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Interviews

Behind the Scenes with ThemeBro

We bring Heidi Pungartnik to you today. She’s the owner of Design for Founders and is coming up with a new tool that will help you choose a theme for your site.

ThemeBro is a game changer that can redefine how we pick WordPress themes.

How did ThemeBro happen?
Being an entrepreneur, I build a lot of WordPress sites for my own and other people’s projects. I had always been struggling with finding themes that would look exactly the way I wanted – some would have just the right sidebar position, but were lacking in features, for example. I thought it would be nice to have a search tool that would let you search themes by layout and features, instead of purpose (which is what most theme shops have).

Who is the ideal audience of ThemeBro?
Anyone who is a more “visual” thinker and has a hard time finding WordPress themes. Judging by the results of a survey I made, regular users are most likely entrepreneurs or freelancers.

ThemeBro is still in Beta, when do expect it to get ready?
The idea was validated with “beta” version. Next, I plan on adding more themes from different vendors and adding even more different filters. The new version will be launched in February 2015 – sign up for our list to get notified!

Through ThemeBro, you are helping users pick a theme on a very macro-level. Any plans to add reviews too?
Yep, that’s another thing I asked users in my survey. It seems that people are very interested in reading reviews, but I’ll try to make them short and without the usual promo blurb.

Do you hand-pick the themes and assign them to the proper groups. Or is there a way to automate this?
There is no way to automate this. I’d like to keep the information as accurate as possible, without the usual marketing exaggeration by theme authors. For example, there are many ways you can define “SEO optimised”. We get themes checked and hand-processed to have them follow exact same rules.

As a designer, what are the things that you’d like users to be aware of while picking a theme for their website?
I often see people combining a logo with a template that just don’t go well together. The value of having custom-designed branding is that you don’t have to deal with issues like this — but on the other hand, I understand the lack of funding. I’d suggest non-designer entrepreneurs to at least hire a designer to find the right template to go with the rest of the branding.

What are some of the craziest design briefs that you have received from your clients?
I try to evaluate a client before it even gets to the brief part. Sometimes, you encounter a person you’re simply not compatible with.
One time, I had someone approach me with a partnership request, also stating that they are very close with an acquaintance of mine. The whole conversation was a little fishy, so I went and asked the acquaintance about it but she had never heard about that person before.

Your post on the “10 Top-Selling Landing Page Templates Ripped Apart” received quite some attention. You’ve analyzed (read criticized) some of the top-selling designers from the Envato Market- What prompted you to write this post?
One of the topics I talk about on Design for Founders is webpage conversions. I remember browsing the particular vendor’s website for some landing page templates and then noticed that some of the top-selling pages were actually extremely outdated and non-optimised. It seems that the buyers were only looking for a cheaper web*site* instead of page. This motivated me to write the post.

You are an accomplished designer. Can we expect a theme anytime soon?
Good idea! Actually, I plan on learning as much from ThemeBro’s users as I possibly can and then develop a theme (or themes) tailored around what’s most searched for in a WordPress theme. But this will probably take a while.

Try ThemeBro now

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