In this article, with as much hindsight as possible, I’m going to share with you what it took us to spring up Woffice.io as a leading Intranet/Extranet WordPress theme.
For anyone wondering how WordPress could serve as an Intranet Solution, the answer is: simplicity, easiness, smoothness and reliability. In fact, you can set it up in under 10 minutes and get the ball rolling for your organisation, no matter the size! It mainly gives the upsides of being self-hosted (although we can also offer hosting), and therefore the data belongs to you! For more details, check out this article.
Find your niche market
WordPress theme development is a crazy, saturated and swamped market, which is why you must find your niche before starting any work.
This research work is all about tracking down the less crowded categories, hunching what will be the next big ‘thing’, surveying your existing customer base and figuring from that.
I’m not saying it’s that simple, but it should help you ride out from the mass. Bottom line? Don’t take any reckless action, think first.
Once you have the idea, find your contenders, try their software out and write down what works and what doesn’t. You will then be able to develop your key features and build up your USP.
For Woffice, it boils down to being the first Intranet on the market offering customizable Dashboard with widgets, built-in projects, Members map, Directory and more.. You can find the full list here.
Find the right price
You’ve been toiling for 6 months (maybe less, maybe more, doesn’t matter), and you now have to come up with a license fee for your product.
It’s mostly about benchmarking your competitors, gauging how much are you unique features worth, and also what are you customers willing to pay.
You can try different prices out, it doesn’t matter much. But you will have to find it and stick to it at some point, although you will still be dependent on the market.
For more inspiration and insights, we recommend this link.
Fight against the copycats
As always, you will find sneaky people fudging and copying your product. Or simply buying one license and reselling it through their website.
That’s being said, we pride ourselves for providing our auto-updater and license validator to fight against those counterfeits.
There isn’t any ground rule here, you just need to constantly be on the hunt, report when you find one and keep going. Tweetdeck is a good way too find them, you can monitor your template name mentions in one column.
Listen to your customers
First and foremost, you must pledge yourself to patch the different bugs and upgrade the different pieces your software relies upon. As for any software, fixing one bug is often synonym with introducing new ones. Which gives you enough to work on.
Just to give you an idea, you can find our Woffice changelog here.
But that’s not all, you also want your existing customers to enjoy your software and talk about it. That’s why you have to listen to them, find out what they are looking for. This basically means asking during once-off support conversations, but also creating more quantitatives surveys to get meaningful and representative results.
On this matter, as a rule of thumb, we recommend you to value your customers for their precious time and feedback. We’ve been using Feedier for Woffice, and it turns out to be super-coooool! You can find a nice widget on our landing btw. 🚀
It’s worth mentioning that providing a top-notch and reliable support is also a requirement by the way. You won’t get any 5-star reviews without quality and time dedicated to your customers’ hurdles.
Build up relations and partnerships
One of the foundation of any business is the relationship they are able to build with trustable partners. In our case, it all comes down to finding prominent and reliable plugins that we can work with and build a custom integrations. But we have also strived to build partnerships with agencies and local actors that would refer our theme in exchange for a commission. You can find out more about our program on Woffice.io
Spread the world
Once you’re confident about your software, it all comes down to attracting customers. As a licensed software, we are always looking for new customers, and we need those to trickle every days if we want to keep going. It’s anything but similar to an agency which is trying to strengthen customer relationships and get him to upgrade to the next level package.
Therefore, we are talking about daily advertising, blogging, SEO research and polishing, community management, and more.
That said, thanks to the staggering amount of traffic and customers Themeforest — one of the leading WordPress marketplaces — gave us, we had the luxury of not doing much at the inception.
Don’t get me wrong though, we still had to communicate and buff our landing up.
To conclude, we will simply keep in mind that reaching such number of licenses sold isn’t that easy, don’t get me wrong, but it is completely doable as long as you got the idea, and unwaveringly get yourself in.
Make no mistake, we are not asserting that WordPress themes are the future, if anything.. But it has simply helped us collect some money and we are now able to bootstrap our next ventures.
Talking about that, we have just released our brand-new SaaS product and we are looking for eager first testers. Check Feedier out, and start collecting valuable and actionable customer feedbacks now.