I recently had an opportunity to chat with Noel Tock, the creator of Theme Force. Theme Force has a singular focus – websites for restaurants. Noel and his development partners, Tom and Joe of Humanmade, are targeting restaurants across the globe with fully hosted, WordPress based, website solutions.
Theme Force has been selling WordPress themes for restaurants since mid 2010. However, the end goal for Tock is “to sell an end-to-end solution where a customer can log in and manage everything from there.” Thus, the end goal is not building products for WordPress, but building a web application on top of it.
Theme Force doesn’t consider other WordPress theme shops as competition, but rather other non-WordPress based restaurant website providers like Culini and Let’sEat. They have created a framework for their themes so end users can manage theme options, event management, and menu management.
Menus and Events utilize custom post types to help users easily accomplish previously difficult (PDF anybody?) features for restaurant websites. Theme Force also has features to integrate easily with popular social media sites like Yelp and Foursquare.
Starting July 1st, Theme Force’s fully hosted version will be available for $49 per month. Furthermore, Tock shared with me that they were transitioning from a split-GPL license to 100% GPL. He said the philosophy fit with his practice of writing WordPress tutorials and releasing free themes, whereas Humanmade have been contributing their share to the open source community through a series of github repositories (including WP Remote and WP Thumb).
If you’d like to view a video runthrough of the Theme Force backend and their newest theme, Fineforce, take a peak after the jump. I’d also love to hear what you think about their plan, which is certainly a bit out of the current mold of WordPress business models.