From Club member Gerasimos Tsiamalos — also known as Tsiger from CSSIgniter — I got one of the best comments I’ve read in a long time. He has a very personal story about how he got involved in WordPress theme making and creating themes for Envato’s ThemeForest. Here was his response to the Note I wrote yesterday on Envato’s role in the “big theme” market, in full, edited only for clarity:
I think we need to relax a little with ThemeForest. In my honest opinion, it doesn’t make any sense to write these kind of articles. WPTavern, instead of just criticising ThemeForest should interview a ThemeForest author or two and find the real motivation behind their decisions to release multi-purpose themes or whatever they release. You’ll be surprised by the results. Most of them are struggling to survive and ThemeForest is their only chance to make a living. Even some elite authors are in this position. I was in this position.
A few years ago I had to deal with 3 serious issues:
- My father’s cardiac arrest – I had to collect a crazy amount for his surgery.
- A house Foreclosure – Because of number 1.
- A legal case with the local tax office – Because of numbers 1 and 2.
To cut a long story short, based in Greece – a slowly but steadily sinking economy – and given the circumstances, my best bet was ThemeForest. In 9 months with just 2 niche themes – 100% GPL, no visual page builders, no bundled plugins – I became an elite author and with my earnings I managed to solve all of the above.
I wasn’t really proud of my code back then, but then again, so what? I saved a human being, his house and raised my middle finger to the taxman. All these because of WordPress and ThemeForest. From where I stand all these were far more important than any best practices or guidelines.
Trust me when I say that if you dig deeper in ThemeForest, you will find a thousand similar stories. It’s not like people wake up in the morning and say “Hey, let’s pollute the WordPress community with crappy products.” Most of them are doing their best. Yes, yes, there are also people who just want to milk the WordPress cow while it lasts, but we can find those in any industry and I don’t think there’s something to be done in this case.
Pointing fingers won’t make WordPress better. Ironic tweets from core contributors too. Education is the key here.
Besides, the truth lies in WordPress’s mission statement: Democratise Publishing and that’s the best thing about Democracy.