WordPress to Launch Theme Marketplace

While in Argentina Matt from WordPress announced that there will soon be an official WordPress Premium Theme Marketplace launched where designers get 50% of any income brought in from a design sold.

via FayerWayer (Spanish) and ReadWriteWeb.

David at BlogHerald shares some concerns about this development and asks if Matt’s been hypocritical by now profiting from WP design when previously was against sponsored designs.

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  1. You know, normally I’d be the first to call foul, but sponsored themes as they’ve been done so far really don’t have anything to with this. Giving a 50% cut to designers from themes sold in a “themes marketplace” (or whatever) is a totally different idea. I don’t see it as hypocritical at all. In fact, it seems perfectly in line with everything Matt’s done so far.

  2. This is awesome!!!

    I wanted to know where all the great wordpress designers are. I know a few great blog designers but right now, their price is too high for me.

    Thanks for letting us know.

    Carlo Selorio

  3. I put a Blog theme/plugin category on 1 Cool File. You just announce it there and make 100% of the profit. If it’s free(like now) then it’s no problem. But you can use the click the Buy Now button showing the price and it would go to your purchase site.

    Am I missing something here?

  4. Leanne says:

    I suppose if a designer needs to use Matt’s name in order to get established or known, that’s the price they’re going to pay to do that. Great for premade stuff, but there’s still people looking for completely custom/original work and that wouldn’t be the place to get it.

    I wonder how those fees are going to be established, and also how fees for customizations, if any are offered, would be handled.

  5. Jason says:

    “I put a Blog theme/plugin category on 1 Cool File. You just announce it there and make 100% of the profit. If it’s free(like now) then it’s no problem. But you can use the click the Buy Now button showing the price and it would go to your purchase site.

    Am I missing something here?”

    The only difference is everybody’s going to be going to Matt’s site.

  6. Lou says:

    I Don’t think Matt’s being hypocritical.

    While I have nothing against hidden links that don’t affect my sites performance, and still use sponsored designs,many of these designs were just plain hard to work with and buggy. The links had misleading titles, and the sites were nothing but spam.

    It’s hard to see how these designs helped support WordPress or the designers themselves.

  7. Jason: You did not need to paste the whole thing ;)

    I have been with WordPress since February and I did not know who Matt was. He might be well known in the design community/bloggers but it’s regular folks like me who might buy a theme.

    Like Leanne wrote, some designers may need him to start and are willing to give a cut and it’s ok with me. I’m just offering another choice for the others to showcase their free themes. If they can make money with custom work after that, then good for them.

    Many designers make great stuff when then redo a popular bloggers theme.

    Thanks Jason showing me that he was THAT important to some :D

  8. I’ve had two themes become choices for people who sign up for blogs. They are used in thousands of blogs. Anybody who gets a theme to become popular on Matt’s new gig will make some good coin, I think. I’m sure they will tie this into the service.

  9. 50% profit. You have to be kidding. That’s a slap in the face. You’re telling me that WordPress gets the other 50% for listing it there?

    Why not post the theme in a forum full of webmasters like DigitalPoint and keep 100% of the profit? I made over $10,000 this year on WordPress themes alone. For this new service it would have cut my profits by 50%.

    Matt is such a douche.

  10. Hmm… We’re actually just getting ready to release our theme for sale. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. I mean are there going to be certain levels of quality that have to be met before it will be placed on the site? What if someone just rips off another person’s work and puts it up for sale?

    It’s too early to tell whether this will be good or bad for the community IMO. It does seem a bit hypocritical though given Matt’s previous stance on sponsored themes. Maybe it’s an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” thing?

  11. Alfredo says:

    I for one would love to give away themes for free as long as they dont remove my links.

  12. I think everybody is entitled to profit from the work that they do. However, taking a 50% cut is a bit much imo. I think the designers should get more like 75-80% cut.

  13. Leanne says:

    As I understand it now – this is meant for users of only – there are free themes, and then there will be premium themes available for purchase. These will not be unique (buy once, own the original) but the more users select your theme and pay for it, the more cash goes to the designer. The better the design, the more people will select that design to “upgrade” to.

    Not such a bad thing.

  14. This rocks!

    Do people not see the opportunity in this? I don’t see it as hypocritical.

    I hope to have a theme or two up for sale.


  15. Leanne has it right: the unbelievable volume means you will make good dough at 50% (sure, a higher cut would be nice, but you will still make good money if your theme is popular). If you put a link to yourself in the footer you will also get backlinks by the thousands.

  16. sethuhdiah says:

    50/50 is too much. Why have 1 centralized place for the best premium themes and lose half of your time? Independent designers can still work together to make sufficient wp themes. Anyway I think its bullcrap, wordpress is supposed to be one of the best open source tools out there. Now their tryin to steal half our money.

    You just inspired me to buy a new domain: I tell you what, ill split profit 25/75 :)

  17. Matt says:

    “I made over $10,000 this year on WordPress themes alone. For this new service it would have cut my profits by 50%.”

    Assuming you would sell the same amount of themes yes, and it would be in yours (and everyone else’s) economic self-interest to not participate in the marketplace. We think people will sell not only more themes, but to an audience that never would have considered them before.

    Before calling me a douche, why not wait to see how the marketplace does for the dozens of people who have already signed up to have their themes in there? It’s not like adsense where there’s a gag clause, we want people to discuss their experiences because the transparency aids the development of the market in the long-term.

  18. Ben Cope says:

    I think the idea of a premium theme marketplace for WordPress is a good idea! More and more premium WordPress themes are popping up all over the place, and having a centralized place to find them is an excellent idea.

    However, as a premium WordPress theme designer myself, I’m not so sure I would be willing to part with 50% of the sale, even if it meant selling more themes because of the exposure!

    I’d rather promote my WordPress Dream Theme myself and find affiliates to help me promote it!