Theme Wars – Theme Designers Go To War, You Win

Theme Wars

Are you looking for a unique theme for your new or old WordPress blog? Then getting some designers to go to war with each other maybe the answer. How do you do that? This is where Theme Wars comes in. From a first glance, Theme Wars look like a WordPress theme store, but it’s far more than that.

Theme Wars is the brainchild of Unique Blog Designs. They’re the guys who created the theme for this blog. Theme Wars brings together the community, both blog designers and bloggers, who need a design. Here is how it works:

  1. Each week, any blog designer can submit an entry (his/her original design) into the “Weekly War.”
  2. The Weekly War will be a contest to design a particular type of theme (e.g. magazine, business, etc.) as voted on by the community (via poll) the week before.
  3. The top two designs which the community votes for will be sold in the Theme Store. The winning designers will receive 25% and 10%, respectively, each time their winning design sells.

Winning designers are also permanently invited to produce new themes for Theme Wars and share in the profits.

The Benefit to Designers and Bloggers

For designers, the benefits of Theme Wars is an opportunity to earn money by submitting their designs into the Weekly War. Not only will the winning designers receive a percentage of each sale, they will also earn a spot in the “Featured Designers” page, thereby giving them additional marketing and exposure for their brand.

For bloggers, the benefit is access to a wide range of themes from a wide range of different designers. Theme Wars will be truly listening to the feedback of the community via community polls and voting. Bloggers get to vote for the types of designs they would like to see and also the specific theme that the designs will build and sell.

All themes are be licensed under the WordPress GPL, which means that even with the basic theme license, bloggers will be able to use the themes on as many sites as they like.

Theme Wars Pricing

Themes are be priced at $69 for a multi-use license to $149 for a developer license (includes Photoshop documents). Theme Wars also offers a monthly membership to get access to all of the themes. This a great package for blogger who wish to try out a variety of themes or for bloggers with multiple blogs and wish to give each one a unique look.

An all access standard pass to Theme Wars cost $20 per month plus a one-time payment of $147. This also gives you access to all past, present and future themes, as well as unlimited access to the support forum, documentation, video tutorials and theme updates.

An all access developer pass cost $27 per month plus a one-time payment for $177. This also gives you access to all past, present and future themes, as well as unlimited access to the support forum, documentation, video tutorials, theme updates and Photoshop files.

The Magazine Themes

Theme Wars

I get many emails from readers asking about my “magazine style” theme with its scrolling featured articles on the front page. The usual question is what plugin does that? The answer is none However, Theme Wars feature quite a few themes with the feature articles feature. Check out the Clean Mag Theme and the ColorMatic Theme to see two great examples.

Both themes are available for only $69 each for the multi-use license or $149 for the developer license. If you want UBD to create a 100% custom theme like John Chow dot Com, be prepared to spend $3,500 to $7,000. The Theme Wars themes look damn good now, doesn’t it?

Theme Wars – From The Makers Unique Blog Designs


68 thoughts on “Theme Wars – Theme Designers Go To War, You Win”

  1. This sounds like a fun concept. “Blog Wars”.

    Though, I wonder if we should be competing against each other. Art is art and should not be a competition.

    Let the wars begin 🙂

    1. d3so says:

      I’m sorry to shock you but there have been art competitions going on within the last millenia 😉

      1. Yeah there have been many competitions between designers.

        The Olympic logo was also a contest/competition/war between designers.

        And there are many competitions going on everyday with the name of ‘logo contest’ on forums.

        1. Yeah…not to mention DP where you get can a theme developed pretty easily…the thing with these places is that you get what you pay for…I know Unique Blog Designs puts out some quality stuff…so this makes it an interesting project to follow.

      2. lol…really…I highly doubt that. d3so gettin a little edgy 🙂

        1. PPC Ian says:

          Yeah! D3so is getting a little edgy!

    2. Nathan Lee says:

      Competition is good. Competition brings out the best in people, not the worst.

      1. it also bring out all walks of life…so I’m sure there will be a lot of people who think they can chop up a design, put it back together and try to get a profit from it…

        1. Nathan Lee says:

          @Online College Courses

          From my point of view, the winner is still the winner.

          Kings and leaders around the world all over history have cheated many people to get there.

          And I admire them for doing whatever it takes to get to the top.

          1. Interesting outlook…Hitler cheated many people, are you saying you admire him???

          2. That is a bit over the top, don’t you think? SY

    3. It’s definitely catchy and has a lot of potential…should be interesting to see where this goes.

  2. Simon Bunker says:

    I remember seeing this launched sometime back however it seemed to die a death pretty quickly. Has the project been resurected now? I think it’s a great idea and think that the price is about bang on for what you get.

    1. d3so says:

      It’d be worth it if the community was still active. It seems dead 🙁

      1. Jason says:

        I think if a designer has a really great theme or multiple themes, then they will just put up a website to market them on their own.

