In the process of building a site of my own, I needed to decide what template to use. At first I thought I would surely find something nice from among the hundreds of free templates available for Joomla. I looked at 3-4 of the largest template sites for Joomla, - this took hours- ... I had to cycle through each template on their template choosers as most do not have slideshows or pages of template thumbnails.
I quickly concluded that the templates all looked cheap. Very little work was put into fonts, spacing, and graphics. It was all a variation of layout, and text color. Also, the templates were not very robust when it came to different browsers and window sizes.
So, then I thought I would build my own template. I quickly ramped up on becoming "knowledgable" on what an aesthetic and robust template should be, and, well... it became kind of overwhelming. I quickly realized I didn't have the talent to design a nice looking template.
Next, I looked at the available "for pay" template sites. Honestly, I didn't see much difference between the templates they put out and the free ones.
I checked on the various freelancer sites and they were pretty expensive for custom templates.
When I found your site, and saw the quality of your templates, - especially after having spent so many hours critically analyzing the templates from so many other designers - it was so refreshing. You have absolutely the best, highest quality templates on the market for Joomla, as far as I can tell.
Keep up the good work. (and sorry for the ramble...)
BTW - if I may, I have a few suggestions:
1. Abililty to download all your templates in a single shot.
You have quite a few templates now, and each is comprised of several files. It takes too much manual labour to download each file in each template one at a time. You may want to prepare a single zip of all the files grouped into folders, so new users will find it easier to download everything in a single shot.
2. Increase the breadth of your templates
As different as they look from each other, there is still a certain 'portal'ness about them. You know, left side and right side columns, a couple of module positions in the top center, etc.
For many business websites, they want a freer-type look.
For example, here are a couple of joomla sites I found which have a bit different look (not necessarily better - just different - in fact I like your templates better, but am just offering these as examples of "different'ness".
- edited out the URL's - I will send them to you through PM.
Thanks for the comments keymaster, I really appreciate them. Regarding the template 'megapack', I'll see what I can do about coming up with a script that can bundle them together. About the less-portal like templates, I would love to do more unorthodox templates but they have much less appeal to the majority of users and often require considerably more customization and configuration to get them to look good. This of course is totally viable if you are creating a site for a specific customer, it just becomes difficult for a club template that is potentially going to be used by hundreds of people.
However, I might to more of the configurable module position features that I used in the Feb template to allow you to configure some different layouts and therefore have a choice of standard and unorthodox layouts.
I'm a newbie, and pretty much concur with Keymaster.
The .zip file idea is a good one for all the templates, as I assume every new sign-up will do exactly as I and Keymaster did and immediately download everything! Having said that, for me it wasn't a big deal going through one by one.
Can I just chip in one more point, though. I think the templates are exceptionally good. I've already used a couple on sites I run and what an instant improvement! Andy, when you're designing the templates, can you, where possible, try to keep them as idiot-friendly as possible? I know many users here are .php gurus and well advanced in coding etc, but there are ignorants like myself who rely on people like yourself to do that sort of stuff for us!
For example, the options of simple editing one of the .php files to change the scheme etc is priceless for newbie-idiots like myself who are clueless at the clever stuff. Simple word substitutions like that are simple and manageable. Obviously the .php buffs can edit to their heart's content, but if you build in simple mechanisms like that to alter stuff - priceless and much appreciated.
Thanks for the great templates thus far.
(ps. I'm not totally un-intelligent, but am I the only one who finds Joomla completely un-intuitive to work behind the scenes? I'm sticking with it, but bloody hell it's a struggle to understand!)
I think the above 2 posts just enforce what Andy was saying. One person wants a unique 'hard to tell it a joomla' design, while the other wants a design that can be changed by just a few lines in the php code.
You can't please everyone. The default positions of modules/componets in joomla are unfortunatly laid out in the portal style. That is why you see so many designs looking the same. If you was to release a crazy template that looked amazingly different from the old left/right/header design, You would get lots and lots of questions from the people using it, who don't know how to assign modules to the various positions.
I for one would love to see a totally unique design that breaks the portal feel of joomla. But it is a trade off between design and user friendliness.
I think rocketthemes does a rather good job of making the portal style less obvious. They get a big thumbs up from me