My Quick Thoughts on Building a WordPress Business

“Okay first of all, Sean, who the hell are you to talk about building a WordPress business? You have websites, guy… not a business.”

I know. Shut up.

Anyway, what kind of businesses thrive in the WordPress space is something that has been on my mind lately. It’s pretty clear to me what works long-term, what’s constantly part of the “hot or not” game, and what no one cares about at all.

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I’ve Had Two Development Breakthroughs

I thought about something as I prepared to publish a tweet about my newfound habit of lurking around the WordPress support forums to help out.

Helping other people out is kind of my thing. All it takes is a quick browse through Build WordPress Yourself or SDavis Media to see that I don’t mind breaking things down for perfect strangers.

It’s not totally one-sided, though. I’ve learned a lot by dedicating my time to other people’s unique situations… and that’s what I just realized today. I’ve had two specific time periods where my skill level clearly jumped a level or two.

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Build WordPress Yourself

Yes, it’s true. I have approximately 46 million websites… give or take a few.

I have another one to introduce you to. It’s called “Build WordPress Yourself.” It’s 100% dedicated to building websites with WordPress. Though I talk a lot about building WordPress themes, I also speak on plugins and general WordPress usage.

One of the cool things about about this site is I’m making it an all-around resource for those who build websites with WordPress. I offer free and paid downloads as well as make recommendations for WordPress related products that I think are useful.

Personally, I think it’s an awesome idea for you to go check it out and tell me what you think about it. That’s the best idea I’ve ever come up with, actually. Do it.

Build WordPress Yourself

Just Another Easy Digital Downloads Tool

Here’s the thing… my very first standalone project on WordPress was a freakin’ framework. It was born out of the idea that if I’d be customizing sites for people, it made sense to have a starting point tailored to my style of development.

So I’m very familiar with the idea of doing something once and using it repeatedly to save time and promote consistency throughout my work. And that’s what’s going on here now.

A few days ago, I integrated the awesome Easy Digital Downloads plugin with the default Twenty Fourteen theme from WordPress.

2014 is not the first theme I’ve given the EDD treatment to. I did, however, finally notice that I was doing the same work over and over again for each integration. In fact, I was copying and pasting my own code everywhere I could from theme to theme.

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Twenty Fourteen for Easy Digital Downloads

If you’ve been around me in the WordPress community for more than about 15 seconds, you probably know that I’m a big fan of Easy Digital Downloads, the world’s easiest way to sell digital downloads through WordPress.

You’d also know that I like to build WordPress themes. So it’s no surprise that integrating themes with Easy Digital Downloads is kind of my thing… or at least it’s beginning to be.

I recently decided to give WordPress’ Twenty Fourteen theme the EDD treatment which includes a special sidebar, a grid-style store front/archives template, and multiple page templates. I did all of this in a free child theme so it’s 100% customizable.

If you’re into free stuff, EDD, not reinventing the wheel when it comes to WordPress themes, and my work, head on over to the Github repo and grab a copy.

Twenty Fourteen for Easy Digital Downloads

Creatives, where are you most productive?

I’m sitting at my dining room table and I must say, I’m not really in my groove today. In fact, today has been all play so far. It’s fun, but I have shit to do.

I’ve worked everywhere from under the sheets in my bed to my home office to Starbucks and back home in random rooms. Everything seems to be hit or miss, though.

Sometimes I can sit on my couch and code for hours without missing a beat. Other times I sit in Starbucks for 30 minutes of nothingness before I pack up and go home.

Do you work in the same place every time or do you like to find inspiration in your environment based on how you feel on any given day?

Does music play a role? How about sunlight? Standing or sitting? Scheduled breaks?

Share your strategy. I’m starting to feel like the setting is everything.

No Refunds After Support

I wrote a post on SDavis Media (previously published here) about digital product refund policies and whether or not they were driven by the products themselves or trends.

Check it out: Digital Product Refund Periods: Is the “Standard” Just a Trend?

I’m thinking about adding to my refund policy. If you’ve requested support through my support forums and it’s not an installation issue, you get no refund.

A refund after I’ve allowed you to test my software and use my brain juice seems pointless. What do you think?

Building a WordPress Theme or Plugin Business

Yup. I like to build WordPress themes. It’s no secret. I sell them too.

What you probably didn’t know is that I only use one tool to do everything. It’s just one core plugin and all of its extensions that give me what I need.

I talked about it on one of my other websites. Read it the article… now.

How to Build a WordPress Theme Business

Business is Business… or Whatever

Pride kills… sometimes. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from building Volatyl, it’s that no one really gives a shit how I feel about anything. People care about what they care about and that’s all.

I’m not speaking out of frustration. It has nothing to do with Volatyl sales, which are perfectly fine. This isn’t even the result of a nasty disagreement with an asshole customer.

This is about potential versus reality… and knowing the obvious differences between the two.

Here’s the deal.

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There’s Always More to be Done

There are things you know, things you don’t know, and things you don’t know that you don’t know.

Likewise, there are tools you need, tools you don’t need, and tools you’d never imagine in your wildest dreams that are useful as shit.

The third category fascinates me. It’s like every time a new digital product is released, I get a feeling of “damn… how did I not think of this already?”

The answer? Because I didn’t want to think about it.

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