We Fixed WordPress

UPDATE! The item described in this post is now available for purchase at CodeCanyon at bit.ly/X75Z17.

Ever wanted WordPress to look...well...different? More shiny? I know I do. Sometimes when I login to some of my payment gateways like Stripe or Square, I'm a little jealous of the interface. Why doesn't WordPress look more like that?

Well, the answer is simple: different strokes for different strokes. WordPress is beautiful in it's own way and the minimalist color palette doesn't clash with the majority of sites. Having said, that, there's no reason we can't have a little fun our own right? Of course not! Especially with WordPress' incredible library of hooks and functions, we should be able to change the look and feel of the admin without conflicting with ANY third-party plugins and thereby provide a more modern user-experience for our clients.

With that in mind, here's a teaser of OUR take on revamping the UI for the WordPress admin...click to see the full size image...

rocket-dashboard

As you can see, we've basically focused on 3 areas...

  1. Modified the Toolbar to be slightly larger and given it a fresh color scheme.
  2. Modified the Left Sidebar with a darker contrasting color scheme AND replaced all icons with a custom icon font to provide monochrome vector-based icons.
  3. Increased the padding to the main window to provide for a cleaner look.
  4. Restyled all buttons - these were "inspired" by Google's interfaces.

Anyway, let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

Storefront Elegance Gets Major Update!

Yes, it's been a long time coming, but we're proud to announce that version 1.5 of Storefront Elegance is available for immediate download. This version fixes compatibility with the latest version of WP eCommerce and pretty much future-proofs it against any WPEC upgrades because we've removed the theme template files and instead added our custom code through action hooks and filters built into WPEC.

In addition, we've performed some much need maintenance...

  • moved all scripts to the footer for better performance
  • rewrote the add to cart feature
  • replaced the thickbox with fancybox like in our other themes
  • upgraded the jQuery version
  • moved additional product images to below the product description
  • added in automatic updates!
  • fixed a ton of bugs

We may make additional adjustments over the next week, but thanks to the automatic updates feature, you won't have to worry about those anymore! We wanted to get it into your hands ASAP as we know a ton of you have waited patiently. We hope you enjoy this version even more. Existing customers can download the new version immediately from their members homepage.

For everyone else, this is a sign of things to come...Elegance is our flagship theme and we needed to get it right so we could make the same updates to the rest of our themes which also were affected by the 3.8.9 updates to WP eCommerce. We're working as hard as we can on it.

Psst…don’t tell anyone, but we just heard about a secret child theme for Skematik!

Sometimes I wonder, did we develop Skematik Theme for Storefront Themes, or is Storefront Themes now developing for Skematik? Who cares right? The bottom line is that this is an awesome platform to work from. Case in point, we just released a brand-new theme after a 10 month absence in the last couple of weeks, and if rumors are true, it looks like we're pushing out another one tomorrow! Trust me, you don't want to miss this one. Take a look at the screenshot, but just wait till you see the real thing!

Don’t hit that upgrade button yet!

Hey ya'll! Well, we're getting slammed with a lot of reports that upgrading to WP e-Commerce 3.8.9 has broken a lot of stuff with your Storefront Themes. Obviously some of the core functionality has changed enough that we now need to replace a ton of code in our themes to account for it. We will definitely make this a priority, but it is going to take some time, so it the meantime, we STRONGLY recommend to all our users that you use the 3.8.8.5 version of WP eCommerce. You can download that version right here.

Downgrade Instructions

  1. Go to your plugins and deactivate WP eCommerce
  2. Delete WP eCommerce
  3. Go to "Plugins > Add New" and click upload...upload the file you downloaded from the link above
  4. Activate WP e-Commerce
  5. Go to "Settings > Permalinks" and save your permalinks twice

You should be all set with your Storefront Theme now.

Marko, and the future of development at Storefront Themes

Today is a big day at Storefront Themes. We are launching our first new theme in 10 months and it's called "Marko".

Marko is a beautifully minimal theme that keeps your audience's focus where it belongs: on your products. This isn’t simply about being minimal in design. It’s all about the details…like how Marko makes your sidebar and footer widgets lighter until you hover over them. Everything about this theme screams that your products are what make your business or company great.

The Future...

A couple of weeks ago, we launched Skematik, which is a new WordPress Theme + Framework that we've been working on for months. I've blogged about the reasons for creating Skematik before. It comes down to this...with so many different plugins that we want to be compatible with (WP eCommerce, WooCommerce, JigoShop, BuddyPress & Gravity Forms to name a few) we wanted a common platform that we could develop on so that we could focus on innovation rather than compatibility issues.

Now that Skematik is done, we can FINALLY get back to doing what we love...creating amazing themes for you to enjoy!

