In a nutshell, what does Mojo Themes do?
First off, thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed on your site. It’s a cornerstone for the WP community and you’ve done a great job here.
In a nut shell, MOJO Themes is a Buy & Sell theme marketplace. Our marketplace delivers high-quality & unique themes ranging from HTML & email templates to complex CMS themes for WordPress, Tumblr and Magento (Coming soon).
Our main goal is to deliver our buyers with not only a premium selection of themes but also ensure each of our sellers provides top-notch support. We step in to help our buyers with simpler questions such as installing the item, which frees up more time for our sellers to address more specific support issues.
On the flip side, we’re always looking for ways to continually improve our marketplace for the sellers too. From new features to increasing sales, we do everything we can for them because we understand they play a huge role in making the marketplace a success.
The first thing I think of when I visit Mojo Themes is ThemeForest. Is this your primary competitor? Also, is Mojo Themes in any way inspired by ThemeForest?
To answer your question… Of course ThemeForest is one of our primary competitors and we have to keep our competition on our radar but we really don’t focus on what they’re doing.
In regards to your second question: It’s hard not to be inspired by everything the Envato Network does. They’ve built an empire within several spaces and deliver some great products.
The inspiration for MOJO themes came from another idea I had over 2 years ago. On top of that, I’ve always been a huge fan of WordPress, I started my first WP site back in 2006. I fell in love with the platform and the community behind it so I always wanted to find a way to be a part of it.
Back in early 2008, I purchased the domain name WordPressThemeMarketplace.com. My brother and I were in the process of reaching out to smaller developers within the WP community, finding out what they would want in a marketplace setting. Shortly after that, Matt Mullenweg announced the official WordPress Theme Marketplace. The announcement killed some of our motivation and from there, like most ideas that everyone has we never followed through. We all know how that announcement panned out, so maybe we should’ve stuck with it.
With some newfound motivation, we restructured the whole marketplace idea and the entire brand. Here we are today as MOJO Themes.
Since the sites launch, what type of reception have you had?
The reception has been awesome and the support from our users has been humbling and rewarding. We’ve put every part of ourselves into this and we think that shines through. A lot of the users like the new, exciting and fresh look and can see the passion we have behind this.
All of the users feedback has been constructive and led to great improvements already within our marketplace. The sellers have been great at letting us know what they want. From contests to features we’re always open to help out our sellers.
For example, we recently launched “JOINT FORCES”, the very first collaboration program to unite designers & developers. Sellers can upload items with a partner to split the commissions. Our system takes care of all the logistics for a seamless allocation that is defined by the joint development partners. The sellers control the process and we take care of the rest.
Regarding WordPress themes, does the seller need to make their themes GPL compliant in order to be listed?
In terms of WordPress themes, we have a split license. The core Wordpres files all fall under GPL, while the rest of the files of the theme including, but not limited to the HTML, CSS code, images, and design fall under our licensing agreement.
When sellers upload a WordPress theme, they are instructed to include our license file that clearly states our terms.
Who controls the pricing of items? Mojo Themes or the seller?
MOJO themes. When we were launching, we threw the idea back and forth about possibly giving the sellers control but in the end we chose to have the control.
Considering theme sellers keep 50%-80% of the profits, how does Mojo Themes make money to the point where the marketplace is sustainable?
The margins have proved to deliver positive ROI and with that type of a payout, it’s a fair trade for us providing the platform, advertising costs, admin, etc. in return for the sellers to upload and support their work.
What methods are in place to prevent both sellers and buyers from getting screwed?
I guess there’s quite a few ways you could look at your question so I’ll try my best to answer ;)
From a buyer’s standpoint, any buyer that has bought from MOJO will tell you our customer service is top priority. Keeping our buyers satisfied is always our biggest concern. Also, because we control what items and how the items get on our marketplace, the customer will always receive what they paid for. Lastly, from a support standpoint, we haven’t run into any sellers not providing adequate support. If and when that happens, we would take care of the buyers needs and try to work it out with the seller.
For sellers, we do everything we can to show our sellers how much we appreciate them and we want to do everything to ensure their success.
For sellers, one of the biggest frustrations of selling themes is piracy. Whether you’re selling your themes on our marketplace or on your own, there are the same issues with theme piracy. It’s frustrating for everyone but as of right now, we monitor our sellers items and we take it very seriously.
Lets say I purchased a WordPress theme. Is it up to the seller I purchased it from to keep the theme updated so it works with newer versions of WordPress? Also, is that the person I turn to for support?
Yes, the seller of the item is the person in charge of keeping the item updated. Once they send us an updated version we immediately update the file. Currently, when you have a support question you will leave on a comment or question on the item page and the seller will respond to you.
In the near future we will be unveiling a new and much more sophisticated approach to support. Stay tuned for the announcement!
If I’m a theme seller and I upload a theme to be sold through the marketplace, am I forfeiting any rights to Mojo Themes or does the seller retain those?
The rights of all items remain with the seller. MOJO-Themes maintains the rights to choose the listing price and to delete items. We have made a strong effort to never alter or edit the sellers work. We are very aware of the time and creative investment our sellers have put into their items and feel it is not our responsibility to alter their work. So to be more specific, all ownership rights remain with the sellers.
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