AJ Clarke is a successful WordPress developer and founder of WordPress resource site, WPExplorer. AJ is planning to launch his own theme shop very soon and is currently selling themes through ThemeForest.
WPExplorer is a WordPress resource blog, packed with useful information and tutorials about WordPress Themes and Plugins, add it to your feed reader if it isn’t already.
In this interview, Alexander:
- Share his story on how he built WPExplorer.
- Talks about selling premium WordPress themes.
- Talks about his plans to launch his own theme store.
Could you tell me a little about yourself and WPExplorer?
I got started with WordPress in college and taught myself pretty much everything I know. At first it was just hobby, but I quickly saw potential for WordPress to be my career so I created WPExplorer. Eventually I quit my desk job to work on WPE full time. It took some time to establish and build up the brand, but WPE has been worth all the effort I’ve put into it. I love WordPress and creating themes, and it’s great to host a site that shares resources, tutorials, news, coupons and more with the WordPress community.
You give away lots of freebie themes on your site, Do you find this helps bring in traffic and drive sales of your themes?
Definitely! People love free stuff. You can check out my WordPress Freebies page to see some of my recent work. I always try to release high quality freebies that I’m proud to put my name on. I want users to enjoy my themes, and hopefully consider upgrading to one of my premium themes one day should they ever need additional features or support.
What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses with the WordPress platform?
That’s a tough question. I pride myself in always trying to stick to core functions and helping out the WordPress community. My weakness though… I’m severely addicted to WordPress! Just ask my family – there are some weeks they barely hear from me 😉
At the moment you sell through Themeforest – any plans to sell on your own ?
I’ve been working with a friend on our own theme store that will launch this year at authenticthemes.com. We see the market is pretty saturated with overly complex and expensive themes, we want to offer affordable and simple themes that are also good looking.
Is there anything you think that most WordPress themes lack?
I’m not sure if most themes are lacking anything, but a lot of the time they’re bloated with features. I’m all for including theme options and extra functionalists, but there are some things that truly should never be added to a theme. SEO options is the biggest no-no.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to sell their own premium themes?
Be ready to put in a lot of time. You may spend two months creating what you think is an awesome theme only to have it rejected. Then once you finally do create something “unique” enough to be accepted by a theme store you might only get a handful of sales. The market is saturated and you’ll have to spend time creating a name for yourself, gathering a following, and then developing quality themes for your target market. Do your best to be consistent, stay on top of the trends, and never stop educating yourself on coding methods and best practices.
What future plans do you have for WPExplorer?
The same thing we do every night, Dev – try to take over the world! Well, of WordPress that is 😉