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StudioPress Sites – A Premium Version of WordPress.com with the Freedom of WordPress.org

WordPress.com allows you to start a website for free without worrying about hosting related issues, but  it comes with lot many restrictions .

Some of the restrictions are as follows,

  • You are not allowed to install plugins of your choice
  • eCommerce websites can’t be done over there
  • You can not run Google Adsense ads for revenue
  • You are not allowed to upload theme of your choice

These things made self hosted WordPress so popular that WordPress 4.7, the latest version of WordPress has been downloaded for more than 30 Million times. Self hosted WordPress is great as it gives freedom but like people say, freedom comes with responsibilities. You are responsible for lot many things including Web Hosting, Incompatibility issues within Plugins and Themes, Security, Data Backup and more. Imaging a photographer who created a nice looking website with the help of beautiful WordPress photography themes and plugins. He is a good photographer because he loves his job but to showcase the job, he created a website with WordPress. Now he needs to spend time on maintaining the website, checking with host if any update comes or if the server is not able to handle the requests etc. etc. He must be frustrated as he likes to upload his new work and likes to spend time on street clicking new photos, but is stuck with the website maintenance. Now the only options left to him is to hire someone to help with the maintenance of the website.

StudioPress, a very popular name in WordPress community and ecosystem as one of best WordPress theme creators, makers of Genesis theme and it’s child themes. Now StudioPress team has come up with StudioPress Sites which solves the above problems and allows you to build a premium website without worrying about the site maintenance and hosting issues.

StudioPress Sites is an All-In-One solution which can be treated as premium version of WordPress.com where you get everything that was missing on WordPress.com and all the benefits of WordPress.org.

studiopress_sites_plans

Site Builder with In-built Hosting

Rainmaker Digital, the company behind StudioPress and many other amazing products, was running this Premium Theme Club since many years. Same company is behind the Rainmaker Platform which allows you to build pages or even sites and add modules related to digital marketing without writing any piece of code. The drag and drop modules and elements help you build a nice, responsive websites.

In StudioPress Sites, they have kind a clubbed everything together along with a fast and reliable hosting solution. So now you can choose any design from available StudioPress Themes and build a website. Just make it live.

WordPress SaaS Model

StudioPress Sites is a great example of WordPress Software as a Service. Once you login, you get a WordPress dashboard with all the options including special options as per StudioPress Sites. Now you are going to pay $24 – $33 per month to use that service. Well, you are getting many premium features including the best theme designs, reliable hosting, SEO solutions, recommended third-party plugin installation from the dashboard etc.

StudioPress team is having a recommendation board to help you pick a plugin for your requirement. It lists some hand picked plugins for different purposes so you don’t need to download and test multiple plugins for a task.  Here are few recommendations,

  • Forms by WP Forms Lite
  • Email Leads by OptinMonster
  • Slider by Soliloquy
  • WooCommerce to sell physical products
  • Easy Digital Downloads for Digital Products
  • Restrict Content Pro for Membership Website
  • and many more…

As a business model, this WordPress SaaS is looking great for both, the company and the users. Here is the pricing structure.

studiopress_sites_pricing

Premium Solution for Bloggers/Professionals/Institutes

Those who like to focus on their work rather than development and site maintenance, this is a great option. It allows you to forget about the pain of self hosted WordPress and just come and write your content to showcase through your website. Learn how to grow your website audience and keep doing that only.

eCommerce with Less Worries

The Commerce plan is priced at $33/mo where you can install eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Download etc. Here you can have a Payment gateway to receive payments. eCommerce websites consumes more resources and needs more security and that’s why you are paying bit more than the normal plan.

With the Commerce plan, you can also create a forum website on StudioPress Sites.

Limitations

You can’t register a domain on StudioPress Sites which means you need to use domain registrar like GoDaddy and others to make it done. I am still reviewing StudioPress Sites features and will come up with a detailed report very soon. Stay tuned.

Get Your StudioPress Site Now

There are many people using Genesis and other child themes, so the company will keep releasing new updates and keep providing support to Genesis and other themes, no doubt about it. I love Genesis theme and have use it on many websites along with Beaver Builder. The results are amazing and it is really flexible. Hopefully the new site builder of StudioPress will have similar flexibility in terms of customization and freedom of implementation.

Let’s Make The Web Premium.
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12 Example Websites Built with Beaver Builder Theme, Plugin and Templates

After comparing all page builders, we found Beaver Builder as one of our favorite Website Builder for WordPress. With available template designs and ready to use modules, you can create beautiful pages with better conversion and engagement. Without any knowledge of coding, you can add elements such as counter, maps, slideshow, carousel, contact form, pricing table and many more with a simple drag and drop method. Adding media files like audio, video and images are very easy using this builder. Well, after seeing the demo of Beaver Builder, I wanted to see all the example websites which are currently using this awesome plugin and template and created a live website.

Beaver Builder allows non-developers to add modules without messing up the code and lowering the performance. It’s a little pricey but the best Page Builder for WordPress.

A live working website with all these modules and elements places properly will give you real feel of this amazing page builder. To search the live websites, you need to find bb-plugin (Beaver Builder plugin) and bb-theme active on the site, which you can see in the page source. I found few great sites with beautifully placed elements and modules and totally created using Beaver Builder. Checkout the list and see what you can do with this amazing piece of page builder.

Beaver Builder doesn’t leave shortcodes (like many other popular page builders) inside the content area after deactivation. That why I love this plugin.
1. Renegade Empire

renegade_empire

Renegade Empire is a digital marketing and consulting agency based in Australia. They provide business consulting, WordPress website maintenance, brand design and promotion, Inbound Marketing SEO and many other such services.

