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Feature #1399

Theme audit

Added by Boone Gorges over 9 years ago. Updated over 5 years ago.

Status:
Resolved
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
Category name:
WordPress Themes
Target version:
Start date:
2011-12-05
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

We have too many themes, many of which are terrible. Much of this goes back to the fact that many of our themes come from a package of themes from wpmudev that was originally used to seed the site. I recommend the following:
- Review actual theme usage - which themes are most popular, and which are unused?
- Check out the wpmudev themes. I think that some of them have had their names/versions changed intentionally so that they would not be detected by WordPress's auto-updates. Where this is the case, replace them with the up-to-date versions of the themes from the wordpress.org repository.
- Based on the results of the first two points, remove any themes that are of questionable value.


Related issues

Related to CUNY Academic Commons - Documentation #3133: Theme Audit & Blog StatsResolved2014-03-25

History

#1 Updated by Matt Gold over 9 years ago

Thanks, Boone -- this sounds great.

We might want to remove some of the premium themes (from WooThemes, for instance) we installed if no one is using them. We should talk about whether we should re-up on WooTheme membership (and the other premium site we joined) so that we can received updates.

#2 Updated by Boone Gorges over 9 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.4 to 1.5

Ray, I would welcome any bright ideas on how to do this in a way that won't drive us insane :)

#3 Updated by Raymond Hoh over 9 years ago

We could use Ron's WPMU Multisite Theme Stats plugin that's already installed on CAC as a good benchmark of what is currently being used.

According to the stats on my local box, 95 themes are currently in use. Then based on the themes that are not used, we could do an audit based on what you wrote in the original ticket description, Boone.

#4 Updated by Dominic Giglio almost 9 years ago

Per Matt's suggestion on #2060, existing themes should be run through theme checker to determine their value and age.

#5 Updated by Boone Gorges over 8 years ago

  • Assignee changed from Boone Gorges to Dominic Giglio
  • Severity set to Normal

Assigning to Dom for the time being, as he's put some thought into the issue already.

#6 Updated by Dominic Giglio over 8 years ago

Boone,

I believe the best course of action is to re-run my initial analysis so we can evaluate plugin/theme usage now that the original list from #2156 has been pared down. Would you like me to continue in that issue, post updates here, or start a new one?

#7 Updated by Boone Gorges over 8 years ago

Well, that issue is really about unused themes, while this one is about weeding out the clunkers. If you've removed all the unused items mentioned in #2156, go ahead and close that ticket and begin to use this one for the more general discussion. Thanks.

#8 Updated by Dominic Giglio over 8 years ago

Will do.

#9 Updated by Micki Kaufman about 8 years ago

Hi Dom: can you give a status on this item? We want to either keep it in the next major release or push it. Thanks!

#10 Updated by Dominic Giglio about 8 years ago

This can definitely stay in the 1.5 release. It's at the top of my list and I'll be working on it today.

So I should have an update later today or tomorrow morning with a preliminary accounting of all themes currently installed and specific details for each outlining where they're active and how popular they appear to be across the Commons. My plan is to setup a Google Docs Spreadsheet where anyone interested in this ticket can see the status of all our themes and let me know if one that I think should stay should actually be deleted or visa-versa.

Once we have that info we should be able to make a pretty informed decision about which themes we want to keep and which are outdate/unnecessary.

I'll mark the spreadsheet as public and post it's link here once it's up.

#11 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 8 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.5 to 1.6

Even if we got Dom's theme stats and recommendations today, it's too late for us to review and implement major changes for 1.5 - especially if those changes require migrating existing sites/users away from certain themes. Moving this ticket to 1.6, but there's no reason why it couldn't go in a minor release in the meantime. Dom, please continue to keep this item high on your priority list.

#12 Updated by Dominic Giglio almost 8 years ago

Understood

#13 Updated by Dominic Giglio almost 8 years ago

OK, I've finally got the first version of a spreadsheet organizing theme usage across our entire install. I've created it as a Google Docs Spreadsheet so it can be viewed and manipulated online by multiple people at once if we'd like, or it can be downloaded and viewed/filtered/sorted locally. I've set it up to be public to anyone who has its link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ap2ItX5DDHPddDB2NkZnRlpSeTFJdnJFcm1kb0NaWXc&usp=sharing

The spreadsheet is split into three tabs, which correspond to the three categories of filterability in the Network Admin: Enabled, Disabled and Broken. I've tried to created the columns to match the column info in the Themes Network Admin tables. This setup should allow us to not only see how many sites are using a particular theme, but also where it came from (person or company) and link out to read more about the theme specifics (if one was available). I went through each theme one by one so the number of sites and links to more details should all be good to go. Let me know if you come across a link that doesn't work and I'll see what happened and fix it.

