About Brian Gilley.
Brian Gilley founded and owns ThemeSnap.com marketplace, which has more than 10 000 members, great rankings and a different approach.
He is also a SEO and online marketing professional.
How did it all start? Tell us the ThemeSnap story.
Back in the early 2000’s I constantly found myself building more and more websites for internal or client web projects. I started managing or building most of these projects using PHP and HTML and then content management systems like WordPress and Drupal came along to make things a bit easier. Being a non-programmer, using these platforms afforded me the time to manage what I really did for a living — SEO and online marketing. However, buying “ready-made” themes for these open source platforms was not really around at all until around 2006 to 2007.
At that time, many newer features and functionality for themes and templates were being created — things like “installation profiles,” quick theme setup, and better and cleaner theme designs. The versatility and ease of setup is what mainly inspired me to get into the theme’s space. So, I started ThemeSnap.com in early 2008. All of the themes we’ve built to date have been based on Drupal. Since switching to a theme marketplace in late 2013, we’ve received a good number of author submissions for HTML templates, PSD designs, WordPress themes, and more.
I’m proud to say that ThemeSnap was the first website online where customers could purchase a premium designed Drupal theme. We think that’s a pretty cool achievement. I’d like to also say that I’m very thankful to my developers who have stuck with me and ThemeSnap since it started back in ’08 till now.
Why the themes business? And why Drupal?
I love design and web design even though I’m not a web designer myself. I’ve always been drawn to beautiful typography, spacing, color schemes, graphics, and so on. Personally, I have always found it really enjoyable when dealing with the front-end aspects of web projects — mainly the design and design functionality pieces to a website. Building themes looked like a niche we could easily fill since our developers could create Drupal themes quickly based off of simple PSDs.
We had also worked with Drupal for so long till this point that it always seemed like a natural choice for us to use to build themes. We have always built modules, themes, and provided Drupal customizations for clients and internal projects. For us, Drupal has been a very valuable tool and very powerful CMS. Even though it lacks some of the ease of WordPress, it still is perhaps the most scalable open source solution for more web projects with lots of huge functionality needs.
Could you share with us some numbers? Like how many users does the marketplace have, how well is it ranked in search engines or any other interesting facts.
I would be glad to! ThemeSnap has grown to over 10,000 customers worldwide. Many of our customers are repeat customers, buying 2, 3, or more products. We currently sell hundreds of themes, templates, PSD designs, and other files each month. Our customer support rating is currently 98% and based off of thousands of customers providing us feedback through our support ticket area.
ThemeSnap currently has excellent rankings with regards to Drupal theme related searches. We outrank ThemeForest and other marketplaces for Drupal related searches, which is a great reason for authors to submit their Drupal themes to ThemeSnap today! Our WordPress, HTML template, and PSD search rankings are also climbing quite well.
What advantages has a ThemeSnap author compared to other marketplaces?
ThemeSnap has several distinct advantages for authors who want to sell their themes, templates, and other digital files. We are one of the few marketplaces that allows the author to choose the most suitable price to sell their own files. I think this is extremely important and should always be based on the type of product being sold by the author. Very unique solutions which may require more support, documentation, updates, or fill a really unique niche, should be sold for the short and long-term value the product provides. We don’t think that an author should be locked into a $45-50 price for a theme when the product may be unique or nice enough to warrant a $79 or more price tag.
ThemeSnap also currently provides authors a 75% payout rate locked in for life when they sign up and get their first product approved for sale in the marketplace. This is a huge advantage for authors, as it would take any author on ThemeForest a very long time to sell $75,000 worth of products just to move up to the 70% payout level ThemeForest provides. Our 75% offer for new authors signing up may not last long though. So, we’d encourage as many authors to sign up before the offer is gone.
We also provide quick review times for product acceptance and real human advise or recommendations on products that may have issues before being accepted into the ThemeSnap marketplace. As I’m aware, ThemeForest and other marketplaces don’t provide this added value for products that may need a little more work before being accepted.
Tell us your future plans with ThemeSnap
We have some huge plans in the works for ThemeSnap. We are completely redesigning the marketplace to incorporate better UI designs and functionality for authors and customers. The entire marketplace is being rebuilt to better accommodate selling and buying digital goods. We have also been working on some very cool, new features like CoAuthoring opportunities for authors, the ability for authors to provide customization services for their products, and better reporting, depositing, and withdrawal capabilities for the sellers on ThemeSnap.
For customers, we are implementing better category navigation with advanced product filters, cleaner product and category pages, and an easy way to deposit, purchase, and see or download their purchased files. We also are working hard on integrating some really nice things like fair deposits, where a customer can deposit just the amount they need for the file(s) they want to purchase. Other marketplaces require users to deposit more than the product they are ordering, leaving the customer’s cash in an “escrow” type account in the marketplace. We’re going to be a little more straight forward and fair in regards to a customer’s deposits.
We will be relaunching within the next two months. We know the new ThemeSnap marketplace will be huge. So stay tuned!