25% Off Sale at StudioPress

The Genesis Framework for WordPress was a close runner up in the race for which framework I would use for the themes on my sites.  Heck, I might still use it at some point in the future.  Take a look and see what you think.  If you use the coupon code THANKS at checkout (don’t forget that), and you can save 25% off of anything you’d like at WordPress design shop, StudioPress.

1. Get the Genesis Framework for only $45.

2. Snag most Genesis / design combos for cheap and save close to $20.

3. Wipe the entire shop clean and get the StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme Package. Get Genesis plus every design they’ve got, plus every design they’ll make in the future, and save more than $74 off the regular price and over $875 off the retail price — and that’s just the existing 43 designs!

All you need to do is use the code THANKS when you check out and you’ll save 25% on anything and everything at StudioPress.com.

This deal ends promptly at 7:00 pm Pacific time on Monday, November 28, 2011. Hurry up and claim your new WordPress theme before the code expires!

Get Headway Before it Upgrades to 3.0

I’ve been silently readying myself to roll out Headway themes for all of my sites, and have been using it on all my new sites when I set them up.  If you haven’t heard about headway, it’s a super cool, drag-and-drop wordpress theme framework.  Seriously.  You log in, go to the visual editor and are able to make changes on the fly and see them change live!  It’s a great tool for developing new sites, and has a ton of advantages for SEO and overall site optimization.  The newest version, 3.0, is coming out on the 25th.  Here’s a nifty little vimeo video that the guys behind Headway put together.

Looks pretty cool doesn’t it?  Did you catch that nice grid based site design tool?  How about the on-screen, in-line, css editor?  Yep, you’re beginning to get why I like it as much as I do.

There’s  a catch.  Isn’t there always?  If you buy Headway themes before they release 3.0 on the 25th, you get the free upgrade to 3.0.  Plus, you get free upgrades in the future.  Something that anyone who buys after the release isn’t going to get.  Call it an early Christmas present, if you must, but go and buy the license before the release.  You’ve only got a few days left to get it.

Green Money PSD Layout Released

GreenMoney screenshotI created a template for a contest on sitepoint (for 45n5.com) and the template wasn’t chosen as the winner.  As a result, I have a .psd template that I most likely won’t use.  So, that means I have to find a way to use it.

I’ve decided to release it for your use.  Free.  Well, I’ll accept donations for the layout and I’d like to request that you donate what you think the value of the layout is.  It helps me make some money, and if it goes well, I might just release a few others that I’ve got brewing.

My only request (besides a suggested donation) is that you link the “design by thatedeguy” bit to the Green Money PSD layout page.  I’d also like to hear from anyone that uses the design so that I can start a list of the sites that are using it for publishing on the download page.

You can head on over to the Green Money PSD Layout page to download, donate, etc.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Why I’m against sponsored themes on wordpress.org

It took me a while to come to the conclusion that I am against having sponsored themes on wordpress.org. In any case, it doesn’t make much difference what I think as they already stated that there will be no sponsored themes on wordpress.org.

Both sides of the argument have some very good points. On the one side, you have respected members of the wordpress community like Matt and Mark at Weblog Tools Collection. For those that don’t know, Matt is the head honcho of sorts at Automattic. Automattic is the company that develops wordpress. In his post on weblog tools collection, Matt makes a bit of a moral stand on the subject. And in most regards, he is right. WordPress.org needs to be careful how these subjects are handled.

The main debate is over whether sponsored themes should be allowed in the wordpress.org theme viewer. I agree with Matt and others when I say that they do not. It’s absolutely nothing against sponsored theme developers, but looking at it from the wordpress point of view, anything that is on the theme viewer can be construed as being “supported” or “endorsed” by the wordpress.org organization. Every time a user of wordpress downloads a sponsored theme from wordpress.org theme viewer and then discovers the link, he/she will blame wordpress for it. Should they? No. But they will regardless.

The other argument against sponsored themes is that the sponsored link can often be interpreted as being spam. I disagree. The developer is completely within their rights to sell a link on their work. Just as I am within my rights to sell links here on Thatedeguy (which I consider my work). They cannot, however, require that the link remain while it is in use. It’s against the GPL that wordpress runs on. So, the argument against them on spam reasons is really quite weak. Besides, most people are savvy enough to remove the link if they find it.

It’s the finding of the link that makes up another part of the argument. Many of these sponsored themes are not labeled as such. They make no mention in any of the documentation about the sponsored link. My thought here are that it is very similar to paid posts on a blog. I’m o.k. with you doing them, but you really must let me know which ones are paid and which are not. Especially if you want my repeat business. Lose too many repeat customers and you end up with less and less sponsors. Then we won’t have to have this argument.

What it really comes down to is that sponsored themes don’t belong on wordpress.org for the simple fact that any themes that are on there are considered to be “endorsed” by the wordpress organization. That shines a bad light on the organization. They aren’t trying to stop the practice, they just don’t want to be perceived as endorsing it. I can understand and get behind that.

But, let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute or two.

Many of these developers work very hard on their themes. Many are of a professional level and they deserve to be paid for their work. Because of the free nature of most wordpress themes, there really isn’t much of a market for paid wordpress themes. So how else do you earn a little money for your work than to sell sponsorships of your themes? Everybody gets what they want right? The sponsor gets hundreds if not thousands of links. The developer gets a little green in their pocket. And the blogger gets a professional level theme for the expected price of free. It’s a pretty good business model.

As an online entrepreneur, I have a hard time saying that the idea of a disclosed sponsored theme is a bad one. Coders have to eat too! I still think that wordpress is in the right here. There are plenty of other places to get your themes listed. None have the clout of the wordpress theme viewer, but they’ll grow as the sponsored theme business grows and people discover that the wordpress theme viewer is not all encompassing.

Technorati Tags: , , ,