ThemeGarden scaling back, refocusing as an alternative marketplace


Jason Schuller has been slowly scaling back on the brands and themes available on ThemeGarden in order to take “a second stab” at what he set out to do in the beginning, he told WPCandy. If you visit ThemeGarden you’ll notice far fewer brands listed than before and the option to sort by framework has been removed.

In the near future ThemeGarden will be revised to include a new application process, commerce solution, seller admin, tools, and support forums. Schuller explained that the changes are important after ThemeGarden became something unintended when it launched:

After launching in November 2010 there was a massive flood of authors and brands who wanted access to the site which caused an influx of added themes with no regulation of any kind. Essentially the site became a huge advertisement for branded themes which detracted from what I had originally intended to do with the ThemeGarden project. should have been (and should be) an alternative marketplace for talented WordPress theme authors who would like to distribute and maintain their themes and receive 100% of their theme sales in return (which they currently do).

Schuller wouldn’t offer up all the details just yet, but he did say that in the future ThemeGarden will be “much more exclusive” in the future with themes built on a “a solid and consistant theme framework that you will not be able to find anywhere else.”

Had you noticed the changes to ThemeGarden yet? Do you think Schuller’s making the right decisions for his marketplace?

26 thoughts on “ThemeGarden scaling back, refocusing as an alternative marketplace

  1. It might sound cynical , but it’s unlikely that Jason’s service can compete with ThemeForest. TF wins on pricing and on selection.

    I know this sucks, but a better business model would be something that helps ThemeForest be better, though, like maybe a dedicated forum or rating site for their themes.

  2. Why are you building this thing called Facebook?! It might sound cynical , but it’s unlikely that Facebook service can compete with MySpace. MS wins on marketshare and [insert reason here]. Maybe you should build something that would help improve MySpace. 🙂

    Oh wait, that was a couple years ago.

    Truth is I would love to see more competition with Theme Forest. If someone can provide a better experience for users, get more money to developers, and generally increase code quality- everyone wins. And I think there’s still a lot of room for disruption in that market.

  3. No market is ever closed to competition. If there are a lot of competitors, there is likely a lot of opportunity. No one theme marketplace is going to be the end all, be all of theme marketplaces just like no theme developer is going to be the single dominant theme developer. The market is huge. There is plenty of room for competitors.

  4. well Jason is unsuccessful because of his arrogant attitude.

    He is lacking the marketing skill too.

    • For what it’s worth, Jason is one of the nicest and most humble people I know. I consider him a great friend, and would love to understand why you make these claims. Considering he built a VERY successful theme development company from the ground up, I’d hardly say he’s a) unsuccessful or b) lacks marketing.

    • Jason has been nothing short of professional, friendly or courteous when communicating with me or my colleagues. He’s one of the few people that responds in a timely manner and replies with detailed information.

      Also, not sure about the others, we respect his business skills – it’s incredible to achieve what he has achieved. To add, he has some of the best designed themes out there.

      – Anthony

    • First off… Thank you very much to everyone who has replied to this comment having my back. Not sure what I did to make this person mad, but I try not to focus on negative comments like this. I’m all for productive criticism, but at least have the respect to post who you are and what I did in particular to offend you. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect, but I am far from being an “arrogant” person, and I think anyone who knows me personally or professionally will tell you the same.

      • @Brian, Giving link or not doesn’t mean that comment is not serious or it is worthless. It’s just I don’t want to reveal my identity that’s it.

        @Jason I had also commented on your blog with giving you some criticism and some complements but you deleted that comment rather than replying,
        It’s alright that you didn’t approved that comment but had to learn from your mistakes that how you treats your club members. You always have complain regarding your support that your members ask in your support forum.
        Your recent action has given lot of pain and that too without any reason. You have no mercy and that is one more reason you are arrogant.
        When I say about your arrogance doesn’t mean that applies to business only.

        And to those who don’t believe that Jason is arrogant, Let me tell you that his tweets and approach to their members is itself very arrogant and he only wants to sell the theme to those who are WordPress expert and don’t want them to ask basic support.
        Theme buyers can be newbie as well that Jason don’t want to accept.
        Theme Garden was to a sort of failure and his Massivepress to press75 has no much significance either in premium theme segment.

        • As long as your comments are constructive, they will not be removed from the blog. However, I believe I have a right to remove those comments that are down right rude, uncivilized and unfounded.

