Building & Selling WordPress Themes: A Guide to Developers

Building & Selling WordPress Themes: A Guide to Developers

Are you interested in developing and selling premium WordPress themes? But confused about where to start? Let me try to make your life easier. This post covers a number of significant hacks and tactics that would help you perfectly build your themes. So that you can sell them at a good price.

Since its initial release back in 2003, WordPress now powers more than 35% of all websites worldwide. Along with this immense growth of the WordPress industry a lot of new career opportunities also come out. Selling WordPress theme is one such market niche to earn money.

As a theme developer you can make millions of dollars per year by designing intuitive themes for users. Needless to say, easy navigation, smart look and simple customization options of the theme can upward your revenue remarkably. But you have to consider current trends, niche demands, market saturation, and other attributes before designing a theme.

You can take this blog as your reference to learn every ins and outs about becoming a successful WordPress theme seller yourself. Moreover, you would get the answer on how & where to sell WordPress themes with zero cost.

Is There Something to Get Worried About Profit

WordPress Analytics for Developers

Like the beginning, WordPress is no longer confined in blogging only. Industrial and manufacturing industries are also using WordPress as their business platform. The popularity is still increasing. This growing popularity makes selling WordPress theme a profitable business in recent days.

Now millions of free and premium theme stores are available to serve the users. Not to mention, a workable theme is the base of any WordPress site. It provides the fundamental structure, navigation, and basic design to a site. So, there is no doubt about the high demand for WordPress themes.

You can possibly make a good amount of money by developing themes and selling them through your own website or various established theme store.

Although the theme business is a bit saturated and hard to establish for the newcomers these days, it still has a future for those who can improve the end-user experience.

How to Build & Sell Premium WordPress Themes (12-Easy Steps to Follow)

Let’s talk about the facts you should know to get started selling WordPress themes with confidence. Follow this guide step by step to make your site ready to market.

Research & Pick the Right Niche for Your Theme

final thouts on appsero integrations

You should select a niche before starting with your theme. Niche themes are designed especially to serve a particular need. It’s a handy way to make your business more profitable. Because most of the time people search for the theme that matches their site’s content and purpose.

Also, you can market your theme targeting a specific group of people. It surely increases your success rate dramatically. One way to find a suitable niche to use a tool like Google trend. It helps you to identify what people are mostly looking for in recent days:

google trend

For instance, the structure of a booking site is far different from a downloadable music store. That’s why it’s your prime duty to find out the niche first you feel passionate about. Once you finalize your niche, identify its potentiality, market size, scopes, and competitors. If most of the things satisfy your clause, outline your theme accordingly.

Give Your Theme a Eye-Catchy Look

One of the best options to stand out your theme in the competitive marketplace is to make it magnetic. So that people can easily get attracted by its stylish look and perfect design. It means you have to put extra effort to make it trendy and unique.

However, not only the graphical elements but also the content that you include to your demo theme is also important. Represent your theme with its full visual potentiality using beautiful and fascinating HD images.

Perhaps, you should also offer multiple design options like different color schemes or page layouts. We suggest keeping the theme structure simple for better user experience. Also, try to select the color combinations according to your selected niche and target audience’s preference.

Develop Your Theme Following Responsive Design Principles

WordPress plugin licensing

In this mobile-first era, your theme should work seamlessly at any resolution. After all, a large number of people use mobiles for browsing their needs. So, it’s important to make your theme design responsive.

Responsive themes are likely a shrunken version of desktop sites that fit any screen size, including your smartphones, tablet, or iPad. So, you can ensure better readability and workability for your users even on smaller screens.

Most interestedly, you have to design only one version of your theme following responsive design principles that work perfectly on different platforms. Give emphasis on your design including font size, menu, image quality, content management, and others. You can also activate dedicated plugins to make your journey smooth.

Follow the Standard WordPress Coding Structure

Where to Sell WordPress Themes

As a theme developer, you can get an immense success by following the standard coding structure of WordPress. Firstly, you have to know and understand the best practices of coding. WordPress has published multiple sets of guidelines on their site for assistance. Get help from these handy guides on how they prefer to apply CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and HTML to the WordPress framework.