The website includes modules such as call to action button, gallery, testimonials, callout, menu, social buttons etc. Front page is having a large background image for a content module and that looks great. The placement of CTA at the bottom of the page is also very effective and looks professional. I also liked the gallery modules placed under “Our Work” portfolio page and again one CTA module at the bottom of the portfolio is a smart placement.

Such agency website with 5 – 6 pages can be easily made with Beaver Builder Plugin and Theme. This site is also using the theme along with the plugin.

2. Hi-Chew

hi-chew

Hi-Chew is a famous candy company from Japan. They make fruity chewy candy of many flavors and they even export the candy to different parts of world. Flavors such as strawberry, mango, green apple, cherry, banana etc. are very famous and kids just love these candy.

The website is having a colorful design and you start feeling like having a candy right in your mouth by just looking at the design. The website is built with Beaver Builder. Modules like CTA (call to action) is being used in an effective way. The website is also using some other WordPress plugins like Flow Flow Social Stream along with Beaver Builder Content Module to place the latest tweets on the homepage.

On Products page, I liked the placement of slider module of Beaver Builder. The design of this site is very much customized but the base is based on beaver Builder only. BY properly placing the content modules and rich text after one another, the storyboard has been prepared on the Story page of the website.

3. {ae} Design Co.

ae_designs

{ae} Design Co. is a California based design and digital marketing strategy company. They provide services like Digital Marketing, Website Development and Design, SEO, Digital Analytics, Digital Printing etc. WordPress users can also ask for site maintenance as they offer the same.

The website is using post grid view to showcase the work on the portfolio page. You can also see callout and CTA placed at multiple locations on the site. Blog is looking clean and minimal with the placement of social sharing icons. I also like the photo in mosaic view on the contact form page.

To build this website, the developer and designer has used Genesis framework and Beaver Builder plugin. So the power of Genesis framework along with Beaver Builder can create magic on any website in terms of performance, looks and SEO.

4. Late Nite Art

late-nite-art

Late Nite Art is is Oakland, California based event management with coverage about the organized events on The Huffington Post, The Oakland Tribune,  East Bay Express etc. The list of clients for this social bonding and team development lab includes P&G, Instagram, Zendesk, Pandora, Accenture, SAP  and many more.

Photos are an important part of such companies and that’s why they need to showcase photos in an elegant and engaging way. The website uses Photo Gallery module of Beaver Builder with Mosaic look to showcase multiple photos on the page. CTA buttons placed at the bottom of the page and testimonials placed with the reference are looking great too. Placement of these modules using drag and drop method is really simple and easy to do.

The upcoming events section is also design with Beaver Builder content module populated with rich text. The website is using Beaver Builder Theme along with the plugin.

5. Stevens & Stevens Inc.

stevens

Stevens and Stevens Inc. is a Florida based business records management company. They store some important documents from small, medium and large Enterprise from sectors including banks, healthcare, legal, insurance, education, real estate, manufacturing etc.

The website looks clean, well designed and attractive. I liked the featured area built with Beaver Builder and also the CTA placed below the same. The map module is placed on the contact page along with the contact form in the sidebar. Even the blog looks great with simple sidebar and social sharing options at the bottom.

Beaver Builder theme is also being used along with the plugin and that is visible in the page source. All the pages are well designed with media placement on left/right side and content.

6. 3001 Web

3001

3001 Web is a website development and WordPress hosting company with hosting servers located in US, UK and other parts of world. Earlier the company was named 2001 Web but the founder changed it’s name last year to 3001 Web. As the company was founded in 2001, that’s why 2001 Web but now they are promoting it as a futuristic web hosting company with name as 3001 Web.

The website’s homepage is having nice button modules and pricing table which looks interesting. The placement of content modules with rich text and buttons also look cool on the portfolio page.

Blog of 3001 Web is having left sidebar with subscription and category widgets. This site is using Beaver Builder theme along with the plugin.

7. Cinema Suite

cinema_suite

Cinema Suite is a digital media agency with expertise in Visual Tool designing, Graphics, 3D Animations, VFX, GUI Design, Video Production and Editing etc. The company is based in Canada and is using Beaver Builder Theme and Plugin for the amazing website.

The website is having a video background for the featured area module and also having multiple CTA and buttons. Icon and callout placements on the homepage is amazing and it looks very professional. Along with that, the CTA in the left side area and Icons in right side is looking perfect. At few places the use of columns and similar designs are visible and looking good. Such designs are easy to build using Beaver Builder options.

On about page the map module as well as the contact form module has been used. Blog’s index page is look dynamic with the grid layout. With ready templates and few CSS changes, such designs are possible using the Beaver Builder theme and plugin.

8. Lion’s Head Productions

lions_head

Lion’s Head Productions is an audio processing company. They process the audio files to make that better by noise cancellation, click and pop removal, volume balancing and many other techniques.

The website is using Beaver Builder plugin and theme. The ready templates of Beaver Builder is being used with great clean layout and smart placements of modules like buttons and CTA. The testimonials module is also being used at some places and it is very easy to drag and drop the module on the Beaver Builder panel.

On contact page, Wufoo Form Builder is being used along with Beaver Builder. You can also use the contact form available with Beaver Builder but that will have limited options.

9. NewSprout

newsprout

NewSprout is a broadband service provider based in Australia. They also provide web hosting, domain registration and website designing services.

