Elegant Themes is one of my favourite commercial theme companies, they have consistently produced attractive themes with loads of different features - I have featured them many times in our roundup posts. They won the WPCandy Theme Madness competition also, which was decided by rounds of public voting. The site currently holds 76 themes which you can gain access to all by joining the club which starts at just $39 per year, so really good value as well.
The company was started by designer Nick Roach, single-handedly, and now employs 13 people which is impressive. Nick has given me 3 club memberships to give away to WPLift readers, you can enter using the widget below - winners will be drawn at random in 7 days time ( 28th May 2012).
I also took this opportuity to ask Nick some questions about Elegant Themes...
What is your background with WordPress?
I am designer at heart and a lover of technology. I have been putting these two skills to work for some time now, creating templates and themes for various platforms. I became interested in WordPress early on and never looked back. The community is great and I am really glad to be a part of it. I started ElegantThemes a few years ago after having creating several free WordPress themes.
How many people work at ElegantThemes now ?
There are 13 people that work for the company. The majority of our staff are dedicated to technical support and spend their time helping out our members in the forums. There is one designer (me) and two rock star developers that have been working with me for years.
You were one of the first with a yearly membership structure, do you think this helped ?
Yes, it certainly did. I love the membership structure and am glad that I chose this business model. Being a "member" is different than being a "customer." Membership is something more and has helped instill a stronger sense of community.
Where do you get ideas for new themes / design inspiration from ?
I spend a lot of time simply browsing the web, and follow that up with sitting in my room for hours and hours milling over concepts in Photoshop. It's a lot of trial and error, but eventually something great always emerges!
For someone wanting to start selling premium themes, do you have any advice ?
I have a few suggestions to people just starting out.
- 1) Focus on quality over quantity. There are so many themes out there already and it's important to make something great if you want to stand out.
- 2) Don't underestimate the importance of customer satisfaction.
- 3) Don't give up too early. Establishing yourself won't happen overnight.
How do you see the premium theme market evolving over the next 12 months ?
I think that we will continue to see more niche themes being created as WordPress as a CMS expands into more and more online applications.
What do you have planned for ElegantThemes in future ?
Right now we are really focused on mobile. The way that we are browsing the internet is changing drastically, and it is important to start designing in a responsive manner. We have been working hard to convert our old themes to be fully responsive, meaning that they will adapt to small screen sizes and display beautifully on smartphone and tablets. I hope to show initiative in this area and make sure that our customers are ready for the mobile revolution.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, good luck with the future of Elegant Themes!