Have you ever wanted to be able to see what is available in the heady world of WordPress from a Theme & Plugin point of view? Well apart from reading WPin.me (chortle) how about a way for you to actually see all the latest premium themes and premium WordPress plugins from a selection of providers, right from your WordPress backend?
Sounds interesting does it not? Well yes, yes it does. Welcome one and all to:
WP App Store
Born of an idea from a chap called Brad Touesnard a freelance web developer specializing in front end developer, WP App Store also boasts a couple of advisors. Interestingly enough one of them is Adii Pienaar of WooThemes fame the other is Carl Hancock the creator of Gravity Forms.
An interesting bunch indeed involved in WP App Store. So what can you expect from installing this plugin? Glad you asked people, glad you asked.
Installing WP App Store is much the same as any other plugin, head on over to WP App Store or download it here. Once installed, you will notice a new menu item in your WordPress side bar entitled WP App Store.
The home page of WP App Store highlights new themes and plugins available on their marketplace. You will of course have to sign up for WP App Store which is easily done by clicking on register.
Signing up is a breeze to do, simply click on create an account and an account creation page slides into view for you to fill in your details. Simple, easy and painless. Next up we will browse the themes available and see what WP App Store offers in terms of finding themes and more.
Theme Search & Selection Within WP App Store
There is now a filter bar next to the theme homepage. Here we can filter themes down from a selection of tick boxes. These include App, Business, Commerce, Multimedia, News & Magazine and Portfolio. The next section is to filter by theme provider or publisher if you will. These include (presently) AppThemes, Crowd Favorite, Gabfire Themes, Mint Themes, Obox, Organic Themes, Press75, ThemeFuse, Themify, UpThemes, WooThemes and WPZOOM.
So there is no shortage of quality theme providers on offer, a good start for WP App Store.
Upon selecting a theme provider it will in fact show me all themes available from ThemeFuse, here we can view all themes currently available. Slight gripe here would have been good to see the actual price of a theme without having to click into it. A small niggle for me personally, but hey it’s my review.
Well narrowing it down to a specific theme as the above slides will show gives us theme detail cost and an image gallery of various pages all done through a light box. For me not enough detail is forthcoming on the theme on this page, what special functionality does it have? Does it support custom post types, does it have an options screen etc etc. All useful things to know before you go into ‘purchase mode’.
Upon further clarification and selecting a different theme, it would appear this theme publisher has not chosen to show more info where as other ones I have seen do have more info on offer highlight the areas mentioned above.
Purchasing the theme (the next slide along click to view) throws up a payment page itself. Here we can enter in our card details to make a purchase. All simple enough to do so however it does not look very secure to me and having had suffered card fraud (not that I am implying that at all BTW!!!) I double checked the SSL certificate.
I am of the opinion more could be mentioned about security and perhaps a link to pop up screen highlighting how your data is used what payment provider, encryption and all relevant security be displayed for peace of mind for the theme purchaser. Personally I think PayPal would appease a lot of people on this, however with PayPal adding their fees in I suppose it could prove costly for the developers and the theme publishers.
WordPress Plugin Provider Search & Selection
In fairness the same method obviously applies as outline for theme selection, so there is no need to duplicate my effort in order to show how to find a WordPress Plugin in WP App Store. Suffice to say it’s more of the same. The main difference however is in terms of filtering. Here we have: Calendars, Commerce, Maintenance, Media, Sliders and utilities. Plugin providers are: Crowd Favorite, Dev7studios, Digital Telepathy, Modern Tribe, Obox, SeedProd, UpThemes & Wysija.
Again a healthy selection is available to those looking for a standout premium plugin. All purchasing options and info on the plugins are identical to those for purchasing a theme.
WPin Verdict on WP App Store
Gripes. Ok nobody likes gripes but here goes. Firstly it needs better navigation, it’s own menu system if you will for going forwards and backwards. It also needs a search facility if possible filtering by provider and plugin/theme type is all well and good but nothing beats the satisfaction of a search and finding a gem.
Price display on themes overview screen would be useful. Mainly because some people have a budget for a theme and having to endlessly click on each theme to find out it’s too expensive for them will become tiresome. No doubt this would then inspire a Google search instead and potentially lost custom.
More info on security aspects, WP App Store needs to assure the end user more about security, putting people at ease about their potential purchases with information on card payment provider, how data is stores etc, etc.
Personal Perspective. Me well I just don’t know, whenever I buy a theme I like to test it out properly on a WAMP install or a blank domain just to get a feel for it. Buying a theme or plugin and installing and using it straight away, just doesn’t seem that sound to me. Half the time WordPress themes & plugins need to be tweaked to do what you need them to do. Whilst I can assure you all the themes and plugins available in WP App Store will no doubt work straight away, for me nothing beats the feeling of a good tinker around to get a feel of what a theme or plugin can do. Then and only then uploading it to your WordPress install. But hey that’s just me.
What do you think of the WP App Store? Do you think it’s a good idea? Have you used it? Do you share my concerns or are you happy with it? Join in below.