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  1. #1
    Senior Member krystof's Avatar
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    Hello.I am trying to create several Wordpress-based blogging communities. I found an excellent free Wordpress theme called Weaver which includes a <head> insert for custom CSS, enabling me easily to do basic customizing for each sub-site.

    I also have discovered white label plug-ins for Wordpress. One source: branding the wordpress admin by WPcandy. Note: anyone choosing one of these, pay attention to the star ratings and number of downloads. White Label Branding, White Label CMS, Custom Admin Branding, WPcandy's Login Logo, Branded Login Screen, Branded Admin, Easy Admin Color Schemes, Osh's Admin CSS Designer Tool, Logo Branding Tool, KNR Login Branding Widget, Custom Admin Bar, Virtual Theme, Custom Logo.

    My problem: no white label option for Weaver. Also concerned that "free" themes might stop being supported, leaving me to re-edit dozens of websites. (?) I asked the Weaver developer if he could offer a paid version with all "weaver" references removed in the Admin panel? He said this would be difficult because of "shortcodes" and the "Wordpress framework."

    My question: is there a reliable multisite-compatible "Framework" or "Theme" that does not charge me for every domain usage?

    Perhaps the most famous are WooThemes and DIYthemes...?

    The DIYtheme is called Thesis Theme and seems to be what I want. One basic theme that is easily modified and equally popular with professional and amateur webdesigners. Only problem is, I must pay $40 for each usage on a domain for which I am not the registrar.

    WooThemes seems less geared to D.I.Y. my own designs. Woo emphasizes their tacky array of mass-produced designs. I would just hope that by choosing one of them, I could easily modify this to whatever needs. The important thing is really the "Woo Framework." Does this allow similar flexibilty to the Thesis Theme?

    There are numerous other "Commercial Wordpress Themes" listed at Wordpress.org. Some of these also may have their own "framework," and may be as reliable as Woo or Thesis, and may have a more generous policy about usage for client sites. Any suggestions welcome. Thank you anyone.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    I used to worry about such things... but clients these days are generally familiar with OS tools, and don't expect you to build them something from scratch. I think white-labeling the logo in the admin section would be enough, but removing all references to Wordpress is a definitely beyond what even fortune 100 clients expect from a service provider today. In other words, white-labeling has died a little in the OS web.

  4. #3
    Senior Member krystof's Avatar
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    Thank you Steve. .
    • I have edited my absurdly long midnight post. Hope it is readable now.
    • Alright, I am not so concerned with "white labeling." I just want one good theme that is flexible and certain to be supported for ten years.
    • DIYthemes will certainly do this. But I must pay $40 for each domain for which I am not the registrar.
    • I guess WooThemes is my best bet, IF they allow my usage on client domains. (They are unclear on this. I have written to them.) I just need to choose one of their tacky designs that is easily applicable to most websites.

  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Contact DIYThemes and ask if they'll grant you an open / unrestricted license for a certain price. If it's too high, just pay the $40 per site.... price it in to your services, and you'll be fine.

  6. #5
    Senior Member krystof's Avatar
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    Steve,

    By the way, I notice from my habit of browsing your website that you seem to have bought WebdesignForums. Congratulations.

    However, I also have business models to offer mini-blogs for as little as $3 annually. This is part of a new concept.

    Good news. WooThemes replied to my email. It seems YES I can use WooThemes for free on client domains.

    Also, I have come to realize that all "Commercial Wordpress Themes" listed at Wordpress.org come with a GPL license. I think this means almost unrestricted usage. So this is the group to look at. The main features are customization and long term support. There are dozens and it's difficult to wade through them. Anyway, I have a general permission from Woo Themes, I know they will work and remain supported, and they also have the GPL license, and are listed among the "Commercial Wordpress Themes."

    ThesisTheme is not listed on Wordpress.org because, presumably, they do not offer the GPL license. However their name always comes up in discussions. They will certainly remain supported. ThesisTheme is renowned for having the best SEO features. There is probably no better theme. Maybe I will consider this later. Right now though, WooThemes seems good enough, and it is preferable not to work with the $40 fee per client site.

  7. #6
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    LOL... Old news... I bought it about 4-5 years ago, and sold it over a year ago.

    Regarding themes, Thesis is "blah". On-Page Optimization is overrated. There's no magic theme that will make your site that much better. And thesis has so many widgets in it, it runs slow relative to a base WP install, which probably hurts your seo more than the OPO helps.

  8. #7
    Senior Member krystof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoseley, post: 224222
    LOL... Old news... I bought it about 4-5 years ago, and sold it over a year ago.

    Regarding themes, Thesis is "blah"...
    So I assume that the people who own BeyondVPS still own WebdesignForums and bought it from Steve Mosely. And I hope Turtle is having a nice retirement.

