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Author Topic: How often are new templates released?  (Read 20696 times)
tdiver72
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« on: October 13, 2016, 04:35:56 PM »

I was under the impression that new templates are released monthly but that does not seem to be the case since I placed my order. Is there a schedule that I am unaware of?

In 2014 you released 12 joomla templates.
In 2015 you released 12 joomla templates.
It is October of 2016 and you have only released 7 joomla templates.

A little clarification would be helpful for those of us who have already purchased a Joomla Developer account anticipating 12 templates per year, and for those who are looking to purchase.

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 07:14:25 AM »

Hello,

We have been on a 6 to 8 week release cycle for a few months now, it is explained in our blog post here:

http://www.shape5.com/blog/Shape5-Updates.html
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tdiver72
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 11:48:43 AM »

I am glad to hear that Jonah is on the mend. As a business owner I understand that these things cannot be helped and can bring down a small business.

Assuming the update at the bottom of the blog post is correct, you will now no longer be going back to a monthly release because of a "decline in joomla?"

When I invest in a template club, I am investing not only in the current offerings, but I buy in for a year to help that business grow, and in turn I expect it to help mine. I, and other developers, are excited to check back each month to see how our investment in your company is going to help us grow our own.

The unexpected change to what I had purchased a month prior is hard to swallow. As there is no firm release date on future templates (6-8 weeks) this leads me to believe that I should expect about half of what I thought I was buying. Since I purchased my developer license in June you have only released only one new template, while I fully expected 4 since then.

Again, I am sincerely glad to hear that Jonah is better. Answers to the questions above will help me understand what to expect from your company going forward.
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 01:23:48 PM »

Hello,

At this point we are planning on continuing the 6 to 8 week release cycle, the next week one will be out this weekend or early next week. The original shift was because of the health concerns of Jonah, but at the same time Joomla has been on decline for quite some time and so this became an appropriate time to pause and assess the entire situation. Several other popular clubs have altered their release cycles because of this as well. The success or decline of Joomla is heavily married into the business structure of clubs like ours and others, that as Joomla popularity fluctuates so does the need for products and the audience that we support. That doesn't mean that we won't still be producing templates, we will and they will continue to be a high quality level. And that doesn't mean the cycle couldn't change again the future; but for now we are sticking with the 6 to 8 week cycle. Keep in mind that with a membership you are not just getting the templates that are released during the membership, but also the ones prior. We have over one hundred templates, many of which still remain very popular to do this day and are used by brand new customers as well as existing. Also, although we have historically provided one template per month, and sometimes more than that, we have never made a guarantee to how many templates or other products we will release.
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pbdesign
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2016, 03:07:38 PM »

I agree, If we are paying for a yearly membership for the twelve months as per our sign up then we should get a credit or difference on our membership.

As for Joomla, It is stronger than ever and there is much hype in the marketplaces that is wrong. Joomla continues to grow and where I think clubs are mislead or feeling the impact is due to marketplaces like Creative Market or Envato. They truly have put a dent on template clubs but still do not compare to the clubs benefits.

I am also glad to hear that Jonah is better however a business needs to function daily with the agreement that is set forth by the company to their clients or as in this case your customers.

I have been with Shape 5 for years under 2 other accounts and I always remained loyal however I understand time are changing then you should add an additional 6 months of service to our plans for these changes. Like many others, I have paid for a "monthly club release" in the original agreement therefore customers should be granted extended memberships or partial adjustments.

Wordpress has always been a leader in cms however it is not nearly as powerful as Joomla and the amount of bias towards Joomla is just pure hype from others who prefer other CMS formats. If you look at "marketplaces" you will notice more WP themes than Jooomla however look at the price differential from a WP theme to a Joomla theme.

The fact that Joomla has taken on a new engine and back end leaves many to adapt to change. When Joomla was a 1.5 it was long before the 2.5 release and many were happy with 1.5. When J2.5 came about the change was enormous and designers had to adapt. When Joomla started their monthly updates from 3.2 to 3.3 to 3.5 then 3.6 developers had to re-think on how to adapt once again. Compatible issues were a mess. Now with Joomla 4 on the horizon may are simply using a wait and see approach.