        I know if I was developing some really premium themes, I would not want to have someone else sell them for me and take a profit from my creative work.

        If a persons theme’s are really that great, then they will sell like wild fire without having someone else sell them for you.

        1. Having a great theme without anybody knowing about it won’t make it sell.

          It’s been shown time and time again that it’s not necessarily the best products that sell like wildfire but those that are marketed well and on a massive scale.

          Designers who design have very little time for marketing. It’s way better to make 50% or even 30% or less on a huge amount of sales than 100% on a few or no sales.

          1. “Having a great theme without anybody knowing about it won’t make it sell.”

            that is where marketing yourself comes into play…you have forums, pay-per-click, seo, commenting, reviews…so many ways to market a great product. I think if the product is great and placed infront of the right audience, that’s all you really need.

          2. Jason says:

            I agree that just having a great theme by itself will not make it sell. But, if you are the type of person that is willing to put in the time and effort that it would take to make a premium theme, then it shouldn’t be to hard for you to put up the effort to market it.

            People that can make themes that are on the caliber of what john has, could put up a website to market it in a couple of days. They could then pick up a couple books or eBooks on marketing and web copy and they would be off and running.

            It takes a lot of self confidence to venture into doing something like this, but a person would be better off had.

        2. I would probably agree with someone talented just marketing it themselves and keeping 100% of the rev.

          That’s what I would def do…even though some ppc at it

      2. Maybe the designers were having difficulty coming up with weekly themes?

        1. possibly, or they spread themselves out to thin…could be a lot of different things.

      3. Yeah, they’re going to have to hit the design forums and sites to really do a good job at promoting this…also getting reviews from the big guns will help.

    2. Interesting, I had never heard of this before…only time will tell if history repeats itself huh…

  3. Dino Vedo says:

    I’ve been checking out Themewars for a while now, but it seems like they don’t get new themes very often! 🙁 It’s been the same themes for quite some time now….

    1. d3so says:

      Yeah, the latest themes are dated 2009.

      1. they may be jump starting it again…or an attempt to…

    2. Yes they need to market it very well …

      They picked very catching titles … now they have to make this as really battle field of designer soldiers.

      1. Great designer just needs to market services better.

        1. That would probably be the first step after creating a good design…

      2. exactly…they can build a great brand with the catchy name and what not…it just needs to be backed with follow through

    3. That’s the common topic…sounds like most people have heard of them, they just not delivering or its not catching among the developer world

  4. d3so says:

    What a timely post. I’m actually ditching thesis for a theme wars theme which I’ll setup soon.

    What sucks is that they haven’t released a new theme since last year.
    I don’t get the point of this post.

    1. Aren’t you contradicting yourself d3so?

      You say what a timely post and two lines below that you say I don’t get the point of this post.

      Which is it?

      1. Does as theme have to be brand new to be good?

        The newest things are not necessarily the best.

        John thinks what they have now is good.

        1. Dino Vedo says:

          Well with old themes the chances of it being passed around, downloaded, and being used on other sites is much larger than new themes.

          Not to mention they may not be compatible with newer wordpress updates and plugins.

          So yes, I’d rather get a new theme…

          PS: What D3so meant is that hes been planning on changing his theme so this theme post was timely, yet themewars havent changed their themes for years….

          1. d3so says:

            Well, put Dino!
            I’m very disappointed. I had to code the theme to get the features I wanted working. Even basic features 🙁

  5. I read about them first time at JohnChow.Com

    But after that no head turning news from them.

    This is really a great concept they simply need aggressive marketing.

    1. If the themes are good, you now know about them. Why worry about their marketing?

      You will either buy a theme on it’s own merit or not. At least I would. Is it the head turning news that makes you buy?

  6. Nathan Lee says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of theme wars so have to check them out. I usually buy themes from Solostream and Elegant Theme. They create some of the best looking WordPress themes.

    I’m surprise that many bloggers don’t even want to spend $100 to buy a beautifully designed theme. I see so many blogs have great content, but their layout is so hard on the eye I have to leave.

    In fact, with all the WordPress themes surfacing, John Chow’s custom made theme is getting old. I think I have the best looking blog, no offense.

    1. Your blog doesn’t have ANY color… might want to think about changing that.

      1. Nathan is really laying it on thick. He has the best looking theme and John’s theme is getting old. What a modest guy.

        If his theme is so great and the look of it so important I wonder why everyone is visiting John’s blog instead of his.

        Nathan,
        If you have to leave as blog with great content because of the lay out not matching your fancy than what you are after is superficial.

        1. Nathan Lee says:

          I say one thing and you interpret it another way. LOL. You should be a lawyer.

          I say John Chow’s blog design is getting old because looking at all the new web 2.0 themes, it is.

          And would you read from websites like this: http://www.jrvelasco.com/.

          The problem is the navigation. I can’t really get to the older articles unless I keep on clicking, “Older Entries”.

