The Get Noticed Theme on Genuine Kentucky
This review for the Get Noticed WordPress Theme is, admittedly lengthy, but I hope you’ll stick with me. The pros will roll out after the cons and they are just as important… maybe more so.
I write a lot of reviews and I mean A LOT. So many, in fact, that I feel like I should have a t-shirt that says, “I have either reviewed you, am reviewing you, or WILL review you.”
I’m pretty sure I won’t have one printed up, however, for too many reasons to even count.
But, seriously, I am a prolific reviewer. I write…
- restaurant reviews for my Kentucky website.
- cookbook, kitchen gadget, and food reviews for my food blog.
- office gadget, furniture, and gizmo reviews for my office supply blog.
- countless book reviews on Self Help Daily and other blogs.
- cat toys and cat furniture for my cat website.
See the temptation for the t-shirt?
I bring all of this up to set the stage for the following review of the fairly new Get Noticed Theme for WordPress. This is one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever tried to write. In fact, I’ve actually attempted five…. FIVE… different times to sit down and gather all of my thoughts together, only to have them run free like wild, untamed buffalo.
What can I say, I have big thoughts.
Why is this so difficult? Well, because I am – in equal amounts, no less – thrilled AND disappointed with the Get Noticed Theme. Because I am, by nature, a Mary Poppins, Suzy Sunshine type… for better or worse… I’ll want to end my review on a high note, so let’s get the low notes out of the way.
The Get Noticed Theme Costs More Than Other Premium Themes
Allow me to say this – I don’t blame people for trying to get as much money as they can out of a product. If you put a lot of work into something, you should get all that you can out of it. I never hesitate to pay more for something it it’s worth it. In fact, my family often teases me for my love of “name brands” and my aversion to “off brands.” There are exceptions, but very often you get what you pay for.
I also approve, and even applaud, the fact that charging more for this theme will keep it from popping up everywhere and causing everyone’s website to look the same. This happened with the Thesis WordPress Theme years ago – the internet began to look so much like Suburbia, America that you weren’t sure which site you were on.
It reminded me of a story my dad once told me of a drunk going home one night (in one of those neighborhoods with houses that all look the same) and spending an hour trying his key in different doors until he found his own!
No one really wants to look just like everyone else, so the concept of a higher price keeping this from happening is fine by me.
Also, when thinking about the price, I want you to keep this in mind because (in my experience) this is very important. Many functions that you would have to pay a coder for if you used a cheaper premium theme are built into the Get Noticed Theme.
For example, the mobile responsiveness. Other theme developers aren’t doing as good a job as the Get Noticed Theme when it comes to making their themes completely mobile responsive.
CAN they? Absolutely, because their own websites are glorious on all devices. However, when you try to make a lot of their themes look just as good on all devices, you’ll end up banging your head against the wall.
Want to know something else you’ll end up doing? Paying a coder to achieve what you’re looking for… and coders do not come cheap.
Get Noticed is higher in price, but they include a great number of things that would, in the end, cost you even more to have a coder do for you.
Having said all of that, when you set your price for something, you set everyone’s expectations. If you put your price on a rocket to the moon, mark it down, the expectations will shadow you the entire trip.
Set your price high… set expectations high. Simple.
If someone is willing to roll up their sleeves, put in long hours, never stop learning and improving, and honor the pre-set expectations… MAGIC will happen.
If they fail to hold up their end… if they stop fueling their rocket ship, well, I’m afraid there won’t be much MAGIC. It’s like Bullwinkle reaching into the hat, saying, “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat… Presto…” and… no rabbit in sight.
Everyone ends up being as disappointed as Rocky the Squirrel. “Ohhhh, Bullwinkle…”
What We Have Here is a Failure to Fuel
Over the many years that I’ve been in web publishing, I’ve used countless different premium themes. While each one I’ve previously used has cost less than Get Noticed (until you need them or coders they know to do something extra for you), each one has had a far, far, far superior “support community.” In fact, the forum is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had with this particular theme.
With other themes I’ve used, questions (or even ideas) posted on the forum would be answered or addressed within 24 hours. It would be highly unusual for them to be unacknowledged or unaddressed within a day. On Get Noticed, you might just go weeks or months.
I wish I were exaggerating.
Basically, there is no support or help to be found on the forums. For anyone building or even maintaining a blog or website, this is a pretty big headache. You cannot put everything on hold until you hear back from someone. For days.
Just this morning, I had something I wanted more information about. I checked the forum and found someone with the same question. His question was posted in May and he still had no reply.
This is June 20.
