WP-Forge and the WordPress Theme Directory


When I first released WP-Forge it was one of those “I don’t know if I should” moments. You know how it is, you have that nagging little voice in the back of your mind asking you all these little questions like “is it good enough”, “will people like it” and so on.

I just did it. Since then, the response has been phenomenal and I have been told many times that WP-Forge is the best WordPress/Foundation theme out there in the wild. Still, I have that nagging little voice in the back of my mind asking me “Is she really the best?”.

I have decided to try to take her one step further by submitting her to the WordPress Theme Directory. Up to this point, I have tried my best to follow the WordPress Coding Standards. I use the Theme Check plugin religiously and I always get the following message:

Now your theme has passed the basic tests you need to check it properly using the test data before you upload to the WordPress Themes Directory.

Make sure to review the guidelines at Theme Review before uploading a Theme.

My theme even validates at 100% over at ThemeCheck.org. Neither of these however are a guarantee that WP-Forge is up to standards and fully compliant.

So now, I want to do everything the “WordPress way” and see if I can get her into the directory. I want to follow everything that I am supposed to do and see what happens. I believe that once I submit WP-Forge, I will have to possibly change or remove a few things but this doesn’t matter. I want her to be absolutely, without a doubt, 100% WordPress compliant and getting her into the directory would guarantee that.

I think another good reason to get be hosted in the directory would be updates. Any updates would come from the directory itself instead of having to use a plugin and Github however I would still post any and all changes to Github. I would also continue to follow the versioning of Foundation.

All in all I think this is a good idea and I will pursue it, but I would like to get feedback from anyone who uses the theme. Do you think this is a good idea? Should I just continue down the same path? Any cons about being hosted in the directory? I really would like to know.

11 thoughts on “WP-Forge and the WordPress Theme Directory

  1. Hi Thomas,

    First, thanks for creating WP-Forge! I think releasing it to the Theme Directory will ultimately be a good thing. Of course you’ll get exposure and since it’s one of the relatively few Foundation themes you’ll get access to that niche too.

    If I were to take a guess at a possible downside, it might be that you’ll now need to devote less time to actual coding and more time to support – of course, you’ll most likely get additional feedback that you may not get here on on GitHub – so I guess it’ll be a tradeoff.

    Good luck!

  2. For me, WPForge is a solid and well coded Starter Theme. I just love using it to build my Child Themes on. I don’t know if it’s a good idea bringing it to the “common” user. It’s still based on foundation, a pretty professional framework mostly used by the elite. I would recommend developing it solely “by developers/designers for developers/designers”.

  3. Hi Thomas,

    I know I’ve been with you from the beginning even if at times I had to go another route that used an older solution per se (e.g. Internet Explorer 8).. I think the directory would be good because, in my mind, the community could help out with support as well. Remember that they have moderators also that chip in so I don’t think you’ll have to provide more support necessarily. Maybe you’d want to but that’s different.

    I guess I think your work would be good on the directory. After all, it’s the WordPress community we’re talking about, right?

    The only negative for me is I can’t call this place home anymore.. a little corny I guess but I know I can come to a place I’m familiar with and get a little more personal attention. The directory is sort of like going to that rock concert at the large football stadium when you would have prefered that smaller venue and better seats.. know what I mean?

    Tough decision.. good luck with it. We’ll all be there anyway so no worries!

    Be well,

  4. The first thing that comes up for me is changes between what’s currently in the wild and what ends up in the WordPress directory. Documentation on any changes, if any, between the two versions would be key. All in all, it’s one of the best, if not the best, foundation-based theme that I’ve tested.

    • Thanks Francis, your comment at the end really does mean a lot. I am not going for two versions of WP-Forge. What is on Github and what would be in the directory (i it did make it in there) would be the same.

      I have already set up a test site locally and have begun to follow the guidelines. I have looked at Twenty Twelve as well and compared the two (WP-Forge does come from Twenty Twelve after all). I have only removed a few things from the functions.php file. For example lines 25 through 45 and lines 825 through 843. These are my personal custom functions and cannot be in there or at least I don’t believe so.

      If I have to strip out too much stuff then I wont do it. I will leave her exactly how she is and where she is.

      And I have been working on documentation from day one, but you know how that goes, it is slow and tedious 😉

  5. Thanks guys I appreciate the comments. All of you do bring up some very good, solid and valid points.

    @kel – your very welcome and it was my pleasure in creating WP-Forge. I think there are 22 WordPress/Foundation themes in the directory at this point and it would be awesome to throw my hat into that arena to see how she does. As far as support goes, I don’t think it will be any more than what I get now or at least I hope not…lol but it would be great to have it available to the millions of users out there.

    @stefan – Wow, I never really thought of WP-Forge as an elite kind of theme and it does seem kind of cool to think of her that way. I’m glad you hold WP-Forge in such high regard. Definitely something to ponder.

    @mike – Amigo you can always think of this as home. I always try to give everyone that personal touch when it comes to support, especially those who email me directly. So we will see what happens.

  6. I think it could be good to release it, but I agree with Kel and Stefan. You could wind up dealing with support issues more than anything else.

    I would recommend focusing on FoundationThemes.co and then release WP-Forge to the WordPress.org directory (build up the paying side first). 🙂

    All in all, WP-Forge has been a great theme for me as I have been familiar with Foundation for a while, but other Foundation-based themes have been difficult to work with. You have definitely created the best and easiest one to work with. Thank you for your efforts and continued improvements.

    • I should have clarified that you could wind up having to train people/support code which is in line with what Stefan was saying.

      • First and foremost Eric, thanks for being a fan and for the kind words. Secondly, with respect to support and coding, i’m still on the “hmmmmm” fence you know what I’m sayin. That seems to be the unknown factor here. You guys may be right but then again we wont know until we see what happens.

        As to FoundationThemes.co, I think you bring up another valid point. Should I build up the child themes that depend on WP-Forge or do I build up, improve and increase the user base of the main component of those themes? Thoughts?

        • Hi, Thomas.

          As a business owner myself, with a family to support, I don’t have the time to support a free project on a larger scale, right now. That is what influences my thinking here.

          I encourage you to build up FoundationThemes.co first as there is a dire need of well-crafted, solid, Foundation-based themes. That way, you could at least get reimbursed for time spent developing and supporting those themes. When you feel like you are at a good point, release one or two to the WordPress.org directory (free).

          It comes back to what Stefan said about Foundation, “a pretty professional framework mostly used by the elite”. I think it’s a matter of offering complete designs based on it for general users, allow them to learn more and get familiar with it. Support is one thing, but training/education will improve the outlook of WP-Forge going into the WordPress directory.

          In my opinion, you’ll start off with more training/education of how Foundation works than supporting actual code/requests from general users.

          • Eric, again, you bring up some pretty good points. I’ve ran a theme business before, not for WordPress, but for PostNuke and PHPNuke way back in the day, so I have a pretty good understanding of where you are coming from.

            I know there are going to be quit a few people who do not know what Foundation is or how to use it, but then again, if you think about it, that’s for any theme out there. There will be more than usual I’m sure because of Foundation.

            However someone suggested to me in an email today to make sure WP-Forge is well documented before hand, which could alleviate a lot of issues and always direct them to Foundation for Docs and Support Forum.

            We will see though, shes not even ready yet. Who knows I may change my mind and not submit her at all 😉

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