From Cory Miller, co-founder of iThemes…
I wanted to take a moment to help explain the back story of iThemes … and how we got to where we are today … so here’s the iTheme story, which is also my story too:
After editing my personal website for several years using Dreamweaver and dealing with the hassle of updating each individual page on my site when I added new content (this was before I found out what a CMS really was), I found this cool free online software called WordPress.
I started using it for my first blog almost two years ago now and found it made it so incredibly easy to manage my blog that I decided to use it for my website and every new website or blog I started.
With WordPress, I could write new posts, or static pages in minutes … and tweak my site anytime I wanted. And when I needed to change things, like a copyright date in my footer, I made one change in that theme file, and click “Update” and viola, done … on every page on my site!
Because I’ve always considered myself a guerrilla, bootstrapping type of marketer, I naturally began to see the value of using WordPress as a simple, easy and cheap (free) content management system for every new website I created too.
At the time, I was working for an organization (a church in fact) with a limited, nonexistence web budget, so I converted our organization’s website into WordPress so I could manage it online from anywhere in the world (or maybe just my home on a Saturday morning), provided I had a web connection. Then when each new unit started asking for new websites, I created them in WordPress and gave them the keys to manage it themselves online.
What a relief!
After all this, I began to think: “Small businesses could use WordPress to create and manage their sites too.”
And after seeing the search engine value for using WordPress, with a few optimization tips I learned along the way, and a good Theme … I knew they could leverage all this to develop new prospects for their business through online marketing, while also putting the power to update their websites in their hands.
Eventually, we started iThemes so we could focus on all this full-time.
And from the beginning at iThemes, we wanted to produce high-quality, search engine optimized WordPress web templates for small businesses, professionals and organizations — from real estate agents to churches to photographers, and thousands of niche industries in between — to help them create and manage websites in an affordable way.
Hopefully, if we’ve done our job, it saves you time, money and hassle!
If you look through our Theme Store, our Themes are not built strictly for blogs or to even be blogs. They are built to be and run entire small business websites that might want integrated blogs to develop an interactive community around their products and services and find new customers via the search engines. Of course, you don’t have to use the blog function, but it can certainly become a great marketing tool in your arsenal.
One thing we’ve focused on as well is investing in high-end, professionally-designed templates. We’ve sought out and hired the best web designers to build themes that would normally cost well over $2,000 for a comparable custom design. In fact, it costs between $3,000-$5,000 on average for us to build just one of our theme series.
If you do the math, when you purchase one of our iThemes, you’re paying a small fraction of that cost.
On the backend, we aspire to produce the best, most well-designed code — the CSS stylesheets, XHTML and WordPress options — into our themes. Neatly organized, so you, the do-it-yourselfers, can find and tweak your designs to get them exactly the way you like it.
We’re also improving and adding features to our themes so you don’t have to touch the code either — like being able to upload a custom logo straight from WordPress.
In addition to building an extensive WordPress video tutorial section, to help you with your questions, we’ve also got an active user-to-user support forum, with two moderators who peruse the boards each day to help answer your questions or point you in the right direction to find them.
We’re doing all this simply because … we want to build the best WordPress themes for small businesses.
So that’s it … the iThemes story in a nutshell!