Granted, unfortunately, a lot of premium themes are getting away from the forums in favor of “support tickets” or contact forms.
Frankly, I hate everything about that arrangement.
I remember in the early days of premium themes, the support forums were a dream come true. You’d almost always find someone experiencing the issue you had and… EUREKA!… the theme’s developer or a coder who was familiar with the ins and outs of the theme would give you the solution or an excellent piece of advice then and there.
NO creating your own post in the hopes that someone would eventually see it. NO contacting someone, receiving an automated “We have received your ticket and you’ll hear from us soon…” message and NO waiting for their idea of soon to meet up with your idea of soon.
Allow me to say this – the Get Noticed Theme isn’t the only theme with disappointing forums these days. There are others where you’ll run into rude coders who I’m convinced have the words, “I can do this for you for a price” saved so all they have to do is paste it into their replies.
Again, a lot of things you’d have to pay someone to do “for you” are built into the Get Noticed Theme.
You Aren’t Set Up for Success at the Launch Pad
I guess the thing that disappointed me the most was the fact you aren’t given any really helpful tutorials when you order the Get Noticed Theme. Other themes provide documentation and sometimes even videos (love those!) to help the proud new owner succeed.
Not with Get Noticed.
In all fairness, if you have the time to spend looking around on your own and don’t mind doing some trial and error posts and pages, the way they have things set up is pretty simple. However, not everyone works from home like I do. Not everyone has the time that’s afforded to me – time which allows me to poke and prod around and “see what this does“… or “I wonder what happens if I do that…”
Someone recently (not at all associated with Get Noticed) came up with a series of helpful videos to help new Get Noticed Theme owners find their way around – and he sold the series of videos for hundreds of dollars.
I’m ALL for anyone using their time, skill, and know how to earn a living – ALL for it! – especially given the fact that he obviously put a great deal of work into these videos – but, in my opinion, this is something that should have been provided by Get Noticed in the cost of the theme.
It’s kind of like buying a Lexus, then having to pay even more for an owner’s manual.
Built into the Get Noticed Theme are “mini posts” which I’ve used here on Self Help Daily a few times. These mini posts are short simple ways to share content if you don’t have a lot of time or a lot of content.
These mini posts include Books (intros to favorite books), Videos, Snippets, Shared Tweets from Twitter, Tips, Surveys, Ideas, Questions, Announcements, Links…
Problem is, they are all but invisible to Google. Search engines are convinced that the mini posts I’ve used are wearing cloaks of invisibility.
Do I even have to tell you how deep in the waters of “That’s Not How I Need This to Work!” that sinks? I’ll be going back and republishing my mini posts in “regular” post formats.
Again, in an effort to be fair, let me say this – not all mini posts are interested in Google or any other search engine finding them. If you’re sharing a great tweet, for example, it’s not imperative that it show up in search results.
However, I’d like for anything I publish to be acknowledged by both Google and all search engines. The last thing I want them to do is forget about me!
That would cut into my trips to Target in such a way that’d leave me drowning in disappointment.
Not A Lot of Options for the Overall Appearance
I would love to see “child themes” come out for the Get Noticed Theme which would include “magazine styles.” I use a magazine style on my food blog, “Get Cooking” and absolutely love it. The rotating pics, the thumbnails, the professional-looking front page… they do it for me.
I’d love to see more options for taking the Get Noticed Theme further.
Unusual Approach to Updates & Support
I’m accustomed to purchasing themes and getting updates… period. You make the purchase, you get the updates. In this way, a community is built – a community of people who are loyal and help one another on support forums.
From Get Noticed Theme’s FAQ Page:
6-12 months of updates are included with your initial purchase, depending on the license level you choose.
If you want continued updates and support after your included period, you will be able to renew on an annual basis at a substantially discounted rate during your renewal window. We have not yet determined the exact pricing or details of renewals as we’re waiting to see what our support costs are before making a promise we can’t keep.
I just… I dunno… there has to be a better way to do this. Again, you set the cost – you set the expectations.
I spoke earlier about the lack of a strong Get Noticed community in the forums. I don’t think things like this do anything to help the matter. A strong community – for any product – is built on trust in the product and in the people who stand behind the product. When these people seem to be thinking of themselves more than they are the rest of us.. well, it’s just a bit of a turn off.
I believe that if you buy a theme, you should be able to expect updates and support. Period. That’s how a loyal community is built.
Not Really a Pro or Con, But…
A lot of people don’t love the fact that there isn’t an affiliate program with the Get Noticed Theme. Seriously, though, that’s just not that big of a deal to me. If I love something, I say so – I want people to have a chance to love it too. I don’t need compensation for this.
