ThemeGarden will most likely shut down indefinitely for updates


Last month we reported¬†on Jason Schuller’s intention to modify his ThemeGarden project to make it more like his initial vision. It now looks like he is definitely taking steps to move in a new direction. In an email sent to ThemeGarden authors earlier this month Schuller said that as of October 21, or Friday, the site will be going into maintenance mode indefinitely in order for him to “work on updates” to the marketplace.

It’s not entirely clear yet what ThemeGarden’s new direction will be, but one thing is clear: Schuller is serious about remaking ThemeGarden in his new vision. If you were Jason, what would you do with ThemeGarden? If you’re an author on the marketplace, let us know what you plan to do in the interim in the comments below.

For the full message sent to ThemeGarden authors see just after the jump.

Message sent to ThemeGarden authors

As you most likely already know, ThemeGarden is due for many changes. The current model doesn’t seem to be growing after 1 year of being live, and it’s time to go back to the drawing board to see what needs to be done to make this marketplace a success. I have several ideas in mind to move forward, but in order to do so, the current site as it stands will most likely be shut down (indefinitely) until I finish the updates. The current cut off date I have in mind is October 21st (two weeks from now), after which I will be putting the site in maintenance mode in order to work on updates. I will be exporting sales reports for all theme authors and brands which will be made available at your request if you want a copy for your reference. Thanks for being a part of this project and please do let me know if you have any ideas that you would like to see incorporated within the next version of

Jason Schuller

9 thoughts on “ThemeGarden will most likely shut down indefinitely for updates

  1. does this mean people who bought themes the links will no longer work? ive bought 4 or 5 themes from themesgarden, curious

    • Your download links will work for the time being, but it is recommended that you download and save any theme you may have purchased. You should always be able to obtain a copy of purchased themes directly from the theme author as well.

  2. I think Jason needs to step back and assess what his goals actually are with Theme Garden. It hasn’t ever been clear to me what Theme Garden really was — first it was an alternative marketplace for third-parties, then more of a generic marketplace including affiliates, and most recently Jason has said he wanted to make it high quality and unique.

    The more troubling part, at least to me, was that I wasn’t really able to see where the revenue potential was for Jason (aside from some affiliate links), seeing as it was free for developers to use as a marketplace platform (unless that changed, which was never really clear).

    In and of itself, this isn’t a bad thing, but when you aren’t making any money off of a service (and instead are hoping to grow and then make it up on volume), the incentives for actually putting time into a project usually goes away. For that reason, it makes sense that Jason would focus more of his efforts on Press75 than building Theme Garden into his ideal vision.

    Free can also make would-be sellers more hesitant to join because you are always waiting for that other foot to drop.

    I don’t know — I’m a huge fan of Jason’s work and I wish him luck. My only advice would be to assess exactly what he wants to offer with Theme Garden. Is it to take on Theme Forrest? Is it to be a highly curated theme database? What are the goals.

    It sounds like taking time to figure that stuff out and then relaunch with a more focused direction is exactly what he is doing and I wish him luck.

    • For starters, thank you very much for your comments, I really appreciate you taking the time to jot down your thoughts. You make some really good points here… many of which are actually the reason I want to reboot the This last year of running ThemeGarden has been a learning experience (mostly positive) to say the least. There are many things I did right, but also just as many things I did wrong. I recognize what I have done wrong and I do feel that I have a clear direction moving forward. It’s just a matter of sticking to what I have planned the last few months and following through. I don’t plan on being competition for ThemeForest, but I really do hope that becomes a go-to WordPress theme marketplace in 2012. Only time will tell.

  3. I am curious as to why you would take down the site while you work on a new version? Why not develop the site and push live once it is complete while keeping the current site live and allowing authors and buyers to continue using it.

  4. I would love to see a ‘high-end’ design-led alternative to the mainstream marketplaces. I’d be happy to pay more than the standard current theme price for some high-end, edge-of-your-seat, kick-ass, awesome designs. The dribbble, behance, designspiration end of the market.

    I’m bored of SlideDeck/ large homepage featured image theme with cufon enabled fonts and a lightbox script.

  5. Good points made all round, definitely needs to be sustainable for it to be worth the continuous effort. I think if those who benefit from the marketplace were allowed to chip in on extending, improving and taking the whole thing to a new level Jason might find it going to places he could never have imagined.

    It would make sense to take a fee, however small it might be from those who sell off the marketplace. As with so many of the stories of collaboration and open brands, I’d say embrace the principles of wikinomics. Allow your community to help and contribute not only with ideas but with actual development and you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

    Many people are sick to death of themeforest, but they have established something which serves their community quite well and attached many value adds to their marketplaces.

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