The Downside of Using Themes Like Jupiter

If you are a small business owner who can’t afford the luxury of hiring an agency, a designer or a developer to do your website, you probably think that your best option is a pre-built theme – the Jupiter in our case. With more than 68,800 sales, Jupiter is one of the most popular themes on themeforest marketplace. But here is the catch, more downloads doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good product, and I try to explain why.

To begin with, Jupiter is meant for everyone. The 12+MB theme includes different post types, embeds a bunch of plugins and as I said it tries to satisfy the need of almost everyone! The question you should ask yourself is whether you need all the features included in the theme – which is certainly a big no.

Sure, Jupiter is fancy, it has a big nice options page but do you really need “100+ elements and 230+ Styles”? Every time I come across a website that uses Jupiter, I say “damn, not again…”. Jupiter is good if you use it properly, and for most users who are not tech savvy, it is going to be a nightmare.

Another thing that one should attention when purchasing a theme is to check the performance on the demo sites. Below is the screenshot of what Jupiter advertised on themeforest marketplace:

jupiter
A screenshot of Jupiter’s promotional image

The truth is that those scores depend on your setup. In all demos, they have used caching methods, minified scripts, minified and combined styles. Again, a typical person who is not familiar with website performance optimization will drown themselves in a bloated theme filled with different libraries. Even on some of their own demos, you cannot achieve this score.

Another major issue with Jupiter is the use of in-page styling to the point where it is just a mess. They practically add in-page style everywhere, from header to footer your theme is filled with styles. You can see it for yourself by copying the source of their demo templates and use services like unminify.com to view all in-page styles.

To me, Jupiter is another TimThumb fiasco – if you know how to properly setup the theme and customized it based on your needs you can use it, otherwise just don’t use it.