        2. Nathan Lee says:

          “If his theme is so great and the look of it so important I wonder why everyone is visiting John’s blog instead of his”. – Email List Building

          People are visiting John Chow’s blog because it have been around for a while and have “loyal followers” like yourself. Also, it have good contents.

          I don’t recommend John to change his theme though. It is best to stick to one design. And I’m not saying it’s ugly because everything is easy to read and kind of easy to navigate.

          It’s getting old with all the competition, that’s all. But it is unique, because it’s exclusive.

          And yes, my blog is the best looking. I bet you can’t find many blogs that’s as easy to navigate and colorful, but not too colorful like mine. Now that I have everything set up, I’ll start promoting and adding contents daily (hopefully).

      2. Nathan Lee says:

        Izzy, I chose this design because of other popular sites such as yahoo and youtube. They don’t have much colors. I can easily choose a colorful themes. Just say. LOL.

      3. Nathan Lee says:

        “Your blog doesn’t have ANY color… might want to think about changing that.” Insurance Izzy

        Is this what you really think? LOL. I’m not the best artist or designer, but I know what have colors and what doesn’t.

        And by saying this theme doesn’t look good, you’re not insulting me, but rather Solostream.

        Maybe you can show me a blog that have color? You can say John Chow’s and I’ll agree because it does have color. LOL.

    2. Dino Vedo says:

      You have the best looking theme? hahahahha that was a good one. I looked at your theme and its soooo basic. Whites and greys? Really? And not to mention your awesome eye catchy logo right??

      Sorry but mine and Johns blow yours out of the water.

      1. d3so says:

        His theme looks awesome not to mention his awesomer domain name! Wait what was it again??? 😉

  7. Rick Krenz says:

    Off Topic: Is anyone else getting warnings from your virus program when visiting JC.com? An exploit keeps popping up for me from kanius.net/zl/s3. Just wondering.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I am not getting any warning, works for me!

    2. Nathan Lee says:

      Not happening for me. Maybe you got that virus somewhere else.

    3. Paul B says:

      Confirmed, Avast picks it up as a malware infection. If you only use AV software set to monitor your local file system you’ll not see it. I only got it when I moved from my work to the family PC.

  8. Doug says:

    So if you win, the developer only gets 25% of the total sale of their theme?

    1. Paul B says:

      Yes – bargain. Wonder why it died a death the first time around 😉

      I tend to get most of my themes from Theme Forest which was a paid review on John Chow, one of the best services I think he’s ever reviewed IMHO. I’m never that fussed what I site looks like, traffic and conversion is more important to me but sometimes it’s nice to have a fancy scroller!

      1. Nathan Lee says:

        Yes, I like Theme Forest, Solostream, and Elegant Themes.

        I checked out Themes Wars, but it’s not as good as the other. I think Theme Wars was popular for a while and now it’s dieing.

    2. Nathan Lee says:

      I wish they would pay the developer more because that’s their design. I hate websites and companies that takes all the money from the real creator/seller, like eBay and iStock.

  9. Jeff Bode says:

    Awesome idea, I usually give some of my themes away… because every blog should have a cool theme. I might just join this contest and submit some of my new themes.

    1. Or sell the theme links at the footer to people looking for seo opportunities 🙂

    2. Nathan Lee says:

      I just visited you’re website and can’t navigate back. I can’t even close your subscription box.

      I don’t recommend you promote your mailing list like this because it pisses people off too much.

      If you have a cleaner website that shows your artwork, post a link and let everyone know.

      1. Dino Vedo says:

        Its called a exit pop script. All you have to do is press enter when it pops up… really not that hard.

        1. Paul B says:

          Have you even tried it? He’s combining a couple of functions which have the effect of rendering the browser back button useless.

          Anything that takes control of the browser away from the visitor is spammy as hell. I wouldn’t go near a theme designer that thought this was acceptable.

  10. Interesting idea, not sure if that’s enough incentive for developers. If there was data to back the pricing distributions, then it may sway a few more people

  11. PPC Ian says:

    What an awesome idea! I have worked extensively with the UBD team and give them my top recommendation.

  12. bruce says:

    yea, i’m not sure the incentives are really that great for the developers and designers when they only get 25% of the profits. and i’m not so sure how many people will actually pay those ridiculous fees to shop for a design unless it were free for the members who pay. so not only do i pay a one time fee of $147, but also a monthly fee of $20 just to be able to vote for a design that i would have to pay for if i wanted? no thanks…

  13. I like searching themes for my niches and free blogs.
    Hope you got all themes categories. Sometimes I have difficulties looking for the right theme for my blogs.

  14. Competition brings out the best designs. It’s a great idea and the price is right!

  15. The idea is good, but the price is too high and the themes too few. You might be better off commissioning a theme that is custom made and unique to your blog. Or make one yourself, with Atahualpa for example, SY

  16. So hows theme bar is going on …

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