of this theme that will make the rest of our themes look archaic, I don't think we'll be adding any new features to our existing themes, and we'll simply do maintenance releases for them.
    The already existing themes will NOT be converted to responsive simply because they are in use at hundreds of sites. If an update makes them responsive, that will probably break a few hundred sites.
    If you want to convert one of our themes to be responsive or mobile-first, it's fairly easy... all you have to do is add some media queries.
    If you need some assistance converting one of them I'd more than happy to advise on the best ways to achieve it and the CSS you have to add to make this work. But as I mentioned above, it will not be done officially because of the implications that would have on already existing sites.
    You may like responsive themes and think they are necessary and the way to go, but not all sites need it and sometimes it can be bad.
    I'm not saying I think that... I love responsive design! But not everybody does, and there are lots and lots of articles explaining why. I'll just link to the first 2 that google came up with:
    http://www.inboundnow.com/why-responsive-web-design-is-not-right-for-your-website/
    https://managewp.com/5-reasons-why-responsive-design-is-not-worth-it

    That being said, we currently have some non-responsive designs and a new theme on the way that will be responsive and you'll be able to make it look just the way you want it.

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Chris

    @aristath Those articles are not really current thinking and not based on the actual facts of the moment. Depends on the sector but I have sites that are more than 60% mobile device traffic, one of them is a gastro pub in the UK, you can see that people start to hit the site in the late afternoon early evening and they're all on smartphones.

    I think the second article raises issue regarding poorly thought through responsive designs rather than making a case for non responsive designs.

    I very much support the idea of a drag and drop responsive theme.

    I also think you will find that in the not to distant future (now really) WPMUDEVs offer regarding themes will be valueless unless they are modified to be fully responsive. I have been in the web business since 1997 and it is web users that drive development.

    The bounce rate for non responsive pages is up in 93% region when requests are from a mobile device. Our clients just do not what non responsive design as they know they're loosing potential customers to a competitor who has an easy to navigate, easy to read responsive website that does not require constant zooming, scrolling left, right, up and down just to read a sentence.

    I think WPMUDEV should see this as an opportunity and get cracking on converting its most popular themes. As you say it is not necessarily to complex and it is quite easy to provide you customers with an on/off selection so if they really want to stick to a non responsive design they can just turn off the new css rules.

    In the last two months I have found that having plugins from WPMUDEV has been invaluable when trying to solve a server resource usage issue. WPMUDEV are respected by hosting companies ie. they trust your plugins and in my situation were not prepared to just blame the plugins for the issue, which is the usual response in these situations. That's one reason why it would be great to have WPMUDEV responsive themes.

    Cheers
    Chris J

    • Mike

      Couldn't agree more Chris.

      In particular, applying a responsive update to all current themes would be seen as WPMUDEV looking-after that (large) section of the membership who value those themes: Love In Action :slight_smile: Not to mention the additional Kudos that would bring to WPMUDev.

      However, if WPMUDEV passes-bye that sector, I for one would see this as a cynical disregard of current membership in an attempt to make life easier for themselves, while thumbing their noses at us.

      Many of us here use these themes - and have built our client's sites with these themes. Ignore us at your peril, WPMUDEV. :slight_smile:

  • aristath

    Updating the themes to make them responsive is not hard.
    It's something that anyone with some basic knowledge of CSS can do in a couple of hours.
    However, as I mentioned above there are those that simply do not want or like responsive themes.
    These people have chosen and use our themes for a reason.
    If you don't like a theme, nobody forces you to use it.
    If you want a product to do something it was not designed to do in the first place, by all means feel free to do it yourself. There are a lot of resources and tutorials out there on how to do it, and I personally volunteered to help you achieve it in my post above.
    We will not be making the existing themes responsive, because doing so is wrong. Not because we're bored to do so. If that were the case, I wouldn't have volunteered to help you do it in the first place.
    There are plenty of responsive themes out there to choose from. Choose the theme you want to use and use it. But I see no reason why all themes from all companies should be responsive... There's a use for every theme. Clearly our current themes don't match your current requirements and that's perfectly fine!

    Not converting an existing theme from static to responsive is not "ignoring" the clients that ask for a responsive theme. It's respecting those that bought non-responsive themes. Nobody said our themes were responsive. We never sold that. So converting our current themes to responsive would be like cheating the clients that actually read what they were buying and liked it (and there are thousands of those).

    As mentioned above, we will be releasing a new theme to take care of the gap we clearly have.

    Cheers,
    Ari.

  • Mike

    I don't know how we can respond to your post which, for the most part, makes little sense it has to be said.

    If a service provides themes for its membership, the service should keep them up-to-date. And the membership here expects you to be doing so.

    WPMUDEV claims that they will always be updated - and I Quote:

    "Top quality, customizable, always updated, and guaranteed to work themes. Specializing in Multisite and BuddyPress compatibility"

    I suppose you will now tell us all here that they are not going to be updated - this even in the presence of emblazoned text on the page stating the contrary ?

  • Chris

    @Mike @aristath I have to say I was pretty surprised after I paid my membership and then discovered that none of the themes on offer were responsive. But the marcoms do not claim that the themes are so it's not really WPMUDev's fault.

    On saying that all the data and trends that I have right now, would strongly indicate that if a theme is not responsive it no longer has any real value.

    Very much looking forward to new drag and drop responsive theme. Quite happy to do some beta testing if that can be arranged.

    Strikes me that with a little bit of support from WPMUDev there's a nice opportunity for someone who is good with css to take up the challenge and start converting the most popular themes.

    Would WPMUDev consider some kind of commission based on actual down loads of the modified themes? Maybe we could earn a free life time membership or something like that.

    Just a thought:slight_smile:

    Cheers

    Chris J

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Chris,

    Hope your day is going well!

    We're putting a lot of our resources into the new upcoming theme project so we can get it finished and not have threads like these anymore :p We totally understand where you're coming from too. A lot of us started out as Members.

    When it comes to releasing a project like this one we have to be absolutely sure that it is ready for our users; otherwise we'll get even more threads about useability issues/bugs.

    Would WPMUDev consider some kind of commission based on actual down loads of the modified themes? Maybe we could earn a free life time membership or something like that.

    That's a cool idea, I do know that you(or whoever did it) would likely get a lot of points for putting in the time and effort - get you to/closer to the 1000(free year) or 5000(lifetime) mark :slight_smile:

    Appreciate the feedback Chris!

    All the best,
    Tyler

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