          In regards to my support forums, please, point me to one instance where I have “complained” about questions posted by my customers. All questions posted in my forums are answered typically within 1-2 hours of a customer posting them. If a question is directly related to a theme bug or issue, we work with you to resolve it. If a question is related to theme customizations, we point you to a resource that can help you with that. If you are new to WordPress and have basic WordPress related questions, we either answer them directly or point you to documentation that you can read to help you along your way. Sounds like pretty horrible service to me.

 has provided over $150,000 in revenue to authors for which I never saw one penny. Granted, it might not be as successful as other ventures, but hardly a failure in my opinion.

        • Also, you mentioned that “your recent action has given lot of pain and that too without any reason”. If you feel you have been wronged in any way, all you need to do is send me an email (jason at, tell me why you think you have been wronged and as long as you are civil, I will do whatever I need to do to make that right.

    • These statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Jason is a friend, a great person and humble. Arrogant? Not even close. As for his lack of marketing skills, i’m guessing plenty of theme developers wish they could lack in marketing skills the way Jason does. He’s been making a great living with WordPress themes for years. Meanwhile plenty of theme developers have failed and given up. Lacking? The only thing lacking is your comment.

      • Lol, ThemeGarden itself a huge failure and all the old themes of Press75 have not been updated since WordPress 3.0+ released.
        Being biased for a friend is not sending good message to community.

        • Neither is throwing around names and accusations when you obviously have an axe to grind. This isn’t an appropriate venue for personal attacks and name calling. Especially when you don’t even have the balls to use your real name and instead hide behind a fake identity.

          Sorry, but despite what you may think… choosing to attack someone while hiding behind a fake identity does indeed make your comments worthless and easy to discount. If you want people to take you and your accusations seriously, man up and quit hiding. Otherwise shut your mouth.

          • Looks like carl is of more verbal than the comment is made.

            As I said, being biased is not sending good message to WP community.
            Regardless of my identity, you should work on your weakness rather shutting your critics mouth.
            If you can’t be fair than same applies to you as well.

        • Again, as stated above, has provided over $150,000 in revenue to theme authors for which I never saw one penny. I spent quite a bit of my own time developing a non-profit service that enables theme authors to sell and maintain their themes. Yeah, that was a pretty self-centered thing for me to do.

          In regards to older themes on, ALL of my themes work perfectly on the latest version of WordPress and I do update old themes as I have time, one at a time. I’m one person doing the best I can with the time I have. For instance, On Demand, Folio Elements and Video Flick are all original themes which have been completely re-written within the last few months and there are several others on the list to either retire or update within the next few months. is not a huge company with dozens of developers… it’s basically me and one support rep.

          • Do you still claim that is successful model ? There are many idiot theme provider who have made $$ but that hasn’t helped them to become successful. For instance templatemonster has made lot of money but where is the quality which lacks in Jason’s character.
            My comment at your blog was with complements + criticism but you arrogantly deleted it.
            Jason didn’t care to even inquire what’s wrong with the support.
            which goes to show that arrogance is at it’s peak.

          • Roger… I’m not claiming that ThemeGarden is a “success”, but it has a solid solution (for over a year) for a few authors that didn’t otherwise know where to sell their themes. The reason I am updating ThemeGarden is because I realize there are issues with the way I initially set it up and I am looking to resolve those issues.

            In regards to your comments, I have said it before and I will say it again. If you feel you have been wronged in any way by me or my company, all you need to do is send me an email (jason at, explain why you think you have been wronged and I will do whatever it takes to make that right if I have actually done something wrong. Just email me, and let’s talk one-on-one.

          • Well, I really appreciate that you want to resolve this issue but I have decided to go with WooThemes and you’re way too late for the bilateral talk.
            Anyway, Good luck to you for your and Hope you changes your approach to your customer and behaves like a professional theme developer.

    • Considering ThemeGarden is a side project for Jason and something he is experimenting with, I don’t think he is worried about that.

  5. should have been (and should be) an alternative marketplace for talented WordPress theme authors who would like to distribute and maintain their themes and receive 100% of their theme sales in return (which they currently do).

    So the theme author will get all the money I pay when I purchase a theme? so how is Jason making any money? Jason must have costs (bandwidth and so forth…).

    I am always curious about all these theme markets, how much does the theme author get and how much does the market owner make?

    • I think the idea was (or is?) to eventually charge some type of recurring fee in order to sell. That would be different than other marketplaces which take a percentage of each sale. Somebody correct me if I’m remembering wrong.

    • That was and still is the idea behind… provide a resource for theme authors to sell and maintain their themes while at the same time retain 100% of their profit. I did plan on charging a monthly fee at one time as the site grew, but the site never did grow as expected.

Comments are closed.