About a year ago, I started using YooTheme’s Warp Framework and templates for Joomla and found it to be a fast, powerful, easy-to-use framework and template system. I just updated my Joomla website and WordPress blog using the same Yootheme Warp 6 Framework template for both: YooTheme Warp Framework for WordPress and Joomla made it easy!
A few years ago, I would build custom Joomla and WordPress templates for client projects and for my own website. Then, in order to keep costs down, I started using commercial templates and frameworks from Joomla Bamboo, Joomla Shack, and now, YooTheme Warp 6 templates. I found that even for very customized website designs, using a framework and commercial template system as a starting point is the most economical and efficient way to build ANY website.
When building a website for a client, one of the most important things is to find a design that the client likes AND that positively represents their business. Since all of my clients are small to medium sized businesses, they usually don’t have a large budget for a website upgrade. As a result, using a framework and commercial template is a great way to get a really nice website design within their budget, and YooTheme Warp framework and templates are a great place to start.
First, Yootheme has templates to fit almost any taste. With over 60 Joomla templates and 30 WordPress templates, it’s pretty easy to find one that is close to what a client envisions for their website design.
But lets face it, no client wants a cookie cutter website that looks like hundreds of others. This is where YooTheme templates and the Warp framework really shine.
I was wondering if I’m only interested in building one website and once it’s done (whether it’s 3 or the 12 month support) do I need the updates? Would I need to keep paying the member fees? Seems like it’d be a perpetual cost which is pretty high for a non-developer… thanks
Pat Fortino says
I don’t think you need the upgrades. Once the template is done, you shouldn’t need the support or upgrades.
Do you know if YOO themes are SEO optimized? That is one reason why I was looking into Genesis framework
Pat Fortino says
I use yoast seo for WordPress with yootheme. Also use it with genesis because I like it much better than genesis seo. Yootheme templates are same as genesis for seo. The seo plugin is what makes the difference. Also, yootheme templates are much easier to modify and have a lot more widget positions than genesis
I like the look of YOOtheme templates but I agree with you about their non-existant technical support.
I purchased a 12-month wordpress membership for 249 euros which is a substantial cost and I had my one and only question go unanswered for 18 days until I gave up on it.
It would appear that 80% of the memberships that they sell are for Joomla versions of their templates. Therefore most of the questions and answers in the support forum are geared to Joomla and you’re left trying to peice together things that may or may not apply to WordPress.
If you’re the average person with little to no coding experience, I would stay away from YOOthemes because you will undoubtedly pull your hair out. I have a intermediate amount of experience and I still find tailoring their themes in wordpress frustrating at times since the framework overrides some standard coding practices in wordpress.
The templates are really nice but not getting proper technical support for the high price you pay is just bad business in my opinion.
Pat Fortino says
I agree with your assessment of yootheme support. Their documentation is pretty good, but their forum is not so good. I generally get answers within a few hours, but not always. Also, with any framework, you have to spend pain time to figure out how to do what you want. For example, if you use WordPress twentytwelve theme, you will quickly figure out how to make template changes if you already know how to use wordpress. But with Warp framework, or any framework, you have to figure out how to work with the framework. I have also used Woothemes framework and genesis framework. Genesis will make you pull your hair out. It’s a nice framework, but the learning curve is very steep. Wootheme framework is pretty easy to learn, and Yootheme warp framework is a little harder.
What I like about yootheme templates is all the widget positions. You can quickly build almost any site layout without modify anything but css files. Anyway, stick with it and you’ll figure it out. I hope yootheme is listening: your support is lousy.
I’m glad you’ve had better luck with their support forum than I have.
I’ve made around 8 sites and I pretty much have the hang of the framework. But now and then I have one really specific detail that I’d like address or add to the theme and this is where the support is lacking.
You’re right about the widget positions. The same template can be made to look totally different with all the profiles and the customizations.
It’s too bad that 90% of the good stuff Yoothemes does gets tarnished by the bad technical support. As you said, I hope they are listening to the feedback of customers like us to improve their product and ultimately their revenues.
Anways, great article; it sums up the Yoothemes experience perfectly.
One thing that needs to be mentioned here and applies when buying any theme. Support.
With Yoo you only get support as long as you are paying their membership fee. Once it expires you’re on your own. If you go for the 3 month option, you can find yourself stranded very quickly.