With that in mind, consider this our official announcement that most if not all future Storefront Themes releases will be built on top of the Skematik Framework. We realize this is a departure from the last two years, but I am confident that once you get your hands on Skematik, you'll understand why we're so thrilled about it.

Hope you enjoy the new developments! We'll have more for you before this year is out!

Our silence is usually a good thing (A BIG announcement from Storefront Themes)

Some of you may have noticed and rightfully wondered why there doesn't SEEM to be much going on at Storefront Themes lately. Other than continuing our stellar support of our existing customers on our support forums, we haven't launched any new themes in 8 months. I'd like to take a few minutes and explain this before making the biggest announcement in our history.

The story thus far...

In late 2009 I launched a theme which is now called "Storefront Original" on ThemeForest. It was one of the first premium ecommerce themes in WordPress history. It single-handedly provided with a sustainable income to the point that I decided to make a business out of it. 10 months later I launched Storefront Themes which was the first WordPress eCommerce theme shop. When the shop launched, we launched with a new theme, "Storefront Elegance". A month later, we moved Storefront Original off of ThemeForest and began selling it on SFT. Fast-forward to December of 2011 and we had 10 of the best premium themes out there.

We were successful enough that we'd like to think that we inspired our competition and now we're no longer the only ones in the game. New dedicated eCommerce theme shops have arisen and new platforms like WooCommerce and Jigoshop have given even more momentum to the eCommerce world of WordPress. They've also provided competition for WP eCommerce (the platform that I'm proud to say we develop for) and this has (I think at least) in turn kept WPEC reaching for new heights in order to stay on top (which you can clearly see from their blog).

I'm proud to have been a player in the evolution of WordPress eCommerce over the past 3 years. Because we were a first-to-market company, we've had a lot of trial and error as there was no one to really copy for what we were doing. However, in turn, we've had a lot of "firsts" as a result, and those "firsts" have led us to greater things. Let me share a few examples...

Storefront Insights

In the fall of 2010, I was so proud to be a part of launching "Storefront Insights". It was designed one of my best friends, George Ortiz and it provided the first integration of WordPress eCommerce sales and Google Analytics. Essentially this combined shop data with Google analytics and gave shop owners information they never had before as they could now see their cart to checkout ratios, gauge their customer peak selling hours, and a ton more.

We still offer Storefront Insights, but more importantly, it set George out on a path. He realized how valuable this type of data was. So...one day last year, we went to WordCamp San Francisco. He had begun talking about an idea where an application could be built to allow plugin developers, theme developers and content creators to send data to a centralized service and have it compared with other plugins, themes and sites in the same genre so they could determine how well they were performing against the market. He pitched the idea at a lightning round talk at WCSF, and one month later, he just started building it. Within two weeks he had the first beta version out the door and the rest of the history is currently being written as Press Trends is now a one-of-a-kind product that is taking the WordPress world by storm.

Unified Search

Because WPEC went through a major overhaul in the spring of 2011, we had to be the first to have all our themes be compatible with the new version. The move to custom post types meant a rewrite of major proportions of our code in each of our themes. However, the result was, we were able to give our customers more features. For example, we could offer multiple product images without an upgrade. Another feature that didn't come standard before was search. Now, how can you run an ecommerce shop without search? However, we felt search, even with a paid upgrade was lacking...

I was inspired by Apple's website when I searched for a product like "Macbook". The search results page was broken into several sections showing different types of content. There was section for blog posts about "Macbook". There was a section for pages. Of course, there was a section for products. I felt this was how search should work, especially on a WordPress eCommerce site, where I assume most shop owners are also going to blog about their products. So, I set about implementing it in our themes. At first, it was very basic...simply a list of search results that identified themselves as a blog, page or product. However, with Storefront Echo, I went all out. When you search for a product like "Macbook" there, you get a search results page broken into three columns, with links to page titles on the left, blog post titles and excerpts in the middle, and product images with add to cart buttons on the right. Unified search was truly born.

Universal eCommerce

Echo was something that I designed as a sort of flagship theme. It incorporated the Unified Search mentioned above. It was our first Responsive theme (and still my favorite mobile theme). It was BuddyPress and BBPress compatible. And, it was the first Universal eCommerce theme. I'd dreamed of it for a while, and finally made it a reality. You can activate WP eCommerce, WooCommerce or Jigoshop and the theme will use the appropriate code for it's sliders, carousels, product pages...even the options panel will only show the options for that particular platform. I'm also proud to say that this new feature has been essentially bug-free from day one.

