350 posts Gambit
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bfintal says

Hey guys, it’s good to hear a lot of positive feedback regarding this!

I was wondering about what others are doing when they release free code. I sometimes use Github, and I contribute to some projects.. I was wondering whether to post the code into Github. The pros of this would be people can contribute to make the framework better. Unsure about the cons though.

What are your thoughts about how to monetize this? I really need ideas on this because as much as I want to help others develop WP themes better, I’d also want to earn something out of it :)

@GJThemes has a very good point regarding exposure though, that would definitely help a lot.

For the state of the framework, I’m using it to create my latest WP theme.. the only thing missing is documentation on how to use the thing, and a sample theme that shows the minimum requirements as well serves as a template.

The theme should be finished in 1-2 weeks, so I can start creating the docs and samples after that :)

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GJThemes says

What are your thoughts about how to monetize this? I really need ideas on this because as much as I want to help others develop WP themes better, I’d also want to earn something out of it :) @GJThemes has a very good point regarding exposure though, that would definitely help a lot.

Monetize could happen from different things from paid support, to simply making available any themes you have, or offering separate modules to the framework that would be considered as “premium” like for WordPress, there are some plugins that are commercial even though they are on the wp.org site. Same goes for Joomla, an open source project and very popular with lots of free extensions, but some are commercially priced. You could even keep a portfolio that links to any items you have at TF here. Setup affiliate accounts with select products or serivces…

With the concept of designing free themes that I’m contemplating, the option I have to consider is offering paid support or relying on upsell to the “pro” version of the theme. Either way, you have several options to monetize your framework.

The publicity would be huge though once word gets out through the social networks like Twitter, google+, facebook, etc.

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bfintal says

Awesome. Your suggestions really help a lot. I like the idea of maybe adding a link inside the framework to my TF items.

I’ll maybe create a temp site for the framework in the coming weeks. I’ll also be putting up a newsletter so that people can sign up for news on the release of the framework.

Would you theme devs be okay with some kind of license for the framework that goes something like: it’s free if you want to use the framework for your personal site, then a small fee if you’re going to sell the resulting theme in TF or to a client (to remove the links to my TF items, etc). If you’re okay with that, what price would be okay with you? I have a small figure in my head but I want to hear from you guys first. :)

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dnp_theme says

Awesome. Your suggestions really help a lot. I like the idea of maybe adding a link inside the framework to my TF items.

Yeah but we will ask you how to remove it.


Would you theme devs be okay with some kind of license for the framework that goes something like: it’s free if you want to use the framework for your personal site, then a small fee if you’re going to sell the resulting theme in TF or to a client (to remove the links to my TF items, etc). If you’re okay with that, what price would be okay with you? I have a small figure in my head but I want to hear from you guys first. :)

We can pay an even good fee if your provide updates and good documentation.

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bfintal says

@dnp_theme good point haha. You’re right, it isn’t needed anyway, devs will create their own themes on top of it, and won’t care much about the link.

Gimme a ballpark figure :)

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DryThemes says

I said go for it buddy :) Sounds like good idea to me.
What about commercial license – like using the framework in themeforest themes?

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GJThemes says

Would you theme devs be okay with some kind of license for the framework that goes something like: it’s free if you want to use the framework for your personal site, then a small fee if you’re going to sell the resulting theme in TF or to a client (to remove the links to my TF items, etc).

A fee might work or it might not, one thing you could do is do a trial basis first (making note to users a pro fee or something). However, a trial usage as a sort of introduction of the framework for a period of time, perhaps being free, is a good starting point. But here is something to consider…Justin Tadlock has the Hybrid framework and he has done extremely well with it and it’s free (he started selling it at first I believe, then went free) but you pay for support.

If you were to do a fee either upfront or after a trial period, I’m not sure what you would price it at. I still think the free concept with up-selling of other items off your site would be the better route because people love free and if your framework becomes popular and gets spread throughout the social networks and from blogs doing articles about it, that is a major boost.

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GJThemes says

One more thing… when you look at frameworks like Rockettheme’s Gantry, Yootheme’s Warp, or even joomart’s T3, they offer theirs freely, but the one thing they all have in common is that they have other items that are commercially priced for up-selling. They also provide a forum community for everyone to help each other out too.

Side Note: I recommend setting up a twitter account at least and perhaps a Google+ as well.

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bfintal says

Checked out Theme Hybrid. Looks cool, it’s free, then a small yearly fee to access additional stuff such as docs. I downloaded the framework (haven’t checked out the code too much) but from first impressions you’d really need to view some kind of tutorial or documentation to make it work, so you’ll have no choice but to pay the fee. It’s small anyway so most likely it’s no problem for most folks, but it’s kind of weird that you don’t get info on how to use it for free.

So a while ago I did some research regarding licensing. So since my framework uses GPL code from other libraries (e.g. jQuery, etc.), I’ll have to release this under GPL also. So that means automatically I won’t charge for it (I technically can, but any buyer can freely distribute it.. so it may make no sense to sell it). So.. this must be the reasoning behind Theme Hybrid’s free-code-then-everything-else-is-paid.

So for now I’m looking at this combination since there seems to be little choice: free framework + paid access to docs, samples, modules, forum, support, video tutorials, updates, etc. This looks uncannily similar to Theme Hybrid’s lol! :D

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bfintal says

Btw, here’s a sample of what you can do with the framework to whet your appetite :)

Defining a shortcode

very simple example: a shortcode for a horizontal rule:

// Shortcode usage:
[hr]
or
[hr style="height: 10px;"]

// Framework class in PHP
class BFIShortcodeHrModel extends BFIShortcodeModel implements iBFIShortcode {

    const SHORTCODE = 'hr'; 

    public function render($content = NULL, $unusedAttributeString = '') {
        return "<hr />";
    }
}

still a bit simple example: a shortcode to display an icon (just an image):

// Shortcode usage:
[icon] (defaults to type="archive")
or
[icon type="shopping-cart"]

// Framework class in PHP
class BFIShortcodeIconModel extends BFIShortcodeModel implements iBFIShortcode {

    const SHORTCODE = 'icon';

    public $type = 'archive'; // default value

    public function render($content = NULL, $unusedAttributeString = '') {
        $this->type = strtolower($this->type);
        return "<img src="views/images/icons/{$this->type}.png" />";
    }
}

You basically just add a PHP file containing a class (or multiple classes) into your shortcodes folder and the framework takes care of the rest.

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