Hello everyone, today we will discuss the hot topics on the Internet and specifically the WordPress platform and some premium hints from the ThemeForest market presented by one of the authors there - Slobodan Kustrimovic (a.k.a. wpcanyon). He is an expert in the WP world and has published few themes on ThemeForest and currently working on a new framework in his passion to constantly improve the quality and usability of his products.
M: Hi Slobodan and thanks for your time. How are the things going on your side?
S: Hi Mario.
Can't complain, everything is great at the moment. Currently working a new framework that'll give the user even more flexibility and also be a great base on which we'll develop themes faster.
M: Great - can't wait to see your first demo. Where are you from?
S: I'm from a little country in Europe called Serbia, right next to your country.
M: What do you do for a living and in your spare time?
S: I make premium WordPress themes which are sold on ThemeForest and in my spare time pretty much what a typical 22 years old guy does, watching movies, hanging out with friends, getting drunk occassionaly...
M: Sounds like fun then - glad that you are able to manage your spare time and still produce such a high quality of templates. I have been exploring the TF market for months and I have noticed your products there and the activity online. How many themes have you released on ThemeForest?
S: We have published 4 themes by now (Lifeline, Brainstorm, Eptonic, Nuance), the latest one was published few days ago. I also developed one theme as a freelancer some time ago that was for ThemeForest.
M: Do you work alone or in partnership with other authors?
S: It's a partnership, Justin is the designer and I am the developer. But there's more to it then just designing and developing, there's testing, making the demo, handling support, writing documentation...
I admire those who do everything alone, it's simply way too much to handle for one person.
M: Indeed. How long does it take for a theme to get "up and running"?
S: About 25 days from the start of designing to submitting the theme to ThemeForest. But we plan to cut that time to about 15 days so we can release 2 themes per month.
M: Pretty ambitious. Which is the most time consuming element in the whole cycle - planning, design, development, testing, release, support, upgrade?
S: Well I can't say for sure about designing since Justin is the designer, but i think development and designing take about the same time and they take the most of the time from the whole process.
Support is also time consuming.
M: Name the most frequently asked questions from your clients via the TF support? What do clients need more or don't understand by default?
1. "The theme doesn't work, it says the stylesheet is missing"
This one is by far the most frequent question all the authors get. The reason is that people are used to just install the theme with the zip they download, but on Themeforest that zip contains more then just the theme so WordPress gets confused. So what the customers needs to do iz unzip it and inside of it they'll find the actual theme zip.
2. "The theme breaks a plugin"
But in 99% of the cases the theme doesn't brake the plugin, it's the plugin that brakes the theme.
M: Where do you go for marketing - are there any specific channels where you popularize your theme or warm up the buyers?
S: The best thing about Themeforest is that you don't need any special marketing, it has a huge traffic and it's very popular. But we do use our twitter account to promote our items a bit. We do plan to start a little website to share design freebies, write tutorials and publish free themes so that'll be a nice way of promoting our themes.
M: What is your weekly load in a time manner for ThemeForest - i.e. how many hours a week do you dedicate on this?
S: Can't say for sure, sometimes i work more sometimes less, depends on the mood i'm in at the time. That's the best thing about premium WordPress themes, you work how much you want. If i have to give a number then i guess it's about 50 hours a week.
M: What was the toughest thing at the beginning? Have you changed the way you work for TF based on the leaks from your first theme?
S: The toughest thing was falling asleep the night we submitted the first theme.
I was simply way too excited and a bit terrified so i simply couldn't. I kept hitting F5 to refresh the page every 20 seconds to see if there are any news. And when it was approved and published, well let's just say F5 on the keyboard doesn't work as good as the other keys since then.
I didn't really change the way i work but the way the themes work has certainly changed a lot thanks to tons of suggestions from the customers.
M: I know that feeling of excitement - hopefully you will continue to develop yourself and your themes and have larger challenges to check out!
Where do you see yourself in 1 year?
S: I'm pretty much sure i'll still be making WordPress themes with Justin, no need to change something that works well. And i hope we'll be in the first 20 top selling authors by then.
M: Do you foresee any major change in the way developers and designers create WordPress themes and the ThemeForest market? Probably new fancy changes in WP 3.3/3.4 or another popular product to be themed such as Tumblr? We see the OpenCart category drastically growing up right now.
S: The way developers and designers create WordPress themes for ThemeForest is certainly going to be changing quite a lot in terms of flexibility and usability, not because of WordPress versions but because the auhors try to make every theme better then the one before.
WordPress has alredy evolved into a wonderful CMS and i don't think any major changes will be made. I would like if they improved the current features instead of adding new ones, the shortcodes system definetely needs to be rewritten.
About OpenCart it seems to be getting quite popular, sales are nice, but i don't know much about it.
M: Could you spoil a part of your new framework for the readers - some useful feature or anything for the developers to build against?
S: Well as you know we have that nice content composer, it'll be rewritten so it's more flexible and one awesome addittion will be "live content composer" which will allow the user to also make changes right there on the post/page instead of doing it in the admin.
M: Name your favorite ThemeForest authors and top themes (except yours, of course )
1. Orman Clark
3. inFocus (you got to admire the sales, 6K+)
M: Are there any regular resources that you follow (online media, blogs, tutorials)?
S: Tons of them Here are a few of them:
M: OK, that was great - thank you for your time!
S: Thank you for having me