It's been a while since this issue was opened so (Boone and/or Matt) would you please let me know the order of priorities going forward? Should we remove completely unused themes first? Would you rather get an idea of themes by company so we can decide whether or not we're going to renew their subscriptions and get some updates? I feel it would probably be best to work from the top down. First do a large sweep of unused themes and get any unwanted ones out of the way. That will leave fewer themes to examine. Once that's done we can look at the state of premium themes and decide if some older ones need to be updated or phased out.

Let me know what you think would work best and how you'd like to proceed.

Boone, there's one weird situation that I'm not sure how to fix. The Admin says we have one broken theme: simplr (Stylesheet is Missing). We do have a theme titled Simplr (capital S) but that theme looks fine. There is no simplr (lowercase s) folder in our wp-content/themes directory. Have you ever seen this kind of situation before?

#14 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 8 years ago

Thanks, Dom. Awesome start.

The crux of the issue here is that we have too many themes, which means more bugs, more maintenance, and more overwhelming choices for the user. So, we should go for the lowest hanging fruit, getting rid of the largest number of themes we can at first. Since no one is using Disabled or Broken themes, I'd like to therefore focus on Enabled. Toward that end, I've added another column to Enabled, "Last updated on CAC", with the results of a git log for that directory. I've done this for the themes that are currently unused. This helps to break down the unused themes into a couple of categories:

1) Premium themes
2) Themes that date from our original theme dump at the beginning of the Commons (the Farmer pack)
3) Specifically-requested themes that we've gotten since them.

I propose that we immediately remove all unused themes in category (1) and (2). (1), because supporting premium themes causes logistic issues, and also we show a general preference for non-commercial items. (2), because these themes have not been updated in 4 years, and are no longer supported by their authors.

The items in (3) are Bibliotype WP, NotesIL, Shuttershot, Wallbase. I suggest we keep these for now, since afaik they all continue to be supported by their authors, and haven't caused us any problem.

So, let me know what you think of this plan for a first step. For a next step, I'd like to ask Dom to do the same git log lookup for all themes used on 1 site (and maybe 2 if you have time). Then, let's look to see who's using the themes. For themes that fall into categories (1) and (2) above, if there are some that are only being used on abandoned/test sites, I think we should consider removing them too. If we move through the themes used on 2-3 sites, I bet we can clear out close to half our old crummy themes.

#15 Updated by Matt Gold almost 8 years ago

I propose that we immediately remove all unused themes in category (1) and (2). (1), because supporting premium themes causes logistic issues, and also we show a general preference for non-commercial items. (2), because these themes have not been updated in 4 years, and are no longer supported by their authors.

Agreed.

The items in (3) are Bibliotype WP, NotesIL, Shuttershot, Wallbase. I suggest we keep these for now, since afaik they all continue to be supported by their authors, and haven't caused us any problem.

Okay.

So, let me know what you think of this plan for a first step. For a next step, I'd like to ask Dom to do the same git log lookup for all themes used on 1 site (and maybe 2 if you have time). Then, let's look to see who's using the themes. For themes that fall into categories (1) and (2) above, if there are some that are only being used on abandoned/test sites, I think we should consider removing them too. If we move through the themes used on 2-3 sites, I bet we can clear out close to half our old crummy themes.

Agreed. Our goal is to simplify theme choices and to reduce our dependence on premium and/or borked themes. Thanks to you both.

#16 Updated by Dominic Giglio almost 8 years ago

Boone,

I created a theme-audit topic branch off of 1.5.x so we can release this as part of 1.5 and not have to wait until 1.6 and I've pushed it up to our repo. I've also updated the spreadsheet to show themes that I've already started to remove. I've highlighted them red. I highlighted your four themes identified above from (3) in green so we don't remove them by accident.

I don't understand what you mean by running a git log for a single theme. Could you give me a quick command example?

#17 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 8 years ago

This all sounds good. Thanks, Dom.

To get the changelog for a single theme:

git log wp-content/themes/atahualpa

#18 Updated by Dominic Giglio almost 8 years ago

Boone, Matt,

Per Boone's request I've gone through all themes that are enabled on one site and those enabled on 2 sites and recorded their most recent update by using git log wp-content/themes/theme-name.

I've updated and expanded the spreadsheet by moving the most important and relevant columns on the "Enabled" tab to the left so they're easy to see and read. I've also added two new tabs: "1 Site" and "2 sites"

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ap2ItX5DDHPddDB2NkZnRlpSeTFJdnJFcm1kb0NaWXc&usp=sharing

These new tabs concentrate the list of themes that have been enabled on one or two sites into their own sheets so we can work with them a little easier. I've finished the "1 Site" tab but I'm still working on the second one. I'll update here when that tab has been completed.