I've been proud to have been a part of these firsts. Again, it's been trial and error all the way. Some stuff, like the above, really worked well. Some stuff didn't, like our music-themed promotion last December 😉 (hey, we had fun doing it!). I've blogged about eCommerce. I've built several shops myself. I've used almost every platform out there. I've spoken at WordCamp about it. The bottom line is, my experience is probably my greated asset in my decision-making with eCommerce and it is what has led me to taking the next big risk at Storefront Themes...

If it ain't broke don't fix it...unless you hate it

So far, Storefront Themes has done very well commercially. It has been profitable from day one and has provided stable income for our little team of 3 people. However, something happened last winter...I realized that the themes were getting harder to support and keep up-to-date. Our customers and even my amazing support tech, Mark Gason, started begging us to stop releasing new themes and spend time focusing on the old ones to make sure they were up-to-date. Well, that's a problem. It's a problem because we obviously need to produce new themes if we want to stay competitive and keep revenues. But more than that, it was a problem because of this: for the first time in it's history, I wasn't proud of our product anymore.

That last line was painful to even write. However, it is true. You see, the reason I have always loved my job is because I have been proud of the product. I literally get to help people achieve their dreams of financial independence and entrepreneurship. I love getting emails about how our product has helped people and how easy it is to use. Having said that, I have realized that the path that we're on is not sustainable. eCommerce requires much more code than a regular WordPress theme and that code is updated much more frequently. If we are going to continue to lead the way in eCommerce theme development, we need to have a platform that streamlines this process and makes support and updates more efficient.

Yes, we were still selling. Yes, it would have been better for me financially in the short-term to spend more time developing new themes. However, I really couldn't stomach the fact that our themes might be less than stellar. Something had to change...

We need a new WordPress theme framework

I quickly decided that the best situation would be to have a theme framework that contained all of the functionality that we might need in a good eCommerce theme and simply build child themes for the front-end creativity that is the heart of our business. I checked out every framework out there. I quickly found that our community is rich with many talented developers who have made some excellent frameworks. However, after much searching, I couldn't get away from the fact that our needs were somewhat unique and if I had the ability and means to create the framework myself, then I needed to just do it.

The Announcement

Skematik Theme Homepage

So here is the announcement: For the past several months I have been building a brand-new theme framework that will provide the basis for all of our themes moving forward. It is called Skematik and among others, it boasts the following feature-set...

  • It is built with HTML5 and CSS3
  • It is built with the latest Twitter Bootstrap library
  • It is a mobile-first framework with touch elements instead of hover
  • It is compatible with BuddyPress
  • It is compatible with WPeCommerce, WooCommerce and Jigoshop
  • It incorporates the new Theme Customizer in WordPress 3.4 for styling options
  • It has it's own Templating Engine, allowing you to set a page layout for every single page OR POST
  • It has a custom sidebar component which allows you to create your own sidebars and set them on any page or post
  • It has built in shortcodes for most of the Bootstrap library components
  • It is one of the most developer-friendly WordPress themes out there, with built-in Options library, Metaboxes, custom hooks and filters for the Theme Customizer and Shortcodes and much more!

So...where is it? When can we get it?

Here's where I really need some help actually. The theme framework is about 95% complete. I'm just buttoning up a few loose ends. However, I still need to finish all of the documentation and developer resources before it is released. We designed this first as an eCommerce framework, but it ended up taking on a shape of it's own in that it really is an all-around theme framework for developing just about anything with WordPress.

To that end, in lieu of a pre-order process, we thought we'd have some fun and start a GoFundMe campaign. You can see the project fundraiser page here and you'll notice that there are some VERY attractive rewards listed. You can also read up on the framework on the actual Skematik website at http://skematiktheme.com.

I really need your help to get this product out the door and I hope you'll find the compensation is rewarding enough.

Lastly, I want to thank all of our nearly 5000 customers who have been so patient and loyal during this time. I promise, that this has all been for your benefit and you can expect the greatest things yet from Storefront Themes in 2013 and beyond!

[sws_button class="" size="sws_btn_xlarge" align="sws_btn_align_left" href="http://skematiktheme.com" target="_blank" label="View the Skematik Website" template="sws_btn_blue" textcolor="ffffff" fontweight="normal" bgcolor="" bgcolorhover="" glow="sws_btn_glow_blue" btnwidth="" textalign=""] [/sws_button][sws_button class="" size="sws_btn_xlarge" align="" href="http://www.gofundme.com/skematik" target="_blank" label="Donate to Skematik Project" template="sws_btn_orange" textcolor="ffffff" fontweight="normal" bgcolor="" bgcolorhover="" glow="sws_btn_glow_orange" btnwidth="" textalign="left"] [/sws_button]

North American Patriotic Sale! 10 Themes for $99!


