U-Design Theme Options

U-Design Theme Options

U-Design Theme Options

A couple more options and this theme will not even need WordPress anymore! Six home page sliders, a couple hundred font options and half a billion shortcodes, obviously… And some people say CSS is difficult to learn. Doh! The biggest mystery, however, is how this theme made almost fifteen thousand sales in less than a year.

Clearly there are many useless and redundant options, so is the number of options and “unlimited everything,” really the secret sauce on ThemeForest? What do you think? Use the comments section to leave your feedback, and don’t forget to rate this entry. Thanks!

24 thoughts on “U-Design Theme Options

  1. I think it’s better to spent few hours writing good tutorial how people can modify your theme using child theme and simple CSS, than build such theme options panel. Here’s just options, no single decision.

    • I totally agree George. For what it’s worth, I think that learning the basics of CSS is much easier than finding your way around such options panels with every new theme that you download. Thanks for your comment!

  2. You can’t argue with success, but…

    I think a food analogy would work here. Which restaurant chains have the highest number of restaurants globally? McDonalds, Subway, Burger King etc. Even if everyone in the world knew how unhealthy their junk food is, so much food for so little money would still be tempting for most, right? Even if you don’t need that much (which is the key thing here).

    Just try switching to another theme after poisoning your site with all the shortcodes. And I wonder how many theme buyers were actually able to set everything up without needing any help. I recently had a client who wanted to buy the theme and set it up herself, but after looking at the documentation decided not to.

    Still, it’s a bit unfair to judge these cluttered theme options panels at a site like this, I can imagine most people who drop by will be WordPress purists who will hate them by default.

    • Hey there Slobodan, thanks for stopping by! Your food analogy is brilliant, and I’m a McDonalds fan myself. I agree on the switch part, most premium theme customers have no idea that such themes will lock you into using them, and totally mess up your content when you decide to “leave.” They’ll end up paying 20x the price of the theme to get a developer to migrate all their content to a new theme, hopefully a better one :)

      Thank you for commenting and have a great week!

      • Hassan, looks like it solves one problem but introduces another. Inline HTML styling is also not the best option, plus getting around it in HTML mode is a disaster. While shortcodes are not the best thing invented by human kind, I think that it’s easier and more usable than HTML at most levels. Think if every gallery entry in WordPress was pure HTML and not a gallery shortcode :)

        Thanks for your input!

  3. Hilarious! The longer I keep following this blog, the farer it drives me away from implementing theme options in my theme at all! All I’m left with to say is, imho McDonalds doesn’t provide anything that would righteously go into the category of food, so beware. ;)

  4. Hey everybody!
    I gotta say… as a fan of McDonalds myself (too) I thought the analogy would go the side of “look how McDonalds is offering a more centered menu, with much less options, which brings more satisfaction to it’s consumers” (if interested, take a quick look into The paradox of choice, by Barry Schwartz). I actually think that offering less options means in general offering a more solid and robust design and UI.
    As a theme author for themeforest I gotta add, anyhow, that I wouldn’t be so sure that everything that sells there is “cheap food”. Indeed, there are many (many!) brilliant developers coding themes there. The fact that they sell cheap is a matter of the pricing policy of the marketplace and not always mean a less thought theme.
    Just my two cents. ;)
    … I would offer you some chips and hamburger if I would not have been eating breakfast (!) :)

    • Hey!

      The analogy was about getting a lot of features, most of which you really don’t need, for little money. It only referred to themes with a bunch of, mostly useless, options, definitely not ThemeForest themes in general. So basically, the analogy was more about quantity vs. price, not about number of items in their menu, but I definitely see how (in a very weird way :) ) it can be applied to themes with good option panels as well.

      No one said everything at ThemeForest was bad, like you mentioned, there are many brilliant developers there.

      Funny how every single comment after my initial one mentions McDonalds :)

  5. Lol… I see your point… just got used to read comments on the Themeforest-cheap-themes area and it looks like I got to reactive :).
    I’ll definitely send you a copy, Konstantin! The actual theme in development should see the light in a couple of weeks, partly with help from your posts and ideas, for sure.
    Oh, and by the way… I just finished a comment without mentioning the stores chain with the funny clown ;)

  6. Their are alot of people who LOVE these options. (refer to number of sales of this theme and their reviews and the download numbers of themes like Suffusion) The question i’ve long asked myself – why not move all those settings into a separate plugin that can be opted in by those who actually want them. All the commonly modified areas should be filterable anyways, instead of a user who doesn’t know how to code doing the add_filter directly, the plugin will add the settings and the filter.

    I actually did this exact thing for a friend who didn’t know how to code (so that he’d stop bugging me for small changes.)

    Wouldn’t that make two separate groups of potential users happy and thus, more money? You don’t have to chose one group or the other.

    • Hi Chris, I think the idea of moving most (or all) of the theme options, customization and modification bits to a plugin is a great idea. As mentioned here before somewhere, there is one or two plugins that provide theme options for Twenty Ten. I’m sure there are ones that extend theme options for Twenty Eleven. Other developers can definitely adapt this approach.

      Thanks for your input, hope you’re having a great weekend!

  7. Here’s my two cents: Please consider that those “unlimited everything” is an option for newbies, I would have kill for a theme like that back in the day. So maybe these options seem useless for advanced dev guys, but it’s a definite point for newbies.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. it makes sense that an “unlimited everything” theme would be a top seller on ThemeForest.

    In terms of both functionality and development time – uDesign is probably a consolidation of 5-10 standard WordPress themes. I haven’t used it before, but judging by all the options, my guess can’t be too far off. This means they’re also consolidated all their sales into a single theme, which got them onto the top sellers list. ThemeForest places heavy emphasis on top sellers, so this exposure generated even more sales and so the snowball grew.

    Theme developers who are creating tight themes with focused functionality and minimal options are spreading their sales across several niched themes. This makes it more difficult for them to bust into the top sellers list, even though their themes are far more valuable to the end user.

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