Is Starting a WordPress Theme Business in 2024 a Good Idea?

Hey everyone,

I’ve been a web developer for over six years, specializing in WordPress development. Lately, I’ve been contemplating the idea of starting my own WordPress theme business. However, with the rise of site builders like Elementor and tools like Webflow, I’m uncertain about the current demand and profitability of this venture in 2024.

I’m curious about whether there is still a strong demand for premium WordPress themes or if users are now gravitating more towards site builders and other platforms. The competition in the WordPress ecosystem seems quite fierce, with many established players already dominating the market. How difficult is it to break into this market today compared to a few years ago? Are there any niches that are currently underserved?

For those of you who are already in the theme business, how has the revenue trend been over the past couple of years? Are sales still strong, or have they declined? Additionally, what are some of the current trends and innovations in the WordPress theme market? Are there any new features or design approaches that are becoming popular?

Lastly, if you were starting a theme business today, what advice would you give to a newcomer? Any tips on marketing, design, or development strategies would be greatly appreciated.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Thanks in advance for your insights!

14 Comments
  1. I standardized on Divi a long time ago. I got tired of themes not being updated or theme developers disappearing. If you are a US based designer, i think there a place for you. I would recommend finding a couple niches and focus on those.

    I provide solutions for clients. For example, my dental clients have no desire to be part-time web developers…they just want stuff to work and good support when they need it.

  2. I think a lot of people find a theme and stick to it given how versatile many are now. I’d find a niche and build out from there.

  3. I think that turn-key themes with SEO optimization and without bloat are a good niche to get into. Even with Github integration, something directed to devs to facilitate the deployment and maintenance.

  4. Can’t remember the last time I bought a theme. Although curse the few that are still having to be used.

  5. I made my own theme, and use this. You can easily make the scaffolding with a generator, or use the wp default theme. I choose for Bedrock by Roots.io, for me folder structure (more secure, and better for developement).
    Mine works with composer and tailwind for autoloading and styling. And has everything regarding custom post type generation and Gutenberg components (Carbon Fields is perfect for this). It use wpackagist for plugin/theme updating (can be triggered with cronjobs).
    Made one way back that did the compiling through CLI, what is needed if you’re going to “sell” it (this is not as good as local building, and takes up a lot of resources).

    Maybe these thing can help you with making a unique product. Since the market is a bit the same at the moment.

  6. I would count myself as a buyer rather than developer of my themes. I would only buy a theme if its light and solve something for me which otherwise would take me a lot of time to do myself.

    It can be a niche specific features. Like recently I bought wpresidence theme is it saved me a lot of time to build a real estate website.

    I have also in past purchased simple blog themes just because design was amazing.

    So look for a reason why someone would buy your theme and as long as you can do that. There will always be people willing to buy it

  7. Only if there’s demand for what you’re thinking of selling.

    May sound like a generic answer, but if you can’t answer what demand you’re catering to then you don’t have clients.

  8. Have a look at Avada the number selling themeforest Theme and Page builder. There’s a reason it’s the best, follow his business model and features and you’ll do well.

  9. Maybe not so relevant but I develop WordPress sites from A to Z and all the time I am using understrap and couple of the same plugins (like ACF, CF7), I don’t like visual editors, I prefere classic editor – am I heading for extinction?

  10. There’s a shit ton of competition. If you put your eggs in the FSE basket, maybe.

  11. Yes. I feel there is a shortage of dedicated eCommerce themes for instance. Sure there are quality themes out there but other than Storefront, most seem to be “jack of all” and have limited WooCommerce options.

    A high quality dedicated Woo theme with woo customization options would be an immediate buy for many. Heaps of WooCommerce customizations require buying Woo extensions when a theme could offer these features in the customizer menu.

 

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