Yes people actually don’t know what they want so I wouldn’t even ask them but stick to market research.
You are mentioning skills that refer to both profiles, Web Designer and Web Developer, and yes if you consider yourself either than the skills you mention should not be a limitation.
A good designer should know what people want based on his limitation.
What does one have to do with the other? This statement doesn’t make any sense to me.
“What people want” is called market research and generally if you are an Web Designer then your only limitation is you imagination. The corner stones of good web design are well know and measurable (type, color, vertical rhythm, layout) everything else is just aesthetics which are measured on a subjective basis.
But back to the OP you can do some market research yourself by browsing thru popular items. It seems themes that bundle premium plugins (let’s forget that it’s bad practice) seem to do well. Also themes that pack tons of features (even if it’s 20+ shortcodes to handle just the layout grid – the total number matters :)) also do well.
And then you have some “outsiders” that are doing things right and produces well designed and executed themes, but they have more or less a solid base of loyal customers that appreciate the good work.
I would suggest taking some time and researching popular items. You can learn valuable information from that alone. Go thru top 10 items and ask yourself: Why are they so popular? Compare prices, features, go thru comments, etc.
I guess this is the only way and I even if 10 buyers will respond to your question that is in no way an indicator of what would sell well.
Yeah, finding it was kind of revelation for me personally. It somehow sliped under my radar before.
What would be a good codebase setup? I was thinking of forking the master and maintain my own version and also submit pull request for stuff that would make sens to be added to the master branch. I guess the actual themes could also be in separate branches then.
I would like to know if anyone uses _s as a base for their themes and what are your experiences with it?
Personally I need to take some decisions if I am to finally publish anything here on TF and starting from scratch just doesn’t make sense to me mainly because of lack of time. I am an experienced programmer though just didn’t yet get around to making a WP theme so I am comfortable with starting off with something pre-made.
_s looks like the way to go, after all it’s built by Automattic and if they don’t obey the Codex who does? Also what I like about it is that it’s a proper base theme namely it only has stuff in it that is absolutely necessary especially the CSS is clean and doesn’t have any stuff in it that has do with styling (it does look like crap :)).
Anyways what’s your take on _s and also generally on using a base theme to cut into the overall development time?
Prometheus: according to the ‘tax specialist’ there are now over 21000 authors who are in trouble because they havent charged and payed VAT. The country of the author doesnt matter. What matters is the country of the buyer.
In my opinion, authors can’t possibly pay VAT for 2 main reasons:
1. our items are not purchased with real money. items are purchased with envato credits. the client buys these credits from envato and he gets an invoice for that. This is the only real money transaction that actually matters. Then the client spends these credits on items from the marketplaces. You can’t expect the author to issue an invoice with envato credits. And then the client would get 2 invoices for the same thing? i don’t think so.
2. the second reason is that we dont even know the identity of buyers and especially their countries of residence, and in my opinion this is normal. After all, envato sells these credits to the client. if envato wants to keep the identity of clients confidential is their right to do so.
The relationship between an author and Envato is similar to the relationship between an app developer and Apple. I know for a fact that whenever a client from the EU buys an app, Apple is the one that charges and pays the VAT (not the app developer). Instead Envato is treating every buyer the same and charges the GST rate of australia for every purchase/deposit.
I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but boy it would surely be nice if we the authors and envato would come up with a solution and solve this VAT thing once and for all.Personally, I do what most of the authors here can possibly do. Make an invoice between me and envato and dont pay VAT because its outside the EU
I think if Envato would need an invoice they would definitely clearly state so.
Just make an invoice once a month when the funds from the previous month a finalized and keep it in your records so your accountant can also put your earnings into the books.
I am bit confused that a tax specialist concluded something like that. In the end it’s like a tooth paste manufacturer would have to invoice every buyer who buys the tooth paste in a store that the manufacturer supplies the tooth paste to. I think that does not make any sense does it?
Anyways I think you should be contacting your local government tax office in the end they are the ones that will want explanations if you should be audited or something.
As I mentioned in the other thread I contacted my local tax office because I wanted to have everything cristal clear (mind this was for work via oDesk, but I think essentially the same financial flow as here on Envato) and after quite a long conversation I was reassured that if I invoice oDesk everything will be allright from the TAX point of view.
Also if you look at the cash flow Envato invoices the full price to end buyer then they take the fee which is their income and the rest goes to the author which is their expense. So if you invoice Envato once a month for all the fees you receive your are not withholding any income are you? If you would be audited you can always show your Envato account to the auditor so they see that any money you receive is all on the invoice. I guess any items are digital goods and any fees from referrals would be a service I guess.
Once you know you only have to invoice Envato and you know Envato is in Australia then everything is clear you just charge the total amount and don’t charge any VAT because Australia is outside the EU. And that’s it.
Again contact you local government tax office for clarification that the best way to get reassured I guess.
Both themes look great, that’s no question.
I think the things that do make them similar are the boxed layout with the background texture and the header (logo, banner, menu, flash news ticker).
Maybe you could try to address those things in the newer one to make them look more different?
But I guess the best thing to avoid to much similarity would be that you create a different type of theme, maybe a portfolio type theme? I would guess making two themes for the same category (without a totally different concept/approach from the start) you are tempted to go back to the original design and copy stuff.
My advice would be that you start fresh with a different kind of theme.
What is Web 2.0?
Just start with the basics: typography, color and layout (vertical rhythm, spacing, ...). There is a lot of resources out there, WebdesignTuts being one of them.