If you have been here at Rough Pixels before, something might appear a bit different. Perhaps it might be the brighter colours or the layout looks different somehow? Refresh the front page and you might notice the three theme screenshots change! Let me take you through everything that I did…
Still Some Changes Coming
After 6 weeks of redesigning Rough Pixels, I still might make additional changes to the style, but we will see. As crazy as this sounds, I’ve been known to make changes to my websites often. Changing your website often is actually a bad habit to get into.
Originally, the plan was to design the site to be minimalist in style and also utilize a light-coloured concept. In fact, when I launched the site just last night, the very colourful (blues, purples, pinks) was just not doing it for me. So I just spent the last 5 hours making some adjustments and decided to go with blues with an orange accent colour on some elements.
One thing I noticed that needs attention (which I will tackle tomorrow) is load times. The previous older version had a score of 97/100, but this new site, not so much. Time for me to dig in and get the speed up!!
Why Did I Redesign Rough Pixels?
To be honest, I didn’t mind the previous design, but with a new year arriving and the fact it was going to be 2020, I wanted to give the site something new. Of course, there are many other reasons, which I will take you through…
- New Design Wanted – A new year and the excitement of having a new design;
- The Gutenberg Block Editor – I decided to make the redesign project an opportunity to take the block editor through its paces and find out how well it works building a website such as this.
- Content Needed Restructuring – This is basically “a work in progress” to find a more efficient layout of content. The main focus was put upon theme setup tutorials. They way I had them before were in need of fixing. Themes now have a 1-page document with all relevant tutorials built into it with their own table of contents.
- Theme Details – The previous theme pages simply needed a bit more pizazz, so I added featured boxes with images.
- New Theme Pricing – For 2020, Rough Pixels has made changes to theme pricing; memberships too.
- Single Theme – We dropped the price for all single themes from $59 to $49.
- Single Theme (Lifetime) – A new option which gives you lifetime support and updates. I decided to add this option because many people realize that most theme shops have 1-year terms. When this expires, their theme support and updates expire. With Rough Pixels, you now have this option where you pay once and that’s it!
- All Access – We kept this very popular option where you get access to all current and future theme releases.
- Designer Membership – Although this is not displayed, we are currently holding on to the 2-year designer membership option which is perfect for web designers. If interested, please contact us.
- Premium Support – At this time, we have not enabled this option yet, but this is for anyone who wants to add premium support for their expired premium themes, but also for their Free themes.
- Push for Free Themes – We will be focusing on free themes! Ultimately, we are looking to create a free version of most if not all of our premium theme versions. In a nutshell, expect more free themes!
- Focusing on Gutenberg – I rebuilt this website using the block editor, but I made a decision to build new themes around the Gutenberg block editor. The reality is, the block editor is here, so for the longevity of WordPress themes, the decision made was important. Will they still support the Classic Editor? For now, yes.
Every theme and plugin website will review its pricing structure as each year comes along. Throughout the year, things change such as operating expenses, plugin renewals, among other not-so-fun things. In some circumstances, the competitive realm can also have an effect.
After reviewing expenses for 2019 and what we are seeing for 2020, we had to make a few adjustments.
The “some-what” Bad News
- Although still competitive, we increased the All Access membership to $129 US
- The Designer (2-year membership) is removed as a purchase option, but it’s still available upon request at $189 US.
The Good News
- We lowered the single theme purchase from $59 down to $49 US for each theme;
- We added a new Single Lifetime purchase option: Pay once only for lifetime support & updates for $69 US;
- All single themes and the All Access Membership now offer a 50% savings on renewals;
- You can now upgrade your regular Single theme purchase to the Single – Lifetime option for just $20 US
NOTE: If you already have a single theme purchase that has not expired yet, you qualify for the upgrade to the Single Lifetime option for just $20. Log into this website and visit:
Members > Purchase History > View License > View Upgrades.
Quality is More Important than Quantity
Probably one of the more important changes in mindset is to focus on quality than quantity. People want quality, and even though our themes are built with WordPress standards, I’ve decided to remove scheduled theme releases.
It’s great to have a lot of theme choices but the most important factor is to ensure the end-user is getting a product that is high-quality! Great design, stability, scalability, flexibility, and longevity are factors when we focus on quality.
My goal for this year is to return to our existing themes and perform regular updates while designing new themes throughout 2020. Yes, more themes are coming, but they won’t be based on schedules with the need to pump out as many as I can release.
The Gutenberg Block Editor
I briefly touched base on the fact that new theme releases will be built around the Gutenberg block editor. I will still make themes compatible with the Classic Editor plugin, but the block editor is where things are now.
Expect themes to change within a year, where you will start to see the push for block-area-based themes. You may want to read my other article about the future of WordPress themes.
Quick little side note…because I rebuilt Rough Pixels completely with the block editor, I will write a post describing what my experience was like. Stay tuned!
Don’t worry, I have not forgotten about ClasscPress (the fork of WordPress) which does not contain the Gutenberg block editor. The one thing they wanted to make sure of, is to not have the block editor. Instead, you get to keep the classic editor without any hint of Gutenberg.
I mentioned ClassicPress because not too long ago I was talking about offering a few dedicated themes for it. I’m still “considering” it, but at this time, I am watching how ClassicPress progresses. It’s still a young CMS (content management system), so the market for ClassicPress themes is not there yet as they focus on plugins first.
I Can Always Go Back
Because of the massive redesign and restructuring, should anything go wrong, the best thing is that I can always restore the site back to what it was before. The bonus of having backups!
Do You Have Any Thoughts?
Take a stroll through the new Rough Pixels website and offer any comments that you may have. Don’t be shy if you want to give feedback in the comments, whether pros or cons. Your feedback will help make the site even better.
As for myself, I’m still wondering if the colour scheme is the right one or if I need to go for something different.