This year has been crazy. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone, either only mentally or financially as well, and Themesberg has been no exception. I’ve been talking with developers using our themes, and they were telling me that they had lost some of their clients because of the restrictions put in place in some countries.
Ultimately, I believe that with the arrival of the vaccine, we are already at the beginning of the end, and we can expect the next year to be a lot more forgiving, a time to heal. I sincerely hope that all of us will be able to recover from this year.
With that being said, I invite you to read this year-in-review article where I’m going to talk about what we did this year, what were our accomplishments, our failures, and what the future may bring for Themesberg.
Work, work, and a lot of work
Themesberg was co-founded by Robert Tanislav and myself, Zoltán Szőgyényi. Professionally, we are a designer and a developer from Timisoara, Western Romania, located in Eastern Europe.
Our main vision is to provide high-quality design and code and thus empower developers and software companies to build websites faster, cut the time writing boilerplate code, and cut the costs of paying a designer when the budget is tight.
Since 2019 when we started building the first project (Pixel UI Kit), we never received financial support or investments, so all we could do is invest a lot of effort and time ourselves. Since then, we have launched 13 themes, of which 5 are open-source and have been starred by over 2k developers on Github.
Some of our projects became popular, such as Windows 95 UI Kit became trending on HackerNews, or Neumorphism UI became the #4 product of the day on Product Hunt, or that the first Bootstrap 5 Admin Dashboard on the market that we’ve built was trending on Github for almost three days.
Who is using our themes and platform?
So right now, the majority of our users are web developers, designers, software companies, agencies, startup companies, software engineering students, and public government institutions.
We are happy to see that both premium and open-source projects are being used by clients such as the United States Department of Energy, television companies from Poland, hundreds of awesome startup companies and agencies all over the world, and even students from Harvard and Cambridge.
Next year we plan on expanding our set of technologies that we provide our themes in, and some of them include Tailwind CSS, React, Vue, Angular, Svelte, Laravel, and of course, Wordpress. We would like 2021 to be the year when we can start saying: do you need a website? You don’t know how to code? No problem, we got you covered!
Improving the platform and marketplace
I believe that Themesberg as a platform and marketplace is only as strong as the products listed here, but this is also true from the other way around, the products are as good as the platform which is listed on.
We’ve been working a lot to improve Themesberg and provide more meaningful content through our blog, the knowledge center, the product pages, and the overall user experience starting from creating an account to downloading a theme.
Some of the improvements that we’ve shipped this year are: completely redesigned the product page, wrote over 30 blog posts and tutorials, wrote 10 knowledge center items, improved the theme download experience, improved the security of the website, massively reduced loading time, improved the payment checkout process, integrated lifecycle email notifications, created a custom development page, launched an affiliate program, and added categories and subcategories for the themes.
We have over 100 to-do items still to be finished on our shortlist for the platform, so we have no shortage of ideas. A lot of them were requested by the users, so if you have an idea that you’d like to be implemented, feel free to let us know in the comments section.
An overview of the website traffic and sales data
Traffic to our website has more than tripled since 2019 reaching almost 100k unique visitors in 2020, with most visitors coming from the United States (14.04%), closely followed by India (12.05%), followed then by Indonesia (5.34%), Germany (4.00%), United Kingdom (3.63%), France (3.44%), Japan (3.11%), Romania (2.52%), Brazil (2.40%), and Canada (2.23%).
The general breakdown for the source of traffic is as follows: 33.97% from search engines, 31.65% from direct access, 27.32% through referrals, 4.37% from social media, and 2.68% from emails. We’re glad to see that there is an equilibrium between the sources. I’d like to point out that generally, we don’t run ads anywhere, so a huge proportion of the registered traffic is organic.
Although we love the open-source community and projects, we still need to pay our bills by selling the premium version of the open-source projects. Themesberg generated sales of over $25,000 by selling licenses, with an overwhelmingly large proportion of sales coming from the United States, and quite interestingly a lot of sales coming from Germany and Japan as well.
Here’s an image of the list of sales sorted by each country:
Investment from Creative Tim
Towards the end of September, we have concluded one of the most important decisions that we’ve made this year, by accepting Creative Tim as an investor in Themesberg. The decision was not taken lightly, however, because we’ve been collaborating so well with their team, even launched a product together, we accepted their proposal to become shareholders within the company. We’ve also written an article about the investment if you’re interested.
The investment did not change the leadership of the company nor did it change the vision that we’ve been working towards since the beginning, but it did help us grow more sustainably following their experience and advice from the industry. Overall, we’re very happy with the decision, and we’re even happier to say that the association itself was a lot more beneficial than the money itself.
2021: a brave new year
Following 2020, such a crazy and unpredictable year, who in the right mind can make plans anymore? I believe that 2020 has made us stronger and despite all of the challenges we faced, we have positively impacted the web industry, we grew as a company, and not only survived this year but managed to grow quite surprisingly.
Our vision for 2021 is to start offering themes in CMS technology such as Wordpress so that anyone eager to create a website should have the possibility to choose from the professional templates from Themesberg. Furthermore, we are already expanding our current set of products to be available in popular libraries and frameworks, such as React, Vue, Angular, Laravel, and many more.
We will most certainly keep writing useful blog posts about web development, write knowledge center items, launch new exciting projects, of which some of them under open-source licensing, and keep providing meaningful and useful updates for the Themesberg platform.
All of these things will be done with the energy and passion of the team behind Themesberg, but also with the help of our partners, namely Creative Tim and AppSeed, and the talented developers and designers that we work with. With that being said, a big thank you to everyone involved in the story of Themesberg - we couldn’t have done it without you all.
I also want to thank every single one of you for reading this article, whether you’ve used one of our themes, purchased it, or just have been reading some of our blog posts. You are the reason this website is alive and kicking, and we hope that your expectations will be met in the future and that our projects can bring your work and business value in the long term.
And for the last paragraph that will be published this year on the blog, I want to wish you health, happiness, and prosperity during the holidays and an awesome new year.
Zoltán, CEO of Themesberg