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Opened 9 days ago

Last modified 4 hours ago

#4669 new enhancement

Generate theme screenshot from the demo preview

Reported by: dingo_d Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: low
Component: Theme Directory Keywords: needs-patch dev-feedback needs-testing
Cc:

Description

We currently have a requirement for a theme screenshot which is often causing problems for the theme authors - what content can be shown, the content should be reproducible for the user, size must be reasonably small, no children and nudity etc.

All of this is causing a strain on the theme authors, as they are known to include content created by a recommended plugin etc. which is not easy to reproduce (even if they provide a demo.xml on their site or github) - which ultimately causes a strain on the end user - they want what they saw on the screenshot but don't know how. And it causes a strain on the reviewer who has to check this, see if the screenshot can be reproduced, if not notify the author, which ultimately lengthens the review time of a theme.

This ticket is a proposal to remove the usage of author created screenshot for the display on wordpress.org preview (https://wordpress.org/themes/). This will solve all these issues, as the default would be shown for all the themes.

The idea is to use the screenshot from the preview button as a default. Currently, all the preview is pulled from (https://wp-themes.com/). We already have a ticket that is working on creating a better demo content on that site (https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/30), some demo content is already made, we were waiting on design team input for this.

Once a better demo is added (which can be done really soon by someone who has access to that site), we could set up a way, when theme is approved, that the screenshot of the front page is taken - maybe with tool like https://www.npmjs.com/package/url-to-screenshot (which is cool because you can define size and all), store it somewhere on the server from where it can be fetched on the theme preview page (for instance https://wordpress.org/themes/twentynineteen/).

Possible updates for later on would include:

Loading different screenshot based on the specific theme tag (e.g. shop, gallery, blog etc.) which would load different default demo preview, and based on that, a different demo screenshot would be loaded.

Since this would be done automatically on approval, when user updates a theme, and changes a tag, they can control which screenshot will be used.

Actions needed for this to be worked on

  1. Implement the default demo on the preview side
  2. Find somebody that will work on this, either from the meta side or from the TRT side (that can spend time on this with the support from somebody from the meta team)

We've discussed something about this on the WCEU in Berlin, but the input about this from others is welcomed.

Change History (6)

#1 @poena
9 days ago

-This is not meant to prevent the theme author from including their own screenshots in the zip file.
It would only replace the first preview image, means to show the author's own screenshots on the theme information page also needs to be implemented. https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/969

#2 @dingo_d
9 days ago

+1 on what @poena said :)

#3 @Otto42
9 days ago

That would give less flexibility to theme authors and also harm the push for multiple screenshot support. Additionally, this would be a core change, not just a meta ticket.

So, I'mma say no.

-1

#4 @poena
8 days ago

The screenshot is meant to show what the theme looks like, so that users can find a theme that they like.
There is no better way to make sure that the screenshot matches the theme than to generate one.
The authors screenshot can then show what is possible with the different theme settings.

#5 @dd32
8 days ago

  • Priority changed from high to low

I do like the idea of using an auto-generated screenshot of demo content, but I think it should wait until there's multiple screenshot support first.
That would allow for both "This is what you should expect out of the box" and "This is what's possible" screenshots.

I don't think an auto-generated screenshot would be the best option for many themes at present, so it would really have to require far better theme demo's first (Whether better demo content fixes that, is yet to be seen).

For reference though, we can auto-generate screenshots using the WordPress.com mShots service as we do on the WordPress.org/showcase - https://wordpress.com/mshots/v1/http%3A%2F%2Fwp-themes.com%2Ftwentyten%2F

I'm bumping the priority of this down based on the above thoughts and others comments

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #themereview by jarretc. View the logs.


4 hours ago

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