Recently the Widgetkit twitter app needed an upgrade due to Twitters usage policy changing, rendering the premium twitter widget unusable. Now you paid for this, and it stopped working 3 months and 1 day after you bought it. You have to buy it AGAIN, they won’t release a patch to you even though you’ve paid for it.
Worst case scenario, let’s say at some stage a security hole is discovered in this widget, which renders your site vulnerable to attack. Even though you have paid for the widget, you will either have to pay for it AGAIN or uninstall.
Bad form. If you want decent theme support / widgets, go to Themeforest.
Just a follow up. After many back-and-forth emails, it appears Yoo WILL post an update to all who have purchased their Widgetkit IF a security hole presents itself. So at least on that score you can have peace of mind, but at this stage they are still not budging on patching the now useless Twitter widget on the old Widgetkit.
Pat Fortino says
I understand your pain, but the yootheme subscription policy is pretty standard in the Joomla world and in website software in general: you can get updates as long as your subscription is current. Even if the twitter bug was a yootheme bug, that policy is still fail. They release their software in good faith that it works. If a bug is found later, a common occurance in all software, they fix it and if you still have a subscription, you can download the fix.
What I don’t like about yootheme support is that you cannot access the forum unless you are a member. I think they should have a public forum where users can share knowledge and a subscriber forum where you can get answers from people at yootheme. Now, the forum is mostly supported by volunteers, some of whom get discounts on yootheme products based on the number of support questions they answer. Yootheme developers also answer questions, but not very often.
Futhermore, there are a LOT of questions that never get answered. For example, there are some major bugs in Widgetkit for WordPress and not only have the failed to provide a patch to fixed in months after it has been reported but they have not answered peoples questions regarding these bugs.
Yootheme: love the products, hate the support.
We have a consumer protection act in my country (South Africa) that would not tolerate these policies. It is unfortunate and a pity that theme providers do not follow the example set at Themeforest. I won’t be shopping at Yoo again.
Ralph W says
Yoo theme documentation is so basic and primitive I wonder why you keep saying its good (I am speaking of Joomla). Their support is not lacking, its actually aggressive, look at those of Mustaq their main man and how he shoves you off the forum with complete disregard to the FORTUNES you paid for their miserable forum.
They actually have an attitude problem, and its starting to show on their forums by the “unanswered complaints”. I guess they keep the forum private in order to keep the truth away, or else their sales will go down; what a pity!
Don’t be fooled like us..
Thank you all for your comments. I was about to purchase Yoo Theme but not after hearing all of these issues around their service.
Mike K says
I just started with Yoo and find it a bit more difficult than other themes I have used. Does anyone know who I can just hire to help edit and customize my site? Thanks
Pat Fortino says
Hi Mike. I can help with your template. Call me tomorrow at 303-907-6133. I will be available 6-8:30 mdt or 2-6 mdt.
The theme templates look great. Stop!
Unfortunately, as a static html builder for family, and Actinic website administrator (for family) and Zen cart administrator (with support from my host) for family I have to say that Yootheme is severely lacking and things have not been working out for me. Fair enough, I am new to joomla, but if you are completely new to joomla and Yootheme & Zoo, don’t expect decent guides or support.
The documentation is terrible and appears to be written for people who don’t need to read it, i.e. they already know how to do what they want. Excuse my analogy but, Q:How to make a martini? A:Mix the ingredients together, or rather Make the Martini and pour it into a glass. Nothing about what you actually put in the glass, the type of glass and any other details one would expect. I thought I would get by, but I was wrong. Your either need good detailed documentation or supporting support for when things don’t go to plan. you will get neither.
The online support system folk refer you back to the lacking support documents (if they reply to your questions). I don’t know what the competition is like yet, but I will be unfortunately be forking out again to find out or looking for a consultant to explain in simple terms what the Yootheme people are incapable of.
Unless your a whizz, look elsewhere, don’t be a sucker like me unless you can live without docs and guidance.
Very Disgruntled, but maybe I am just incredibly thick and I have only now realised?
Pat Fortino says
Hi Nick. I agree that yootheme support and documentation is unacceptable and almost worthless. Their documentation for customizing templates is not bad and helped me get started. But for warp, it’s exactly like you said: to make a martini, mix ingredients and pour in a glass.