Just in case you hadn’t had your fill of yesterday’s panel on WordPress themes and the ThemeForest marketplace, this episode of Aftertaste directly followed the panel discussion. Mike McAlister had to step away, but Chris Molitor and Jake Caputo discuss a few more topics before the chat room and the mic were switched off.
In this, the first ever episode of the Roundtable Podcast, I chatted with Mike McAlister, Jake Caputo, and Chris Molitor. (Pippin Williamson had a baby today — congrats Pippin! — so we’ll get him on a future episode of the show.)
Mike, Jake, and Chris have all built their businesses by selling WordPress themes in the ThemeForest marketplace. Naturally, we discussed the nature of marketplaces and selling themes quite a bit. We talked support, typical customers, pricing, building your own brand, and theme business models. In other words if you like WordPress theme discussions, you should like this episode.
Be sure to check out Mike’s Okay Themes, Jake’s ThemeThrift, Chris’s themes on ThemeForest, and of course Pippin’s plugins when you get a chance. And keep an eye on the Stream broadcast schedule so you know the next time we’re planning to go live with a new podcast recording!
“Oh I’m a nobody,” Brad Touesnard told me during our phone interview last week. Humble as that statement is, it’s likely to change come April when he will launch WP App Store, a project looking to bring the theme and plugin purchase process into the WordPress dashboard itself. Touesnard (pronounced “two-narr”) partnered with WooThemes’s Adii Pienaar last October, and the new platform is just about ready to roll out.
WP App Store will be a free plugin that will make buying themes and plugins easier for users, and selling them easier for developers who don’t already have a platform. Touesnard hopes the plugin will find a home in the WordPress.org directory, but that if it can’t he’ll host it elsewhere.
As of today WP App Store has just over a dozen major vendors signed on (including WooThemes, rocketgenius, StudioPress, Press75, Modern Tribe, and others) and they expect more to come on board in advance of the official launch.
Red Factory, a business that has sold themes on ThemeForest since 2010, has decided to prepare and launch a theme marketplace called Themely. Themely, they say, will be a new theme marketplace where designers and developers can team up and sell WordPress themes together.
Their idea seems to be that designers will receive payment for theme designs the way writers are in the publishing world, using a royalty model. The process on Themely will begin with an uploaded design, after which developers can adapt the design to WordPress or a number of other content management systems. Designers are then able to chime in and make additional supporting items. The exact workflow and payout structures are still under development with a few developers and designers who are involved at this point.
Currently, according to Red Factory’s Patrick Cohen, there are six designers and seven developers involved and building themes together now to map out the process, and over eighty people have shown an interest in being involved with Themely. Red Factory will continue to sell themes exclusively on ThemeForest while developing and launching their own marketplace. Patrick said they are developing a framework to share with those on their marketplace, and are using sales on ThemeForest to improve it.
They are planning pre-launch of Themely in the early second quarter of 2012, and it will remain an invite only network through the end of the year. If you’re interested be sure to let them know by joining their pre-launch newsletter, and check out their clever pre-launch video for a quick rundown of the idea.