API Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo, Pat Romanski

Blog Feed Post

Do What Makes You Happy

SmileyThe Little Theme Store That Grew Up

Late in 2011 Chris Cree (you might know him from his rock star support in our forum) suggested we launch a theme store. Being the overly opinionated and bullheaded woman that I am, I quickly dismissed his idea. After all, inside my head I kept thinking “we build custom WordPress themes – we do not sell stock themes.”

Chris, knowing me like he does, just waited and brought up the idea again at another time. When I ignored him a second time, he retreated but persevered until he finally convinced me to launch the theme store. I am so thankful that I finally caved in, listened to Chris and embraced his idea. And I try really hard to make a point of thanking him each month as our store sales grow.

Go Big or Go Home

Chris had an initial idea for us to launch “a theme” for sale. Meaning singular. Well I don’t believe in doing anything half way. I like to go big, which is a trait I have obtained from my husband. In March of this year we launched our store with four themes. Okay that isn’t a huge amount of themes, but it was about three more themes than Chris expected. Chris was a trooper (as he always is) and he jumped on board with my master plan. He may have been sweating inside, but he never let me see it. He also kept me sane as we became intimate with WooCommerce and learned the ins and outs of selling and supporting digital goods.

Seven months later we are now up to fifteen live themes, seven more themes are in development, and many more theme concepts are floating around in my head. All of this activity has occurred while continuing to build custom WordPress themes for clients. The year of 2012 has been a crazy and fun ride. And honestly, as busy as it has been, I’ve loved every minute of it.

Why Create Genesis Child Themes When StudioPress Already Has Themes Available?

Good question. It’s one I’ve been asked many times over the last few months. We do not try to compete with the amazing team over at StudioPress and Copyblogger.  We think they not only rock the WordPress world with a superior framework (Genesis), but they also create a ton of very cool child themes. We’ve referred prospects over to their store many times, even after we launched our own theme store.

Truth be told, the WordPress community’s love for the Genesis Framework is growing so fast, I don’t think any of us expected it. There are enough buyers of the Genesis Framework and related child themes to keep all of us busy for a very long time. Why? Because Genesis is superior for SEO, security, functionality, and a ton more things I’ll babble about in another post.

What we’ve tried to do is create themes that are different and based on our own design style. You’ll notice our themes really don’t look at all like the ones created by Brian Gardner and his team. We do this on purpose. Our theme store has themes designed by five different graphic designers and they’re all picked apart by me at various stages of the design and build process. We are different by design.

I’ve also tried really hard to create themes that are targeted for particular niches. In the last few years we’ve worked on over a hundred plus blogs and websites. While some were simply customizations, many were full development projects that required us to create and deploy a completely custom theme for our client. Each build has been an opportunity for me to listen and learn.

The mother in me always wants to solve everyone’s problems and care for those around me. So without realizing I was doing it, I listened to our custom theme clients and stored the information away until one day I started creating stock themes that solved similar problems for similar types of companies and users.

So while we do have generic themes for businesses and bloggers, you’ll find a great number of industry specific themes for law firms, accountants, doctors, dentists, musicians, daycare centers, and even eCommerce websites thanks to the plugin WooCommerce.  I’ve tried to create solutions for small businesses and industries (particularly service related ones) that need a website refresh, but can’t afford a custom WordPress theme.

Introducing the Developer Pro Pack

This month we released a new Developer Pro Pack.  The new developer license provides the ultimate WordPress license for purchases of our Genesis child themes.  It gives buyers access to all of our stock themes, as well as the ability to use them on an unlimited number of websites and blogs. Buyers also receive all future stock themes as part of this one-time purchase.

I’ll admit that I had not planned on launching a developer license. It wasn’t until a number of buyers asked if one was available (and/or if one could be available in the near future) that I gave it much thought. Once the fourth person asked, I realized it was “probably” a good idea. Just as Chris’s original idea for the store was a winner. Yes there is a trend here and I’m well aware of it.

An Affiliate Program is in the Works

Over the last two months I’ve been asked a lot about an affiliate program. I know you’ll be surprised to hear that I resisted this idea at first too. But alas, I’m giving in and we’ll be launching an affiliate program soon. The good news is this time; I did not fight the suggestion as hard or as long as I did in the past. I’m learning.

Thank s So Much for All Your Support

I know I speak for myself, and the entire Web Savvy marketing team, when I say thank you for all of your support, patience, and feedback. We’ve come a long way over the course of a few short months and we could not have done it without the wonderful WordPress community that embraced us with their purchases and positive words of encouragement.

Some big appreciation goes out to some specific people and firms that made this all possible:

  • Brian Gardner (from StudioPress) for answering my questions, encouraging us, and tweeting our child themes.
  • My sister Susanne and brother-in-law Cole who were our first beta users. They not only bought themes, found bugs, and gave design feedback, they also reminded us what real users want and need.
  • Gary Jones for auditing our first theme. He is a great example of the WordPress community and the belief that competition and the united goal of excellence are good for all of us.
  • Thomas Griffin who allowed us to use his amazing Soliloquy slider and embed it into the license so our users didn’t have to purchase one of their own.
  • The WooThemes team for creating a free and easy to use e-commerce solution. We wanted to keep the store in WordPress and when WooThemes launch WooCommerce it became possible. WooCommerce has oodles of free and premium extensions available, which also provided a mechanism for expanding the functionality and offering a great feature like the developer license.

Do What Makes You Happy

We love WordPress, designing themes, and launching websites. We do what makes us happy each and every day. The launch of our theme store only made this process a lot more fun and lets us help a lot more people.

As WooCommerce sale notifications arrive they include countries from all over the world. This made our happiness factor increased exponentially because our reach now extends well past our U.S. based clients.

With the theme store we not only do what makes us happy, we have clients popping up from Australia and Costs Rica to Ireland and Italy.

It’s a whole new level of happy.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Rebecca Gill

Founder and President of Web Savvy Marketing, a Michigan based internet marketing firm that specializes in website design, organic SEO, social media marketing, and WordPress consulting.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Although it has gained significant traction in the consumer space, IoT is still in the early stages of adoption in enterprises environments. However, many companies are working on initiatives like Industry 4.0 that includes IoT as one of the key disruptive technologies expected to reshape businesses of tomorrow. The key challenges will be availability, robustness and reliability of networks that connect devices in a business environment. Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is expected to...
OnProcess Technology has announced it will be a featured speaker at @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1 - 3, 2016, in Santa Clara, California. Dan Gettens, OnProcess’ Chief Analytics Officer, will discuss how Internet of Things (IoT) data can be leveraged to predict product failures, improve uptime and slash costly inventory stock. @ThingsExpo is an annual gathering of IoT and cloud developers, practitioners and thought-leaders who exchange ideas and insights on topics ranging from Big Data in...
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...