Congrats to Brian Gardner and the StudioPress team for having their Pretty Young Thing theme added to the commercial offering on WordPress.com. The second theme from WooThemes called Crisp has also been added. Not to be outdone, The Theme Foundry also has two themes now available, the second being The Traction Theme. Interesting to note that Pretty Young Thing is a child theme based on the Genesis Framework which is also in use with this theme.
By Jeffro on March 7, 2011
By Jeffro on September 1, 2010
Not too long ago, Aaron Brazell published an interview with Copybloggers, Brian Clark where he explains the reasons for why he left DIY Themes. In that interview, there was no mention of StudioPress or Brian Gardner in relation to the future for Brian Clark. Fast forward to today and if you take a look at the footer on StudioPress.com, you’ll see the following:
© Copyright 2010 Copyblogger Media LLC · StudioPress™ is a trademark of Copyblogger Media LLC
Interesting to say the least. While I don’t know any of the details involving the deal that has gone down, the trademark of StudioPress is now owned by Copyblogger Media LLC which leads me to believe that either some of the assets, the entire company, or a majority of the company has been sold to Brian Clark. Just like you, I’ll have to sit back and wait for the official word on the details involving the deal but it would not surprise me at all if Brian Gardner has sold the company to start a new venture. Brian just seems like the type of guy that has his hands in all sorts of cookie jars and is always experimenting with ideas.
Let the speculation fly.
Also noteworthy is that the company was NOT sold, but rather merged with other companies to form a new company.
By Jeffro on May 26, 2010
It’s been a long time since I had the chance to talk with Nathan Rice face to face. The last opportunity I had was at WordCamp Dallas in 2008 which was my first WordCamp that I attended. Since that time, Nathan has worked for iThemes, ModThemes, and now resides at StudioPress where he ended up having a strong hand in developing the Genesis Theme. In this interview, I ask him how things are going with his employment at StudioPress. I also have him explain the strengths behind the Genesis theme framework. Last but not least, Nathan describes the features he is most excited for regarding WordPress 3.0
By Jeffro on February 4, 2010
At A Glance:
The Genesis Theme Framework is built on a simple vanilla blog-type parent theme, and can be extended with the use of child themes. Each child theme comes with its own home file, that makes extending the parent theme very easy.
Genesis like all the other themes StudioPress.com offers is licensed under the GPL.
Installation was as easy as any other WordPress theme. However, things become slightly more complicated when you want to use a child theme. The Genesis theme will need to be installed but deactivated for child themes to work properly since the child theme relies on the Genesis theme to function.
Configuration And Use:
This is the nuts and bolts of any theme and Genesis doesn’t skimp on options. There are options to configure post content, whether or not to display a post author box on a single post, primary as well as secondary navigation, where to display breadcrumbs, header and footer scripts, disabling comments on posts or pages, and how the blog page will be displayed. It’s important to note that the settings not only control the Genesis theme by itself, but also child themes. For example, if you install a child theme that looks better with post excerpts instead of the full post, you can configure that from the Genesis options panel. This makes changing a themes behaviour convenient.
For the SEO junkies out there, you’ll love the flexibility Genesis offers out of the box as there are a wealth of SEO specific options to configure. You can configure Doctitle settings, search engine indexing, link no follow, homepage, and canonical tag settings. I have no idea what half of these settings do so I’ll put my faith in that the default selections will work best. The option panels each have a note that provides more detail with what the group of settings does, but I found myself scratching my head as I’m not knowledgeable in SEO.
If that were not enough, there are even more SEO options when creating a post or page. I have a feeling that with all this SEO stuff built into Genesis, that having All In One SEO installed would be overkill.
When it comes to flexibility, Genesis offers six different layouts to choose from.
- Full Width Content
This should be enough for most use cases but one thing you’ll notice is that there is no way to configure widgets in the footer. Whether or not widgets can go into the footer has been delegated to child themes. If you like widgets in the footer, make sure you use a child theme that has them built-in. Genesis also gives users the chance to give posts or pages a layout that is different from the main site. The same six layout options are available when creating or editing a post or page.
Speaking of widgets, Genesis comes with a few custom-built ones.
- My Tweets – displays an unordered list of your latest Tweets
- User Profile – displays the Gravatar of a user, as well as their biography and a link to an about page
- eNews & Updates – displays an opt-in box for users to sign up for delivery of your posts by email
- Featured Posts – displays post excerpts and a thumbnail to be used in a homepage featured section
- Featured Page – displays page excerpts and a thumbnail to be used in a homepage featured section
However, I think the one widget that will get exceptional use based on its large amount of configuration options is Featured Posts. Users can place this widget into a sidebar and configure it to show an author gravatar next to the post, a post image, which category to display, and finally, the order in which the posts can be shown. This also includes the random parameter so you can place it on your front page and upon reload, it will display random posts which is pretty neat.
