The Future of ZenVerse

Posted in ZENVERSE News on 16 September 2009 28 comments

In this post, I am just expressing myself and planning this site’s future.

I have unlimited amount of work everyday : I make free themes, update my plugins and reply to theme support questions. I did everything I mentioned for free, but I rarely get any donation. Oh yeah I got four donations in my life. (donor list coming soon if you are interested) Frankly, I know I can’t live if I rely on donation, so I must change some things on this site.

Should I stop the theme support?

I did what I promised : to provide theme support for free. Therefore every day, I spent about 2 hours to reply to all support questions via email and blog. (I missed a few, sorry)

Because of replying to those questions, I don’t have enough time to do my own things such as blogging, redesign this site and make more free/paid themes. I have decided to stop spending so much time on replying to support questions, so please bear with me.

Premium (Paid) Themes

Most likely I will start moving into paid themes in a few months time. Of course, my paid themes would have a lot more features than my free themes. Also, I would like to try making portfolio and photo gallery themes. So, actually it is quite a challenge to me.

Anyway, before that I would need to redesign this website, code a membership system just for me to sell themes and design more themes. Ah, long way to go.

Of course, I will release some free themes at the same time. What do you think? Vote at below :)

I am moving into paid themes in a few months time, what do you think?

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Experiment : My First Premium (Paid) Theme

Before I step into paid themes world, I want to try some things first. Therefore I created a paid wordpress theme called MonoShade.

After doing research at some other paid theems websites, I realised my price $15 is considered as not high.


Posted by Zen on 16 September 2009 • 16,159 visits 28 comments
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TM says:

I think charging is a good idea. I like how does it because it is one flat fee of $20 to become a member and that is very reasonable. If that’s not enough though, I guess you could sell each theme seperately. As for supporting your free themes, I don’t think you should spend so much time on it. I don’t think most people expect support for free themes, unless there is a major issue. Maybe you could open a forum type dialog where people who are familiar with the theme can answer other users questions. Just a thought. Great work btw (I’d be using your themes but I already have one). I hope things go well for you.

zen says:

@TM, frankly $20 is considered too low. I wonder why he come up with the idea. Maybe he wants to dominate the paid themes world. :) Comparing to press75, their all-themes package cost $275.

I would start with selling themes seperately first, when I have a number of themes thene I can start thinking a price for all-themes package.

Lots of work to do I guess, because I want the support forum to integrate with the theme-selling system. (which mean they uses same username/account)

Thank you for commenting. :)

Ahan says:

You have a collection of awesome wordpress theme.Don’t worry,when more people know about your site,business will pick up soon.

Voz says:

Actually I’m new on the Theme’s World. Your theme is the first one that got my attention and after a week looking for themes I realized that yours have everything I need. Wait for my donation soon :)

paninee says:

your them is amazing. can’t wait for next update

Arthur says:

I’ve just sent a donation because the two themes I use are awesome and you replies immediately to my support questions.

Few items I noticed: Your call to action to donate is somewhat limited – other than reading this tweet and blog post, there really isn’t anything else on the site that creates a call to action…

What about adwords? If I go to a site that offers something free, I’ll generally click on an ad link, knowing that it’ll generate.20-.30 cents for them; but it’s easy for me to do. I hate sites littered with advertisements, but a couple wouldn’t hurt.

You could continue to offer full featured themes for free but offer a subscription plan to a support forum and maybe even offer pre-release themes as well.

zen says:

@Arthur, thanks for the donation. :)

Actually I have a link to donate at every Theme Info Page but usually people just ignore that.

Since I am now working on the new theme for this website, I will start putting some google ads on that theme. For now, just let it be the way it was, for a few weeks time.

Thanks for the idea! :)

zen says:

Thank you Ahan, paninee and Voz!!

Carrie says:

If you are getting a lot of compliments from people using your themes (which I know I have given). Then I say making people pay for certain themes is a great idea. :)
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..Meet * Ast Riske =-.

Atif Hussain says:

Well i think your free themes are fantastic and your free help has been great. if the free service is that good, i am sure if the price if right you will get lots of new and old customers. Me being one of them.

Tami says:

I think a site that has both does really well, so I say go for it. After all we all need to make a living and from what I can see your doing an amazing job.

I am currently using one of your themes for my personal site and found a couple more here that I just love and can’t wait to try out.

If you do go paid, by chance would you take custom orders? I may consider buying one if I could have it personalized just for my site :D

zen says:

@Tami, thanks.

Very likely I would take custom order in the future.

Karthik says:

Well Zen , I have really come to like ur theme very much :)

I Wud be making a donation pretty soon :)

Atif Hussain says:

Hi Zen,

I have just added you to my new site, which is using ur themre :-) and i have donated some money. I hope it helps. You have looked after your customers and I hope the little i have contributed helps.
What i suggest, as an idea is maybe you might want to recommend to your regular users to contribute a certain amount?
Thanks for all your help.

zen says:

@Atif Hussain, how should I recommend? :) Anyway, I have link to donate in every post, I think that might help.

Thanks for the donation.

Atif Hussain says:

Yeah I like Tami’s post….if the price is right, i would go that option also :-)

zen says:

Thank you Carrie and Karthik!!

Tami says:

Out of all the theme’s I have come accross your’s are by far the best and well worth paying for.

I gave you a shout out on my blog, and I wish you the best and can’t wait to see more of your work.

zen says:

@Tami, thanks.

My next theme will be a photoblog theme. XD

FOTN says:

I’m not overly keen to pay right now, but if I did decide to this would be the first place I’d look since I’m enjoying the free themes. If I was to buy a definite plus point would be having at least a few different options of colors for the theme.

Is it easy to switch to your paid themes and still keep all my settings the way they are currently with the free one?

zen says:

@FOTN, maybe I will add more colors to the theme for user to choose :)

All my themes has some global variable names so that settings can be re-used : such as twitter name, feedburner url and ID, google analytics tracking codes, google adsense publisher ID

However, setting like custom logo will not be re-used because it differs with other theme.

Anyway, I might miss some settings. What settings do you like to keep?

FOTN says:

Here’s a suggestion for you. I’m actually quite attached to the Lunated theme so, and I don’t know if I’m in the minority here, I’d pay $15 to get further options to customize that existing theme.

The things that would be most important to me are:

1. Some options for changing the colors (particularly the purple/pinkish one…I really want to be able to change that!)

2. The other ‘premium’ features you’ve added to the new ‘monoshade’ theme like the different types of blog index / more google ad positions and more affiliate ad spots would be very helpful too.

3. I’d like to be able to choose which sites show in the social bookmarking section and have more options of different sites to choose from.

I’m not sure if you would be interested in doing this but it seems a way to potentially earn some money from your existing free themes. If nothing else you’d be guaranteed my $15!

zen says:

@FOTN, nice suggestion. Thanks. Actually some people suggested point #1 and point #3 too, but looks like they aren’t going to pay for that. They want it free, which is quite impossible.

Maybe I will start working on this soon? :)

FOTN says:

Great, the sooner the better! :)

zen says:

@FOTN, Right now I am learning jquery , quite busy. What if I use 2 or 3 days to finish it and no one wants it?

I think I will start working on it if someone requested.

Ash says:

your existing themes are no less then premium themes , making some minor upgrades in graphics (psd’s) and making it look a little more colorful and some more action in sidebar , you can sell them at good bargain till you come up with more new ones … i personally like crossblock a lot ..thanks ZEN

zen says:

@Ash, this is something similar to my plan. I plan to make extended version with additional features like my paid theme monoshade. The price will be low too.

Thanks for commenting. :)

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