    Thank you so much Steve!

    After staying up till 4-6 am several nights to understand "themes"... and on top of that, feeling annoyed that the supposedly "best" theme did not have a GPL license... Now Mr. CMS connaisseur says I am not missing anything! Warm and fuzzy news. Sigh.

    I still LIKE the Thesis Theme because the emphasis is not on hundreds of tacky clip-art designs. Just one sensible design that does anything. That's my style.

    But I suspect PROBABLY WooThemes are equivalent. I suspect PROBABLY the numerous tacky Woo designs are just a come-on to get people to pay multiple times. I suspect PROBABLY what you really pay for is the "Woo Framework" which is similarly flexible to the Thesis Framework. I suspect PROBABLY this is how Woo can sell hundreds of designs and keep them updated: they are all the same VW frame with a porche body or model T body etc. (Like those old JCWhitney car kits.)

    Woo has GPL. And even an ecommerce package that seems to nullify any need for X-cart. This has a reasonable price and includes a free normal theme. I think I'll get this and can do anything.

    (After testing first in the Woo Playground.)

  9. #8
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    I am wondering why you don't use one of the free frameworks and build a custom child theme your self?
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  10. #9
    Senior Member krystof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMare, post: 224264
    I am wondering why you don't use one of the free frameworks and build a custom child theme your self?
    Thank you for the comment AlphaMare.

    I am not building one site but installing a theme for a multisite, enabling clients to build dozens or hundreds of sites. A good theme works in a "multisite" environment and has all sorts of extra admin buttons so that sub-site owners can tweak their site while knowing little or nothing about webdesign. It's well worth paying $50 to $150 for one GPL licence that can be used for hundreds of sub-sites.

    I am unclear exactly what is a framework, theme or child theme. The Thesis Theme is really just a framework, I think. This enables you easily to make variations, which might be called themes or child themes. Whatever it is called, that's what I want.

    You make a good point, Alphamare, if perhaps there are free "frameworks" similar to Thesis Theme? However I doubt they have the built in extra admin buttons. If they do, will this remain supported? If I have a technical problem, can I get answers to questions? If you know of such a free product, let me know.

    If you are not familiar with Thesis Theme, play the video here -> http://diythemes.com/

    Meanwhile, WooThemes has a GPL licence for about $50 to $150 (use free on unlimited domains). WooThemes has all the handy extra admin buttons for my client sites. WooThemes is a well established company that will support the product. And I believe that by buying one Woo Theme, I can make what I would call unlimited child themes.

    I am not sure this is the correct term. Basically, I snap a picture with a cell phone to create a custom heading graphic. I change a few colors. I pop in widgets. I change the number of widget columns or text columns. That is good enough for a basic design for each site. This is crude by your standards, I am sure. But good enough for me and my clients. Those who want something better can hire a webdesigner.

    With Thesis Theme, if the website owner wants a serious custom design, I am sure he can hire a serious webdesigner who can do that with the existing Thesis Theme framework. And I believe the same goes with Woo Themes, which has the GPL license allowing unlimited free usage. (But feel free to correct me if I seem not to be understanding something correctly. Which is quite possible.)

  11. #10
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    I misunderstood your point - I thought you wanted a custom theme for the design of the site(s).
    Now I understand that what you are looking for is a custom admin dashboard with specific functions for the users of the site(s).
    I'm afraid I don't have much info for you on that - I personally don't care much for the fancy custom admins, and have found that me clients don't easily understand them. The most I do to customise the dashboard is to simplify it so the client can edit everything they want or need to without breaking the site. There is one I've been looking at, although I haven't tried it yet. It looks pretty good, simpler and intuitive to use - but I don't know how it would work on a multi-site. Check it out at http://aenonfiredesign.com/blog/afd-...s2-admin-theme


    The frameworks and themes I am familiar with are those used for designing the look and feel of the site itself. I am familiar with the Thesis theme, although I have not used it myself, preferring the free ones. You can find a list of quite a few of the free ones at http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Frameworks.
    I have used the Atahualpa framework, and have found it to be very customizable without having to create a child theme. I am now looking into the Hybrid theme for a client, as it has many page templates built in. I believe all of the framewroks at wordpress.org are supported and updated concurrently with the various versions of Wordpress.

    Also, while I was at WordCamp Montreal this summer, I met Andrea and Ron Rennick - they are very active in developing and supporting WP Multisite. They have a number of e-books available, some free, some not, on their site http://wpebooks.com/ . I think you may find some of the information there helpful. They cover topics such as how to set up the main site and the home page of the network to make it easier for visitors to access content from across the entire install, custom registrations, how to allow the super admin to assign specific users a particular role on the network, etc. They have ongoing support as well.
    krystof likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!


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