Creating WordPress Themes That Sell – 5 Guidelines You Should Know

By Sufyan Bin Uzayr. Filed in WordPress

Considering the fact that WordPress is the most popular Content Management System out there and serves many users, it’s no wonder that developers feel encouraged and motivated to create themes for WordPress. After all, the gigantic size of the WordPress’ user base simply means that themes created for WordPress are likely to be used by many people, thereby giving developers good returns for their hard work.

In fact, if you can get it right with your WordPress themes, the opportunities to earn off premium themes are endless. Yet, often we find talented developers not making it big with WP themes in terms of financial gains. In this article, we take a look at certain things that you should do right in order to make money from WordPress themes created by you.

But first, here are some collections of WordPress themes and websites you might want to check out:

1. Obey The Standard Norms

As a developer, following norms of standardization always gives the right impression to potential customers. Going in an unorganized manner not only gives other developers that distinct advantage over you by putting them in a better light but also burdens you with additional hard work and unnecessary coding.

By all means, you should consider employing a well-known theme framework such as Genesis or Thesis to make your coding life easier. If you are not a freelancer, but a premium theme store in your own right, it helps to have your own custom theme framework to model your themes on.

Coding Rules and Practices

WordPress has its own set of coding standards. Obey them! In an ocean full of WP themes, many advanced or even mid-level users will discard your theme if it is not properly coded. In order to ensure that your theme confirms to coding standards, you can make use of a handy plugin called Theme Check.

2. Internationalization and Localization

Having a translation-ready theme goes a long way in adding to its popularity. Considering the diverse set of users that WordPress serves, it is obvious that not every one of them speaks fluent English. Thus, a translation-ready theme is the best answer to attract a wide user base and gain popularity.

3. Theme Options and Customizability

Obviously, every user would like to be able to customize a theme as per his or her preferences. In order to be something that a user would like to invest money in, your theme should have customizability settings in a user-friendly manner.

If you expect every user to tweak the code to make minor changes to your theme, you can expect your theme to be used by a handful of websites only. Thus, having a non-bloated yet useful Theme Options page is a good idea.

4. Documentation and Support

Considering the fact that many themes are sold for $35 on ThemeForest, you may not be keen on providing 24×7 support for your work. That is understandable, but you should also note that the relatively low price point attracts a new set of audience in itself: student bloggers and casual bloggers who would want to have a unique look for their blog.

Such users generally appreciate if the theme author can answer a few questions, possibly via a tweet at least. As a result, you should be keen on reaching out and connecting with your audience. Similarly, ensure that your theme is properly documented and regularly updated.

5. Other Winning Tips

Apart from the above, having themes that serve a specific purpose, such as photography websites or real estate websites, always helps and gets better financial returns. Furthermore, certain features such as social media integration, if done with innovation, can also present a solid case for your theme’s financial performance.

Are you a theme developer? If so, what ideas and strategies do you follow to ensure that your themes have a good showing in the market? Share them with us in the comments below!

Editor’s note: This post is written by Sufyan Bin Uzayr for Hongkiat.com. Sufyan is a writer/editor, graphic artist, programmer and photographer based in India. He is also the founder and chief editor of an e-journal named Brave New World.

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