Posts by MDNW

921 posts
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MDNW says

Maybe holidays again somewhere?

Passover ;)

921 posts
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  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
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MDNW says

there’s no such thing as a good designer and a good coder, all in one. Perhaps there are, but I haven’t seen one. Ever.

Uhhh… A lot of the early power elite authors were exactly that. I’m a one man team for instance… many of the early elites have evolved into teams, hired outside help, and found other ways to distribute specialization, but there are a bunch of us that still operate as individuals and thrive as such… so yeah, idk, I guess we use the operative “we” in descriptions because it feels legit, but there are a ton of people that work solo and do just fine.

@markos – Despite being a little too blunt in my opinion, themeflame is more or less correct – The design isn’t very polished and the theme concept isn’t likely going to bring enough to the table to attract a high level WP coder. I’d recommend focusing on elevating one of your skills – either design or code. If you want to go the design route, I’d take this back into Photoshop or a similar program and try to polish the design – look at similar sites out there (NOT in the realm of other wallpaper sites, please, those are mostly terrible) – start with Creattica and other roundup sites and see what you might be able to glean in terms of overall styling and design. Your layout is fine, but you probably need a new logo, refined padding, new typography, etc. If you want to go the code route, start learning WP – it’s not easy, but it might be more up your alley (as you’re clearly doing alright with the code itself). If you can boost one skill or the other, it’ll make you a lot more attractive as a theme-team partner… and heck, along the way you might even realize that you can do it all yourself ;)

themeflame is also right that “unicorns” are fairly rare as new authors nowadays… most of the early elites began when the bar for quality was a LOT lower and we developed our skills over years. The whole “team themeing” began to be the status quo just a year or two ago, but it was never the case early on here at TF. Still, it’s tough to come in as a brand new author on your own, and I think themeflame was probably referring to that.

As for whether you “forget the design” or not is up to you. You have a ways to go to get approved in my opinion… but I think the concept (a wallpaper sharing site) is interesting. It doesn’t target a large segment of the market, but it’s also going to appear to a certain set of people. You could also adapt it to a more generic subset of people by going the “studio theme” or “stock theme” route instead of focusing on the micro-niche of just “wallpaper sharing”. That’s just my opinion though – there’s no reason why this can’t succeed on it’s own if the code and design are both polished up and brought to a higher level of craftsmanship.

921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
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  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
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MDNW says


Its just a matter of time before they start screwing things up, been with mediatemple for over five years now and I’m definitely already looking for new hosting.

Scratch that just looked and I’ve been with MT for almost seven years, but looks like I’m making the switch to WP Engine

{referral link removed by Mod}

I’ve been with WPEngine nearly since their inception… and I’ve been with MT for almost a decade now (probably since their inception). WPE is way faster and their support is quicker, so there’s that… it also costs more and is a WordPress only service, so it’s not like MT has anything to feel ashamed about there. Heck, MT even has a new WP focused service that I think is intended to compete directly with the WPE types of hosts out there. Whatevs. The thing is, you can’t host everything on WPEngine – they’re awesome for WP intensive projects, but they don’t do much else well, and their cost per project is relatively high if you go the single site route (ie: having to talk customers into switching from a free plan to a $XX a month plan). So, having MediaTemple as a backup catchall service where you can register domain names, setup basic hosting, manage nameserver stuff, etc. has been a really great system for me. In short, I’ve loved using MT and WPE as a combination strategy for my hosting needs.

It’s just sad to see MT get sold off to such an outrageously poor company though. MT has always been one of my favorite services to promote to my friends and customers because it’s so user friendly and customer centric… GoDaddy is the opposite of that and it’s frustrating to imagine giving that company a dime of my money, let alone referring my friends to them. Even if the service doesn’t change, I’m not happy at all with the ownership shift… and it’s hard to imagine that the GD fingerprints won’t start showing up somewhere down the line.

