2 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 2 years
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
moble says

It looks like the trend to release more and more sophisticated WordPress themes won’t stop or slow down anytime soon. As the range of customers varies greatly from WordPress newbie to experienced WordPress developer I was wondering what the majority of WordPress theme customers here on TF looks like, speaking of their knowledge about WordPress.

Can anyone with an extensive customer support experience give a rough ratio between WP newbies to WP developers?

If most customers are WP novices, wouldn’t it serve the entire community much better, if theme authors reverse this trend, to develop sophisticated, but simpler WP themes, that doesn’t require a new customer to study a theme documentation, that feels like the manual of a space ship?

From a customer perspective, as time goes by, and more and more new great plugins and features are being developed, that theme authors are adding to their themes, buying and LEARNING a new WordPress theme becomes quite an effort in itself.

478 posts WordPress Gurus!
  • Has referred 200+ members
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
+3 more
ThemeBeans says

I think it really depends on the type of themes sold by an author. My themes for example are not full of complex stuff/loads of multiple templates to confuse users – hence about 70% are new users or growing users, who started new with one theme but have come back for seconds (data from support tickets).

I try to keep all my themes compatible/similar in the “how it works” field in order to promote familiarly & overall confidence in future themes.

Note that the flaw in my data is that new users are more likely to ask questions in the first place.

2 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 2 years
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
moble says

Thanks for your reply, ThemeBeans.

So the assumption would be: By developing a basic theme you simply attract people who are new to WordPress, and by releasing more sophisticated themes, developers are more likely to buy? That makes sense to me, as the WP newbie will probably be intimidated by many of the full-blown themes, simply because they look and feel to hard to actually master. And therefor he/she goes with a more basic theme.

What I am curious about is the overall percentage of potential buyers here on TF. So I can refine my theme development strategy accordingly. Does anyone, maybe also someone from the TF staff itself, has some actual data on this?

205 posts
  • Has referred 50+ members
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
+3 more
visualkicks says

ThemeBeans is right in saying the majority of people who need to ask questions are new.

You can get a rough estimate by looking at the “purchase to comment” ratio of an item.

So (and this is a big approximation) around 35% – 40% of customers will ask a question on that item. I don’t have any solid data to back this next claim up but I would say half of those comments I receive are very basic Wordpress questions (missing stylesheet etc).

As TB said, it comes down to the design and implementation as well. I’ve seen items with 100 – 100 purchase to comment ratio and those are all items that have a million features etc. I couldn’t imagine anything worse then having 100% of buyers asking a question.

If you try and implement as much of the core WordPress functionality into your work the less questions you’ll get… and the easier life will be :D

1 post
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
  • Located in United States
andebobandy says

I’ve been saying this very thing for a while. I love TF themes myself, but many of my clients can’t figure them out on their own and I end up following up with a lot of support for them to do “simple” things. I sometimes think that although it makes me happier to use a theme with all the bells and whistles so the client ends up with a beautiful shiny new site, they would be happy with a more mundane site they could update themselves. They try to make changes and feel overwhelmed and this leads them to feeling a bit deceived by Wordpress’ reputation of being “user friendly”, which we all know is a relative claim.

532 posts
  • Won a competition
  • Had an item featured in an Envato Bundle
  • Has sold $10,000+ on Envato Market
  • Located in Australia
+6 more
simonswiss says

Not a WP theme author myself (i wish!) but you can consider me as a solid potential buyer, as i have purchased countless WP themes on TF for clients.

For my experience of dealing daily with WP clients, i see clearly 2 separate paths in the purchase process:

1) The clients that approach me with phrases like “i would just need you to install the theme for me, create a few demo posts and i could take over from there and learn how to do it myself.

2) Clients that rather sound like “We’re happy to trust your creativity and skill expertise – make it look good, we don’t want to stand in your way”.

Clearly, for clients from group 1), i usually get simple themes that, as visualkicks said above, stick to the core functionalities of WP, such as live theme customizer and limited theme options. If i don’t, i end up in a never ending vortex of “i need help doing this” and “how do i do that?”.

For group 2, i am more than happy to go for the framework-like themes and achieve layouts / functionalities that go way beyond the simple WordPress site structure.

I personally sell HTML templates here on TF. My support requests rarely include “newbie” stuff and it clearly looks like most buyers know what they are doing with the template.

However, from reading WP themes comment sections, I gather that most users buying WordPress themes are newbies that want a one-click solution where they don’t need to learn complex theme settings or touch a line of code.

I would say newbies are by fare the larger proportion of buyers of WP themes.

There is however also a portion of buyers – web developers and agencies – that will, like myself, go for the more extended themes to build advanced websites for clients.

The bottom line is, i guess, no matter how complex a theme can be, it needs to cater for the newbies to keep the support forum from flooding.

As discussed in other threads, video tutorials, helping documentation inside the WP admin (tours, hover help tooltips etc) can go a long way in that perspective.

I think visualkicks nailed it with his last sentence:

If you try and implement as much of the core WordPress functionality into your work the less questions you’ll get… and the easier life will be :D
by
by
by
by
by
by