The website is using slider module on the homepage and below that some callouts are placed with icons and buttons. It is very easy to put columns on the site and divide the page accordingly. Photo module is being used to showcase the list of clients on the page.

I also liked the 2 columns layout to showcase the contact form and the address on homepage itself. The blog is using right sidebar with subscription widget after the content area. The website is using Beaver Builder theme along with the plugin.

10. The Empowered Practice

the_empowered_practice

The Empowered Practice is the website for dentists to boost their business by learning techniques on getting new patients. There are some in-depth videos to explain the ways to grow business by $50,000 to $100,000 each time implemented.

The website is developed using Beaver Builder plugin and Genesis framework theme. The placement of testimonials module in slider form, CTA and buttons in features area on the homepage. There is a CTA at the bottom of the “About us” page too.

A contact form module is being used everywhere on the website and it is very easy to put such forms using Beaver Builder.

11. Southburgh Festival of World Music

southburgh

Southburgh Festival of World Music is a concert schedule to happen on 28 – 30 July 2017. Music lovers from around the world will come to Southburgh, UK for this festival and participate in music, food and other activities.

The website of this festival is built with Beaver Builder theme and plugin. Grid view of posts, maps module, contact form module on the homepage looks cool. Again on the Directions page, you can see maps module being used with the 2 column layout.

Designing multi-column pages is very easy with Beaver Builder plugin as you don’t need to code or write HTML/CSS for the same. Just drag and drop the modules and build a nice webpage.

12. Mathefrosch Test

mathefrosch_test

Mathefrosch Test is a German website with free tutorials and test on mathematics. You need to register and login to see the tests and even you can take part in online quizzes and games.

The website is having CTA module of Beaver Builder placed on the homepage along with the featured area module and many sections with buttons and content. It is using both Beaver Builder Theme as well as plugin to server the design. The contact form module is used at placed to get in touch. At the bottom of the homepage, you can see testimonials module placed inside a slider.

Building such websites using Beaver Builder is very easy. You only need to install the plugin to get the Page Builder on edit panel and start customizing pages or posts. These websites are live example of the use of Beaver Builder Plugin, Theme and Templates.

Get Beaver Builder Now

If you know any other great website built with Beaver Builder, share that via comment.

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The Only WordPress Theme Development Book You’ll Ever Need to Begin and It’s Free

WordPress theme market is huge and the demand for new theme designs and features keep coming. Currently over 50,000 free and premium WordPress themes are available in market and more than 40 new themes get added in different portals on daily basis. Premium themes are priced between $29 – $300 and major clubs and even some developers are making millions by selling themes. These all figures states that the WordPress theme development is a good career option and one can make a good amount of income by building feature rich and good WordPress themes. If you are a beginner and planning to choose WordPress theme development as a career or like to make a theme as hobby, this is the right time to do.

State of WordPress Themes

As mentioned earlier, there are more than 50K free and premium WordPress theme available in market. The major marketplace Themeforest hosts more than 5,000 premium WordPress themes and similarly, the free WordPress theme portal on WordPress.org hosts more than 3,000 free themes. Out of these 50K themes, about 75% themes are outdated, so you can say around 10K – 12K up to date WordPress themes are available. More than 100 popular theme clubs are active with on average 40 themes per club. Few theme clubs are having more than 100 themes too.

Now a days, theme clubs are focusing on their popular themes only and trying to make that the best in their category. For example, Elegant Themes became more Divi centric company and focusing on making Divi theme and Divi Builder the best in the market. Similarly, other theme clubs are also going for a niche and try to provide the best value for money for a theme.

There are many multipurpose WordPress themes available in market. Some popular names are Avada, Divi, X Theme, Enfold etc. and each of these themes saw good amount of success. I think now it is time to be more focused and release niche based themes with good features. Niche themes like Megalith for construction website and Hotelia for Hotels are good examples. In coming days, we will see more niche based themes releasing and targeting users.

Self Made Themes using Free Tools

People are using free tools like Underscrore.me to start building their own theme. Underscore.me allows you to create a theme folder with essential files to start a theme but it’s not that everyone will love. Design is an important part of a website and now a days, WordPress is being used for different purposes like making a Fitness Website, Corporate Website, Portfolio and Photography Website and even Banks Website. It is not possible for non-designers to Design and build a theme for such websites using Underscore.me. This free tool is good for those developers who like to have a starter kit or people who like to have a light-weight theme for their blog but so is Twenty Sixteen and other default themes of WordPress.

With the above explanation, I like to make this point that starter theme kits are not going to reduce the demand for premium or good WordPress themes. Even Page Builder are helpful for creating good pages and websites but that also can’t make WordPress theme go away. People need premium and feature rich WordPress themes and that is going to be there for a long long time.

How to Become a Professional WordPress Theme Developer?

Self hosted WordPress is a community run platform and here you find lot many people to help you on different level. If you are planning to become a good WordPress theme developer and like to start theme development from scratch, here is the only book you need to read and it’s free – WordPress Theme Handbook. This is a free resource released by WordPress community to help you become a WordPress theme developer. Theme Handbook was already available on WordPress.org but now it has been officially released with detailed instructions and tutorials.

What’s there in Theme Handbook?

Purpose of this WordPress Theme Handbook is to help you learn the basics of WordPress theme development. To understand the instructions and tutorials, you should have the basic knowledge of PHP and MySQL.

