Integration offerings can be a pain
Yesterday I highlighted a new e-commerce solution that had just rolled out – and from the looks of it, it was predominantly an integration offering.
If you don't know that that means, let me explain. You buy product A and then you buy product B and then you end up buying product C which is mostly a simple way to let you use product A and B together.
The challenge with integration offerings is that they can easily just add complexity to the whole thing.
This concept has been top of mind as I've been reviewing visual page builders for WordPress (look for an upcoming article). One of the questions I keep asking is whether a theme should “support” some of these plugins without any additional work by the end user.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the theme should come with all that functionality. Repeat after me: themes for looks, plugins for features.
But what I am saying is that in my opinion, the theme developers that go out of their way to put in place the support for other plugins (they expect will be used with their theme) will rule the Earth. Ok, maybe that's too strong.
But I'll like them a lot better.
The future of WordPress themes
Let me introduce you to a case in point. An example that I think is getting it right.
Oxford is a theme from Theme Foundry.
They're not the first company to make WordPress themes.
They're not the first company to use a designer font in their themes (rather than a Google font).
But I think they may be the first company to integrate their theme with Typekit – without you having to be a Typekit client. And without you having to do anything.
It just works.
Why is this the future of WordPress themes?
To be clear, I'm not saying Typekit integration is the future of WordPress themes. I'm not saying that Oxford is the future of WordPress themes. I'm not even saying that Theme Foundry is the future of WordPress themes.
But the thinking behind the work that Drew and his team have completed here is what I think will be the future of WordPress themes:
- Easy integration
- Implementation taken care of for you
- No fuss
- All for the users' benefit
When you stop thinking about “that's not my job” (in any development effort) and start thinking about “how can I make this easy” – you're helping move things forward.
Well, from what I understand, the Theme Foundry team is going to start rolling Typekit integration into other themes they produce, even giving people a chance to change some of the fonts.
And from there, who knows where they (or others) will go?
Maybe we'll see people integrate natural support for plugins like:
- Barley (front-end post editing)
- VelocityPage (front-end page editing)
- Aesop (story-telling)
Oh what a wonderful world that would be.