Noooo, not that kind of naughty. Not sexy-naughty. I mean naughty-code naughty. As in poor quality, half-baked code. That’s what I got when I purchased the lovely WordPress theme I’ve been using on this site since September 2011. And while I still really like how it looks (mostly), I’ve long since decided it is the single biggest reason I’ve barely blogged since installing it.
My last published blog entry is from December. The last entry of any substance was juuuuust before I installed the new theme. Since that time, whenever I’ve thought about writing a new entry, my very next thought is: Before I do that, I need to finish getting all the bugs out of that theme I bought. Then I’d take a look at my list of fixes, maybe implement one, and shortly thereafter I’d get distracted and move on to something else entirely. Generally speaking, I have very limited time to dedicate to BitterMinion; the absolute last thing I want to do with that time is fix someone else’s code, especially if I paid for it. (Even if it only cost me $35.) I mean, I encountered more stupid problems with this premium theme than I ever did with my last free theme. I would have gladly forked out $100 if all the advertised functionality worked correctly. Just a short list of the crap I deal with included things like this:
- Some advertised shortcode functionality wasn’t even coded.
- Other shortcodes existed in the code base, but weren’t listed in the shortcodes dropdown menu for posts and pages.
- Still other shortcuts resulted in html tags that weren’t properly closed.
- Certain characters (e.g. apostrophe) were always printed escaped with a backslash. That happened on pages, posts, email submitted through the contact form, and so on.
- Some included fonts wouldn’t print special characters (e.g. curly brackets).
- Poor and incomplete documentation.
- Category and archive links weren’t hooked up correctly. (They flat-out didn’t work initially.)
- Search results, archive pages, and category pages didn’t show excerpts.
Perhaps my expectations are too high, but I honestly expect a premium theme to be largely plug-and-play. If a feature is advertised, it should work. If I want to tweak or change some functionality, then of course that’s on me to do the modifications required. But if I had to do it over again, I would have asked for a refund and looked for another theme the instant I realized I was in for many hours of stupid debugging sessions.
I won’t name the theme’s author here because it just seems too petty, but I did post a lengthy list of complaints in his feedback forum. And I will never buy a theme authored by him again – despite the fact that he designs some of the best looking WordPress themes I’ve seen. My advice to any prospective theme buyer out there is make damn sure the thing works as advertised. If it doesn’t, get your money back and keep looking. For myself, I’ve already invested too much time to throw in the towel. It’s time for me to just dive in, fix the remaining problems, add the new features I want, and start blogging with more frequency.