Genesis does not come with any child themes but there are currently two available to choose from, Mocha and Executive. Mocha is a fantastic looking child theme that combined with the flexibility options in Genesis should please quite a few customers. Executive provides more of the business look as the name implies. The most important part of child themes is that they give Genesis a completely new look and it’s almost all CSS/Image based while still retaining the configuration options in Genesis. If you’re wondering about what will happen when it comes time to upgrade, Brian states that:
While the current StudioPress “classic” themes have required folks to load updated versions from scratch, and meant that customizations had to be redone – the Genesis Theme Framework should end that. We have spent an enormous amount of time and energy on the parent theme, and the emphasis we made on semantics and careful naming of CSS elements should mean that most (if not all) theme updates will not affect your customizations.
On the same topic of child themes, the other part of the story around Genesis is the launch of the child theme marketplace. The marketplace idea is a win-win situation for both designers and customers. Designers can send PSD designs to StudioPress who will then code them to work with Genesis or developers can provide full child themes that are then reviewed for code compatibility, efficiency, etc. Since developers don’t need to worry about writing PHP code to handle the layout aspects of the design, it enables designers to concentrate on creating beautiful designs.
One of the slickest things I discovered within the Genesis theme is the Purchase Themes area. This is where users can preview child themes before they make their purchase. The purchasing of a child theme can be completed without leaving the back-end of the site since the shopping cart pops up in lightbox fashion. This will be really convenient for users once more child themes become available.
StudioPress stands behind their products 100% and offers excellent support. Customers get access to the StudioPress forum which is filled with knowledge not only from the SP Team, but from the very active community around their products. In fact, the Genesis Theme Framework support section already has 184 threads with over 1,000 posts.
The Genesis theme is a solid product. It works well out of the box and has just enough options and flexibility to fit the needs of most publishers. I’m interested in how the child theme market place will shake out. I’m in love with the Mocha child theme which I feel has set the bar. But considering the amount of designer talent that uses StudioPress themes for their clients, I think that bar won’t have a problem being raised. The best part about reviewing Genesis is that I didn’t have to touch any code.
Last but not least, Brian Gardner has announced that prices for the All Theme Pro Plus membership price will rise on Monday, February 8th from $199.95 to $249.95. This membership gives you access to all current and future themes that StudioPress releases as long as your membership is active. This also includes all the child themes that will soon be available for Genesis.
By Jeffro on December 16, 2009
Thanks to the generosity of Brian Gardner and the StudioPress team, I’ll be heading to Boston to attend WordCamp Boston on January 23rd. StudioPress has reimbursed me for half of my plane ticket to Boston. It’s not even Christmas and the event has sold out with an extensive waiting list. There will be four different tracks ongoing during the event which is being held in the Microsoft NERD Center a.k.a. the New England Research and Development Center. There will be a handful of awesome speakers at the event but I have my hand in the cookie jar in trying to be a moderator for the panel featuring Jane Wells of Automattic, Carl Hancock of GravityForms and Joshua Strebel of Page.ly to talk about Monetization In A Free World. At least, I think that is the name of the session but it will be about monetization regardless.
I think I’d make a great moderator for this session because of the discussions I’ve been able to be apart of on both sides of the fence. I think I could ask some very interesting questions for all three members of the panel including the one question that seems to perplex those who want to make money through using WordPress and that is, how do you make money on something that is free. I’m not guaranteed to be the panel moderator but I think I have a good shot. If I don’t make it, I’ll just make my presence known by asking all kinds of questions!
Again, I’d like to thank StudioPress for continuing to support me and the WPTavern community through methods of purchasing advertising and helping me to attend WordCamp Boston.
Will I see you in Boston?
By Jeffro on September 21, 2009
The growing consensus among theme designers is that being listed on the GPL commercial theme page on WordPress.org is useless. Do you fall into that line of thought?
I wouldn’t consider being listed there as useless – has the traffic trend from that page decreased over the past few months for us? Yes it has, and that’s obviously a result of additional sites being listed there. While I do think there is big separation in the quality of themes that are being promoted by WordPress, all fall under the GPL license and have a right to be there. At this point, only 5% of our traffic comes by way of that link, so it’s not a huge source anyhow. We do appreciate their promotion , as well as the incoming page rank when it occurs.
