When I was building AngularOnRails.com I ran into a certain frustration a few times:
I wanted a better WordPress theme than what I had, but when I looked at places like Theme Forest, I found almost all of their themes unacceptable, and there were certainly none that I could just plug right in and start using without non-trivial customization.
Before I describe why I thought those themes were so bad, let me give a couple examples of site designs I consider good and believe to be effective for their intended purpose.
Both Noah’s site and Ramit’s site clearly have one overriding goal: get your email address. On Noah’s site, you can hardly do anything else.
I get it that that’s one single page. I could use LeadPages or something to create a good landing page. But if the rest of my site sucks, LeadPages won’t help that (I don’t think).
If I look at Noah’s blog, the design of it is awesome: http://okdork.com/blog/
None of the themes I’ve ever seen available for sale anywhere are nearly that clean/minimal/professional-looking.
So that’s a good theme. The bad themes I’ve seen seem to have some combination of the following characteristics:
- They weren’t design with email opt-ins in mind, or any kind of conversion in mind
- In order to look decent they depend heavily on some sort of huge hero image which doesn’t come with the theme (WTF, you dumbfucks)
- They’re incredibly bloated and slow
- They contain all sorts of scrolljacking, animations, and other “movey-aroundy” bullshit
- They only look about 70% as professional as I would like them to. Put another way, they’re below my standards of professionalism in appearance. I think this is a big deal.
Almost all the themes I’ve found on Theme Forest and other similar sites have enough of the characteristics listed above, to a severe enough degree, that I’ve found them to be below consideration.
I did end up buying a $70 theme for Angular on Rails but I ended having to spend hours fucking with it to make it look okay and I still hate it. I think we should be past this state in 2017.
So my business idea is to create a WP theme site that only has a small number of themes (like 3-10 themes, at least for starters), and 100% of the themes would be the kind that have a big email opt-in as the home page. Obviously not everybody wants that sort of design, but I think if that’s the design you want, it’s the only design you want. I think there would be a lot of value in not having to sift through a bunch of bullshit.
I would market the site in a few certain ways. Initially I’d try to plug into the existing audiences of other people whose speak to people who want to create sites that look like Noah Kagan’s. (Going on Noah Kagan’s podcast might be a good move.)
I would also write helpful content on my site about how to create an effective email opt-in landing page, how to drive traffic to your site, stuff like that. I could create one or more free guides as lead magnets to build my own email list. (I’ve built a number of email lists before.)
What do you guys think of this business idea? Can you tell me why you think it might not work?