The demand of themes for WordPress is increasing day by day along with the popularity of WordPress in the online communities. So we see that selling premium WordPress theme can be a good trend for business in the future.
No matter what is your position in the premium WordPress theme marketplace – a beginner or a professional, a create-to-sale or just give away free theme – this post can give you a comprehensive view about this potential business.
Why we should choose to sell WordPress themes?
Nobody can deny the famous as well as the popularity of WordPress theme. But why it is a better choice to sell theme for WordPress than for other open-source like Joomla? Let take a look through the advantages and disadvantages below, it will help you make up your mind.
- WordPress is a flexible, powerful and open-source CMS
- The demand of WordPress theme is really high because of WordPress’s popularity
- The total costs of creating a theme are low, since WordPress is free, many of its resources are free and many premium frameworks and resources are in low-cost.
- Premium themes can be sold repeatedly. Or they can be sold in high cost for an original license.
- Because of the popularity and high-demand of WordPress theme, there are already a lot of competitors. It is a hard thing to get a new theme noticed.
- Not only the technical part but also the design has to be excellent or at least a good one.
- It takes time to create a premium WordPress theme and there is no guarantee that this theme will be sold repeatedly.
- You have to promote a lot for your themes and giving away some free themes are necessary to let people know about you.
In conclusion, the two things that you will need on the way of selling premium WordPress themes are time and dedication. If you are willing to devote your time and effort in studying how to make a truly premium theme as well as spend time on marketing them, then money are waiting for you to pick them up.
How to make a premium wordpress theme?
Before you decide to make and sell premium themes, you should identify the differences between WordPress theme and Premium WordPress theme. It is the price that makes the themes different, but we are not going to discuss about this part. The word “premium” means superior quality or value. This means Premium WordPress themes must have high standard than just WordPress theme. So, what are the features that a premium theme need? Let check out the followings:
- Ease-of-use for the builders and user-friendly for visitors.
- High quality and standard design
- Have customizable Option panel and widget ready
- Ad-free. If customers pay for it, it is theirs. No Adsence linking back to your own account or “Designed by…” in the footer.
Of course, you don’t have to meet all the features above to call your themes “premium”, but they will help you build up a good reputation in the marketplace. This means you can sale more themes and get a higher rate from users. Remember, nobody forbid you to call your themes “premium”, but you need to create themes with truly quality, since this is the stable way to stand in this cutthroat competition market.
High quality design:
What is the first and main thing that a potential customer sees in their first sight, when they are searching for a premium theme? It is the design. A good design will catch customers’ attention right away. If they find the design suitable with their style, they will continue to see other things. A good designer must fully understand their customers’ need and design exactly what they desire.
On the way creating a theme, designers will find that create a premium theme is different from design for a certain client. It is a guessing game, since they don’t know who their clients are, what they actually need and what their style are. Designers must have to use their experiences to figure out. There are some small tips for you, let take a look through the best-selling WordPress theme on the marketplace and see how it works. Did you recognize that the designs are not so artsy-craftsy? They all focus on the general functions that will cater for their customer the best. That way, buyers will easily see how their own customization can be put into place.
In short, the themes must be beautiful and versatile. And the important thing is that it has to be used easily by many kind of business. This will help you sell more times for one theme.
Just take a walk through some WordPress themes; you can see that almost every theme designed with widget-ready. Widget is important for any theme, no matter it is premium or not. Luckily, widget-ready is one of the easiest features to build up in term of back-end development. You can find out some useful tutorial video that teach you about widgetizing WordPress theme.
One more thing, the most ideal position to place widgets is in the sidebar and footer of a theme.
Custom post types:
You can consider the “post” word in this context as content. It is a generic term and don’t be confused it with blog post. Actually, we cannot define exactly what Custom post types are, they can represent any type of content you want. The same as blog post, Custom post types can create, edit and store information but with much more creative control.
This feature is really important for your customers when it comes to business. They will want their products have as much detail as possible and the property of those products must be easily to sort out. There are a lot of video on the internet that show you how to create it.
Marketing your themes globally but create it locally! Never let visitors leave your site just because of they cannot understand the language and your site have no ability of translation. The theme-buyers will consider this function carefully if they are going built an international website. So that, it is strongly recommend to add the translation tools/plugins in your themes. Those themes will have more chances of being chosen.
This feature has proved its important role in WordPress community recently. Custom option panels provide easier and guided customization for buyers. Designers can also improve their marketing opportunities via the creation of this feature, since this is one of the most desire things for both free and premium WordPress themes. However, we have to say that it is quite difficult to implement. If you are going to design it, the following tutorials may give you some help:
- Create Custom WordPress Panels with WordPress
- Making a Custom Theme Panel – WordPress Options Page
- Tutorial: Creating Custom Write Panels in WordPress
- Create an Awesome WordPress Theme Options Page
- The State of WordPress “Theme Options” Pages
Also, you should take a look carefully at some popular free and premium themes to check out how their option pages are set up. By this way, you can know what necessary and useful when design this feature.
The business site
One of the most important things beside the design of premium themes is the place, where those themes are sold. You have to do a good job on marketing and copywriting to bring your themes to customers.
- Sold premium but give some free theme
By creating and giving free themes, you can see whether this theme is popular or not. This kind of research can show you where and what features you need to improve. This is a good strategy for beginners. And for professional theme-makers, give away some free theme is a good way to marketing for your brand name.
- Set up a place to sell theme
For all designers, they can easily up and marketing their themes on the theme- market, such as ThemeForest, WooThemes,… But it is highly recommended for theme-makers to set up their own website to sell and marketing their themes. It is an ideal way to build up your brand on the marketplace. Not only that, buy this way, your regular visitors can easily find you and introduce your site to others.
You can sell themes directly from your site. It is depended on your business models and goals that you can simply use PayPal for the payment or set up a complex shopping cart system on your website.
- Marketing and PR your themes on the marketplace
As it is mentioned before, you can up and sell your theme on the theme-market like ThemeForest. Be patient! At first, you won’t make a lot of money on ThemeForest, but don’t be dispirited. The theme-market is a good place where you can get rate and advice from its big community. Therefore, you can upgrade that current theme to make it perfect. And remember to keep those advices in mind for the future themes.
- Build your brand name and market it!
To make people know your brand, you have to market it as much as possible. Put your free themes on WordPress.org site, write good PR article, and provide good technical support… These are some smart ways to gain attention from the community.
The WordPress theme-market is now very competitive. But don’t worry, as long as your themes are truly premium, gain the reputation and trust are not hard missions.
The mentioned above are what we summarize from our experiences, we hope it somehow can help you become a professional in theme-market. We are really happy to receive feedback from you.
For more examples about a standard theme, you can check out some of the good premium WordPress themes in this writing: best wordpress themes 2012