How many people are employed with StudioPress, also, who are those team members considering when I think of StudioPress, I think of Brian Gardner.
At this point there are only 2 full time employees of StudioPress - Craig Tuller who is our COO, Marketing & Support Manager, Designer and then Rebecca Diamond who is our Service Manager, Designer. In addition to that, we have 3 paid moderators for the support forum. Early this year when we re branded as StudioPress, one of the primary reasons for that was to change the perception that most folks had of these being “Brian Gardner themes” and turn that into “StudioPress themes“. It was important for me to declare that a true company was behind all of what we do, not just me personally. At some point in the near future, we intend to hire one, if not two, full time graphic designers to join our team.
Who creates the graphical side of StudioPress designs?
95% of the graphic/design elements of StudioPress themes were created by me – while I’m not a trained graphic designer, I’ve been able to learn Photoshop and put together most of our work. We are now beginning to branch out and contract out upcoming theme designs for a few reasons. One, I’m so busy doing other things (like running StudioPress and overseeing all that goes on) and just don’t have the time to design, code, support, and provide tutorials for all of our themes. The other reason, and more significantly important reason, is that we want to offer a variety of designs to our users.
How do you respond to the criticism that new StudioPress themes are just a rearrangement of div containers?
See the previous answer – My first response to that is exactly what we are in the process of doing, which is contracting out designs so that we can offer a wider variety. On the flipside, I’ll mention that theme sales have been as consistent as ever, so even if a number of our themes are similar in layout, they differ in appearance and are continually in demand.
Rumor has it that you have your eyes cornered on the real-estate niche. Any truth to these rumors?
My eyes are cornered on a number of things, which is why I recently delegated daily operations to Craig, giving me more time to focus on future plans. Real Estate is among a number of niches that I think have a viable marketplace for WordPress themes – but ask any theme developer/company out there if they are able to do all that they want to. In other words, we all want to clone ourselves, as there are so many opportunities to grow our business, but most of us don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish it all.
Anything you would like to announce or have us look forward to?
At the moment, there are a few things that we have brewing – a few of which will become major announcements. But unfortunately it’s not the right time to announce them.
By Jeffro on March 7, 2009
Prior to this episode taking place I had a feeling that this would be a great show. Despite there being a technical snafu where the stream audio disappeared, we covered alot of great information. We talked about everything ranging from Premium themes and the GPL to what StudioPress is all about to the future of WordPress themes. Definitely another classic show!
This episode of WordPress Weekly is sponsored by, WebDevStudios.com. WebDevStudios is a website development company specializing in WordPress support and development services. Contact them today for help with your WordPress powered website.
WordPress Tavern Listener Poll:
Each week from now on, I’ll be featuring a new listener poll question on WPTavern.com The poll is located in the sidebar on the right hand side of the site.
This Weeks Poll Question Is: Should WordPress Be Referred To As A CMS?
Plugin Picks Of The Week:
Jeff – Mail Press – With this plugin you will be able to send beautiful and styled html and plain text mails based on dedicated themes and templates for any e-mail notification issued for comments subscribers, your periodic newsletters or post notification (per post/daily/weekly/monthly), specific admin events : registration of a new user, comment to moderate, new comment on your posts.
David – MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate
WordPress Trivia Question:
What role has the download counter played in the WordPress project other than counting the number of times a specific version has been downloaded?
WordPress Trivia Answer:
As the story goes, in 2005 at a party in a small San Francisco apartment, Matt Mullenweg who was then 20 years old was celebrating an early release of the software. As Mike Hirshland was looking around for a beer, he noticed the download counter on Matts laptop whizzing by like a race car. This was a Eureka moment for Hirshland and using his partnership with Polaris Venture Capitals, led the way to the first round of funding for Automattic which was 1.1 million dollars.
Matt Mullenweg will be our special guest on March 20th. And Vladimir Prelovac will be our special guest on March 27th
Next Episode: Friday March 13th, 2009 8P.M. EST
Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe
Length Of Episode: 1 Hour 8 Minutes
Download The Show: WordPressWeeklyEpisode44.mp3
Listen To Episode #44:
By Jeffro on March 3, 2009
Brian Gardner who is famously known for his Revolution Themes and also the guy behind his new venture, StudioPress will be my special guest on this Fridays edition of WordPress Weekly. I plan on grilling Brian about premium themes, just a question or two about the GPL, his business model, StudioPress and much more. If you have a question you would like to have me ask Brian, please put it in the comments or better yet, place it in this forum thread.