Here is the list of sections well written in WordPress Theme Handbook:

  • Getting Started – What is there in the handbook and whom should read this.
  • Theme Basics – Basic idea about Template Tags, Loops and Conditional Tags
  • Template Files Selection – Page and Post Templates and other files like archive, index and taxonomy files
  • Theme Functionality – Sidebar and Widget Registration and Use of Media Files
  • Theme Options – The Customizer API : Provide Theme Customization from Customizer Panel
  • Theme Security – Make WordPress Theme Secured
  • Advanced Theme Topics – Make Child Theme, Testing and Validations
  • Releasing Your Theme – Submit Theme for Review and Release on WordPress.org

This handbook is designed to give you an idea about how to develop a WordPress theme. To know about any functions of WordPress, you can always go through the Code Reference.

The last section i.e. Releasing Your Theme is all about how to submit your theme on WordPress.org as a free theme, but you can also release your theme on your own website or some third-party marketplace. You may need to make certain changes as per the guidelines of the marketplace but the basic of the theme will remain same.

Free WordPress theme hosted on WordPress.org are not suppose to have an feature apart from the design because they think feature should come from Plugins. Well, premium themes hosted on clubs and marketplaces come with lot many features and to know how to add features, you may read the following resources,

  1. Udemy Course
  2. Treehouse WordPress Development
  3. Free resources available on blogs like WPMU DEV, ET Blog and many more

Hopefully by reading the above resources, you will become a good WordPress Theme developer and I will you all the best. In case of any query and questions, feel free to comment on this article or drop us an email.

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How to Add VR Content like 360° Video, Photo Sphere and Street View in WordPress

We are living in the era of Virtual Reality (VR) where you can share the experience in a visual way. You can record your scuba diving or being inside a zoo and share the video with others. Those videos will make them feel that they are also present at that place. WordPress is the most used platform to share stories, how-tos, tutorial, photographs, videos and more. Sharing a VR content along with the article will be great inside WordPress. Recently, WordPress.com announced about introduction of VR Content in .com sites. And along with that, the news is also in round that the same VR shortcode will be available for self hosted WordPress with JetPack. Well, you don’t need to wait for the next JetPack release.

What is VR Content?

VR (Virtual Reality) is like feeling if you are at that place only. Imagine of being at that place where all the characters of the story that you are reading are present. Or reading some how-tos while seeing it happening around you at that time. These things are very much possible using VR Gear and Smartphone. You can make DIY VR Gear using Google Cardboard Project and experience this amazing piece of technology using your Smartphone.

Demo showing VR Content inside WordPress

VR Content and WordPress

If you like to include VR content like 360° videos, Photo Sphere, Panorama View, Street View etc. in your article, there are free WordPress plugins to do that.

WP VR View

wp-vr-view

WP VR View is a free plugin to embed VR Content inside the post or page. With the help of shortcode, you can insert the VR content like video, image and preview it on the front-end.

It uses Google’s VR View library to embed the content and show it on the post or page. A simple shortcode like [vrview video=”URL for 360 video .mp4 file”] will embed the video with 360° view.

Download WP VR View
VR Views

vr-views

Another free WordPress plugin you can use to embed 360° videos inside the content area. Once you embed the VR content, a link will appear on the screen to make it full screen. You can use Android App like Google Cardboard Camera to see the VR content on device.

With the help of shortcode, the VR files can be embedded anywhere on the site, specially inside the editor.

Download VR Views

Note that the VR content can be visible on the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge etc.

VR Content Shortcode in Jetpack

After WordPress.com VR announcement, Toni Schneider from Automattic said that the next update of JetPack will make this feature available for self hosted WordPress too. So like other media embed options, you can embed VR content inside the post or page using JetPack plugin. Note that the one embedded file using JetPack will have a button as “Click to Explore 360°” at the top-right corner.

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7 Tools to Detect What Theme Is Being Used on WordPress Site

WordPress powers more than 75 million websites and the number keeps growing. If you are reading a blog or even some business website, chances are very high that the site is running on WordPress CMS. Popular artists, musicians, photographers, politicians, journalists, businesses and even some banks are running their website on WordPress. Sometimes it happens that you like the design of a particular website and like to use or refer the same for your own. In WordPress, the design part is mostly served by theme. So if you get the theme being used by the reference website, you can build your website with similar design and layout. So the next question in your mind comes as “Which WordPress theme is active on this website?“, Right?

You may be familiar with the design of popular WordPress themes like Divi, Avada, Genesis and guess that by just looking at the site made out of these, but there are more than 10,000 WordPress themes in market. The most popular theme marketplace Themeforest is having more than 5,000 themes alone. That’s why for many websites, you may not guess the theme being used.

Once you know the name of the theme and the author’s website, you can go and download the same and use it on your site. With the similar theme and some plugins, you can easily build similar looking website with the help of few CSS lines.

For example, the photography website of Brian Smith,a popular portrait photographer,  is using WordPress CMS. It is even mentioned on the showcase page the new WordPress.org layout. Now if you like to make similar website, use the WordPress theme named Photo Artist (well, this theme is now retired and not supported by the author).

There are many ways to find out what WordPress theme a website is using. Here are few simple and easy solution for that,

Websites to Auto Detect the WordPress Theme Name

What Theme

A theme detection tool which works for WordPress, Joomla, Shopify, Drupal, Magento. Once you enter the website URL in search box, it will try to auto-detect the active theme.

what-theme

Like any other theme detection tool, it must be scanning the HTML code and find the style.css file loading from wp-content/themes folder. In that file, the theme’s name and author’s URL is written at the top. From there it shows the active WordPress or other CMS theme’s name.

