If you are not the most patient type of person, avoid themes that have
no star, they need some extra attention to get your website working.
Nice, but I don’t agree about the de-evaluation of themes without /exampleSite – the exampleSite are there to be able to build a demo-site for it on Hugo theme site, and actually indicate complexity, not the other way around.
Yes, you are right about that it indicate complexity.
I have tested almost every theme and there are themes that are next to impossible to get working even if they are not complex and they have no config file or instructions how to setup the theme.
At least for me an exampleSite folder with a config file is an indication that the creator has done a well thought out and structured theme and have made some effort to make it easy to use for others.
When a theme does not have a star it is not a de-evaluation, it is just a sign that they could be harder to configure even for tech wizards and computer nerds…
I would be happy to have a simple method to automatically evaluate the themes based on some other criteria, but right now I have not found any meta info that can be easily extracted except for the exampleSite/config.toml file.