How should we proceed with the sites that have one theme enabled? Should we contact the admins and inform them that their themes are being removed? I spotted a few that look like test sites so we may be able to knock those off the list immediately. If you see any that you know I can remove please highlight that row in yellow. I'll remove the theme in my local topic branch and change the row highlight to red to indicate it's been deleted.

#19 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 8 years ago

Thanks, Dom.

I've disabled all the agreed-upon unused themes, so that no one can activate them from this point forward. In https://github.com/castiron/cac/commit/df4f6827d67cc207c080e16ef434032d8b74b6fb, I remove these themes from the repo; the files will be removed from CAC on the next update. Dom, I'm not sure how/whether you want to mark this in the spreadsheet.

As for next steps: I don't think we need to force anyone who is actively using a theme, and is happy with it, to move away. I do think that we can remove themes that are only being used on test sites. Dom, could you go through the sites that are using the listed themes, and identifying those that are clearly test or junk sites?

#20 Updated by Dominic Giglio almost 8 years ago

Sorry Boone, I just need a little clarification on your first paragraph. That commit link doesn't show a whole lot of info. I want to make sure I understand correctly. You've removed the themes referenced in that commit message from 1.5.x? I have a local topic-branch where I've been removing themes. I don't want to delete that branch until I understand correctly. I also don't want to leave it lying around if you're already removing themes.

I will update the spreadsheet to reflect deleted themes as soon as I get an answer to the above question. I will also start compiling a list of sites that appear to be test/junk and update here once I have that list.

#21 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 8 years ago

Hi Dom. Yes, I've removed the themes referenced in the commit message from 1.5.x. I didn't realize that you had been doing this in a topic branch - my apologies for any duplicated work. For this ticket, there's no need for a shared topic branch - you should go ahead and delete from the 1.5.x branch (though, of course, you can use a local topic branch however you'd like).

#22 Updated by Dominic Giglio almost 8 years ago

OK, I understand. Was only using a topic branch to keep preliminary deletions out of 1.5.x until I knew we were ready to go . I will remove from 1.5.x from now on.

I'll update the spreadsheet with this new info (somehow) and compile that list of test/junk sites.

I'll update with any questions that come up about the spreadsheet too.

#23 Updated by Boone Gorges over 7 years ago

  • Category name changed from WordPress (misc) to WordPress Themes
  • Target version changed from 1.6 to 1.7

We've made some progress here, but further changes are not going to be possible in the 1.6 milestone. Moving to 1.7 for further work.

#24 Updated by Matt Gold over 7 years ago

Hi Guys --

We need to connect this effort to this ticket: http://redmine.gc.cuny.edu/issues/3133

In short, the digital fellows are working on this. They need stats on how many bloggers are using our various themes.

#25 Updated by Dominic Giglio over 7 years ago

Sorry Matt,

I'll post the details of everything I've done in the Digital Sandbox group so that all the Fellows have access to all the info I've compiled so far.

#26 Updated by Matt Gold over 7 years ago

Thanks, Dom. Do you want us to give you access to that google doc they are using? I think you should have access.

#27 Updated by Dominic Giglio over 7 years ago

You can send me over a link or I can ask through the group. I will be sending them the link to my spreadsheet too so they can pull as much info as they want/need.

#28 Updated by Matt Gold over 7 years ago

Hi All --

Here's an update on this ticket:

I have given theme stats to Laura and Andy, and they have completed a very comprehensive review of Commons themes. I've added them both, and Micki, to this ticket.

As I understand it, they have recommended roughly 80 themes for decommission, and they have thoughts about many others. I would like us to propose the following:

1. Over the next 10 days, Dom, can I ask you to familiarize yourself with the spreadsheet that Laura and Andy have put together?

2. Micki, can you please set up a meeting for Laura, Andy, Dom, Boone, you, and me to get together so that we can discuss these issues and make progress on this ticket? It would be great if that meeting could take place in the week or two after spring break.

Many thanks to you all for your work on this.

#29 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 7 years ago

  • Assignee changed from Dominic Giglio to Laura Kane
  • Target version changed from 1.7 to 1.8

Moving from the 1.7 milestone.

#30 Updated by Boone Gorges over 6 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.8 to Not tracked

#31 Updated by Boone Gorges over 5 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Resolved

I'm going to close this ticket, as I think we accomplished much of what we hoped to in the initial round. At some point, it'd be nice to revive the project.

I've added Luke as a watcher, as I know he's expressed interest in helping with this sort of thing in the future.

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