Okay, so there’s the bad news. The negatives are out of the way, so we can move on to the positives… and there are plenty.
Get Noticed is a Mobile Responsive Dream
One of the things that made me initially fall head over heels in love with the Get Noticed Theme was the beautiful (and I mean BEAUTIFUL) and effortless way it displays on all devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, iPads, and even iPhones. I have had issues with all other themes I’ve used when it comes to mobile responsiveness. Images, usually header images, would either be cut off or, worse yet, would suddenly look as small as a Smurf’s smile.
On my Kentucky website, Genuine Kentucky, this is a huge problem because I use so many pictures. I want my website to look good and coherent for my visitors no matter how they’re accessing my website. In addition to this particular website (Self Help Daily), I also use the Get Noticed theme on Genuine Kentucky and I’ve never had a single mobile responsiveness issue.
My header looks as pretty on an iPhone as it does on a desktop computer.
I appreciate and downright love the fact that I don’t even have to think or worry about this VERY important aspect of web design anymore… not with the websites that have the Get Noticed Theme, anyway.
Simple, Painless, and Quick to Customize
As someone with multiple websites and blogs (I’d count them, but it’s simply too overwhelming), I love how the Get Noticed Theme is set up. You can simply click a few buttons and change any of the fonts, colors, or other details on your website. No digging through code.. how cool is that?!
This innovative approach is something all themes should use, whether they know it or not. People don’t want to have to pay coders to do it for them, they want to be able to control the changes themselves. Fast. Easy. Painless.
While I know how to dig through code to change a font or color, the way Get Noticed is set up, my time can be spent doing more important things. A lot of coders forget that we aren’t here to “fix” or “change” their idea of what looks nice – we’re actually here to write and provide content (and reviews!).
Any time we spend on “the other” takes away from our bread and butter. Or, to be more accurate in my case… it takes things out of my Target cart.
That’s a NO.
So Many Beautiful Options!
I haven’t “fancied up” Self Help Daily yet, simply because I’ve been busy with the crazy needs of other websites, but the options for making your website look beautiful are endless.
One option that I am totally in love with is the ability to have “rotating” header pictures that change throughout your website. I use this on Genuine Kentucky and I’m having the time of my life with it. I can use summer pictures in summer, autumn pictures in autumn, etc. This creates an overall “mood” for the website and it’s something I’ve wished for since I first began the website.
The header picture at the top of this review is one of the ones featured in my “Summer Rotation” on Genuine Kentucky.
When it’s College Basketball season (or as it’s known in our house, UK Basketball season), if I were obnoxious enough (which I am), I could make all of the pictures blue and white (which I will).
I’ve always wished for the ability to do this and finally a theme has given me the go ahead.
With Get Noticed, you can painlessly make your website look just how you want it to and it’ll take you far less time to do so.
What’s more, it’s even fun.
Comments, SEO, and Social Sharing
Personally, I have not noticed a difference – either way – since switching to the Get Noticed Theme on two of my websites. Traffic, Google performance, social interaction and sharing have all been steady.
While this may not seem like much to some, many will realize that this is a big deal.
I always get nervous when I change themes – especially when the ENTIRE foundation is SO different. I was honestly scared of the outcome. However, my desire to make my websites 100 percent mobile responsive forced me to face my fears.
I literally looked at Genuine Kentucky one day on my iPad, saw the beautiful header reduced so small it couldn’t even be read, took a big sip of my Chai Tea Latte, and vowed to jump into the Get Noticed waters.
I haven’t regretted it once. I’m happy to say, the end of the world did not materialize and the trips to Target weren’t affected.
Genuine Kentucky and Self Help Daily are two of the most important websites I have – the fact that they’re still on the Get Noticed Theme and the fact that I trust the Get Noticed with these websites says something. However, the fact that I haven’t switched all of my websites to the theme can’t totally be discounted either.
The cost along with the fairly limited layout options mean that I’ll use Get Noticed on some websites and other premium themes on others. It would be easier if I had ONE premium theme I used everywhere, but that just isn’t in the cards.
Not yet anyway.
If you are a blogger interested in a theme with effortless customizing and beautiful mobile responsiveness, I’d urge you to look into the Get Noticed Theme. The theme is fairly new and they very well may turn the negatives into positives.
I always believed Bullwinkle would pull a rabbit out of that hat and I believe they will make magic with this theme. WHEN that happens, I’ll come back here and edit the review.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at joisigers @ aim.com.