The growing popularity of WordPress as one of the leading content management systems has made developing premium themes one of the best ways to earn some extra cash on the side. However, considering the number of developers jumping on the WordPress bandwagon, potential buyers are demanding more features and better quality. If you want to stand out from the crowd and develop WordPress themes that actually sell, keep in mind these simple, yet incredibly effective tips.
Know Your Ideal Customer
Before you begin developing premium themes and write the first line of code, you need to know who you’re developing them for. Are you targeting business owners that need a WordPress theme to set up a website without too much fuss, or other developers looking for a starter theme they’ll use to create their own themes? Don’t just assume – research the needs and preferences of your potential buyers and develop a theme that will both appeal to them and provide them with everything they need to set up an effective website, or develop a great theme.
Create Something Useful
Developing premium themes for a particular niche is a great idea, because it will make the entire process a lot easier. You’ll have a much better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, from the overall design to particular features you need to include in order to stand out. While restaurant and photography themes may overlap to a certain degree, they’re two different types of themes requiring different features and functionalities.
Give Users Options, But Don’t Overwhelm Them
A good theme options page will add value to your theme by enabling your buyers to customize it to suit all their needs and match their unique style without having to use CSS or PHP. A bad theme options page, on the other hand, will only frustrate and confuse them. Make sure you’re not cluttering the options page while developing premium themes just to impress the buyers. Instead, determine which options your buyers will need and include extensive documentation explaining all the features and customization options in such a way that even beginners will know how to use them without burying you with countless emails asking for help.
Follow the Basic Coding Standards When Developing Premium Themes
All developers have their own tricks to save time and energy while coding, but if you’re developing premium themes other developers will be using, you need to make sure you follow the basic coding standards and best practices. WordPress publishes two set of standards, one for HTML and PHP and another for CSS and if you follow them, you can instantly add value to your theme. There are even third-party theme markets that refuse to sell themes unless the code is written according to these standards.