Within PressTrends, we deliver core abandonment percentages for themes and plugins. Essentially, the metric shows what percentage of activations are then deactivated within the first 30 days. Currently, the benchmark average is close to 60% with a range between 90% – 20%. So why such the difference?
We’ve looked at a few instances and put together some tips to help you lower your theme abandonment and make sure your users are getting the best possible experience from your themes.
The illusion that tons of theme options and short codes makes your theme easier to use is exactly just that, an illusion. While users might see potential value in it, once they activate your theme and get into setting up their site, they get frustrated and move on to another theme. Instead, focus on creating themes that offer a certain design experience and target your theme options and short codes accordingly. Remove the bloat.
How many steps does it take for you to setup your theme demo? The most common complaint among end users is the discrepancy between theme demos and the first few steps within setting up the newly activated theme. We’ve seen that themes that are easy to setup and mirror their theme demos traditionally have a lower theme abandonment because users are getting exactly what they anticipated. So try focusing on minimizing the amount of steps needed to create your theme demos.
While you may have a solid following of freelancers or general bloggers that use your themes, focus on the first time users. Guide users through the setup process, if any, to get their site up and running. Some great UX features are simple, such as redirecting them to the theme options panel once they have activated your theme. Also, since WordPress 3.3, take advantage of the built-in WP Pointer (Tooltip API) to guide your first time users through key features including custom post-types, sliders, etc.
While these are just three tips to get you thinking about ways to improve your abandonment percentage and overall user experience, there are more ways intrinsic to your specific themes. The theme experience for magazine themes is going to be different from eCommerce themes, that’s why it’s important to track usage and adoption for your themes and identity trends with each new theme or version release.
If you have suggestions or feedback, let us know. What has worked for you or what lessons have you learned in regards to building a great user experience for your themes?
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