Hello to everyone around the world from Storefront Themes! Over the next week we are celebrating the birthdays of 2 of my favorite countries here in North America! I am proudly Canadian which is why I'm very excited about Canada Day on July 1st. I'm also geared up for Independence Day on July 4th since I live in the US and my wife and children are American. So what can we do to celebrate? How about a big sale on all our themes?

Effective immediately we are running a huge sale that will benefit new customers and current members alike. If you've never bought a Storefront Theme before, NEW CUSTOMERS CAN GET ALL 10 OF OUR THEMES FOR ONLY $99! This includes every theme available on our themes page...we're even including Storefront Echo (which is currently only available on ThemeForest) as a special bonus!

Also, we really didn't want to leave our existing customers out on this one...most of the time these sales only benefit new customers. Well not this time! Here's the deal...if you already have a storefront themes account with at least one purchase, you AS A MEMBER YOU CAN GET THE REST OF OUR THEMES FOR ONLY $40! That's a huge deal no matter how many themes you already own.

Rest assured all of our themes are top quality (see them all here)...in fact, the big reason we've been silent over the last few months is that we have been going through all of our themes and making them more secure and stable than ever before. Plus, our support is top-notch so you can buy with confidence!

We'll give you a whole week to take advantage of this awesome offer! The sale will end at 11:59pm MST on July 7th. Thanks for being the best customers in the world!

Matt Jones
CEO, Storefront Themes

Storefront Echo Reduced in Price!

I'm pleased to announce that Storefront Echo has just been reduced to $40 on ThemeForest to make it more competitive with the other ecommerce themes there. So let's see...by my count, you can now get Storefront Echo, another theme of your choice and the Storefront Insights plugin all for only $40! If you haven't yet, head over to ThemeForest to pick it up today!

Also, we put out an update to the theme just yesterday. It is available for Echo customers from your Members' Homepage on Storefront Themes. Changelog looks like this...

=1.4.0 = 3.01.12
*Fixed duplicate mobile search bars bug
*Fixed Add to Cart problem in WPEC for both variations and IE
*Removed duplicate call to fancy box script
*Removed duplicate BuddyNav js from fancycart
*Fixed missing price in woocommerce and jigoshop product pages
*Fixed margin error for images with IE8
*Fixed woocommerce filter by price widget

 

New Design, Storefront Echo Relaunch and the 2 For 1 Sale!

UPDATE!! THIS OFFER IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!! HOWEVER YOU CAN STILL BUY STOREFRONT ECHO FROM THEMEFOREST AT THE LOWEST PRICE FOR ANY THEME WE SELL!!

The past 24 hours has been a HUGE day for Storefront Themes!

Yesterday afternoon we went back to the place where started, ThemeForest to relaunch just one of our themes in a big way. Storefront Echo was originally released in November...it has performed very well, with over 200 current users and growing. However, I felt it could accomplish more...it was by far my favorite design that I'd put out because of the way it performs on mobile devices and I wanted to see what else it could accommodate...

I started out with BuddyPress...I really wanted to see if I could get BuddyPress to work, AJAX and all in a responsive design. Once that was done, I thought that the next step would be branching out to some other ecommerce platforms for the first time.

Now before I go on, I want to stress that we are not currently planning on making all our other themes compatible with other platforms. We're still pretty loyal to Dan Milward and the WP eCommerce team. However, I see this as an opportunity to reach out to some new customers and a huge step toward establishing ourselves as the best resource for WordPress eCommerce on the planet.

So here it is...Storefront Echo is now compatible with WP e-Commerce, WooCommerce, JigoShop, BuddyPress and BBPress!

Best of all, it's for sale right now on ThemeForest for only $45 which allows you to save $4 off our regular theme price. But that's not all...

For a limited time, when you buy Storefront Echo on ThemeForest you get any one of our other themes absolutely free! How's that for a deal? So what are you waiting for? Head on over to ThemeForest to get 2 awesome WordPress eCommerce themes for the price of 1!

New Design

Oh yeah, notice anything different at Storefront Themes? We're currently redesigning the site from the ground up. This is ultimately to offer a better support platform but as it's not really ready yet, for now you'll have to be satisfied with just the new visuals. BUT, we're working hard on making the support experience at Storefront Themes the best out there! Stay tuned to the blog for word on when it will be launched.

Storefront Mylo + Xyloto Now Available for all Pre-Order Customers!

Well, we promised we would get them out today for you and while it's the wee morning hours where I'm at right now, I can finally let you know that we finally have the first releases available of our long-awaited, ColdPlay inspired themes, Mylo + Xyloto. We teased these a couple of weeks ago and we're just packaging them now. We are not OFFICIALLY releasing them just yet simply because we need to build the demo sites and record a couple of tutorial videos for them...however, we wanted to do good by the people who put their faith in us and pre-ordered the themes, while we can't show you a working demo for Xyloto yet (Mylo can be found here), we can give those who bought the themes access to the theme download files and have created two new forums for the themes so you can get all the support you need while waiting on the videos.

