Has a New Project:

Happy JoeIt’s been something we started talking about before our retreat in September, and then we stayed up wayyy past some of our bedtimes at our campfire talking about it some more during the retreat. Now it has a name AND a face: Happy Joe! Doesn’t he just look happy? I couldn’t decide if James should give him a sloppy joe sandwich or a cup ‘o joe, so I kept my mouth shut on that subject.

We’re keeping pretty tight lips on exactly what HJ is and why you want it before you even know what it is, so you’ll just have to trust me that you want to sign up for his Twitter feed and sign up for his newsletter.

You remember what we did to the industry when we launched FlexxTheme… you ain’t seen nothing yet. I couldn’t be more proud to be working with our team on the iThemes brand, launching 2 themes in a week (well, we have some IE menu issues on the one that was scheduled for today), expanding into Movable Type, and now this… it’s all pretty amazing for just 5 guys spread across the country. Is Open for Business - ready for traffic! - ready for traffic!

I’ve been working hard, too hard in some family members’ minds, on my freelance site over the last two weeks. Now that it’s done, I can relax and reap the rewards for a job very well done.

I am in a very unique position at iThemes in that I am the front line of contact with our customers, not just one of the front line. There are only so many things that we offer for support that is included in the price of our premium WordPress themes. We can’t train someone from scratch how to use WordPress or learn enough CSS and HTML code to change their site. We offer answers to specific questions, but projects need to be directed elsewhere.

For the last couple of months, I have been directing them my way for some literal moonlighting. I typically start my second work day around 9-10pm and work until midnight on projects. It’s great money, creates networking contacts, and makes iThemes to be an all-around solution, even if one has to pay for certain services.

It became rather tedious, though, to reply to someone that they can contact a moderator or myself for services and write a long e-mail about my services and fees and hope they e-mailed me back on my personal e-mail. Since I’d been holding on to for about 15 months waiting to finally develop some content, I decided to make it about promoting me and what I do rather than me forcing myself into writing or producing material. Now I can simply refer people to my namesake domain (I sure hope they spell both names right later) and they can see that I am the real deal with testimonials and links to prove it. Not to mention the theme I’m running – /horn toot!

I’m quite proud of what I did at the bottom of my home page, though I openly admit that my wife had a LOT of very constructive and helpful suggestions about certain elements of the home page and it now passes with flying colors in her very distinguishing design opinion. Please check out that little area and the hover action on the guy, especially. I’d have to say I’m more proud of the bird and my graphic and code work putting that together, but the Image is Everything ad is definitely my best marketing work to date.

Customized code turned these from text areas to this!

Customized code turned these from text areas to this!

This is actually our latest iThemes release, and the first of 2009 for our rapidly expanding group of 2009 Theme Club customers. By purchasing the Club package, customers are entitled to every theme we produce this calendar year, so the release of this theme, called Architect (demo site here), produced a new wave of sign-ups today. My fingers were quite busy creating new member site logins for their download access since the value of receiving our premium themes at less than $35 per multi-use license them is $100 off per theme! The more themes we produce over our promised number reduces the cost per theme to the customer even more.

Flexx’ing My Design Muscles

With the last stages of our latest, revolutionary theme well underway (target release day is Thursday morning), I have been exploring my inner design freak that has been trying to get out since I created all of the skinning for my gaming blog: at the end of last year.

I’ve helped our designer, James Dalman, on a couple of images in the last month or so, but we’ve decided to help each other out with our trades: I help him with the code and WordPress questions for his personal site, and he is helping me with learning graphic design and made me one of the cool headers I’m sporting now that got my juices flowing. Sorry about the dude in them… they are the best I had to offer of my mug. We’ll see if Jason Dowd can take a better photo of me someday soon.

I’m trying to make this site really showcase FlexxTheme in a major way, so hold on to your hats, because things are going to look really good soon. I hope you enjoy my launch post that will go live on Thursday morning.

Last Site Design Until Flexx Architect

Flexx Architect - Red

This is my last re-design until our long-anticipated uber-theme, Flexx Architect, is released. I’m busy working on the demo site’s content and ensuring that it will showcase all of its features, include tutorials linked right in there. If you would like to get a chance at Flexx Architect before anyone else, you have to purchase the 2008 Theme Club, and the individual price of our Flexx themes will be a significant portion of the Club price.

My goals for Flexx Architect as the Customer Service Manager are:

  • Anticipate customer questions
  • Anticipate customer requests
  • Showcase images, galleries, headings, and HTML styles
  • Incorporate monetization as an oft-requested feature
  • Develop more tutorials for this theme than any I have before (>14)

For any of you who missed the big announcement, here is what Flexx Architect is all about: The Best Premium Theme by iThemes Yet!