2003 doesn’t seem like a very long time ago, yet so much has changed in the world of WordPress. It became one of the most widely used content management systems, and it literally changed the online landscape. You no longer have to pay a fortune to have a website designed; you can set up a website yourself in a matter of minutes. 23.3% of the top 10 million websites built using WordPress as of January 2015, so it’s no wonder so many developers decided to jump on the bandwagon and start designing WordPress themes. Curious what it takes to build a theme people will actually want to buy? Check out this essential WordPress guide!
Most Vital Step Of Our Essential WordPress Guide: Research, Research, Research
Before you write a single line of code, you will want to do as much research as you can. Research your audience, see what your competitors are doing and find an opening for something new to help you stand out from the crowd, research the best practices and the latest changes in the WordPress community.
Clearly define your target audience and ideal buyers – this way you’ll know for sure what appeals to them visually and what features thy need, and you’ll be one step closer to making a sale. However, keep in mind that there are countless other developers targeting the same group, which means you will have to make your theme stand out for all the right reasons. Try to come up with a unique design or a feature that will make your potential buyers want to do business with you, and not your competitors. Once you do your homework, you can continue to the next step of our essential WordPress guide: actual coding.
Follow The Best Practices
WordPress published its own set of coding standards, and you will want to make sure you follow their instructions! In the saturated industry, many advanced or even mid-level users will discard your theme if it is not properly coded. Organize your code well, paying close attention to its structure, and document every feature you think your buyers may not be familiar with.
Consider building your theme using one of the third-party frameworks, like Twitter’s Bootstrap, or Zurb’s Foundation. Popular frameworks combined with starter themes you can use to build your own theme will not only save you tons of time, but also help you avoid many bugs, simply because they’ve been used countless time before and vast majority of bugs has already been fixed.
Final Stages: Launching Your Theme
If you’ve followed every step of this essential WordPress guide, you’re ready to actually publish your theme and start promoting it. There are two major options for you to choose from. You can join one of the WordPress theme markets that promote your themes for a certain fee, or you can set up your own website and handle marketing, payments and maintenance yourself.