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kops says

Hi,

A lot of the sites we build are for standard businesses – everything from electrical distributors to recruitment agencies. No fancy photograhy studios, no video companies – just plain, old-fashioned businesses.

An increasing number of themes are packing in a huge amount of functionality without actually looking at what might be useful for the majority of businesses.

A lot of companies want common features that have to be added as plugins or the page templates have to be hacked around to accomodate these additions.

For example:

Custom Post Type: Client portfolio – a grid of logos, each linking out to the appropriate client site.
Custom Post Type: Staff list – a photo floated left with a bio on the right then a line break and repeat
Custom Post Type: Product showcase – a grid layout for products with a clickthrough to the full product page. Maybe the ability to categorise these products. No ecommerce here – just a showcase.
Custom Post Type: Testimonials
A working related pages widget for subsections of ‘about us’

Some flexibilty is always welcome, too! With several themes, there are 3 panels under a slider on the front page – what if the company has 4 key selling points, five even?

Maybe it’s laziness on my part as most of these are easily done with a bit of work on the theme but it would be nice to see some business basics like in themes instead of 100 different slider effects and 30 different post page layouts.

cheers :>

J

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Ivor Reviewer says

I’d like a Tweet this, +1 and Like button for this post, please.

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WPHead says

I would like to see this too, great post :)

It’s important for authors to actually have a few of their targeted customers try out the theme before submitting it to TF in order to receive feedback on what might need to be added to the theme or changed.

I know it’s always exciting to release a product as soon as it’s done, but having a few people beta testing the theme before it’s released will not only improve the theme, but it will also make sure that it works correctly, eliminating the need for constant updates after it’s been submitted.

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Landonw says

As a buyer (of over 10 items :)) I think this would be a very useful feature. When some authors implement things like this I’ll be more than happy to buy from them.

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Authentic says
kops said

Custom Post Type: Client portfolio – a grid of logos, each linking out to the appropriate client site.
Custom Post Type: Staff list – a photo floated left with a bio on the right then a line break and repeat
Custom Post Type: Product showcase – a grid layout for products with a clickthrough to the full product page. Maybe the ability to categorise these products. No ecommerce here – just a showcase.
Custom Post Type: Testimonials
A working related pages widget for subsections of ‘about us’

Out of the box functionality is always a must to us, we have been working on these features and we will be implementing them into our new business theme that will be released in the next couple of weeks. Let us know if you can think of any more! :)

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ThemeKioken says

I already have almost all of these in my new themes :)

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Chrisbongers says

I’ve worked with custom post types before and it seems like fun. But what if you change your theme, then there is nothing left of your custom post types.

I personally think that improving the post formats would be a better option. It’s easier for customers as they don’t have to switch to 4 different (post pages)

Atleast that’s my point of view. I trying to figure out what’s better in the custom post types, looks like a lot of work for customers to set up as they are used to working with posts.

Regards, Chris

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christopherjon says
I’ve worked with custom post types before and it seems like fun. But what if you change your theme, then there is nothing left of your custom post types.

I personally think that improving the post formats would be a better option. It’s easier for customers as they don’t have to switch to 4 different (post pages)

Atleast that’s my point of view. I trying to figure out what’s better in the custom post types, looks like a lot of work for customers to set up as they are used to working with posts.
Good point on changing the theme but that would also apply to a lot of theme specific content.

Custom post types would be idea for Client and Product portfolios but I’m not sure if they are the best route for a staff list and testimonials.

For a staff list and testimonials a better solution might be to create a shortcode that generates a pop-up that allows the webmaster to upload an image and add text content. Maybe also throw in the option to select different layout styles. It’s really just an extension of what many of you are already doing with alert boxes.

At least this way testimonials and a staff list could be used on any page or post which gives more options and greater flexibility to the webmaster.

note: I don’t use shortcode ‘cus I’m super cool with timymce manipulation but for you mere mortals it’s an option. :)

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CLINE123 says
kops said

...Maybe it’s laziness on my part as most of these are easily done with a bit of work on the theme but it would be nice to see some business basics like in themes instead of 100 different slider effects and 30 different post page layouts.

I don’t think it’s laziness at all because what you are saying is exactly true- there are plain old businesses needing a nice professional looking site to showcase their products without e-commerce.

Case in point, this week I got a client who has a business with 3 divisions: Lubricants, Security Systems and industrial equipment which had me hunting TF for a suitable theme. I normally use themes with good portfolio layouts and features for this but I found an excellent theme in ITWORX by Phi which came pre-built with a product showcase but themes like these are few.

I think a modular home page may be appropriate to serve the purpose you described to highlight selling points, including featured products, featured services, brands carried, latest portfolio, current promotion, latest from the blog, Latest video, latest tweet, testimonial etc.

I also think a cross between the clean lines and a ‘commercially feel’ would mix it up a bit. Mike McAlister’s Doc Press is a good example in my opinion (but lacks features I want) and I also think AIT does it well too with smaller sliders and a commercial feel (my opinion again). Phi also did it with his ITWORX 2 and 3.

You hit the nail on the head Kops, there are many ‘un-glamorous’ businesses that need websites too.

At the end of the day authors are free to design and sell what they want but as a ‘theme configurer’ I just took on my last project today for the next 2 weeks as I’m overwhelmed right now. Themes with these features would shorten the turnaround time.

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contempoinc says

Have a business theme coming out later this week, making some last minute additions based off this post — thanks for the suggestions!

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