Monetizing a WordPress Theme? Make Sure you Follow these Pointers.

October 18, 2012 on General

There’s no limit to how much you can earn by designing and selling premium WordPress themes. You can sell them on your own website or one of a template marketplaces such as Themeforest.com and Mojo-themes.com. You can even offer your services to businesses looking to have a totally unique and customized WP theme for their site.

But in order to excel in any of these roles, you need to keep the following points in mind to make sure your designs are a hit. Missing out on any of these important factors will result in less than satisfactory results for both, you and your client.

The Basics:

In all forms of web designing or web development for that matter, you need to get the basics right. For WordPress, the basics will include following the standards like HTML or CSS, as well as the necessities of WordPress Theme coding. In addition, your theme should be responsive and work equally well in the latest versions of modern browsers like Firefox, IE, or Chrome, as well as platforms like smart phones or tablets.

Try not to use a lot of plug-ins while designing, because a future bug in that particular plug-in will cause problems to your clients. You must also provide some sort of support with all premium WordPress themes that you have designed – because most of your clients will not really be tech savvy.

Personalization

A common feature amongst a majority of bestselling themes, are the options that allow the users to customize a theme to a great extent. Nobody likes to have a website with the exact same look or feel of a hundred different websites. Providing them with easy options to change things like the background color, texture, or fonts will be a good feature for you theme.

Also keep in mind, that before you provide such options, try to design the theme with this factor in mind so that the theme will look equally good with different backgrounds, layouts, or fonts.

Easy to Set Up

People usually purchase a WordPress theme after they fall in love with it from the demo. However, once they have it and they try to set it up, the end result is rarely as good as the demo. Being a web designer, you should make sure that installing and setting up the theme is simple and well documented (with screenshots) to help your clients with each and every step.

We understand that designers’ first aim to sell their work. But building a theme that is easy to work with should also be a primary concern.

Optimize and Ready to Monetize

There are some handy SEO plugins in the market, and your theme should make the most of it. While developing a theme, make sure that the users can easily modify the options like Page Titles, Descriptions, or set Meta Robots. Also the theme should be W3C compliant, as well as have quick loading times.

Being valid and speedy has now become important factors for SEO. In addition, try to make it easy for your customers to be able to monetize by adding banner advertisements, or “in-text” ads like Google Adsense. Remember – almost all of your clients will be be bloggers, so making money is always key.

Less Is More

This has become especially true in modern web design: less is more. Themes with unnecessary design elements, uncomplimentary bold colors, or hard to read fonts will not only limit the scope of your theme sales, but its overall performance. Unless you are specifically designing for a certain niche or user base, you should keep the design simple yet graceful. There should be enough white space to avoid the clutter. Remember, what you design is more than art.

It is also conversational tool that your clients will use. It is a platform for your user’s voice. It is a representation of someone’s business. It will be an organization’s online brand and company identity.

So keep these things in mind on your next premium theme. Make sure to let us know what you think, by leaving a note below.

Saba Mushtaq is an online entrepreneur and web designing expert. You can learn to code by visiting her website, where you will find lots of tips and tutorials for html, html5, JavaScript, and css.
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  • Great stuff! WordPress has been a great revelation in the world of web designing and today if you wish to impress your target audience, the best thing to do is to keep things simple. Over designing the website in a bid to impress the audience may prove fatal, whereas website customization as per users need will guarantee a smooth user experience on a website. And Ofcourse, website basics such as responsibility and adaptability as you mentioned are a must!

  • Hey nice tips I’m looking to start selling themes soon but I have to disagree with two of your points here.

    First I don’t think we should be creating a theme options page to customise your theme, we should now be using the Theme customiser screen.

    Second themes should not have any settings for SEO, this should be left to plugins such as WordPress SEO. Mainly so if you change theme in the future you don’t lost all your settings. Yes theme developers should make it easy to add the basics, title tag, meta description tags, headers etc. But robots nofollow, noindex should be done with a plugin not in the theme. This is so if you change theme in the future you don’t lose the noindex settings.

  • I agree with Paul about the SEO settings should be taken care with a plugin, specially as the guidelines for SEO is changing so fast these days and Titles, Meta etc isnt enough anymore.
    With increasing Social Media presence descriptions for Facebook shares are as important as meta description for search engines and I’ve yet to come across to a theme with seo support that allows you to fill in your own Facebook or Google+ descriptions.

    A good social network share description vs a random description can be the difference between success and failure these days.