You should follow these basic standards so that other WordPress developers can easily customize them for their sites. Moreover, it’s important to satisfy a certain level of standard to publish your theme in a popular marketplace.

It would be great to check your code against the basic WordPress standards before releasing it publicly. WPHive could be a great platform to test your theme usability deeply.

Include Proper Theme Templates

WordPress has a clear guideline about template hierarchy. It defines the way how a theme should be named or applied to different pages or posts. As a theme developer you need to assume that a lot of people will expect to get all of these basic templates available in their theme. It enables them to manage and customize the themes easily.

Moreover, you can add custom templates to your theme. It will speed up the functionality of your theme with a unique flavor. You should also have knowledge of how to use the get_template_part() function along with the naming conventions.

Keep Your Theme Easy to Customize

Building & Selling WordPress Themes: A Guide to Developers 1

Make your theme easy to understand for developers and basic site owners. So that they can customize it according to their needs. It helps you build loyalty and trust as a theme author.

It’s important to provide enough customization options but not too much that confused people about what to do. Remember, overly complex themes and overly simple themes – both are irritating. Your theme should be compatible with all types of developers ranging from beginner to expert.

You can get an easy solution creating a good theme options page. Later, we will talk about this! Another effective way can be including a wide range of short-code and custom templates to choose from.

Design a User-Friendly Theme Options Page

A theme option-page lets a site admin edit every portion of the theme. So users can change the design or functionality without access to CSS or PHP. Being able to edit through setting options having no coding knowledge is one of the major reasons to invest money for premium themes.

Therefore, many premium themes render a large number of theme options which actually means to offer several pages with dozens of settings. Moreover, it’s important to make this page clean, optimized, and easy to use. So, add only important elements that you think actually beneficial for your users.

Create Detailed Documentation

Appsero Documentation

A well-elaborative document helps your users to understand your theme deeply. After developing your theme you need to create a clear theme documentation describing how to set up and configure your theme easily. It’s really frustrating to buy a premium theme but having no clear idea of how to edit the things and how it works with other custom templates.

Most importantly WordPress has particular rules and regulations for theme documentation. Familiarizing with these acts will help you to submit your theme to WordPress. Get your theme available through the WordPress theme finder can be a great opportunity to make your theme popular.

Set Strategy to Market Your Theme

Affiliate Program

Well, now the tricky part has come. There are a lot of premium WordPress themes are available in the market. Attracting your audience toward your products is not so easy but not impossible as well. But to do so you need a strong marketing plan to execute. You may consider these option while setting your schemes for boom:

  • Submit your theme to a marketplace like Envato
  • Build off a framework, like Genesis, having an examples gallery or store that you can add your theme to
  • Sell from your own site & handle all the stuff like license handling, upgrade theme, and others completely FREE through WP Hive
  • Do paid advertising to reach your potential customers
  • Apply tweaks like: Email marketing, social media promotion, influencer reference etc.
  • Submit a free version of your theme to WordPress.org with an option to upgrade to the premium version

You can apply multiple tactics or all of them to promote your product to the right audience.

Choose the Right Platform to Sell Your Theme

Selling Products on WordPress

One of the best ways to reach a large potential audience uploading your theme on a theme marketplace. But you have to give a major portion of your income to them. In that case, you can also sell your theme from your own website using WooCommerce. So, you can own 100% of your income.

Moreover, utilizing a SaaS platform like Appsero can make your life easier taking the responsibility from theme licensing to faster automatic deploy.

Hence, if you still want to use the Envato marketplace to sell your theme, Envato Appsero integration can help you out. After connecting your Envato store with Appsero, it will generate licenses and sync all of your current and previous sales into one single Appsero dashboard.

Once you start using Appsero your all tension regarding licensing, updating the premium version, collecting user’s feedback will be taken by Appsero. And it’s completely FREE. Sounds incredible, right?

