Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Rishi Bhargava, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict, Anders Wallgren

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
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom 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. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
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. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...