Q1: How long have you been in the WordPress industry? How did it all start?
It all started on some day in August 2012 when Primož (my co-founder) sent me an email with a proposal if I want to create a WordPress theme with him and sell it on a Themeforest marketplace. We met each other on a local webmaster forum. We had done some work before even though we never meet in real life. Primož as a developer and me as a designer.
I heard that WordPress themes are in high demand and consequently a vast business potential at that time, so I immediately say yesto Primož. We met in person for the very first time, signed a simple contract about our responsibilities, due dates, penalties and started working on our first WordPress theme called HairPress.
It was well-known fact that it’s hard to get on Themeforest due to extreme quality control, so we decided to make a product a little bit different than others so we would have more chances to get in. We chose to make a WordPress theme for hair saloons while everyone else was making general, multi-purpose themes. It took us a solid five months to publish HairPress on the marketplace, but that turned out to be time well spent and the key moment in our young business careers for two reasons.
The first one was that we got approved by Themeforest reviewers almost instantly, which was quite an accomplishment back then when everyone else was complaining that is impossible to be accepted. The second reason was that theme not only got approved, but it turned out that users were in a desperate need for a theme like that so to our surprise HairPress started selling pretty well.
I think that initial success was the first big reason why we still crafting WordPress and WooCommerce themes today.
Q2: What WPML users should know about what you’re doing in WordPress these days?
The first five years of ProteusThemes existence we focused almost exclusively on presentational WordPress themes for small business owners, simply because we had a clear vision and many ideas that we wanted to show.
But when you are running a business for six years, you learn a lot and so did we. The last couple of months of the year 2017 making simple presentational websites started becoming a little unchallenging to us, so we decided to make a step further and make our very first WooCommerce theme called WoonderShop.
It was actually our third WooCommerce theme, but the first two were pretty much same functionality as default WooCommerce but different style. However, in our latest theme WoonderShop we took a different, more mature approach.
We started designing the theme with a user in mind, which means that it didn’t matter what is possible to do with the default WooCommerce anymore, but we made all decisions based on how it affects on users and his shopping experience. Deciding that we won’t be a “slave” to the default WooCommerce functionalities helps us make an exceptional product.
When we were making our own shop on ProteusThemes.com, we did a lot of A/B tests by tweaking the checkout process and shopping experience itself. Every conversion-rate optimization (CRO) technique we used and improved over time in our shop we implemented in WoonderShop so users will be able to turn more visitors into customers.
Q3: We know there are a lot of themes out there, how did you manage to grow so much and how many clients do you have now?
We always strive to product simplicity and market needs. While the majority of theme authors were making general, bloated multi-purpose themes, we focused on niche themes for small businesses such as construction companies, mechanics, hair, etc. That is how we manage to get a competitive advantage.
Like I said earlier, at the beginning of this year we started to focus not only on WordPress but also on Woocommerce themes. The same as with WordPress themes, we didn’t want to target everyone, because we learned in the past if we target everyone we target no one.
WoonderShop theme is made for web professionals that don’t want a fancy, over-animated shop with glowing shadows but rather a conversion rate optimized WooCommerce theme that is fast and sell like crazy. Since more and more people are shopping on mobile devices, we also put an extra effort into mobile user experience, because it’s a well-known fact that in 2018 no one wants to lose customers due to bad shopping experience on mobile.
Knowing who is our target audience and what are their needs brings us more than 31.000 satisfied customers from all over the world.
Q4: It looks like you have a theme available for each niche (GymPress, LegalPress, MedicPress, etc.) how did you know what clients needed for each industry?
That is an excellent question. Before we dive into designing a WordPress theme for a specific niche, we go around and research at least 50 real-world websites, for example, gyms or attorney’s websites, to see what they have on their websites, what are their needs and how they communicate on their websites. Of course, we don’t stop there.
We strive to make at least a couple of interviews with actual business owners in real life or via Skype to get the first-hand insights of what businesses need from their websites.
We do extensive research just to increase the possibility that the theme will succeed. We learned in the past that more time we invest in the research less time we spend on the development.
Q5: You have a lot of themes, which one would you recommend building multilingual sites? Can you explain why and what are the must-have features?
There is no universal answer. If you asked that kind of question on our live chat, our support staff would first want to know who you are, what type of business you have and what would you like to achieve with your website.
If you have a traveling agency or sports business, I would recommend you to buy Adrenaline theme, which design is a little bit adventures and funky. If you want to sell computer parts, I would recommend you more serious WoonderShop or RepairPress. If you have a gym and you would like to sell fitness equipment, I would suggest you to use GymPress.
It all depends on what are your needs and what you wanted to do with your website or online shop.
Hmm, must have features.
There are a couple of things I would consider before buying a WordPress theme. First of all, it needs to have a flawless mobile user experience. Majority of today's themes are responsive, but that doesn’t mean that the mobile experience is good. Open a WordPress theme on the actual device and click around to see if the theme is truly mobile friendly. Pay attention to the page loading speed. Even though page speed tests like Google’s are OK indicator how fast the page is, the best thing is to click on the theme to see if it’s loading speed annoys you in any way. Of course, if you have an international business, make sure that the theme you will buy is WPML compatible since it’s by far the easiest way to manage a multilingual website.
Q6: Any feedback you want to share with clients using one of your themes with WPML?
In the past six years, we have more than 31.000 customers, and I don’t remember ever hearing anything against WPML plugin. Since the WPML is the easiest way to manage a multilingual WordPress site, some users first choose WPML and then go in a search for the WordPress theme that is compatible with it and then find us.
That’s is one of the reasons why I’m so pleased to have such good relationship with you guys. Please keep up with such an excellent job making maintenance multilingual websites easy.
If you are interested into any of our themes, use a coupon code WPML20 for 20% off on any WordPress theme or ProteusClub.