The bottom line is that more devs are following a trend they see WP making more sales than Joomla, Just look at Envato, Themeforest but in the end a price for one WP nearly $60 you can get a Club membership for much less.

The other fact that still remains is "template clubs" still have NOT learned their lesson on updating older themes which many have customers loved. If you look at older themes from J 2.5 many have never been updated to 3 and made responsive.. Some of the best themes ever made are older themes that look great and have no "cookie cutter" flat feel to them. I still think that Shape 5s "Game Crusade" gaming theme is one of the all time great ones but never was updated. A customer may purchase a club membership but you all know that many of the "older themes" will never be used in today's web design therefore it is a waste of money.

UPDATE YOUR THEMES, many clubs still never got the message. I know of many clubs who have done the updates and they are greatly rewarded for it.

I have been silent on this issue for long time and I finally had to bring it up. Nothing personal to Shape 5 or any other members or clubs but lets get the show on the road!


If you like Joomla you will stick with it and if you like WP you will stick with that or you can like them all!
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gary1417
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2016, 07:23:45 AM »

Hi Shape5,

I too hope and pray that Jonah is doing better for I myself have experienced just this year a setback  because of health reasons.

However, with that said I made adjustments that I thought was fair to my clients that my illness affected. We all are small businesses and sometimes things happen that may affect clients that we have. I also think some type of adjustment that would not kill the business (because I have much love for Shape5) is important to do. I did not even see that blog until today (which is on me) but  I was under the thought that a template was being released every month because each NEW template had more MODERN features and it can be different from the last client's site.

My records show that we only purchase annual memberships, it was for the very reason of getting a template every month. Since September I have been looking for other solutions but I love it here and the comparison of others do not SHAPE UP TO YOU. However, I do need more. Perhaps more extensions can be added, I am really not in a position  to suggest what you should do for your business but I am prayerful that it can be sought out.

According to your response in this thread, 6-8 week only gives an annual member 6.5 templates a year.

This is not a bash, because like I said before I have much love for Shape5, it just business and my only suggestion is to never forget that without customers I have found it hard to move forward.

Sincere and Humble Regards
Gary
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mikek
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2016, 12:14:35 PM »

Hello,

Thank you everyone for your feedback and continued to support, it is greatly appreciated. These have not been easy decisions to make, and hopefully everyone can see that the decline of a market puts stress on a company to adapt and change, as many of our competitors have already done. Regarding one template per month, I can understand the confusion since that is what we have historically provided, but that is simply how often we chose to release products. One template per month has never been part of our site terms that are agreed on at signup and renewal. When you purchase a membership we are not selling specific products or a guaranteed amount of products, you are purchasing the rights to use our products on a set number of domains, access to paid downloads, and support via our forum boards; that is it. Our terms actually specifically state that we do not guarantee the release of new products at all; which we have not done. All of the items of our terms have been provided to all of our members and continue to be provided so there is no violation of our agreement, and because of this the membership terms and periods will not be changing. As I stated above, you are given access to over 100 designs for the same price you would pay elsewhere for just a single product; that is an incredibly good deal.

Regarding updating old themes, there is virtually no market for that. We almost never get requests for the older designs, not to mention they are out dated in design and technology. Usually when we talk to customers about an older design it's because they've been using it for a while and now want to update to a more modern design with better aesthetics and functionality. We were one of the first template clubs to convert our framework based templates to Joomla 3.X and the first to come out with responsive designs, and because of that history we have a good repository of designs that are already meet today's standards.

