The growing consensus among theme designers is that being listed on the GPL commercial theme page on WordPress.org is useless. Do you fall into that line of thought?
I wouldn’t consider being listed there as useless – has the traffic trend from that page decreased over the past few months for us? Yes it has, and that’s obviously a result of additional sites being listed there. While I do think there is big separation in the quality of themes that are being promoted by WordPress, all fall under the GPL license and have a right to be there. At this point, only 5% of our traffic comes by way of that link, so it’s not a huge source anyhow. We do appreciate their promotion , as well as the incoming page rank when it occurs.
How many people are employed with StudioPress, also, who are those team members considering when I think of StudioPress, I think of Brian Gardner.
At this point there are only 2 full time employees of StudioPress - Craig Tuller who is our COO, Marketing & Support Manager, Designer and then Rebecca Diamond who is our Service Manager, Designer. In addition to that, we have 3 paid moderators for the support forum. Early this year when we re branded as StudioPress, one of the primary reasons for that was to change the perception that most folks had of these being “Brian Gardner themes” and turn that into “StudioPress themes“. It was important for me to declare that a true company was behind all of what we do, not just me personally. At some point in the near future, we intend to hire one, if not two, full time graphic designers to join our team.
Who creates the graphical side of StudioPress designs?
95% of the graphic/design elements of StudioPress themes were created by me – while I’m not a trained graphic designer, I’ve been able to learn Photoshop and put together most of our work. We are now beginning to branch out and contract out upcoming theme designs for a few reasons. One, I’m so busy doing other things (like running StudioPress and overseeing all that goes on) and just don’t have the time to design, code, support, and provide tutorials for all of our themes. The other reason, and more significantly important reason, is that we want to offer a variety of designs to our users.
How do you respond to the criticism that new StudioPress themes are just a rearrangement of div containers?
See the previous answer – My first response to that is exactly what we are in the process of doing, which is contracting out designs so that we can offer a wider variety. On the flipside, I’ll mention that theme sales have been as consistent as ever, so even if a number of our themes are similar in layout, they differ in appearance and are continually in demand.
Rumor has it that you have your eyes cornered on the real-estate niche. Any truth to these rumors?
My eyes are cornered on a number of things, which is why I recently delegated daily operations to Craig, giving me more time to focus on future plans. Real Estate is among a number of niches that I think have a viable marketplace for WordPress themes – but ask any theme developer/company out there if they are able to do all that they want to. In other words, we all want to clone ourselves, as there are so many opportunities to grow our business, but most of us don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish it all.
Anything you would like to announce or have us look forward to?
At the moment, there are a few things that we have brewing – a few of which will become major announcements. But unfortunately it’s not the right time to announce them.