How a Single WordPress Theme Made $370k

In this video I take a look at the phenomenon of how a single premium WordPress theme was able to generate nearly $370,000 in revenue. The theme in question is called U-Design and it is the top ranking sales item on ThemeForest, one of the Web’s most used WordPress theme marketplaces.

What does this theme do that the hundreds of other themes in the ThemeForest collection don’t? What are some of the reasons that might explain this success? What can we learn from it? These are some of the questions I address in amongst others.

Clearly, this is just my opinion and I cannot account for the multiple reasons that made the theme into the success that it is. So with that in mind, I’d love to hear your take on this phenomenon. What do you think is the reason for its success? Thanks for watching.

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About the Author: Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

14 Comments

    1. Yes it does seem incredible doesn’t it. 5 years ago it would have been almost inconceivable. In my view, we haven’t seen anything yet. The theme market is rapidly expanding and all signs are that it can take the competition. Will be interesting to see how things play out over the next year or so. But sooner or later the next “super theme” will arrive. Thesis ran its course but had a very good innings. So watch this space.

      1. Dammit I’ve just noticed my girlfriends avatar is still showing up. She changed it as a joke over a month ago, I deleted it but it still shows up! :/ I like your notion of the super-theme, I wonder who will make the first million dollar WordPress theme? Can’t be that far off now.

  1. It’s simple, really. People don’t buy it as a theme, but as a framework. Or should I say, WordPress developers/webmasters instead of people?

    That way, they whip up a WP installation + install this theme, and they have enough options to create something unique enough (all without coding) for their client not to have a theme like thousand of others. Quick buck for them, even quicker buck for the creator of the theme.

  2. I’m sorry to say this but I believe this option reason is really bullshit. The theme is not a top seller because of it’s options but because of marketing. There are plenty of themes on themeforest which provide by far more options (if You would have installed uDesign You would even notice that it got not that many options. It looks like that much in the demo and on the selling page, but it is not).

    1. Thanks for the frank comment. I was in fact making a similar point, in that it is about selling the semblance of options rather than necessarily delivering them. And that is indeed a marketing tactic.

      I agree with you when you say “there are plenty of themes on themeforest which provide far more options”.

      Note that I also prefaced my video with the proviso that the reasons for the tremendous success of this theme cannot be reduced to a single factor. It is a multiplicity of reasons. I tried to highlight what seemed to me to be one of the more crucial ones.

  3. The success of this theme is a combination between the demo(and I`m referring to page layouts and options showcashed, not design, because let`s face it, the design of this theme is not so eye-appealing), marketing and the “All Files->Popular Files” widget from Themeforest. If you manage to get a spot in the first 5 items from this widget, you have guaranteed at least 2000 sales. The key factor is to sale the theme as much as you can in the first week, and then the TF algorithm will do the rest.

  4. That is an extraordinary amount of money to make off one template. I wonder where the line is drawn between “inspired by” and “copied”? I’m sure Samsung would argue the point with Apple – do we know if integrity have an opinion on the matter of copyright infringement?

    great review by the way 🙂

  5. this “ITEM” is so inspiring!

    based on some comments above, I called it “ITEM”, internq7 is not selling a “THEME” for wordpress instead he is selling an ITEM with great marketing style, this U-Design theme is not stands at a theme but just a product – product of internq7.

    -your a great man internq7 who ever you are! Congratulation for your continues success!

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