Regarding Joomla itself, there are many factors to consider when assessing Joomla, the impact of places like Envato and other competitors is just a very small part of it. I don't want to get into a lot of details of Joomla itself since that's not the primary discussion here, but we've been monitoring its popularity for years now and there is little to no evidence of any kind of increase; that doesn't mean it can't rebound but I'm just stating what I see as the current state. Over the last 18 months there has been major decline, and other clubs and boards have said the same thing. Personally, it's my favorite CMS and what I use for projects if they come up, but that puts in me in a minority. Above there was mention of WordPress and I don't believe that WordPress is the absolute answer either, we have many customers who request to switch from Joomla to WordPress within our clubs, but there is evidence to suggest that even WordPress is losing popularity when you look at Google Trends. I think the biggest change is that companies like Wix have become so popular that many business owners can just create their own sites now at much cheaper costs, and many of them aren't that concerned about aesthetics.

I don't think Joomla is going away, and neither are we. I think the ideas of Joomla 4 have a lot of potential, but we won't know the impact of that until the new version is actually done.
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jonahh
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 02:29:44 PM »

Hey Guys,

Thanks for the concerns for my health. I am slowly regaining strength.

I can't believe its been 9 years Shape5 has been creating templates for Joomla. We love doing it and it has been a hard decision to make as Mike noted. We've seen the decline now for about 2 going on 3 years. Its been quite sad watching it and we hoped the decline would plateau. Unfortunately its just gotten to a really low point for us that we had to make a decision like this. A few points I want to add to this whole discussion to give more insight and perspective of where we are coming from. We do hope things turn around for us and Joomla grows or evolves to create a larger community again:

1. We haven't increased our prices in several years too. This also hurts alongside Joomla declining. We had tried and it was hurting us so we dropped back to the older pricing structure. It seems the majority of people want one theme. When they see the average price on Themeforest and other single purchase sites of $50 and they come to a club (which operates on a completely different business model) any price higher than this looks unfair and overpriced. We get questions all the time via email which shows most people don't understand and miss the whole benefit of having a club style business model (getting full access to our entire archive of products). Until Themeforest took off we were able to slowly increase our prices keeping up with inflation. But for several years we've been stuck at the current pricing structure with memberships continually declining on our site.

2. Our site traffic has dropped dramatically (we believe to Joomla's decline and its overall use) which means so do new club/paid memberships.

3. From what I've read it also seems the Joomla leadership team isn't setup like any other CMS. It seems to have caused a lot of drama in the community with decisions and progress. There have been harsh responses to community questions from the leadership team making it a negative atmosphere for users. This along with the lack of backward compatibility in versions before J3.x turned away a large portion of folks. It was a huge time consuming pain for us converting old templates to work on the newer Joomla versions there for a bit and I can't imagine what it did to those with clients. Extensions needed to be updated, etc which costs a lot of money especially as many developers never updated their extensions to work on the newer versions.

Joomla as a CMS is at a good point now but it just needs to grow in use and popularity again.
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pbdesign
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2016, 05:52:10 PM »

Hi Jonahh,

Glad you are well,

Since I recall shape 5 has released a theme every month consistantly so what you are saying is that Joomla being on the decline is a reason for the 6-8 period time for a theme. If this is the case then how will you explain your Wordpress club themes? If WP is on the rise then will you release a WP theme monthly and Joomla every 6-8 weeks? Is this fair?

I think Mikek is somewhat wrong when it comes to updating the old themes. For example Salon Spa, Sports Nation, Hexicon and Cali Rush are amazing themes and they should have been part of the update.  I know Joomla XTC has made updates to several of their most popular themes from 2.5 and this would have be so good for you guys. I understand the commitment and time it would take to manage this however it is something to re-think as a company.

It may also serve to maybe come up with a new price where you can have Joomla and WP themes for one price. This way if you feel Joomla is in decline you can get the newer themes in WP.

I also have seen many template clubs leave TF due to the heavy fees and approvals that it takes and clubs just leave Themeforest. As an author myself I see more devs coming to marketplaces to launch themes for Joomla and then eventually they start their own club. A good example is Arrowthemes. They started selling on TF a few years ago and now have their own club site and will eventually branch out.

