When I decided to work on Jill, I was skeptical bout my own abilities, experience and most of all thoroughness. There is so many things to research and learn (no one to ask what, I cant ask my future competitors right?) and the planning is spanning across months n months.

This brings me back to the days when I was noob with CSS, HTML or basic website creating. I downloaded some themes for my blog and there was so many settings so many things to fill in I dunch even know filling in which will change what. It was difficult to use, change, implement my own design and most of all, making it unique(it’s so difficult to make it look not-templatish).

I worked on planning, research, copywriting and the proposal of Jill for weeks now. Each time I hit a block I wanted to blog about Jill to reorganize my thoughts and I couldn’t cuz I can’t reveal too much(kiasu max I know).

During research bout current competitors, I noticed that wp premium themes providers are all very diversified. Some provide options only when nessescary, some provide so much control and customization settings. Not only that, some only have one theme for sale while there are those that charge crazily cheap for their themes. It takes a call for a choice, to be yet another different one or be the one best preferred out there.

The problems are clear, too little options = easy to use. Too much options = more uniqueness in the theme. Is there a balance between both n can a theme have both? I dunch know but I feel like I wanna aim for that direction.

This calls for a good UI for the backend options. I downloaded a few premium themes from a few of the competitors to look see look see. It’s confusing for newbies and developers still have to hit code to further customize the theme. Right now the pie can either be targeted at design or uniqueness. Its impossible to have both. More design means less options, the design is decided for you by the theme provider. More uniqueness means you get to put in your own design, if your design is bad you’ll end up hating the theme anyway. But in this micro-industry, you still gotta make a mega theme of nothingness but options and customization by the user at one point in time. So design focus it is, less options. The mega theme, oh well next time maybe.

This is bad cuz u can’t just target newbies or just developers. Newbies probably buy from you one time and developers are the one that subscribes to your themes and consistently use it. If options have to be in 2 packages catered for each market, it just means the ui is not good enough. More expensive pricing for the developers package is beneficial to the provider not to the users.

In terms of shopping cart n payment system for intangible goods like downloadable themes, there are a few options from Paypal, Google co to 2checkout. I am going to stick to 2checkout eventhough there is a setup fee and they charge high transaction fees mainly due to the following reasons : they provide shopping cart and ready links, they check for fraud and handles all the buying, upgrading, refunds n exchanges. The difficult part comes when I read their terms, there are so many hidden fees involved. But there is no choice, each payment gateway have their horror stories but still gotta use them.

Ok now my thoughts are organized.