I am contacted on a daily basis by theme developers requesting that I help promote their new releases. Often they will also be helpful enough to even suggest on which post their theme should be added.
I love to support these smaller theme developers, and more so if it is their first theme release – though anyone is welcome to suggest an inclusion to me.
I’m the first to admit however, that I set the creative bar high enough that I will only include what I perceive to be the best themes in that particular category on my list. This is primarily because they are curated lists that I update often, and as new better themes are released they are included (sometimes to the sacrifice of others).
But I pass many themes over (especially in the categories that are well represented) when the developer does not at least attempt to offer those promoting the themes a little help.
Let me explain!
Sticky Menus & Parallax WordPress Themes (The Devils Work)
I love themes that are modern, I even like single page themes, Parallax themes, and themes with the aforementioned sticky menu, but these themes often mean I will have to invest more time than I am (usually) willing to sacrifice on adding a single theme to a category list.
I can select a theme based on its demo in a matter of seconds. I can look over the features of the theme and decide if it is structurally sound, well thought out, and whether there has been enough attention to detail. I can even write a short paragraph summarizing what I believe to be the main features that my audience will be interested in investigating further. All this in less than five minutes. So where is the time I have to invest? Surely that is all I need to do to sell a theme?
Its close, but not quite! I need to take a simple screenshot (that is unless your theme has any of the above features) – its not that simple!
The Problem & An Example
no longer don’t regularly provide screenshots within there themes “screenshots” area on Themeforest. Or at very least don’t provide the screenshots that are relevant to promoting the theme.
I understand why! why would a potential buyer need to see a screenshot when they have a full working demo to look at!
This statement is 100% legitimate, but does not take into account those that are looking to help promote your theme.
I was recently creating a post aimed at promoting those themes that would be ideal for building a website for a garage, there are not many themes, so when I had an issue with a screenshot I had to overcome it, and that means Photoshopping (and lots off it).
Lets first look at the only image available within the screenshots area on Themeforest for the ‘Repair Shop Theme‘ (sorry that this is an affiliate link but I use an Envato plugin that automatically changes all Themeforest links into affiliate links).
On this site we almost always provide a full length screenshot of the demo, as I believe this give our visitors a better idea of how the theme looks before having to click through to see that it was not what they wanted. This image while great for Themeforest is not great for an affiliate.
So now lets look at the full demo screenshot (taken by me).
That’s right, for me to show this theme off in its entirety I had to take exactly 14 screenshots, fit them together over the original screenshot, then resize the image & optimize for my website.
When I recently updated my list of the very best one page WordPress themes (a list that I had previously had 100+ themes on) I gave almost half of the potential themes that I would normally have included a pass – It just wasn’t worth the time I would have to invest.
Now let me be clear, I am happy to take screenshots, and regardless I will have to optimize these screenshots anyway, but it is unlikely that many WordPress bloggers (especially those on a per article rate) would take the time to do what I did above. So I don’t believe (and wont accept) that it is laziness on my part!
Providing a single screenshot could be the difference between your theme being an amazing success & it flopping once its of the first couple pages of Themeforest.
Remember once a popular WordPress blog picks up your theme, then more are likely to follow – as YES these blogs all look at each others lists when creating there own.
I support and respect all the theme developers out there making amazing themes for people like us to promote.
Try adding a screenshot & let me know if there is an improvement in the number of WordPress websites listing your theme, I am sure there will be.