I don’t normally like talking about WordPress issues on my blog, but it seems things are changing and hopefully this will help ease the transitions. If you don’t know, my themes have temporarily been removed from the WordPress Repository because they have been labeled crippleware. I disagree, especially since I don’t lock away any key features for WordPress, but regrettably it’s not up for discussion.
I was given the impression by two very respected people within the community, Chip Bennett and Otto, that what I had written was no problem when they both looked over one of my themes a long time ago. It actually turns out that all they did was look at the specific part of code I was having trouble with and nothing else, which is how my themes stayed approved for so long. I’m just disappointed that I got this far without anyone noticing sooner, because I honestly struggle following all the regulations they have for themes. Especially when all I care about is the end product, and don’t care about the in-between steps as long as you get to the end properly. Those two finally found out about the code that is offending recently when I was trying to get my new theme Semper Fi approved. I’m quite bitter about the whole series of events that unfolded, disappoint in everyone’s decision making, including my own, and I got left with this mess.
There is a silver lining in this cloud though. It’s perfectly fine for me to take all the “Premium Functions” code out of the Free theme and Advertise about the Premium Feature in said free theme. As long as there is two completely separate theme’s their fine with it. So basically, the only people that are getting the shaft is end “User,” because now you have to install a separate theme uncontrolled by WordPress.org and their repository.
This is exactly how I used to distribute my Premium Themes in the past and how I’ll have to do it again. This time around though, I have a bit more wisdom under my belt and have basically made it possible for me to completely cleaned up the entire mess. In the past, when I would create the premium themes that you have down load and install, which wasn’t the problem. The Problem was that I had no way to tell you about update to the theme, besides by email, and it was just a messy manual pain for the end “User.” Well, it is no problem anymore. I have been able to integrate updating on my premium theme with the WordPress code. Meaning that WordPress checks for updates exactly the same as it does with the free theme and you have no way of telling the difference between an update from WordPress or the update from me. The last bit of beauty is that I now control the updates, that it is completely out of their hand, which means updates will come faster, and coding decision are up to my discretion.
All in all I think this will be great step forward, because not only will my themes no longer be offending WordPress’s Repository, but that I’ll have even more control over the end product that I’m selling.