I wish Shape 5 all the luck to you however could you consider price combining for J and WP or updating some old themes and if not that consider a 6 month extension so previous members don't feel outdated Smiley

Again this is nothing personal to Shape 5 or it's member base. With Joomla 4 on the way I am sure it will be a huge change and that I am excited for.


« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 05:55:32 PM by pbdesign » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2016, 07:00:20 AM »

Hi,

Difficult item here, first of all; I want not involve the health of a person in my reply.. Getting well is the first priority. If we have to wait until that, fine by me. No problem, glad to help.

As of the cycles of the templates as mentioned I am a bit worried, a 6 to 8 week cyclus is to long for me I'm afraid.  We are now going to the ninth week already ?  I have clients and don't want to use a template/source more then absolute necessary. Getting in repeat now already with one template and this is something I want to avoid at all cost.

As I renewed my developer account  for the third year on a row now, I have to admit that I expected a new template each month. Not one every 6 to 8 weeks.. usually this means more a 8 weeks release then a 6 week release.

If Joomla is in decline or not should not be the issue here, most members signed up to this community as a solid Joomla community. Reviews and third party articles on the web also recommend Shape5 a solid Joomla Community.

I'm not going to talk about that the price for developers is now about 100% more over night. For me, this is my last concern. True, there are over 100 designs. Only how many are responsive ? So the remaining (not responsive) ones are kind of useless to me.

I want to know is that what I/we can expect in the feature, because right now I don't know what to think of this besides that I am a bit disappointed... Please don't bring up "violation of our agreement". Then we are going into the wrong direction. We all love this community and want nothing more then a solid continuation of both sides.

As when it comes down to Wordpress, I would use a builder like Divi, not themes as most know it. For now, I love Joomla and intent to stay with Joomla as it is getting better the last years.

To keep it short, I need good acces on a acceptable timeline to nice templates and extensions or plugins. A maximum of 6 weeks I can accept. Then I think you guys can also recover. Will this still be the place in the future or not ?

Kind regards,
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mikek
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2016, 08:18:53 AM »

Hello,

I will try to answer some of the direct questions above:

"Since I recall shape 5 has released a theme every month consistantly so what you are saying is that Joomla being on the decline is a reason for the 6-8 period time for a theme. If this is the case then how will you explain your Wordpress club themes? If WP is on the rise then will you release a WP theme monthly and Joomla every 6-8 weeks? Is this fair?"

----Joomla is our primary source of business and what most of this company thrives on. This is an unfortunate side effect, but as we stated yesterday we make no guarantee to how many new releases there will be so there is still no issue here. There is also not much to suggest that WordPress is on an increase either, if you look striclty at Google trends they are showing a decline as well, not near to the extent of Joomla though: https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=joomla,wordpress

"I think Mikek is somewhat wrong when it comes to updating the old themes. For example Salon Spa, Sports Nation, Hexicon and Cali Rush are amazing themes and they should have been part of the update."

----We are talking about possibly putting together a tutorial for those who want to try to convert them, but we rarely get requests for any of this, maybe a year or two ago we did, but not anymore. The majority of our customers want more modern aesthetics and these designs no longer fit that mold. Design trends change and customers want designs that fit today's standards.

"It may also serve to maybe come up with a new price where you can have Joomla and WP themes for one price. This way if you feel Joomla is in decline you can get the newer themes in WP."

----We will be looking at many options, but we can't guarantee any changes. The WordPress market is nearly impossible to get into because of how established all the competitors are and the volume of them; other clubs that have tried getting into WordPress have said similar things.

"If Joomla is in decline or not should not be the issue here, most members signed up to this community as a solid Joomla community. Reviews and third party articles on the web also recommend Shape5 a solid Joomla Community. "

----Some may have, but that's certainly not the majority of our customer base. Most customers see one particular product that they want and they signup for that one product and the benefits of a membership and community go right over their heads. So yes, the decline of Joomla is a major issue and part of this discussion, because our business model is tied so closely to those who want only one product (not developers) and as that market dwindles so does everything else.

