An Inside Glance At StudioPress

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.

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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.

Black Canvas Version 3
Black Canvas Version 3

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.

8 Comments


  1. Thanks for this information. Blogging is not about transparency, but about the consistency of your transparency. (I heard this at PodCamp Montreal this week-end and liked it).

    I only have high remarks for the Themes that I have purchased from Studio Press and installed on clients’ websites. They are easy to manage, update, customize, and transfer from blog to blog. This morning, I copied a theme that I had customized and transferred it to another blog and it was perfect. This makes me happy!

    Keep up the good work! Very much looking forward to new themes from Studio Press.

    Regards,

    Diane

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  2. I became one of Brian’s customer’s almost two years ago and, through all the name and licensing changes since then, he has always treated his existing customers extremely well. With a StudioPress developer package, you get outstanding ongoing support without having to pay a $20 per month subscription fee.

    A recent WPTavern poll about paid theme companies had to be abandoned due to the rather clumsy attempts to manipulate it, but it is notable that Brian, whose StudioPress was running a strong second before the cheating began, did not lower himself to that level. The character of the people you do business with is important and I have always had a good feeling about Brian.

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  3. Good read. I have always liked Brian’s work also. Have used a couple themes on client sites in the past and the support was always great.

    Looking forward to the new Revolution Magazine Theme.

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  4. About a year ago I started using WordPress for all my clinet work and quickly discovered StudioPress. I have not looked back since and it was the best two decisions I’ve made since starting my own business back in 2000. If you are considering one of the many great StudioPress themes, the Pro Plus All-Theme Package is some of the best $$ I’ve spent. The support is hands down some of the best I’ve experienced. I’m now listed as an “Approved Designer” and help out in the support forums where I can.

    I’d love to be of those future Graphic Designers Brian mentioned.

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  5. I’ve always been a big fan of Brian Gardner’s work going back to the Blue Zinfandel days. StudioPress is top notch. What else can be said?

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