WordPress To Host Premium Themes Marketplace

Filed as Features on November 1, 2007 6:29 pm

The year 2007 might be known for many things, but for the WordPress community, it might be known for one additional thing: the rise in popularity of premium themes. Premium themes are themes which are usually of a high standard of quality, but since you’re paying something for them, it means that they aren’t available to everyone; more than that, paying for the theme usually gets you later upgrades if any should could out, and support when you’re installing them.

At a WordPress Conference in Argentina, its been revealed that WordPress will soon be releasing a WordPress Premium Theme Marketplace, which will allow WordPress Designers to promote their premium themes through a common site — which is in turn promoted throughout the WordPress-o-sphere.

This is something that I’m sure all WordPress Designers will want to keep in mind as the reported revenue share will be –gulp — 50% of the gross revenue per premium WordPress Design. For new designers, this will be an excellent opportunity for free exposure, but for more experienced designers who have made a substantial name for themselves, it may be something they’ll want to mull over; 50% is a lot to hand over, but on the other hand the kind of exposure that you might get through such a marketplace is something that is hard to put a dollar figure on, particularly if it does well (as I’m sure you’ll be able to sort through “most popular” themes).

One issue that still remains to be seen if the premium themes marketplace is strictly for WordPress.com hosted blogs, or, whether or not you’ll be able to download themes for independently hosted blogs. More on all of this as details come from the horse’s mouth in the upcoming days and weeks, I’m sure.

Update: In fact, the Themes Marketplace is only for blogs hosted at WordPress.com; because they will be forced to be GPL-licensed, they will be “free to .org users”.  More details at Matt’s site, but I’m reading this to mean that .org users will be able to download these themes gratis.  Which, he acknowledges could encourage people to leap to a self-hosted site.  If anyone else can figure out these economics let me know.

[tip: the inimitable Marshall @ Read/Write/Web]

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  1. By Mark posted on November 1, 2007 at 6:44 pm
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    Interesting…especially when you see designers like Brian Gardner already doing this off his own back very successfully. Also, larger entities like Template Monster taking far less of a commission.

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  2. By Tony Hung posted on November 1, 2007 at 7:06 pm
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    50% is a lot — but I suspect that many will still pay the commission. A case of a large part of a small pie, or small part of a very, very, very large pie. And to flog a metaphor, to some designers I’m sure the thought of such a tasty pie is tempting to pass up.

    There are other aspects to this as well that harken to the general poo-pooing that Matt has done earlier in the year in the name of open source and whoops … here he is hosting premium themes, standing to make buckets (and buckets, and buckets) of cash.

    But I suspect we’ll hear other voices on that matter quite soon about it. :)

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  3. By Mark posted on November 1, 2007 at 7:10 pm
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    Ha! Yeah- I thought that I’d let someone else pick up on that little irony…:-)

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  4. By Elena posted on November 1, 2007 at 7:29 pm
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    Sounds to good to believe this. An official announcement might help.

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  6. By Shortshire posted on November 1, 2007 at 7:32 pm
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    Sounds like an awesome idea to put all the premium themes in one place. I won’t have to scour anymore to see all the themes.

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  10. By Dave posted on November 2, 2007 at 2:04 am
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    Wow, 50 per cent is crazy. Plain and simple. I can’t see to many good designers signing up.

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  11. By Brian Gardner posted on November 2, 2007 at 4:42 am
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    I’ll be curious to see if this takes form, and what the time frame would be. I’m guessing that they will still be selective on which themes make it into the marketplace. I’m not sure about charging .com users, but making it free to .org users? Maybe I’m reading Matt’s post wrong, but that’s how I interpret what he’s saying.

    Guess I’ll have to put my thinking cap on shall I decide to be a part of this, because my Revolution themes can’t be included.

    Reply

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  16. By Nick posted on November 2, 2007 at 10:18 am
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    Meanwhile, even Moveable Type is letting you run your own theme viewer: http://www.movabletype.org/documentation/developer/plugins/style-repositories.html

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  17. By sethuhdiah posted on November 2, 2007 at 11:31 pm
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    50/50 is too much. Why have 1 centralized place for the best premium themes and lose half of your time? Independent designers can still work together to make sufficient wp themes. Anyway I think its bullcrap, wordpress is supposed to be one of the best open source tools out there. Now their tryin to steal half our money.

    You just inspired me to buy a new domain: http://www.buywpthemes.com. I tell you what, ill split profit 25/75 :)

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  21. By Lula posted on November 7, 2007 at 12:40 pm
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    Netter Blog. Falls Ihr einen neuen kostenlosen Webkatalog haben wollt, schaut mal rein.

    Reply

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  23. By snehal posted on November 26, 2007 at 2:55 am
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    maybe http://wpremix.com/home/ will be one of them?

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  24. By Dave Coveney posted on December 5, 2007 at 11:12 am
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    I may be late to the debate, but I gave it some thought and decided that our company should participate.

    We do closed, proprietary themes for people who want custom designs, but we also now do GPL themes to give to the wider audience. Given that WordPress.com could take these GPL themes and do what they like with them anyway, it’s quite nice to be able to get money for them in return for giving WordPress.com first rights.

    So what Matt’s doing, so far as I can see, is arranging a method by which GPL designers can potentially profit more significantly from their themes than currently. I can’t see why he’s getting so much flack for the plan. Non-GPL designers… well, you benefit from a GPL product (WordPress) anyway, so just continue as you are – you’re hardly losing!

    Reply

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