Now, let me get some sleep and I'll get the videos up in the next couple of days!

Storefront Music Themes Postponed One More Day…

Hey everyone...we're still buttoning up these themes and I think you'll love what we've done...however, we're just a bit behind...if you've pre-ordered the themes, we apologize and we promise we'll have something up for you tomorrow before we officially release them to the public...till then, in case you missed the preorder, you can still take advantage of it at https://storefrontthemes.com/coldplay for your chance to get both themes for the price of one!

The delay is basically because we couldn't get a major piece of the music functionality to work as well as we wanted, but we've got it now and are finally on the home stretch. Hang in there because they're coming!

Black Friday through Cyber Monday Sale!

Got your shopping done yet? Get anything for yourself? We can help you out there! From now until Monday, September 28th at midnight MST, we have a super deal going on! All customers will save 50% off our already great regular pricing! This means that single theme packages are only $24.50 and our bundle package, which includes all 8 themes and our insights plugin is only $74.50! This is by far the biggest sale we've ever done and we hope you will all take advantage of it. Best of all, for our existing customers, this discount is in addition to your regular 15% discount which means you save a whopping 65% off of regular pricing! So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of this deal right now on our purchase page!

Matt Jones on WordPress for e-Commerce – WordCamp SLC video

Back in September, we got the opportunity to go to WordCamp SLC and I got to speak on using WordPress for e-Commerce. We were thrilled to be a major sponsor of the event and even more thrilled to present on our passion: using WordPress for e-Commerce. The video is up on WordCamp.TV but we've included it below as well...

So what's new since this video? Well, of course the demo theme that we talked about in the talk is now one of our new themes, Storefront Echo. It has, of course been made Internet Explorer compatible and we're thrilled with how it turned out. Enjoy the video and let us know what you think in the comments!

New Pricing Discounts for Both New and Existing Customers!

I don't have a lot of time to write this today, so let me get straight to the point. We've been repeatedly asked for an option where people could buy all of our themes at once. Typically with most theme developers, this results in some sort of club membership. That may perhaps be in our future, but for now, we do not think it is a wise decision for our particular situation. Instead, we are going to create a bundle package so that customers can buy all of our themes for one low price. This price will change as our collection of themes grows, but to start with, we will offer all of our current 8 themes as well our Insights plugin for only $149! That equates to a price of less than $17 per product instead of the usual $49/theme price.

Having said that, we just couldn't in good conscience promote this deal for a long time because we felt it was rewarding newer customers more than anyone...don't get me wrong, we're a business and need new customers to survive, but we are so appreciative of our existing members that we wanted to make sure that we looked after them as well. To that end, we have come up with an idea...if you're already a Storefront Themes customer, you will automatically receive 15% off of our regular theme packages! All you need to do is login with your exisiting account info and then head to the purchase page...once you select your items, you will see a special member's only price applied when you checkout on the next screen. It's our way of saying thank you for supporting us. This is not a limited time offer! This price will be in place indefinitely.

Hope you all enjoy the new pricing! There's a couple of great new themes that you can get while taking advantage of this offer!

The Biggest Blog Post About Our Biggest Week Ever!

Was I overselling it a bit? Okay, well sorry, I'm just really excited about everything happening lately at Storefront Themes! This past week we finally got some monkeys off our backs in the way of 2 brand new themes that just so happen to be our coolest themes ever! And yet, neither are the biggest new addition that we've added recently to Storefront Themes...you may have noticed recently (if you are a current customer) that our support forums are a little quicker in response time and that is because we recently added a new member to our team, Mark Gason of http://gasolicious.com.

So...let's go over these 3 additions in better detail...

Storefront Echo


We first teased Storefront Echo at WordCamp SLC by giving out free beta copies to everyone at our talk and after a couple of months of development, we finally released it last week. This has been my favorite theme to work on so far because of the unique functionality we put into it...It's completely responsive! No matter what screen you're using, (desktop, laptop, ipad, mobile phone, etc) this theme adapts and looks fantastic! I'm particularly thrilled with how the theme operates on an iphone. Even the homepage slider and carousel are responsive and the carousel is even touch-enabled so you can swipe through the products using your finger!


Storefront Gridport


Gridport is another gorgeous design by George Ortiz (Designer, Instant, Edge) and once again, the visual aesthetics are very evident in his work. The homepage and products page grids are very minimal and show the product title and price when hovered over. Also, the grid has a nice animation when changing your browser width to snap each item into place. The blog has a unique way of laying out posts and a subtle little shopping cart icon triggers the cart to pop out onto the screen whenever it is clicked or when a product is added to the cart.

