WordPress Landing Page Theme – SM.APPER by SmashingMagazine – Honest Review er.. Rant..
Sorry, I just need to vent after the painful and messy experience with one of the worst coded (but best looking) themes I’ve ever had the displeasure of using.
The graphics are awesome but the code is mental.
Starting with the way it’s installed.. totally backwards way of setting up a simple theme.
Share with friends
The doc suggests putting your social links in there, therefore, rendering the graphic “Share with your friends” kind of useless – it makes no sense, it should be “Follow Us” or something – not “Share”. Or the links should be share links, not direct social links.
Next.. would’ve been nice to have the ‘homepage pitch’ pre-coded in the theme rather than having to type in every character from an image screenshot on the pdf.
Next.. Products.. wow.. unless you intend to use every field.. which is scattered throughout the theme.. you have a bunch of fields that most people would never use but if they dont use them, they are being called from all the other pages.. installations, versions, descriptions.. I could write an entire book on what needs to be improved in here, every field should be optional, sorry, but this is insane. Not that the site supports ecommerce anyway.. :/ I don’t think I have a spare few hours to write all the things that are completely wrong with this area.. moving on..
If your product has more than 7 characters, then you have to edit the sylesheet because by default it is 54px on the homepage – which only fits about 7 characters before falling “outside” of the menu shape – also makes no sense, and anyone testing this would’ve spotted this in a few seconds so I have no idea how it made it past any reviews.
Images are fixed sizes 214×284 (from docs) but more like 208×288 (from css) and have to be uploaded Manually via ftp.. to their themes images directory.. (its convenient and common practice to use media library), and you have to type in just the file name if you want to call an image. Why? Why would you do that? There is no logic to do coding this way anymore, I just.. I can’t understand why you would do that.
If you don’t enter a ‘buy now’ or ‘download now’ button link.. the images to buy and download still show up – therefore, you need to have both. Regardless if that doesnt fit for your products, you will have to have a buy and download link.. (unless you want to edit the theme yourself to remove the code.)
Why do you need to create 4 separate categories to add 1 product? Why?
Parent Category = Products
Sub-Cat = Product
Then strangely, each product also needs to be created into a separate category under it’s own name. Way bizarre. Absolutely makes no sense to do this. Also, what if you were doing Services instead of Products? Too bad, you need to call it Products.
If there were such a thing as “Road Rage” for WordPress themes.. that’s the experience I’m having :)
Need to create a new category called Testimonial and assign a new post to that and the products category.. but that doesnt seem to do anything, I can’t see a new testimonial show up anywhere, not in the testimonials box or on the products page. I assume it’s supposed to come up on the homepage? If I try and “view post” on the testimonial, I get Fatal error: Call to a member function the_meta() on a non-object in single.php on line 16.
But I get..
Not done with widgets like every other theme on the planet.. no, you have to modify /wp-content/themes/smapper/communicate.php eh? Why?
Team member profiles page
You have to add yet another category called Team Profiles, save the post, and then some extra custom fields turn up to type in the info.. this should definitely be a widget.
Select Team Profiles Category
Then click “Publish” …
… and Then, the extra Custom Fields show up in the post.
Which obviously has some image restrictions too that I need to figure out when I’m done..
It’s such a shame that one of the most beautiful (graphic wise) themes is coded so badly. I am going to pay someone to fix this up for me, but it should definitely be in your best interest to please get it coded by a professional and then this theme would be awesome for anyone… but everything is like going back to the dark ages with this theme. Or why not just sell it as a PSD Template?
The site design is fantastic, but please you need to hire a coder.
I suggest giving your beautiful graphics to a professional coder and seeing what wonderful creation will be made.. I’m really sorry but wow, this theme’s code makes absolutely no sense and I would never recommend it to anyone unless they have their own development team.
I haven’t even finished setting it up yet, but I was compelled to get this all out of my system before I get back to it.. the ironic thing is that I bought this because I quickly wanted to setup a quick landing page that I estimated would take me about an hour.. 4 hours later and I’m just nowhere near the end.. it didn’t have to be that way.. any other landing page theme would’ve taken about an hour, but with manual editing of images, manual uploading of the theme, configuring lots even before being able to activate the theme, the strange way everything is coded.. I estimate that this 1 hour job will probably now take a week before I get my ‘quick landing page’ up.
</End Rant> :)