WP themes and plugins will get you - eventually


About me

  • Aleksandar Predic
  • Twitter: @Apredic
  • Company: Shindiri Studio
  • PHP / WordPress developer
  • Co-founder of Nis WordPress community #WPNis as part of #WPSerbia community


Who are we talking about here:

  1. Personal sites
  2. Agencies that build client sites with prefered set of plugins and themes

What are we discussing here:

  1.  Themes
  2.  Plugins
  3. Minimizing the dependency from as many plugins as you can
  4. Future of WordPress themes

What exactly are we talking about?

Just some notices to keep an eye on while choosing the theme or plugin to use, from the perspective of an agency.


Ask yourself:

  1. If I had an agency which theme would I choose as my daily driver?
  2. Which plugins would I use for common scenarios?

Where can you get a WordPress theme or plugin?

1. WordPress.org

2. Themeforest

3. Specialized shops which sell their own products

What are you testings before you purchase or download an item

  1. Is it responsive
  2. Browser Compatibility
  3. Supported Plugins
  4. Translation + Multilingual Ready
  5. Page Builders
  6. SEO Friendliness
  7. Support Options for When You Need Help
  8. Ratings and Reviews

What else???

What can happen with our chosen item?

  1. The product can be converted to a free download
  2. The author may not update product regularly
  3. The author may leave the product with no further development
  4. The product can just disappear from the market.
  5. Etc...

Who is to blame?

Noone, that is what the business in fast peace industry is like. Many of the authors are forced to these changes as the clients requests new features to be supported.


WooCommerce Canvas Theme

WooCommerce Canvas Theme

We’ve come to a difficult decision: as of today, we’re no longer selling Canvas.

October 2017.

WooCommerce Canvas Theme

 Canvas was launched in  February 2010 and it was one of the first themes created using the WooFramework.

The rise of page builders and the many multipurpose themes means more and more people expect easy-to-use customization tools for WordPress.

Canvas isn’t built to keep up with the changes

WooCommerce Canvas Theme

Transition done the right way:

We are no longer selling Canvas, but we are not stopping support and bug fixes for it. We will continue to provide you with the same level of support that your theme subscription has always included.


  • You can continue to use the same support channels for Canvas that currently exist.
  • You can continue to access all existing documentation for Canvas.
  • We will fix bugs that are reported.
  • We will keep Canvas compatible with the latest releases of WooCommerce and WordPress until October 24, 2018.
  • We will assist you in migrating to a new theme with helpful documentation, including theme suggestions.
  • It’s important to note that you have time to make a decision on a new theme

WooCommerce Canvas Theme

Some customer feedback:

I was pretty shocked when I received an email from Pootle saying that WooThemes Canvas was no longer going to be developed, and that it would be incompatible with the changes coming to WordPress in 2018. I had used Canvas for, I’m guessing, 10+ years and currently maintained 11 sites with Canvas.

 I have a lot of clients’ websites that use Canvas. Some of them were only set up in recent months. I have responsibilities to my customers to keep their websites running for a reasonable length of time, e.g. at least 3 years. It would be unfair, unethical, and bad for business for me to say to them “sorry, your new website has to be redone at your expense because the theme has been discontinued”.


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin

  • The Jigoshop plugin was created in 2011
  • In August 2011 WooThemes forked the plugin into WooCommerce
  • In 2016, version 2.0 of the plugin was released as a new plugin - Jigoshop eCommerce.
  • Jigoshop eCommerce Support Team was offering help with migration from Jigoshop 1.x and WooCommerce.
  • In 2019. the plugin is considered abandoned.


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin

Uncertain at the moment:

  • No documentation available online
  • Support threads not answered
  • No transition period support for purchased premium add-ons


Ecommerce WordPress Plugin

WP Bakery page builder

WP Bakery page builder

This analyse is based on my experience and may be subjective :)

  1. Created 2011
  2. Premium plugin exclusive to Themeforest
  3. Still active and updated
  4. Over 300K sales on ThemeForest
  5. New kid on the block: Visual Composer https://visualcomposer.com/

WP Bakery page builder

WP Bakery page builder

Visual Composer leftovers

WP Bakery page builder

WP Bakery leftovers

WP Bakery page builder


Non-technical users may not care how it works behind the scenes, but they will care about the amount of work removing WPBakery Page Builder if that ever becomes necessary.


Additionally, shortcodes are not the newest technology around with the use of clean HTML being on the rise.

Minimizing the dependency from as many plugins as you can

Avoid this

Design by plugins usage

Design by plugins usage

When preparing the scope of work, don't try to find a plugin for every functionality you need.


Ok, eCommerce plugin is totally fine, you don't need to create your own.


Focus on the small functionality that you can develop and break the dependency from some plugins.

How do we make sure to pick the right solution?

You can't. You can simply minimize the risks following some healthy conventions.


Also, you can get prepared upfront when first signs of such scenarios are spotted.

Ask more questions

  1. How long is the author in the business?
  2. When was the theme or plugin last updated?
  3. Check if the list of supported plugins and WP versions is up to date. (Themeforest sidebar: Compatible with and Software version columns).
  4. Google some more info about author support, don't just read comments on ThemeForest.
  5. Ask about new planned features and it's dates of release.
  6. Not all themes are prices 59$, some of them are worth investing more money.

What happens when you deactivate the theme?

1. Page builders

2. Added functionality: Custom post types

3. Etc...

Additional questions

My company experience

Why we created our own theme and plugins

  1. We create a lot of generic sites
  2. Updating all the 3rd party themes and plugins was hard and time-consuming
  3. Unpredictable behavior of 3rd party updates
  4. Too much unneeded code
  5. Fixing bugs was slow if we had to wait for author to do it
  6. Customization

Future WordPress themes
(Gutenberg and content block areas)

The idea is for WordPress to allow users to edit areas outside of the post content using the block editor. You would be able to live edit anything: header, footer, sidebar, or any other area defined by themes.

Themes would be relegated to defining block areas, providing base styles, and designing block output.

Justin Tadlock

Future WordPress themes

We really need to consider where WordPress is (or might be) heading.

This will directly affect how theme developers and designers work. What plugin developers need to work with. How agencies need to work (and what training they will need to do).

Ben Gillbanks

What Are Content Areas?

Content Areas are the next big thing in Gutenberg

Provide a way for themes to visually register content areas, and expose them in Gutenberg.

Currently, work is underway on Phase 2 of the Gutenberg project.

Read more links

Everything has the end, so be prepared for the decline stage of the product life.

Thank you!

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