How WordPress Themes Changed the World - 2011

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My slides from WordUp Edinburgh, note the typo on one of the final few slides :)

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  • How WordPress Themes Changed the World - 2011

    1. 1. How WordPress ThemesChanged The World UPDATED by Michael Kimb Jones for WordUp Edinburgh 2011 http://mkjones.co.uk @mkjones
    2. 2. About me• 4 years agoin the NHS Work made the first Foundation Trust WordPress-powered website• I love WordPressa long search Started using in 2005 after for a solid CMS platform (Joomla, Drupal, PHP Nuke.. etc)• I love WordPress Themes!! For me, its always been about the themes. My personal site http://mkjones.co.uk
    3. 3. I love WordPress themes so much I made my own marketplace.....
    4. 4. ...ends shameless plug
    5. 5. not really.....
    6. 6. ......ok really this time
    7. 7. About this talk• History over the past few years before A look back Lesson premium themes and how we got to where we are today.• Commercial/Premium Themes A look at how people/businesses started to sell WordPress themes.• Case Studies/Success Stories How people/businesses have grown theme marketplaces and created businesses My personal site http://mkjones.co.uk
    8. 8. Why Themes?
    9. 9. The eureka moment....If you can design, if you know HTML/CSS and a little PHP, then chances are you can make a WordPress Theme
    10. 10. The eureka moment....If you can design, if you know HTML/CSS and a little PHP, then chances are you can make a WordPress Theme
    11. 11. the embarrassing baby photos
    12. 12. the embarrassing baby photos
    13. 13. MY FIRST THEME! Circa 2005 - personal blog theme - embarrassing!
    14. 14. MY FIRST THEME! Circa 2005 - personal blog theme - embarrassing!
    15. 15. ...and, my 2nd theme...A few months later - project for a local training company website
    16. 16. ...and, my 2nd theme...A few months later - project for a local training company website
    17. 17. Why Designers/Developerslove the WordPress theme platform• Provides a usable easy to learn platform• Well supported, lots of documentation, open-source and FREE• Anyone with intermediate CSS/HTML skills can pick up the basics and get theming• Improving all the time; &ameworks, parent themes, TwentyEleven etc...
    18. 18. The evolution of WordPress themes• Over the past 5 years the WordPress theme landscape has changed dramatically• Thousands of WP users are now developing beautiful and elegant themes either for themselves, for clients or as products/services which they can sell• This is significant because IMO it helped drive the growth and acceptance of WordPress more than anything else (i.e. plugins, CMS improvements, core upgrades...)
    19. 19. Think about it....Theme development is the most innovativedriving force in theWordPress ecosystem agree? / disagree?
    20. 20. The History Lesson
    21. 21. 5 years ago (ish).......if you wanted a theme, chances are, you would go here
    22. 22. 5 years ago (ish).......if you wanted a theme, chances are, you would go here
    23. 23. Today...there are a lot places to get (buy!) themes from
    24. 24. Today...there are a lot places to get (buy!) themes from
    25. 25. WordPress Commercial Themes How did we get here?
    26. 26. 4 years ago (ish)1. No theme clubs, 4. Most of the themes were marketplaces or stores simple blog themes, no cool options or features2. WordPress was still growing as a platform and 5. A few individuals creating was still seen as purely a the first ‘premium’ themes ‘blog’ platform 6. One of the first3. 1000’s of FREE themes in to see potential the directory of varying was WPDesigner.com quality
    27. 27. WP DesignerThe wpdesigner.com website by Small Potato (AKA Yung D0 now a DevPress partner)
    28. 28. WP DesignerThe wpdesigner.com website by Small Potato (AKA Yung D0 now a DevPress partner)
    29. 29. The WPDesigner Themes Club$5 per-year, 12 themes, support, tutorials, community
    30. 30. The WPDesigner Themes Club$5 per-year, 12 themes, support, tutorials, community
    31. 31. 6 months in, WP Designer was SOLDLess than 6 months after launching the theme club, Small Potato sold the site and moved on.Although the site went on to be a failure (http://bit.ly/q3vXVP) its legacy is everlasting.
    32. 32. 6 months in, WP Designer was SOLDLess than 6 months after launching the theme club, Small Potato sold the site and moved on.Although the site went on to be a failure (http://bit.ly/q3vXVP) its legacy is everlasting.
    33. 33. What did this prove?There was now serious money to be made selling premium WordPress themes
    34. 34. Meanwhile....Other personalities were becoming well known in the WP themearena and putting their own spin on the premium theme model
    35. 35. Meanwhile....Other personalities were becoming well known in the WP themearena and putting their own spin on the premium theme model
    36. 36. What happened next?The WordPress Commercial Theme Explosion TM 2008 - present
    37. 37. What happened next?The WordPress Commercial Theme Explosion TM 2008 - present
    38. 38. WordPress CommercialTheme Vendor Case Studies