Mark Gason


Mark is a professional web designer, web developer, animator and print designer. He has a wealth of experience in flash and other things, but we caught him on our forums over the summer, answering in great detail nearly everyone's questions there. We started talking with him and realized that we just had to have him with us so we hired him in October. Mark will be available on the forums for a few hours each day from Monday to Friday and will cover the bulk of all support requests.

So that's it in a nutshell...er..a blog post. What's next? Expect another blog post this week, but it will focus on some things behind the scenes. Till then, keep making some great shops!

Storefront Boutique Update Brings BuddyPress 1.5 Compatability!

We are updating our themes all the time, but I thought I'd write about this one. Storefront Boutique is actually one of my favorites of all our themes...I always loved the product page layouts, the fun look it has and the idea of having BuddyPress integrated into a store was really something I planned from the start...I really wanted that kind of functionality as the potential for marketing could really explode.

Because that's where the value is, I've spent a considerable amount of time working on Boutique the last couple of weeks and today, Boutique is now compatible with the latest version of BuddyPress, otherwise known as BuddyPress 1.5 (otherwise known as "Lombardi")!

We've rewritten a lot of the template files so not only can you now take advantage of the new BuddyPress platform, but we've integrated all that fancy ajax goodness that you normally only get in a buddypress default child theme...only this is not child theme! It runs completely on its own as a standalone theme, bridging the gap between 2 of the most powerful WordPress plugins: BuddyPress and WP e-Commerce.

In addition to these changes, we've also increased the performance and compatability by making sure all our jquery and ajax files are being properly enqueued in our functions file in no-conflict mode.

So there you have it...Storefront Boutique may just be our most stable theme in spite of the plethora of technologies that it runs. You can check out the demo now, which is actually running 3 plugins...BuddyPress, WP e-Commerce and BuddyPress for WP e-Commerce-3.8 which allows you to display specific products in a BuddyPress group as a "Group Store". See it here!

So that's it! Existing customers can download the new update (version 1.2) from your members' homepage. Now back to my cave where we're coming up with some great new stuff!

Mandatory Security Update for WP-e-Commerce!

Just in case you haven't heard, there is a mandatory security update for wp-e-commerce. You can find more info here... While this security vulnerability  is limited to the chronopay gateway, it will leave your site vulnerable even if you don't use ChronoPay. There is a fix out for both the 3.8x and 3.7x branches of wp-e-commerce. Of course, since all our themes now work with 3.8x, we encourage you to use the very latest version which at the time of this writing is 3.8.6.1.

An Apology To Our Affiliates..

This certainly isn't the way we wanted to start out with our first Storefront Themes affiliate newsletter. However, in spite of our best efforts to look after you, it appears that we dropped the ball recently and we wanted to come clean on it.

Last week, immediately after raising your affiliate commission to 35%, we launched a new promotion with the best deal we've ever offered. However, over the weekend, it came to our attention that there may have been a problem with how we created the promotion that negatively affected affiliate sales…we finally confirmed this, found the problem and fixed it on Monday morning. The bad news is, that any sales of the promotion made during the week before that would not have received any affiliate commission.

We discovered a second error on Tuesday…some of our older affiliates were unaffected by the recent commission level increase and therefore were still at a 20% commission level. We have since raised everyone to the standard 35% level.

I am terribly sorry about all of this…the last people I'd want to hurt are the people helping to spread the word about us. Here's what we're going to do to fix it…effective immediately and for the next 30 days, we have raised your affiliate commission to 50%. We have also left the promotion up and will keep it up until next week. We also have a new theme that will launch VERY soon and it is our best ever. It is our hope that these promotions and the increase in your affiliate commission for the next 30 days will more than make up for any sales that you may have lost in the last week. Hopefully, we'll all come out on top when all is said and done.

Thank you for being the very best community in the WordPress kingdom. We promise to do better for you.

Sincerely,

Matt Jones
Storefront Themes

 

Our WordCamp T-Shirts Arrived!

If you ask me, I think we had a really good idea for a WordPress tshirt for WordCamp SLC (click the picture above to enlarge)...we ordered some great American Apparel shirts in 5 colors that simply project the WordPress logo with the tagline "My eCommerce Platform". Get the message? With plugins like WP-e-Commerce, all the tools are there to make WordPress a serious competitor to other products like Magento...and that's exactly what I'm going to be covering in my talk "WordPress for eCommerce? The sky's the limit!" this Saturday. If you're attending the event, make sure to get to us early as we only have about 50 of these and there's going to be at least 3 times that many people.

Don't fear however, as even if you aren't one of the lucky ones to nab a tshirt, we have a special surprise for everyone attending our talk late in the day...stay tuned!

