For any WordPress theme developer, selling and publishing their theme on a popular marketplace is an uphill battle. And it is justifiably so for a lot of reasons. WordPress developers have now more opportunities to make money selling their very own themes in major marketplaces and thus overhaul their development skills. These marketplaces such as Themeforest, CodeCanyon, Mojo Themes and a lot more come handy for anyone who likes to sell their own designed templates or themes for WordPress. Though it’s quite hard to make an impact on these websites, but it’s not impossible. The reason being, the companies have a long-lived reputation for selling and developing high-quality, innovative themes for a variety of websites. They also maintain very rigid rules and development standards that encourage webmasters to come up with best-of-breed themes.
Developing a fantastic WordPress theme and getting it approved on a reputed platform, is just like a dream come true. One needs to put a lot of hard work, time, and effort to develop something which buyers can actually use. So, if you are one of them who has a desire to create a theme that gets the desired attention in any of the marketplace, then this guide will get you moving in the right direction. Here, I have compiled some simple steps you need to take to accomplish your goal with greater flairs.
So, without rambling on too much further, lets begin:
- Quality is Supreme
- Focus on Functionality
You need to develop a theme that’s engaging, beautiful, and functional. You just can’t think of developing a boring or static theme and expect others to purchase it. People look for themes that are fascinating and filled with options which can be tweaked as per their needs. In my opinion, you should at least focus on these three points:
- A clean set of shortcodes
- An optimum amount of flexibility
- Functionality that benefits users
While talking about functionality, it’s important to know what and how it should be included. Innovation is important in a theme ; it can bring you kudos but it’s also important that it should not have detrimental effect on user experience. No one wants 500 different fonts and unlimited amount of background- unless until one is expecting a funky look. Keep your functionality subtle and useful for users.
- Evaluate Your Markup and Test it Diligently
Building a great theme requires a solid foundation which can only be achieved by a solid and valid markup. But writing at the par markup doesn’t necessarily mean that each and every page of your theme should clear the HTML and CSS validation test against W3C’s tools. Attention must be paid on testing the theme as a whole along with the plugins that are responsible to render content.
To test post data, you can try checking out WPTest.io ,a highly reliable tool to test the robustness of your existing plugins and themes. This test might seem “exhaustive” to you to clear, but passing it will surely boost your confidence that you’ve developed a valid theme. In addition to this, I would also recommend you to use an exemplary plugin called Monster Widget. It’s a useful plugin for theme testing as it adds all the 13 default WordPress widgets into one single “monster” widget to save you time when testing theme for WordPress.
- Playing Around the Plugin Territory
Many of new WordPress theme developers are facing this confusion: whether they can provide functionality within a WordPress theme.
The rule of thumb says: if it’s a feature that is specific to the design, it should be in the theme, but if it’s a feature you want to live in the current design, there should be a separate plugin for this. So, when the user change the theme or rewrite rules, they can prevent yourself having a bad experience of losing the crucial data. Make sure you keep the functionality out of your theme and serve it as a separate plugin.
There is a solution available for this, in the form of TGM Plugin Activation, which is a PHP library using which you can recommend and require users to install plugins. The library notifies your user to install a number of plugins and activate them using WordPress classes, interfaces, and functions.
- Unique and Engaging Design
A theme should be beautiful, unique, and pleasure to use. There are literally thousands of WordPress themes out there. The options are seemingly limitless and competition is tough. How would you make sure that your deign is unique among the rest? There are various visual practices which you can put together in your theme to ignite creativity and boost innovation. A good theme marketplace appreciates distinctive designs, so instead of designing what is already available, make sure that your theme is extraordinary enough to offer users exclusive choices in a pleasing way.
- Prepare Effective Demo Pages
Demo pages are key to get your theme approved on the major marketplaces. The experts of these companies look at your demo first to examine the extent of your theme’s reliability and uniqueness, along with your code validity. So, make sure you create a killer demo to impress people at your dreamy marketplace.
- Theme Documentation is Crucial
Another thing that’s worth considering is your theme documentation which is reviewed carefully when your theme is being analyzed by the expert panel. There are cases where themes got rejected due to poor documentation. That is why it is important to pay attention on this aspect right off the bat.
- Your Product Should Solve Problems
Making your theme useful is a key to its success on a marketplace. Your theme should solve problem so that a gap could be filled. The design of your theme should focus around what potential buyers actually want and anticipate problems they might be facing. Additionally, you should follow the current market demands and trends to make your theme resourceful to its users.
I hope you have now gained a pretty good understanding of the steps you need to take to get your theme live on your favorite marketplace. Be sure to bookmark this page for the future reference.
Author Bio :
Sophia Phillips is expert frond-end & WordPress developer. Currently, she is an employed with WordPrax Ltd. a renowned name in WordPress web development services. Sophia has had written a remarkable number of articles on WordPress tricks and tips.