"True, there are over 100 designs. Only how many are responsive ? So the remaining (not responsive) ones are kind of useless to me."

----I just did a rough count and we have 51 that are responsive, that's a very good variety of responsive designs.

"I want to know is that what I/we can expect in the feature, because right now I don't know what to think of this besides that I am a bit disappointed... Please don't bring up "violation of our agreement". Then we are going into the wrong direction. We all love this community and want nothing more then a solid continuation of both sides."

----I am sorry that you are disappointed, and so are we, but we have to do what makes business sense as well. It is going to remain on a 6 to 8 week cycle of releases, most likely closer to the 8 weeks. That doesn't mean that things can't change in the future, but that's where it is right now. No one is mentioning a violation of terms, we brought up the agreement earlier in this thread because there were comments about being promised one template per month, and that's not the case so it needed clarification.


All of this discussion, as Jonah pointed out, revolves around whether or not Joomla can rebuild their community and popularity again. But much of that remains to be seen and we won't know until Joomla 4 is around. I'm hopeful that they do.

Keep in mind that we are not the only company that is making these kinds of decisions. Competitors much larger than us have made similar changes much earlier than us, some appear like a "ghost town" now as mentioned above. Shape5 is a smaller business, and we are used to working with limited staff, where many of these other companies cannot continue because of the resources it takes to run their companies. All that say we are in a better situation to keep producing products into the future because we can work on lower margins, and unless something absolutely dramatic happens we plan to continue to do that.
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rwalters
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2016, 08:37:20 AM »

I think you are using my "ghost town" comment (which I posted in the comments of the blog announcing the changes) out of context, sir. Smiley

  • Keep in mind that we are not the only company that is making these kinds of decisions. Competitors much larger than us have made similar changes much earlier than us, some appear like a "ghost town" now as mentioned above.

I mentioned that the other, larger Joomla template club is now like a ghost town BECAUSE they changed their frequency from once a month to whenever they feel like it.  No longer do thousands of us hit the site (and refresh throughout the day in anticipation of seeing the new template), as who knows when the new template will be moved live.

Traffic to their site plummeted from that day forward; not because of a perceived drop in Joomla's popularity, but because no one has a reason to visit the site on the first of the month anymore.

Food for thought.
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2016, 05:57:08 AM »


I was once taught that if you stop climbing that you actually already are falling....

I think when the offer becomes to low that people will look into other solution. For example template builders..

Dunno if a renewal is interesting for members with a developers account anymore. Sorry to say, but this is not what I signed up for.

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mikek
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2016, 07:17:31 AM »

Hello,

Just one comment to the above statement:

"Traffic to their site plummeted from that day forward; not because of a perceived drop in Joomla's popularity, but because no one has a reason to visit the site on the first of the month anymore. "

Dropping the amount of releases probably had something to do with it, but it did not start from that day forward. The drop in Joomla's popularity is not just a perception, it is actually dropping and has been for years now. The traffic of competitors was dropping before this, we have tracked the Alexa ranking of many competitors for a long time now. Our template release was historically done around the 15th of the month, and not the 1st, but on the 15th there historically has not been any kind of large increase in traffic to suggest that there was a large amount of customers coming to see the new release; there were a few members but not many. Most of our traffic spikes happen when we email blast our customers or announce on Facebook, so it's us telling the customers not the customers automatically coming to check.
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2016, 12:05:41 PM »

Just to add to Mike's statement. First off I agree this could decrease our traffic even more and make us a ghost town too. But we were forced to come to this decision because of the drop off of new signups for over a year now. We have families to support and we just can't physically keep up with the template production with the low amount of new signups. We did other things before this too like let go of our amazing forum moderator Mike Nicoll.

We don't know what else can be done right now and are open to suggestions from everyone.

Sincerely,
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 12:08:49 PM by jonahh » Logged

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