    39. 39. StudioPress (aka Revolution, Revolution2)Founded by Brian Gardner. Evolved from the‘Revolution’ theme.Revenue Models Yearly subscription - $249 Access to Genesis &amework Access to a* child themes (and legacy themes) Access to support forums Access to future upgrades for 12 months Individual Purchase Genesis &amework - $59.95 Child themes - $80/$100 (lower in new marketplace) Access to related support forums Access to theme upgrades http://studiopress.com
    40. 40. StudioPress (aka Revolution, Revolution2)Other NotesBrian has changed his business model a numberof times before settling on StudioPress, recentchanges make the site part of the CopyBlo,erMedia businessRevolution/Revolution2 themes were FREE todownload with optional purchase of supportTheir Genesis framework is now central to theStudioPress brand and businessRecently introduced a ‘marketplace’ optionwhere selected Genesis-powered child themesare sold http://studiopress.com
    41. 41. DIYThemes/ThesisFounded by Chris Pearson. Centres aroundThesis, a single, customisable, user friendly theme.Revenue Model One-off payment - $164 or $87 Developer or Personal option Access to support forums Access to a* future upgrades Skins/Child/Sub-Themes Developed using built in custom CSS features Available though the DIY Themes community Theme sites such as http://thesisthemes.com also exist http://diythemes.com
    42. 42. DIYThemes/ThesisOther NotesOne of the first truly popular premium themesThesis used to be a strictly closed-source projectand didn’t embrace the GPL causing frictionbetween DIYThemes/WordPress in the pastThesis is one of the most popular and affiliatedWordPress-related products onlineMajor selling point is the Thesis advancedoptions panel which allows the most novice ofusers to create different layouts and quickdesigns easily using the product http://diythemes.com
    43. 43. WooThemesCo-founded by Adii Pienaar (AKA Adii Rockstar).A WordPress blogger and online personalityknown for the ‘Premium News Theme’.Revenue Model ‘Theme Club’ - $125/$200 joining fee + $15/$20 per-month Access to ALL themes/upgrades Access to support forums Individual Purchase Single/Standard/Developer - $40 $70 $150 Access to related support forums Access to theme upgrades Permanent 3-for-1 on a* single purchases http://woothemes.com
    44. 44. WooThemesOther NotesUses the first real subscription-based ‘theme club’model since the demise of WPDesignerRecently moved into the premium plugin marketwith WooCommerceInitially non-GPL, this was swiftly changed oncethe site became more establishedIn an interview with Mixergy.com Adii announcedthat the site had taken in over $2million dollarsin its first 2 years http://woothemes.com
    45. 45. ThemeForestPart of the ‘Envato Marketplaces’ founded byCollis Taeed (Tuts+, Freelance Switch).Revenue Model Digital Marketplace - no fixed price structure User submitted themes Revenue sharing on single sales Offers ‘regular’ or ‘extended’ licences on themes but a* themes are licensed under the GPL Theme Seller Options Se*ing Exclusively - 40% to 70% of every sale Se* Items Elsewhere - 25% of every sale http://themeforest.net
    46. 46. ThemeForestOther NotesAlso sells Joomla, Magento, Drupal and basicHTML/PSD, Flash-based productsUses GPL for PHP but not strictly for images,CSS, HTML - most themes have a mixed licensingsystemCan be highly profitable - For example a top userhas 2784 sales of theme worth $42 = $116,928The entire marketplace has almost 1millionregistered users http://themeforest.net
    47. 47. ThemeForest, a final noteSuccess stories...Other high earning examples include: Display Theme Makes an Average of $28,000 a Month LondonCreative+ Theme Makes an Average of $7,000 a Month Twicet Theme Makes an Average of $7,000 a Month ShareShifter Theme Makes an Average of $7,000 a Month BigFeature Theme Makes an Average of $5,500 a Month Find out more: http://themeforest.net/winter-wordpress/ http://themeforest.net
    48. 48. Recap...StudioPress DIYThemesMixed yearly subscription One-off fee revenue model.or individual item revenuemodel. Based around a single,Based around a WordPress strong product.Theme Framework. Relies on theme supportRelies on theme support and future upgrades.and future upgrades.Has a marketplace.WooThemes ThemeForestMixed monthly subscription One-off individual sales.fees or individual itemrevenue model. Community driven products.Now moving into Premium Revenue share.Plugins GPL/Mixed-licence model.Relies on theme supportand future upgrades. Part of a more elaborate network of sites.
    49. 49. Recap... StudioPress DIYThemes Mixed yearly subscription One-off fee revenue model. or individual item revenue model. Based around a single, Based around a WordPress strong product. Theme Framework. Relies on theme support Relies on theme support and future upgrades.Over just a few years these 4 sites alone have and future upgrades. managedmarketplace. Has a to generate millions of dollars in revenue by selling WordPress themes WooThemes ThemeForest Mixed monthly subscription One-off individual sales. fees or individual item revenue model. Community driven products. Now moving into Premium Revenue share. Plugins GPL/Mixed-licence model. Relies on theme support and future upgrades. Part of a more elaborate network of sites.
    50. 50. So.....
    51. 51. Changed the world ?Probably not.
    52. 52. Changed the web?Maybe.
    53. 53. Changed WordPress?Defiantly.
    54. 54. Done...
    55. 55. Have WordPress Themes Changed the World? What do you think? questions, discussion....

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