Storefront Anniversary Sale – Part 2: All our products for $75!

UPDATE: We just submitted new ads to the affiliates center for the Anniversary Sale!

The title basically says it all! We spent August rewarding our current members with a special deal and now we're launching a new promotion this month that just so happens to be our best deal ever! You can all 6 of our themes as well as our Insights plugin for only $75! This is obviously a great deal if you're a new customer, but existing customers can benefit as well - If you already have a single, double, triple or even quad pack of our themes, you can complete your collection and still save as the $75 price tag is cheaper than the price of our Double Theme pack! Use the button below to access the promotion...

See Promotion Now »

We also just announced an increase in our affiliate commission, and we hope that they can take advantage of this sale as well! Enjoy!

 

Affiliate Commission Raised to 35%!

UPDATE: We just submitted new ads to the affiliates center for the Anniversary Sale!

And the Anniversary gifts just keep on coming! After celebrating our Anniversary this month by first rewarding our members, we're about to launch our biggest promotion ever aimed at new customers when we realized that we haven't got a gift for our proud affiliates yet! To that end, effective immediately, we are permanently raising our affiliate commission to 35% (up from 20%). That means that even for our lowest theme package, you would make over $17/sale!

Thanks for being such loyal supporters! Like I said, we have a brand new promotion that we're about to launch in just a few minutes that should help you earn some more cash ;-). Stay tuned!

Storefront Themes T-Shirt Giveaway at WordCamp SLC!

Just wanted to let y'all know that we're bringing gifts with us to WordCamp Salt Lake City in Utah! Since it's our home state WordCamp, we've ordered a bunch of cool tshirts for everyone highlighting our favorite publishing platform, with an ecommerce twist! For the record, the slogan underneath the WordPress logo says "My eCommerce Platform" (click for a slightly larger view). It's a statement of pride for us and the rest of the community who uses WordPress for eCommerce. For those of you who don't yet, we're on a mission to convince you this year that it's the right choice for jobs big and small!

Not convinced yet? Perhaps you're heading to Utah for WordCamp and if so we suggest that you attend the session that we're leading entitled "WordPress for eCommerce? The sky's the limit!" Don't worry, if you can't attend, we'll hopefully be recording and share it with you online. Hope to see you all later.

PS - We actually have a limited number of the tshirts so it'll be first-come, first-serve, BUT we also have another extra special giveaway for conference attendees and we'll be sure to bring enough for everyone.  Our lips are sealed about that one, so you'll have to wait and see ;-). Oh, and by the way, last call on the Storefront Themes Members-Only Birthday Sale! It ends at midnight MST tonight!

Tracking Mobile Visitors

On Monday we asked our Facebook followers this question, “How many of your customers shop your storefront from a mobile device?” We had a few comments with the majority of people not knowing the answer. We decided to put together a very quick guide on how you can track this metric.

Why would you need to know how many visitors you get from a mobile device?

To put it simply, knowing this metric allows you to make better decisions when it comes to growing your online store. As more and more mobile devices make it easier for customers to shop your store from anywhere, you want to make sure they are having the best possible experience and ultimately making a purchase.

Here at Storefront Themes, we are making advancements to create more responsive themes that change layouts depending on screen sizes. Though, if you have a lot of mobile visitors, it may make sense to take this a bit urther and create a native app that your customers can download.

So how do you track mobile visitors?

The best way to track mobile visitors is through Google Analytics. I assume most of you are already using Google Analytics on your site, if not, you’re missing out on tons of valuable insights and information. I would recommend signing up if you’re not already using it.

Once you log in to your Google Analytics dashboard, you will see a tab on the left called “Visitors” which you can then click on and get more options. One of those options is called “Mobile” and offers analytics for mobile devices and mobile carriers accessing your site. Here is a screenshot showing just that:

GA_MobileVisits

Like I mentioned above, tracking this metric can be extremely useful when it comes time to make decisions surrounding mobile sites, mobile apps, and how you ultimately interact with your customers in this day of age.

Storefront Themes is committed to the task of making our themes more mobile friendly and arming our customers with the very best. If you have any questions, need further advice, or have feedback please let us know by leaving a comment below.

George Ortiz Lightning Round Talk at WordCamp San Francisco 2011

George and I got back from our first ever WordCamp late last night and it was absolutely epic! One of the highlights for us was that George had the opportunity to give a quick lightning round talk on Friday about the idea of aggregating blog info across thousands of WordPress.org sites. I'd explain it more but I recorded it on my iPhone for you so I'LL let George do the talking...

Huge Members-Only Sale to Celebrate Our 1st Birthday!

