Selling themes

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  David Chu 2 years, 4 months ago.

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    Hello, I’ve been using WordPress for a few years now for client’s websites and I’m interested in getting into theme development. I have been buying and using themes from ThemeForest for most of those sites and I recently discovered Genesis. I have seen how a lot of theme development is heading that way.

    My concern though is if I make a Genesis child theme of my own and try to sell it on theme marketplaces that the average person would be less likely to buy it due to having to purchase the Genesis parent theme as well. Someone would be paying way more for my Genesis child themes than if I just created a “normal” theme that they don’t have to purchase a parent them to use. I know that if you do a really great job, people will be willing to pay more for a theme if it means better features, quality, etc, but I’m just unsure how to approach theme development.

    Even if i decide not to sell Genesis child themes and instead go the route of selling themes that aren’t based on a framework, I’d still use Genesis child themes for clients because I’d be able to save myself money by not having to buy themes every time. I also realize that as a developer, it’d be easier to create the perfect theme for a client.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


    David Chu

    Interesting question! I would guess that generally you won’t do all that well trying to sell Genesis child themes as part of a monster theme-selling site, largely for the exact reason you described – the requirement of buying another product could turn people off, and it does make the Genesis child theme seem like an “odd duck” among the stand-alone themes.

    Take Themeforest, for instance. The prices of standalone themes there (even ones that aren’t great) would mean that to make any decent money on your theme, you’d have to charge very little, I think. And while I’m gossiping, I heard some rumor that Genesis themes were gone from there, but a quick look there reveals at least a few. And you didn’t hear this from me, but Themeforest as a whole has been in dispute with the Grand Poobahs of WordPress (Matt, et al) about whether Themeforest’s policies even fulfill the original intentions of WordPress, which is a pretty flexible GPL policy. I’m not inviting a discussion of that, which could go on forever.

    btw, you have to run the gauntlet at Themeforest – I’ve heard that they have pretty strict criteria before they’ll accept you, but I don’t know what they are. That said, I have wrangled many Themeforest themes, so I do know that they tend to have the Admin Panel from Hell, as well as certain other things. My job with those is usually un-styling all their CSS, as I’ve written on my blog. :-)

    I was actually approached by a designer colleague about submitting something to Themeforest. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be on the hook for that much support, and also there’s no way for 2 people to share revenue there, so we have that on the backburner for now. I began to think about whether I’d use Genesis for that, and maybe I wouldn’t, which is very rare for me to say. That led me to read about how people’s definitions of a “framework” differ a great deal.

    BUT… there are plenty of people selling Genesis child themes on their own sites, and presumably doing OK. And you could submit your stuff to Studiopress, which does sell some 3rd party themes!


    Dave Chu ยท Custom WordPress Developer – likes collaborating with Designers

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