Tips for Creating and Selling WordPress Themes at ThemeForest

If you’re a web developer and want to sell themes on ThemeForest and succeed, then, make sure to understand some basic tips that will help you in the future. As we all know, you can create the best themes in the world, but you’re not guaranteed to make money with them if you don’t have a simple marketing strategy.

So, you need to combine two things that every business should have.

  1. The first is the product quality that should be amazing, unique, powerful, and loved by people.
  2. The second is the right strategy to tell people about your theme and invest in the search engine marketing method or simply in SEO.

ThemeForest is my first recommended place to sell WordPress themes. I know that there are many other places where you can submit your theme and make money, but I will focus on ThemeForest for some reasons:

ThemeForest is the number one theme marketplace, and they have over 3 million designers and customers. That’s a huge potential for customers to invest their time with them.

At the same time, it’s a company owned by Adobe Systems, and no one can ignore the powerful role of that worldwide company that makes millions in sales. ThemeForest and Envato, in general, is a well-created environment to sell any type of theme and earn income.

Follow these tips and sell your themes for money

Offer something different

Even if you have a long experience with ThemeForest, you already know that competing with big sellers is not easy. Some companies make millions of dollars with ThemeForest, and they can offer more features, and even, they can win in the online marketing game.

But, when it comes to users who need exceptional themes, you have the chance to create completely different themes that nobody else is selling in ThemeForest.

Start with a simple search in the marketplace, ask yourself what is the common thing between all these themes, and if they meet the minimum customer’s needs.

Lots of WordPress users browse thousands of themes and leave the site after all. That’s not for the quality, ThemeForest already accepts high-quality themes only, and that’s not a problem with them. But bloggers, business owners, and people who want to find a theme can’t get their exact needs met.

It can be a layout problem or a combination of colors and features. So others will search for niche themes. The main idea here is to use ThemeForest as a way to get ideas about new themes. See what’s not offered in these themes and read the customer’s comments. You will find more specific details and suggestions that can help.

Go responsive all the time

Mobile devices are becoming more and more used in web search and web browsing in general. Millions of people use their smartphones to visit websites, and you need to follow the new world changes. Webmasters need a responsive design, and they add that word to their search.

If you have a good theme, but without the responsive option, then, you’re losing customers, and you can win the game by making your design responsive. It will be better if you offer specific customizations, such as the different mobile phone logos, and layouts.

Be an active community member on ThemeForest

This seems out of the topic and has no impact on your theme sales, but, if you try the ThemeForest community for some days, you will notice the smart idea that will come to your mind. Their users share great ideas and ask for specific themes and layouts.

Even some of them will ask for niche themes, and that’s what you need in the end, you need new ideas and good suggestions.

If you have a project that you’re working on, you can ask people for suggestions and feedback. They will help and remember that they are designers and customers at the same time; what’s better than that?

Offer a powerful control panel

No matter if you have a theme control panel with 10, or one million options and settings, what counts is the user’s needs, and what he wants from your theme.

If you browse the top-seller ThemeForest themes, you will notice that all of them offer lots of functions and customizations. Some theme creators add unused settings that a few people use, but you need to add as many customizations as you can, especially in the CSS.

When the users search for reviews or demos, the first thing that comes to their mind is the control panel and what are the customization limits.

You can create the most optimized theme for speed, SEO, and layouts, but the user is your target, and not the theme itself. If the theme buyer uses the SEO WordPress plugin by Yoast, for example, he will ignore your SEO features completely.

To make sure you have the needed customization options, add typography options for the text size and colors without exceptions, and all the text from the titles to the footer. At the same time, create a color settings option for the links in posts, widgets, and pages.

If the user wants blue link colors, he will forget themes without that option. The header, of course, should be fully customizable with a logo uploader and a dimension setting. Also, make sure to add a favicon uploader and all the other settings that big themes offer.

Most importantly, add your own options that no one else offers. You will notice that people search for something new, unique, and different.

If you can create your own control panel, then, you need to use the Opt-in Tree plugin for WordPress. It lets you create a theme control panel, and you need to add your settings only.

The layout options

The page layout is one of the main options that every premium theme should include. But, you need to offer the flexibility to select layouts from the post editor, directly with the theme control panel.

People need to customize the layout for specific posts or pages, and you can help them. Add a boxed version with the default full-width layout, and make sure to let people know that your theme offers these options.

When you complete your theme, test it with the latest WordPress standards and best practices. You can use a free plugin called Theme Check, which will help.

Add your theme thumbnail as a preview

Lots of designers put a small icon or an image in their theme preview pop-ups when people browse thousands of themes and want to see a brief preview of the theme. That’s a big mistake, people want to see the theme layout and not other things.

So, create a beautiful screenshot of your theme with widgets and footers, if possible, and make the thumbnail professional, clear, and reflecting your theme’s value. You will notice big changes in the number of visitors to your theme, simply because of this mistake that people make.

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About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui is a Physicist, Blogger and the founder of He shares Business, WordPress and Blogging tips to build a better blog and succeed online.

Disclosure: The recommendations on this page are my own based on my tests and analysis. We may earn a small commission from web hosts and other partners if you use my referral link to make a purchase. That’s what helps us to maintain the site and add fresh content, Thanks for your support.

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