ThemeButler started off as our entry into the WordPress theme market, with our target market being WordPress developers, freelancers and agencies.
The themes we created didn't come with any configuration options and were easily extended via a child-theme or plugin, using the frameworks we created.
We spent two years creating our vision and officially launched in July, 2015. If I'm completely honest, the launch was pretty underwhelming. Apart from spreading the word across the usual social networks, we sent out a newsletter to our pre-launch list, reached out to loads of WordPress related blogs, freelance developers and agencies and overall the feedback we received was incredibly positive Unfortunately none of that effort translated into sales. Not the most re-assuring start, but we continued none-the-less.
It's no secret that the WordPress theme market is overly congested and buyers now have more options than ever. I guess we naively thought that we'd stand out from the crowd, due to our niche focus.
While that could still be the case, realistically, it would be another year at least of getting our brand established. That meant another year of bootstrapping and living month to month.
That realization lead Thierry to make the hard decision to exit the business and find a reliable source of income, so that he could move back to Switzerland with his wife, start a family and be closer to his parents and siblings.
I completely understand where Thierry was coming from and I probably would have done the same if I was in his position. With this change though, I needed to think about how best to move forward.
Trying to run a theme shop on my own was not a viable option, but flying solo again means I have room to experiment, which is what I'm doing with the site.
So that's where we are.
This is my experiment to see whether I can sustain my income though relevant advertising on the site. Will it work? Who knows, but I figured it's worth a try.
What about support? Being that I've flipped the switch and made everything on ThemeButler free, I won't be providing support. That said, there is a Community discussion forum where members can help each other and I am exploring partnering with a 3rd party support provider, for those that prefer a support package.