When a theme fails to perform as it does in a preview

I purchased a theme based on its preview which works fine. I created my site, and then I find the theme version sold to me is buggy and fails to perform as shown and claimed. I must say this is a huge disappointment to me. I’ve contacted the developer, but it takes at best 2 days to receive a response, and so far they have corrected one bug, but that introduced another bug. Now I’m a beta tester, unpaid! How have you dealt with issues like this?

Unfortunately Bruce, this seems to be the way of the world these days. Everyone is deemed to be a beta tester.

However on to your main point about dealing with the situation, veiled threats such as telling them that you won’t be recommending their product to anyone or the such like usually works. Telling them that you’ll dish the dirt on forums (such as this) may give the the result you want. Dishing the dirt / naming and shaming in a more public arena such as Facebook will only get their backs up and all they’ll do is dig their heels in.

In your case if it was a paid for Theme and you paid for it with a credit card gives you an element of protection and it may be worth while contacting your card provider. Or you could just ask for your money to be refunded and go elsewhere for a similar theme.

@mike_hamilton, You can see I’m trying to avoid bashing the developer since I don’t mention their name or the theme. I think I will ask them for a refund, but the lesson I’ve learned is I have to test a demo version, and I can’t purchase any theme that does not offer a demo version, no matter how tempted I might be.

Download the free demo version of the addon to test it for suitability before purchase and ask any pre-sales questions to gauge the quality, friendliness and responsiveness of the customer support available.

If no demo is provided, then accept the risks that you might be a Beta tester and at the mercy of the developer for receiving support, modifications or updates etc. going forward.

Agreed. And I learned that if I do take the risk and have problems, then it will only happen once. I’m done buying from that developer.


First off I would like to verify that I am not bashing the dev in question or you, I just want to make that clear from the outset.

Were you able to download a sample project with the Theme in question or did it come as a package that included a sample project of the Theme in question?

The reason i ask is that you could publish the sample site and see if it works as advertised. if it does then there is something wrong in your workflow or understanding of the gist of the theme. The whole idea behind a Theme is to have something that looks fantastic and you can slightly modify content without having to create a site from something like Foundations, BootSnap or Blocks where you start with a blank page and develop from there basically from scratch to make your own theme.

Based on some of your questions in the forums, I have found you trying to do some pretty specific things with Themes that were never meant to happen by the developer. There have been many work a rounds suggested and questions answered by a good section of the community including developers. Lets take your last quandary about pinching and zooming, both Tav and I answered your question, did you see the responses? Do you understand why that particular issue is occurring? There is no indication that the responses were viewed.

As I said, I am not pinching the Developer or you. Perhaps the Theme really is buggy, perhaps your understanding of the Theme is inaccurate, I can’t say for sure one way or the other. But 48 hour response time from a Developer is reasonable considering they are all over the world. They have to understand the issue you have brought forth, they have to investigate it, fix it if a bug or tell you why it won’t work the way you envision based on your explanation of the issue.

So with all that in mind, if I were in your shoes (and I am placing myself in them to try to think from your perspective) I would be careful not to bash someone or something unless you are 100% sure the issue is with them. I wouldn’t want egg all over my face for sure lol and I imagine you wouldn’t either :slight_smile: .

Personally, I love what you try to do with Themes and I learn a vast amount from your questions and the answers posted so please keep them coming!

Good luck my friend, I hope you find resolution with your issue.

Yeah, buyer’s remorse is a bit of a bummer these days, in general. I miss those earlier days when nearly every application had a demo version. I’m looking at you, App Store! :disappointed:

Its probably for understandable reasons, but the price of the average stack has considerably inflated since the release of Stacks 2, and I’m much more careful about pulling the trigger now.

I cannot thank @willwood, and others, enough for offering demos. FWIW, I feel like it must lead to more purchases (it does for me). Not sure why more developers don’t offer them?

@Turtle, The theme sample I used as a guide to making my decision to purchase the theme was the preview on the developer’s site.

I too questioned whether I might be doing something wrong… Why does their’s work, and mine does not. So I created a super simple test site using only RW built-in pages and I published that. It has the same navigation menu problems. I believe the developer’s preview site was created using an earlier build of the theme.

You don’t need to worry about offending me. Everyone on the community site here has been very helpful in my quest to learn RW, and I am appreciative. I did read yours and @tav’s responses to my “pinch” question, and I understood what you were saying. Thanks.

I have intentionally not said who the developer is, and which theme I’m having trouble with. More so I’m just trying to learn and understand how I can avoid situations like I’m having with this bad theme in the future. Thanks again.

Hey @bruce

Totally cool! If the Theme is on the RapidWeaver Community website, you could give it a negative review in the sense that the Theme does not function as advertised with limited updates. If the Theme is from a source not on the RapidWeaver Community, there is always RapidWeaver Central to leave your review or Weaver News (maybe).

There is some troubleshooting going on for one of Michael David Designs Themes right now in the forums which looks like the fix is a Developer issue and not a Theme use issue. (either a jQuery issue or JavaScript Function issue). Last updated 2014… and like I said in that discussion, I only buy stuff that is from the Community Website, I try to keep it to a more current version with current FontAwesome, Current jQuery and have a Theme Download available. If it is an older theme (originally), I make sure it is updated relatively recently, the testimonials are good and the support is there. That’s all regardless of how Cool and Awesome the demo may look and may fit my needs. I have a short-list of dev’s I trust (which is growing as I expand my purchasing to different dev’s).

But, like everything today and yesteryear, we are all beta testers in one form or another for free. Which, imho is a very sad state of affairs.

Sure hope you get some resolution on the issues, it sucks to spend money on something that doesn’t work as advertised and top it off with poor support.


The developer contacted me today to apologize for the delay saying they were out of the country with limited internet. He suggested that my issue may be related to another add-on, but I pointed them to my test site which only uses built-in RW pages, and where I have not added any content, and the navigation problem exists on that site too, so I have to conclude it’s a theme bug. I’ll give the developer the benefit of the doubt and wait a bit to hope they can resolve the issue. All of that said, I bought the theme so I would not have to troubleshoot bugs, and yet I am, and that is sad.