WordPress Theme Development for Popular Marketplaces: 8 Tips

For WordPress developers, tapping the theme development domain is a great move because themes are at the core of WordPress development. Every WordPress website is powered by a custom/off-the-shelf theme. (FYI, there are 810 million WordPress websites.)

This is why WordPress developers can’t ignore the worth of WordPress theme development. With this, developers can showcase their coding skills and have a steady income stream. However, do not forget that WordPress theme development is a competitive landscape, and themes and templates are not the same. 

Before you tap into it, you must be well-prepared and understand some nitty-gritty of making the themes stand out from the crowd. They need to know how to dominate the leading marketplaces and make their themes stand out from the crowd.

In this guide, we’re going to touch bases regarding WordPress theme development. We will equip you with the knowledge and strategies necessary to craft high-quality, marketable themes that capture the attention of potential buyers.

Theme Development: Is it Profitable?

While we all know that WordPress website development is not possible without WordPress themes, it’s time to learn the profitability of WordPress theme development from the developers’ point of view.

To make you understand this, we have listed some facts and figures for your reference. 

  • WordPress has a great user base across the world as more than 40% of all the websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. This means WordPress themes that you develop have better reachability.
  • Leading WordPress marketplaces like ThemeForest and Envato Market are paying a hefty amount to the developers. For example, Envato has paid over $1 billion to its authors in January 2022. This figure indicates that there is a substantial market for WordPress themes.
  • The Premium WordPress themes are selling for as high as $100 or more. This means there is a huge scope for great profit margins. 

These statistics portray WordPress theme development as a profitable process. But, this decision can’t be solely based on the good aspects of theme development. 

The developer must know about the hurdles involved in the process. For instance, this domain has fierce competition. There are over 11,000 themes available alone on ThemeForest. Developers must look beyond standard features and functionalities to make their themes stand out.

You need to make sure that your themes are generating enough revenue to bear the 12.5% to 37.5% of marketplace fees. 

After analyzing these facts, we can only say one thing – WordPress theme development is a profitable process, providing you know how to lead the marketplaces. So, you can embark on your journey of WordPress theme development. 

Build InstaWP Templates: A Powerful Version of Theme

InstaWP templates are a great choice to make when you want to explore the world of WordPress theme development. These are the saved copies of your WordPress website that you can share over marketplaces. You can reuse them for personal projects or sell them over the leading WordPress marketplace. 

InstaWP, as we know, is a leading WordPress staging platform helping developers create a staging environment without much hassle. There are pre-made configurations and tools like Code and DB Editors that help WordPress developers create staging sites from scratch. 

In addition, it also permits developers to monetize these sites using the WordPress Marketplaces. You can easily save your sites as ‘Templates’ and create elaborate sites later. You can create private, shared templates and monetize them with InstaWP. Read this to know everything about ‘how to create an InstaWP template’

Private templates are for internal usage and can’t be monetized. But, the Shared InstaWP template can be shared with the rest of the world using a link. These are perfect for product demos. Lastly, we have monetized InstaWP templates that you can sell on marketplaces and earn revenue. 

The best part of using InstaWP for creating templates is that any changes to parent sites are synced quickly. You can set up the sync timing as well. 

When you’re planning to design monetized InstaWP templates, you have the freedom to mark them as free or paid. You can share the link online and even combine it with hosting to make your own WaaS. 

Opportunities are endless with InstaWP templates. All you need to get started with the process. Next, we’re sharing a quick set-up guide for you. 

How to Create a Shared Template using InstaWP

InstaWP allows you to create a fresh shared template or use a pre-build site to sell as a template. We’re going to explain both these methods.

Method 1 – Creating Shared Templates From Scratch

Step #1 – Sign in to your InstaWP account and access the Dashboard.

Step #2 – As you access the Dashboard, you can see the ‘Template’ option on the topmost bar. Click on it.

Step #3 – As you click on it, a new template page will show up. You will have two options, Private or Shared, to choose from.

Step #4 – Click on ‘Shared’ to create monetized templates.

Step #5 – In the window, click on the + Add Template button. 

Step #6 – You will be able to able to see a modal window that will have all your pre-made templates listed in it.  

Step #7 – Click on the ‘Next’ button, and you’ve to provide information like template name, template type, and description.

Step #8 – When all these details are entered correctly, save all the details.

Step #9 – As a success message pops up on your screen, your shared InstaWP template is ready.

Method 2 – Use Existing Sites As InstaWP Template

You can use any of your previously-made sites as Shared Templates in this case. Here are the steps to follow for this method.

Step #1 – Login to your InstaWP account and access the dashboard.

Step #2 – Select the ‘Sites’ option from the topmost bar.

Step #3 – From the list of your sites, select the site that you want to use as a Shared InstaWP template.

Step #4 – Click on the Template option next to the site.

Step #5 – Enter the details like template types, names, and descriptions.

Step #6 – Save the details and wait for a while.

Step #7 – As you see the ‘Success’ button, the shared template is ready.

Isn’t it very simple? Yes, it is. If you still need any help, you can always reach out to the technical support of InstaWP.

How to Earn by Selling Your Themes or Templates?

When you’re on your journey to sell themes or templates, you need to know the right way and the right platforms to do it. 

Take the Help of Theme Marketplaces 

The easiest way to reach out to the right audience for your InstaWP templates is to make them available on leading marketplaces such as ThemeForest, TemplateMonster, and MOJO Marketplace.  

Research the popularity of these and many other marketplaces and learn which marketplace has the audiences of your interest. Also, know about the fees they are charging. 

Create an Independent Website to Sell Templates 

You can also create your dedicated website to sell your themes if you’re extensively involved in theme development. This method keeps you free from paying the hefty fees of other marketplaces. But, you need to work on its visibility. 