Today, August 12th marks the one year birthday of Storefront Themes! Exactly one year ago, we removed our coming soon page, presented the site live to the world and sold our first theme package, Storefront Elegance. We're so proud to have reached this milestone and we realize that Storefront Themes exists because of our community. Therefore, since it's our birthday, who should we give the presents to? Ourselves of course! Instead of rewarding new customers, we want to thank the people who got us here. Because of that, for the rest of the month of August, all members will get 50% off of every sale! This pertains to every single theme package we have, meaning you could potentially get 4 themes PLUS our Storefront Insights analytics plugin for just $64! To get your discount, simply login to Storefront Themes and then head to the purchase page…once you select your items, your discount will present itself on the checkout page. Thank you so much for the last year…it's been rough at times (3.8 upgrade?;-) but now that everything is up to date, we expect great things for the next year and have some awesome plans to help you run your shops.

Purchase Themes Now »

All Themes Are Now 3.8 Compatible!

In case you missed it, we recently updated Storefront Designer to be compatible with the 3.8 version of WPEC. We know this has taken forever, and there have been a lot of reasons for it. I wanted to take a moment and share our priority list for what's coming next so you can get a feel of where we're at in our development. I've re-learned a lesson about no committing to release dates as it only makes people upset when you don't hit it, so at least this way you might be able to get a feel for when stuff could/should be released...

  1. Updating all of our videos to new versions of WordPress, WPEC and themes.
  2. Update all themes for jQuery and WPML compatibility.
  3. Produce a video tutorial for using WPML with our themes.
  4. Update Storefront Designer and Storefront Instant with new features (new homepage options and page templates).

That's as much as we'd like to share for now…there will be a new theme sneaking it's way right in the middle of all of that simply because it's development took far less time than we anticipated but for the most part, this will be our schedule for the next month. Here's to even brighter days ahead!

Storefront Designer Is WPEC 3.8 Ready

The Storefront Designer theme has a 3.8 compatible version ready for immediate download. Purchasers of Designer will find the new files available on their members homepage once you log in.

Okay, let me quickly explain some things. First, sorry this has taken so long...Second, this isn't our "Official" 3.8 version. Yes it works and it works well. However, we have been trying to release our newly updated themes with a bunch of new features for 3.8. Unfortunately, we had some problems making Designer compatible (not with WPEC but actually with WordPress 3.2!) and in the end, I made the decision to get out a version which is much the same as the original, only more stable and available for WPEC 3.8. We did the same thing with the Instant theme last month and I want to assure you that now that our themes are all 3.8 ready, we will be making both of those themes even more spectacular, starting with Designer.

So, while you're enjoying the new Designer theme finally with WPEC 3.8 compatibility, rest assured that we will very shortly release the newer version with gridview, unified search and by popular demand, a new slider option.

For now, let me get back to our support forums where I'm sure many are waiting patiently!

Storefront Elegance has its 1000th customer!

Yesterday at 1:01pm, Storefront Elegance made it's 1000th sale! We originally launched Elegance the very first day that Storefront Themes opened on August 12, 2010. Since that time, Elegance has maintained an average of 100 sales/month, bringing us to this tremendous landmark in only 1o months. We had no idea we were even close to this since we don't look at our numbers all that much, but I saw that we were going to get there soon just a couple of days ago and today we did!

I think we ought to give lucky number 1000 a prize don't you? Well, since we didn't officially announce this as a contest, we had better ask permission first before displaying their name on our blog, but we will be giving the lucky winner a free copy of our newest plugin which will be hitting our digital shelves any day now...what is this new plugin you ask? Basically it allows you to automatically publish your products to your facebook page directly from your wp-e-commerce powered site...neat, huh? Expect it sometime next week. It's actually been done for a while, but we wanted to focus on updating our older themes before launching anything new.

A Minor Update for Storefront Original

Okay, so this is the same drill as we did for Storefront Elegance...we are currently updating Storefront Original for WPEC 3.8. It should be out in a couple of days or at least this week for sure. In the meantime, we've released our final 3.7x compatible version. This brings Storefront Original up to the standards we are currently putting in place in all our themes...

1) Blogging

The theme now functions just like a regular WordPress theme in that the homepage defaults as a blog and all the regular WordPress blog settings apply. Also, we've implemented our new templating system which allows you to use any of the 4 page templates (Right Sidebar, Left Sidebar, Full-Width and Three Column) for your blog pages. This also changes the homepage functionality, meaning that in order to use the homepage as you see it in the demos, you need to create a static page and select the homepage template from the page attributes.

2) Translation Ready

We've converted all the text over to functions so that translation plugins like WPML can be used with the theme.

We hope those that need the fixes to the blog will enjoy this update. Existing customers of Storefront Original can download the updated theme from the members' homepage and for the rest of you, don't worry, it should be updated for 3.8 by the end of this week.