A clean and minimal theme detection tool for WordPress sites.

Check What Theme

What WordPress Theme Is That

It is another WordPress theme detection tool which is available for free. You can also find out the plugins being used on the WordPress site.

whatwordpressthemeisthat

Once you are aware of the theme and the installed plugins, you can create similar site even with similar functionalities. Again, it also scans the HTML page source of the webpage and shows name and URL of the plugins and theme.

Check What WordPress Theme Is That

Scan WP

Update – I tried with one of my domain and found that Scan WP detection tool is not working. Hope the developer will fix the issue soon.

scanwp

Scan WP is a free tool to showcase the active WordPress theme and installed plugins a WordPress site. It shows following details after you enter the website URL in the input box.

  • Installed and Active WordPress Theme name
  • Installed and Active Plugins
  • Direct Link to Theme’s Page
  • Direct Links of Active Plugins
  • Free/Premiium Theme with Price
  • Free/Premium Plugins with Price
Check Scan WP

WPTD (WordPress Theme Detector)

Like other theme detection tool, WPTD also shows the active WordPress theme on the website. The most important thing is that, it shows the small thumb which comes with the theme too. So in few cases, even if the site’s webmaster has changed the theme’s name and still using the same thumb as provided by theme’s author, you can find the installed theme very easily.

wptd

WPTD also shows the history of installed and active themes on the site. For example, if the site was using some other theme 2 months ago, it will show you that history as well.

Apart from that, WPTD also shows the Alexa Rank of website to know about the popularity of the same.

Note – WPTD doesn’t show activate plugins on the website.

Check WPTD

Another WordPress Theme Detector

With the adverts running on the site, you may hesitate in using this one, but it works great. Like other free theme detection tools mentioned earlier, it shows the name of the active WordPress theme with small thumb.

wordpress-theme-detector

Apart from that, it shows the link of installed and active WordPress plugins with their thumbnail image and link.

Check WordPress Theme Detector

Chrome Extension

Apart from the free web tools mentioned in this article, there are few Google Chrome extensions also available to detect the active WordPress theme on the site. One of the example is WPSNIFFER. It works as a WordPress Themes Sniffer and detect the active theme.

wpsniffer

I tried on one of the my website and here is the screenshot showing the result.

Once you click on the theme’s URL, it takes you to Google search for that WordPress theme.

Install WPSNIFFER Chrome Extension

View Page Source and Find

All the above tools are able to find the active WordPress theme because of the proper structure or a pattern in the HTML source of the WordPress website. If you don’t want to use any of the above tools, here is the basic way to find out the active WordPress.

  1. Right click on the open webpage on browser and select ‘View Page Source’
  2. You will see the complete HTML loading on the page and it includes the HEAD and BODY of the HTML
  3. Under <HEAD> section of the page, search for the CSS file named style.css
  4. Confirm if it is loading from wp-content/themes/…./style.css folder
  5. Open the style.css file and you can find the details about the active WordPress theme.
  6. In case if the site is using a Child Theme of a Parent theme, you can find the name of the Parent theme in that file too

page-source theme-details

Conclusion

If you are looking forward to design a new website and planning to have WordPress on it, you may choose the design of other WP site. In that case, detecting the theme will make your life easier. For those who are not comfortable with HTML code, tools like WhatWPThemeIsThat and Another WordPress Theme Detector are very helpful in detecting the theme.

Share with your designer and webmaster friends to use these tools for reference.

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9 Steps to Make New WordPress Theme Go Viral in a Week

WordPress Themes market is flooded with theme clubs, authors and marketers. If you just create a new premium or free theme and expect people to use,  it’s not easy to get noticed  in the community. That’s why I always mentioned that making a product (in this case a WordPress theme) is just 25% effort, you need to get users and that’s where the 75% effort goes. In this article, I will explain few must-to-take steps to make the chances of your new WordPress theme going viral within a week.

At PurposeThemes, we released a free theme named Yugo few weeks ago, and started receiving 45+ downloads per day in just a week time. It’s easy to get such downloads if you release a free theme at WordPress.org themes repository, but if releasing on your own website, it’s not that easy to get early downloads.

yugo_status

Yugo WordPress theme released on PurposeThemes started seeing 85+ downloads everyday in just 3 weeks without releasing on WordPress.org. It’s a free theme!

Well, you must have put good amount of effort in building the theme. Here are few important steps to market it and get new users.

Before starting with the marketing tips for your WordPress theme, I like to make an assumption. I assume that the theme is good and it serves a purpose. it means the theme is designed for targeted users with demo and design focused on a niche else in case of Multipurpose themes, it really is multipurpose. Also don’t just release a theme but have a good support system in place else you may face support issues and negative feedback later. Let’s start the to-do list to make your WordPress theme viral.

#1 Not Just Launch but run a Campaign

Marketing of the newly launched theme should start at least 30 – 45 days before the release date. Start blogging about the expected features, share sneak-peak of the design and try to cover almost everything about the theme through different blog posts. You can also guest blog about the launch on other websites.

Divi 100 days Marathon campaign before Divi 3.0 release was a great example. Elegant Themes club team did a great job in releasing helpful content related to Divi for 100 days and then finally, they release Divi 3.0.

divi-100

Divi 100 Days Marathon by @elegantthemes was the best theme launch campaign on web Click To Tweet

A campaign will make people aware about your theme and create curiosity before the release. In this process, create a good email list and send the notification on release date. You will see good number of orders even on the first day of release.