Use InstaWP Store 

InstaWP also allows you to sell Shared Templates using the InstaWP store. Here, you can post your themes and plugins as free or paid and reach out to better audiences. 

Target Niches Markets 

If you don’t want to get lost in the crowd, it’s better to tap into niche markets like Shopify and Magneto for your Shopify themes and Magneto themes. This way, you will be able to reach out to a niche audience in a short time. 

Take the Online Forums and Communities Route  

WordPress has great community support and you can’t let it go. Start engaging with online forms and communities to market your WordPress themes. 

Run Affiliate Programs 

Many WordPress theme marketplaces run affiliate programs for better reachability. Go ahead and take the opportunity of this program and enjoy remarkable sales. 

Developing a Theme to Sell via Marketplaces? Follow These 8 Tips

Have a WordPress theme ready? At this stage, you need to learn about some important things related to selling themes to any of the leading marketplaces. 

Tip 1: Follow a Standard Development Process 

Marketplaces follow standard development processes to maintain quality and ensure that their audiences have firm trust in them. You just can’t develop a theme randomly and think that it will score high on marketplaces.  

There has to be proper planning, designing, development, and testing behind every WordPress theme development process.  

Adhering to a standard process ensures that your theme is well-organized, efficient, and free from common issues. There could be certain differences in the standard process of different marketplaces. 

Missing out one single detail can jeopardize your entire process of WordPress theme development. This is why we recommend deciding which marketplace you want to target and what its standard processes are. 

Once these things are well-sorted, move ahead with your customized WordPress theme development.  

Tip 2: Optimize Your Theme Description 

The very first encounter that prospective users of your themes will have is the description. Not only will it provide your audience with a quick idea of what your theme is all about, but it will also help in search result optimization.

So, your theme description has to be crisp, informative, and talk about sense. We recommend highlighting the unique features of your themes and their key design elements. It’s better to use compelling languages and keep SEO techniques in mind. This way, your themes will have better discoverability. 

Remember! Only visible themes can generate revenue.  

Tip 3: Set Up a Captivating Theme Demo Using InstaWP

Gone is the era of blind trust. Customers of the 21st century are smart enough to place their bet only on products/services that are functional. To win their trust, offering a theme demo is the easiest and most viable way. 

A high-quality theme demo will help your future buyers delve deeper into the functionalities of the themes before making any investment. 

We recommend you use your high-end features in the demo. Always link the demo in the theme description so that your prospective buyers don’t have to look elsewhere. 

InstaWP demo builder tool even lets you create demos for your themes from scratch. There is no need to think about server recycling or multi-site management. This is why demos are delivered instantly. 

So, hold yourself back. Build a demo for your WordPress theme and win the confidence of your customers.

Guide to Setup Product Demo Using InstaWP →

Tip 4: Thorough Testing 

Before releasing your theme, conducting end-to-end testing is a must. We know that product testing is a lengthy and tedious process. Yet, never try to skip it. 

While you’re testing InstaWP templates, make sure that you pay attention to their compatibility with different devices and browsers. Check each of their functionalities so that when they’re used in the real world, they don’t have any post-purchase hassles. 

Tip 5: Focus on the Theme’s Visual Appeal 

Along with the functionalities of the theme, its visual appeal also matters. Theme users are attracted by the design elements’ layout, color scheme it has, and other aspects. This is why wise investment in the theme’s visual appeal is mandatory. 

Keep the layout user-friendly and use eye-catching graphics. Also, you must ensure that the theme’s aesthetics align well with current design trends. This is an easy strategy to attract the buyers’ attention instantly. 

Tip 6: Target a Special Niche 

We have already mentioned, and we will say one more time, that WordPress theme marketplaces are crowded areas. You have to have something special to stand out. And, to make sure only targeted audiences can spot your InstaWP templates, targeting a specific niche is a must. 

You can cater to the unique needs of businesses and CMS. For instance, you can have Magneto themes that will target directly to Magneto users. As e-commerce is a demanding niche, you can have themes targeting cart checkout, payments, and even cart abandonment.   

The benefits of developing niche themes are that you’ve better reachability and can get better prices.

Tip 7: Frequently Release Updates 

WordPress theme development is an ongoing process. You can’t develop a theme and forget about it. You need to engage extensively in releasing the updates so that your themes are relevant to the time. 

Whenever you’re launching the updates, make sure that you’re addressing the bugs and compatibility issues. Try to launch new features with each update. 

Not to forget, the ongoing technical support should be a part of your updates. 

Tip 8: Promptly Address Customer Queries and Complaints 

No matter how seamless your themes seem, you can’t assume that there won’t be any operational concerns for your customers. You need to make sure that there is responsible customer support in place to address customer issues. 

You must offer FAQs, tutorials, and technical support. Also, address issues privately and, when resolved, post a public response to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. This approach can boost your reputation and encourage trust among potential buyers.

By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to develop and sell themes successfully in popular marketplaces like InstaWP and others. So, start adopting them if you haven’t done it yet. 

Concluding Words 

WordPress themes empower WordPress development and developers. Before you engage in WordPress development selling activities, you need to make sure that you’re doing it the right way. 

Understand the marketplaces beforehand and learn about what it takes to rule over them. InstaWP is a great platform to help in your endeavor of WordPress theme development. It offers you development and demo opportunities. It simplifies selling the process of WordPress themes so much that developers can get started without any trouble. 
Other than using InstaWP for theme development, our word of wisdom is to optimize the description, keep its visual appeal striking, and target niche markets. 

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Meet the Author
Mahdi Surname
Marketing Head
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