921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
  • Bought between 500 and 999 items
  • Referred between 500 and 999 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
  • Microlancer Beta Tester
  • Won a Competition
+8 more
MDNW says

Just a note – aside from all of the pricing rules about features and stuff, you can usually make a polite price request to the reviewer for “suggested pricing” during the initial submission or as a note during any theme update. The reviewers might have perfectly good justification for their price decision, but it doesn’t hurt to make a nice request!

921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
  • Bought between 500 and 999 items
  • Referred between 500 and 999 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
  • Microlancer Beta Tester
  • Won a Competition
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MDNW says

This looks pretty awesome – just to be thorough, here’s another script that I’ve been using for a while now that works without any major hitches…

VT_Resize Source: https://gist.github.com/seedprod/1367237 And a quick little patch that I’ve been using since the image_resize deprecation: http://www.munto.net/blog/2013/01/22/vt_resize-php-image_resize-deprecated/

Thanks for sharing yours Der! I’ve gotta dig into it a bit deeper, but I really love seeing author contributed stuff, so a huge thumbsup to you :)

Any chance you’ve run across the vt_resize script and had issues/thoughts on it?

921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
  • Bought between 500 and 999 items
  • Referred between 500 and 999 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
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MDNW says

Oh heck – confirm me too Shane just for the heckuvit. Ya’ll got me all nervous that my entry form didn’t go through ;)

921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
  • Bought between 500 and 999 items
  • Referred between 500 and 999 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
  • Microlancer Beta Tester
  • Won a Competition
+8 more
MDNW says
921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
  • Bought between 500 and 999 items
  • Referred between 500 and 999 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
  • Microlancer Beta Tester
  • Won a Competition
+8 more
MDNW says

Should I say Congrats Epicera or not? Because I know that when you got the power elite badge your nickname was “epicera” ;) Congratulations and as others already said: well deserved; you are an example for all us. :)

Hah! You can still say “epicera” if you’d like – that was our account name for a long time – I changed the official account name last week, after years and years of considering whether or not we should do it. In the end, I decided that MDNW / “Make Design, Not War” is the better account name since we don’t really use “Epic Era” for anything other than tax purposes nowadays and I’ve been going by “MDNW” in some form or another for years now.

You could also just say “Brandon”, as that’s my name IRL ;)

921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
  • Bought between 500 and 999 items
  • Referred between 500 and 999 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
  • Microlancer Beta Tester
  • Won a Competition
+8 more
MDNW says

Thanks for the kind words everyone! I’ve just gotta give some credit back to the entire community here though – there’s no way this sort of accomplishment would ever be possible without all of your guys/gals!

921 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Most Wanted Bounty Winner
  • Bought between 500 and 999 items
  • Referred between 500 and 999 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
  • Microlancer Beta Tester
  • Won a Competition
+8 more
MDNW says

I do 75% of all customization requests that come my way and then farm the rest out to a network of devs that requested freelance work on my themes “http://freelancers.mdnw.net” (no, I don’t take a commission, that’d be silly) – I also answer almost always within 1 business day and have an overwhelmingly positive attitude during support because I appreciate my customers and want to treat them right… shocker though, we still have 4 stars overall.

Why?

All it really takes is a couple haters per month to tank that rating… the issue with ratings here is the issue with lots of ratings online; the people that come back to rate aren’t the ones that are happy with the products (this isn’t like Amazon or NewEgg where users come back daily and are reminded to leave ratings)... The people who leave ratings here are generally the people that got frustrated with the products for one reason or another… and because we’re not selling easy-bake cake recipe’s, that tends to be a lot of people.

Also. I appreciate the OP initial tips, but clearly he hasn’t really considered what fielding 100’s of customization requests a day does to a business. It’s an outstanding practice for new authors and one that I followed for years, but once you start getting up there in sales, it becomes nigh unmanageable and you find yourself not working on themes any longer… instead, you’re spending 10 hours a day customizing your buyer’s sites for them for free. I do my best to help everyone out that comes through our forum’s doors with reasonable customization requests, but sometimes that’s just not practical when buyers want you to literally re-configure an entire site for them for free.

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