Get a Team Ready to Give Support

WordPress plugin licensing

Let’s talk about the after-sale service. To continue a long-lasting relationship with your customers you have to offer dedicated support for your premium theme. Your sales will surely increase if you keep updating your theme and providing fast customer service.

Most of the people expecting a quick response from the manufactures after buying a premium theme. So, establish a proactive support team and allocate the time period you can invest to answer support threads and features requests while your theme gets popular.

Price Your Theme and Start Selling

Finally, you come to the last phase. In this stage you have to put a price tag on your work. It mostly depends on your theme niche, market demands, audience choice, your expertise, and others. So, investigate your market first and render these facts with detailed insights. It helps you to understand the real value of your works. Hence, you can determine the price that worths your efforts.

Get an immense success in the way of being a theme developer by following these suggested steps appropriately.

What are the Benefits of Managing Themes with Appsero

plugin updates

As a theme developer managing the other stuffs beside coding is sometimes frustrating. Appsero comes out with the aim to help the developers. So that you can solely concentrate on your coding.

Appsero is an interactive tool for analytics, software licensing, automatic updates, and releasing new versions of plugins and themes.

Having all the analytical data, manage updates, version releases from a single place can save your precious time. It also provides details about the plugin’s usage, active installs, deactivations, etc.

WordPress plugin licensing

Some key features of Appsero:

  • Provide insightful user analytics data for your themes
  • Notify you with the deactivation reasons
  • Complete License Management (Whether you use EDD/WooCommerce/Envato – you will get complete support)
  • Continuous deployment directly from your Git account Github/Bitbucket to WordPress.org
  • Pushing new updates to your verified pro users with ease
  • Deactivation Responder (Send an email to your users whenever they deactivate your plugin)
  • Integrates with Other Services Seamlessly

In all aspects this SaaS platform will support you at zero cost. Hence, make your life much easier as a theme developer with Appsero.

How To Sell WordPress Themes with WooCommerce using Appsero

Appsero WooCommerce Integration

We all know how WooCommerce makes it super easy to run an eCommerce business effectively. In fact, it enables a non-technical person to set up his online business by himself. An effective way to sell your theme through your own eCommerce site using WooCommerce. It’s easy to customize, needs less cost, and simple to manage the payment gateways.

Still have confusion? Go through this detailed guide to explore the usability of WooCommerce to customize your business.

Moreover, a highly converting product website allows you to promote your brand, share in-depth product information and influence your visitors to buy the pro-plans.

As we said, Appsero has come to simply a developer’s life. So you can integrate your theme with this SaaS platform to manage your theme/plugin business at zero cost. Most importantly, after integrating with Appsero you can dedicatedly concentrate to your coding only. It will manage everything on behalf of you and provide a deep user insight so that you can improve your product continuously.

Go along with these five easy steps, we have described in the following blog to sell your WordPress themes with WooCommerce & Appsero.

Where to Sell WordPress Themes (Other Platform)

Selling themes is nonetheless a business. And the main motive of every business is to earn revenue. So, as a theme developer, it should be your concern on how to promote your theme widely that you can reach maximum potential customers.

Well, as a beginner you can choose a suitable platform to showcase your theme. It cuts a big share from your income but you will get a large exposure. So, you can understand the niche market deeply.

Check out this list of top marketplaces for buying & selling WordPress products.

Final Thoughts

These days, WordPress has an entire economic environment to build websites. As the theme is a crucial part of a WordPress site, it is even more demanding than any other time. But like any other system, WordPress is also changing to keep the demand of the website owners. So, your theme should be well organized, clean, and efficient to provide the best output seamlessly.

Remember, to produce a great product a developer should concentrate on his works solely. Therefore, let a reliable platform remove all the hassles. Appsero can be your trusted partner to take away all the managing responsibility and relieve you from all distractions.

So, do you still have any question regarding selling WordPress themes. Drop a line in the comment section & we will response shortly.

About Sabirah Islam

Sabirah Islam is a creative content writer who loves to work on diverse topics. She has a deep interest to work with new marketing strategies and different buyer persona. In free times she loves to play with her twin boys.