The reasons for starting the business Deivse was that I could work from anywhere, I could reap the rewards that my employers gained for my services and I could choose the projects that I worked on. I have been in business now for around six months and things are going well although they haven’t gone as smoothly as I first envisaged.
Everything seems to take a lot longer than I expected. My plan was if I didn’t have clients and projects to work on then I would use my spare time creating WordPress themes for Themeforest. This is what happened in the first few months.
I had very few projects to work on so I started to create my business website. This website was also going to double as Premium theme that would be for sale on the website Themeforest, or so I thought. I researched the best starter theme and the best framework to use. I found so many good options for starter themes like Roots, Bones and Underscores. I wanted to use a bare bones theme so I could code most things myself. I wanted control of the functions and really wanted to learn. There was the option to go for something like Genesis which could have moved everything along much faster but I hated the idea of a bloated theme that I couldn’t understand. The starter theme that I chose was Underscores. This is a great theme, it’s well written and has just enough of all the right things.
The next question was which framework to use. I never really liked frameworks before. I thought it was cheating in someway. I now see the error of my ways. The most popular framework is Twitter Bootstrap but I really liked the new Foundations framework so that’s what I used.
I have used WordPress for a couple of years now and I thought creating a premium theme would take a matter of weeks. Everything was going well until I started learning the setting API. It is straight forward enough to use but it takes a long time creating all the add on features that I was going to use for my site. Thankfully, tuts.codeplus exists or I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it.
After I designed my site and coded the options panel using settings API it was time to upload the theme to Themeforest and start earning money for my hard work. I went to Themeforest and I signed up and started the process only to find out that they have strict rules and standards. I wasn’t deterred as I knew my code was solid but I knew my design was a little flat but I’ve seen similar themes on sale. I uploaded the theme and it takes nearly two weeks for them to give me feedback which simply said ‘no’. No reason why? was it technical or aesthetics that was the problem? Did I include too little features?
My only option was to start again as I had nothing to go on. I knew that I could add my theme to WordPress.org for free. In doing so they give feedback on the theme. So once again I went through a process to upload my theme for free. WordPress took even longer reviewing my theme. They have a massive amount of themes to go through every day so I can understand the delay. This also got rejected but at least they told me why. I had code hard coded into the theme that should have been plugin material. On Themeforest this is standard practice. They want all the bells and whistles and will take extra features even if it breaks good coding practice.
My theme is now a hybrid suitable for neither sites. The best course of action at this juncture is to remove the hard coded code and put it into plugins and then resubmit it to WordPress.org and that will be the topic of my next post.