#2 Pre-order

Like other products e.g. books on popular eCommerce websites, you can enable people to pre-order your premium WordPress theme too. Start the Pre-order process at-least before 14 days of the final release. You can give a Pre-order discount of 30 to 50% on the order and that will again help in getting new users as soon as you release it.

Don’t forget that new users will bring more users, if the product is good. There are WooCommerce plugins available for Pre-order functionality, so you can use the same. Try to collect the email ID of the Pre-ordering customers.

Pre-order is win-win situation for author as well as customers. Well, customers get exclusive offer on pre-order and authors get customers even before the actual release.

#3 Freebies and Giveaways

On the release date, you can run a giveaway and ask people to follow certain steps to get some freebies. Ask people to share your release post on Twitter and Facebook and post a comment to become eligible for freebies. That will help in spreading the word about the new theme.

freebies

You can directly run the giveaway on your site by writing certain steps or rules. Ask visitors to share the article on Facebook, tweet about the same, comment on the post etc. You can also use platforms like Gleam to run the giveaway in measurable way.

#4 Send a Copy to Reviewers

On the release date or even few days before the release, send few copies to theme review sites or Industry Influencers. Sites like WP Mayor, PurposeThemes will help you in getting early theme reviews and feedback. You can create a testimonial page and showcase the review and testimonials that you received from those reviewers. That kind of testimonials page or review archive page will help in creating early buzz about the theme.

#5 Lite Version

If you release a free version along with the premium one and upload on WordPress.org, that will also help in getting leads. The review process on WordPress.org may take 4 – 8 weeks, so you may also release the lite version on your site along with the premium one. Zeriff Lite is a very popular free WordPress theme available on WordPress.org. And the Zeriff Pro is available as the premium theme on Themeisle.

 Last month, WordPress theme review team removed Zeriff Lite from the repository and because of that, the traffic on Zeriff Pro got a huge hit. Revenue from the Zeriff Pro dropped by 50%. That’s the power of a lite version. 

This is how important it is to release lite version of a theme. If you are planning to start a club with multiple themes, keep lite version of few themes on WordPress.org and that will always help in getting more visitors to the site and finally few customers too.

#6 Affiliates will help

affiliate

There are many bloggers and YouTubers who make money online via affiliate marketing. If you get some good affiliates on-board, they can help in promoting the theme in their network. They will send newsletter, write blog post, create videos to get more visitors and customers for your theme.  Average affiliate payment is approx. 50% for WordPress themes but think about extra customers and back-links that your site will get because of those.

You can run self hosted affiliate program like Elegant Themes using tools like iDevAffiliate or aMember. If you don’t want the extra work on accounting and processing the payment from your side, use third-party service like ShareASale. It is used by big WordPress theme clubs like StudioPress, Tesla etc.

#7 Upload Video Tutorials on Launch Day

Release note or blog post is the general practice that theme authors do after launching their new theme. As product documentation is one the major source of traffic, it is important to release video tutorials and vlogs related to the theme. That will bring more visitors from YouTube and other video hosting sites.

#8 Podcast

Now everybody is starting a podcast. It is said that Podcast is more effective than videos as you get more attention on the topic as compared to visuals. Try to do a podcast on your new theme or participate in one already hosted by your friend or a popular podcaster. Some of the popular podcasters related to WordPress are,

podcast

A podcast connects you with different kin of people who prefer to listen. And imagine when you have full attention of someone for more than 30 minutes, you can convince anything about your product. That’s the power of a podcast.

#9 Comment and Contact

You have spread the words about the new theme as people don’t know about it. Try to find a discussion going on about topics related to your theme or something relevant to you theme, post a helpful comment theme and see if you can post a link there. Quora, WordPress.org forums, Stack overflow are few places where you can find discussions on related topics.

Try to find out theme review sites or sites related to WordPress and see if the admin is interested in writing a review about it. You can offer a licensed copy to the reviewer and also ask if you can run a giveaway on his or her blog. Communication is the key in getting such reviews done. It’s not like you need to pay all the time. You will find many reviewers agreeing to post a review after receiving the giveaway licenses.

Conclusion

There are more than 50,000 WordPress themes available on Internet. If a new theme comes, it’s not easy to get users. You need to have a USP (Unique Selling Point) for the theme so that people will engage with it. And even if the product is good, you need to market it and keep telling people to use it. On average, 10 – 20 new themes get added on Themeforest marketplace daily and someday the number goes up to 35. Similarly, WordPress.org gets around 6 – 10 new themes released everyday. If you are a theme author and planning to go big with your theme, don’t just release it but market it too.

Follow the above steps and see the difference. Like every other product, a WordPress theme is of no use without it’s users.

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Yugo, A Premium Looking Free Multipurpose WordPress Theme Is Here

Are you looking for a multipurpose WordPress theme to build a website with premium features? We are glad to release the in-house developed first free multipurpose WordPress theme named Yugo. After the release of Brownie, the child theme of Twenty Sixteen WordPress theme, this is our first non-dependent theme and we are making it available for free. Yugo WordPress theme is for those who like to build a rich looking website without spending on premium themes. It comes loaded with features like portfolio building, testimonials showcase, sliders, gallery view and many more. And the responsive design makes Yugo look perfect on all kind of devices including iPhone and tablets.

Live Demo of Yugo

Development of Yugo WordPress Theme

Our lead developer Tejaswini developed this theme to make it easier for companies and businesses to make their site live with WordPress. A corporate website, creative agencies site, photography website, startup launch site etc. will look amazing with this free WordPress theme. Premium WordPress themes prices are surging day by day and it becomes difficult for startups to build a rich looking website. You can spend the budget on marketing rather than purchasing a premium theme. While developing in-house WordPress themes at PurposeThemes, we give the highest importance to the coding standards and security.

Yugo WordPress theme strictly follows coding standards and is 100% Safe to use

 Why Not on WordPress.org?

Do you know that a free theme hosted on WordPress.org can not have Contact Forms in-built? Developer is also not allowed to have Portfolio or other custom post types inside the theme. Our motive behind releasing a free WordPress theme was not to get it listed on WordPress.org only. We wanted to provide good features to make user’s life easier. WordPress.org repository doesn’t allow features inside themes as they ask users to depend on plugins. Our expert team passes the in-house themes with all checks expected to be done by WordPress.org review team. You are getting some good-to-have features inside the free theme along with high quality code standards. Such features are not allowed to be in WordPress.org repository, we are releasing these themes here on our website and not on WordPress.org.

What makes Yugo a good Multipurpose Theme?

Yugo is a good theme for people who like to start a corporate or product based website. Definitely it is not the best theme released ever but you will find important features like Portfolio, Testimonials, Gallery, Sliders, Contact Form option etc. in this free theme. And with 100% responsive design and rich Call to Action button style homepage makes Yugo a very good WordPress theme available for free.

Road Ahead for Yugo WordPress Theme

Our team will keep an eye on the feedback received from users and will keep releasing free updates in future. We are also committed to provide the best possible support for the theme via Live Chat support and Ticket Support. Yugo comes with dedicated documentation page, and we will keep updating that to make your life easier.

Yugo will always remain free and fully supported WordPress theme, That’s a promise!

Try installing Yugo WordPress theme and let us know your feedback. We have developed this theme for WordPress users who are planning to have an elegant looking site without paying a price. Our support team will also help you in installing this theme. Spread the words about this new free WordPress theme to make other’s life easy too. Opening the discussion about the theme’s code and expectations.

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Search, Preview and Install Free Themes from WordPress Customizer

WordPress 4.7 beta 1 has been already released and the new default theme Twenty Seventeen is bundled with that. The final version of WordPress 4.7 is scheduled to release on December 6, 2016. This version is coming with lot many new features including Themes Search and Install option from Customizer window. It means you don’t need to go to the Appearance ==> Themes page to search and install a new theme. Just open the Customizer and if you find that the current theme is not doing the expected task, just search and install free theme without leaving the Customizer. It also allows you to preview the new theme after installation.

This is exactly how the new Customizer ==> Themes panel looks.

customizer_wp47

Check Featured, Popular and Latest Themes from WordPress.org

On Customizer ==> Themes window, you can see 3 options to list themes from WordPress.org repository – Featured, Popular and Latest. The Customizer window will show an option to install and preview these themes without leaving the page.

Feature Filter to Search and Install Free Themes

Some filters are also provided on Customizer to show only selected themes from theme repository. Here are some important filters available,

  • Layout – This filter allows you to see theme with certain layouts only. For example, if you are looking for theme with grid layout to showcase posts, select the Layout filter as Grid. Similarly, you can also select One Column, Two Column, Three Column, Left Sidebar, Right Sidebar layouts as filter to show themes with these layouts only.
  • Features – Based on features available with the theme, you can search and list the themes. For example, if you are looking for BuddyPress compatible themes, select the “BuddyPress” feature from this filter. Apart from that, there are many other features filter available such as accessibility ready, custom background, theme option, RTL ready and many more.
  • Subject – This filter allows you to select the category or the purpose of the theme. If you are looking for eCommerce themes, select the filter “eCommerce” in the Subject. Other subjects available are blog, holiday, photography, portfolio, news, education, food and drink etc.

Get Favorites from WordPress.org Account

You can also fetch your favorite themes from repository directly into the Customizer window. WordPress allows you to set favorite to the themes using your WordPress.org account. Now you like to see and install your favorite theme, that can be done using the “Favorites” option on the Customizer ==> Themes panel. This option is not restricted to only your favorites, but you can fetch any other account holder’s favorites by entering his account name.

Exploring and installing themes from Customizer enables WordPress users to make all changes in the look and feel of the site using only one panel i.e. Customizer. With WordPress 4.7, the Customizer has become more powerful and useful.

Update – Search, Install and Preview of Themes from Customizer has been removed from WordPress 4.7 beta 2 because of the following reasons.

  • Displaying on mobile devices is broken.
  • Inability to close the feature/filter accordion.
  • Checkmarks are overlayed on top of the search form.
  • The full-screen plus reload experience isn’t polished.

Here is what Helen Hou-Sandí, WordPress 4.7 release lead said about the changes,

This is a great goal for core, and is close, but it is not in shape to be shipped for 4.7 and there is not enough time left in the development cycle to alter and polish sufficiently. There are bugs, but more than that, there are more fundamental questions around the use of existing UI, general UX, and how findable themes are (not) on the .org side.

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Are Themeforest Theme Authors Making More Money with New Pricing?

As part of the evolution of WordPress themes, Theme Authors on Themeforest Marketplace are experimenting with new pricing. You can see the price jump from $59 to $225 for a regular license of a premium WordPress theme. Authors are suggesting that they are checking the water with these experiments. These new pricing schemes started in September 2016 when Themeforest allowed WordPress theme authors to set their own price. Now it’s more than a month, so I thought sharing a sales performance report^ based on number of sales with new pricing schemes will be a good idea. Based on this report (and the upcoming ones), theme authors can make a good decision about the pricing.

PILE Theme (price changed from $59 to $225)

PILE theme by Pixelgrade got so much attention because of the very first sharp increase in price. Theme’s author changed pricing from $59 to $225 on September 22, 2016. Here is the timeline showing development related to price change and number of sales for PILE theme on Themeforest.

  • Total Sales till Sep 21 with price set as $59 – 1,584
  • On Sep 22, Price Increased to $225 from $59
  • Number of Sales in First 30 Days after Price Increase – 25
  • Total Earning* in first 30 Days – (25 x 225) = $5,625
  • Number of Sales between October 22 and November 03, 2016 – 6
  • Based on no. of sales till now, expected number of Sales in 2’nd month – 18
  • Expected Revenue from PILE Theme in 2’nd month of Increase – (18 x 225) = $4,050

*Earnings and revenue are from total sales and not the earnings of the author only as Envato will keep a cut out of it.

Note that, before increasing the price to $225 on Sep 22, the number of sales in last 30 Days i.e. between Aug 22 and Sep 22 with price tag of $59 was 77. It converts to the fact that last 30 days earning from PILE theme with $59 was $4,543.

So based on the above information, we can conclude that in first 30 days with the new price of $225, the number of sales obviously tumbled down by 67% but the earning increased by 24%. After that, the number of sales dropped again by 28% in the next month and so the earnings by 28%. One should note that a good coverage on popular WordPress news portal and blogs about PILE theme price increase helped the sale in first 30 days.

PILE Theme Sales Report

With the first report of PILE theme, we can conclude that the earnings are going to remain same but number of support requests will definitely go down as the total number of new customers have dropped.

5 Themes by Theme Author – Meydjer
(Price changed from $46 to $199)

Meydjer is a theme author on Themeforest with 5 premium WordPress themes named – Avamia, Eacero, MegaPholio, Axiom and Eagle. He increased the price of all his themes to $199 from $46 or $59 on September 24, 2016. As per the data extracted from archives, he is also not seeing any jump in revenue as he only managed to sell 1 or 2 copies of his themes in last 40 days.

Automotive Car Dealership WordPress Theme
(Price changed from $64 to $79)

Automotive WordPress theme is another case where theme author changed the price from $64 to $79. Based on the data extracted from Internet, the number of sales dropped by 20% but revenue remained almost same. This theme authors used to sell 170 to 200 copies per month before changing the price on Oct. 3, 2016. After the change in price, the number of sales in first 30 days are 136. It means, there is around 20 – 25% drop in number of sales per month but because of the increase of $15 in theme price, the total revenue of 30 days remained almost same.

Conclusion

Based on the first report, it appears that the author driven pricing is good for the marketplace as well as the authors. Theme authors are getting less customers but the revenue remained almost same. Less customers means lesser support requests. Lesser support requests means better support to existing customers. But one should keep in mind that pricing is an important factor for a business. One can see a WordPress theme priced at 1 Million dollar on Themeforest, that is not going to help the author. And similarly, setting a very low price is also not going to help as that will increase number of customers and so will increase the pressure of maintaining a good after sale support and ratings. Here is what a community moderator on Enveto forums said,

So, end and end, pricing is a great tool for SERIOUS authors, and a great suicide tool for jokers. Either way, the marketplace and serious authors WIN

I hope the second report in next 30 days will give better picture of this new change on Themeforest marketplace.

^Sales Performance Report Data

Themeforest shares the number of sales for each theme on theme’s page. This report is based on the data available in public domain about the themes. For the past sales data, you can use Internet Archives pages to extract the archived version of the theme’s page and cross verify the data.

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Use ThemeKlash to Compare WordPress Themes Side by Side

There are more than 20,000 WordPress Themes available online. Only Themeforest adds more than 20 new premium WordPress themes per day. For WordPress theme users, it becomes difficult to select a particular theme for a requirement. You also need to check the release date, last update date, compatibility with popular plugins, experience and review about support and many other aspects before buying a theme. To make your life easy, we are introducing ThemeKlash – A free WordPress theme comparison tool showing all these information side by side. So let’s compare WordPress themes using ThemeKlash.

 

ThemeKlash allows you to compare 4 free and premium WordPress themes at a time. It shows relevant information e.g. Release and Last updated date of themes, WordPress version compatibility, WooCommerce and BuddyPress support, Browser compatibility, Auto Update availability, Available support options and quality of documentation. Also find user reviews and thoughts related to the themes. Apart from these information, ThemeKlash shows theme ranking. The theme ranking is a score given by PurposeThemes team for each themes based on performance, design and pricing.

How to use ThemeKlash?

To compare WordPress themes side by side, you need to type the name of the theme. The input box will check if the theme is indexed on PurposeThemes. If yes, select the theme from dropdown list and then ThemeKlash page will start showing result for that theme. Now you can select another theme for side by side comparison. All the details will start appearing side by side. You can now visit the PurposeThemes page for a particular theme or directly visit author’s site for more details and purchase.

Compare option is also available on individual theme page. For example, Go to the Divi theme page and click on the “Add to compare” check-box. Divi will be added to comparison list. Now you can add other themes by checking the “Add to compare” button on their pages or from related themes section. Once you hit the “Compare” button, browser will take your to ThemeKlash page pre-populated with results for selected themes.

themeklash_2

Did you find the compare WordPress themes tool helpful? Any other tool or service that you use to compare and find the best WordPress theme for your requirement. Please share your thoughts and suggestions via comments.