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Starting a web design company and selling WordPress themes. Is it ethical?



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Starting a web design company and selling WordPress themes. Is it ethical?

When I started selling web design it was because one of my partners is really good at doing it. I basically find the clients and handle all the money and support between us and the buyer. My programmer/designer will handle everything on the design side and talk only to me, so his job is pretty stress free lol.

But what I was thinking is if it was possible to start a web design company and sell people themes that you can buy on themeforest?

I don't do this because I never really thought it would work. We do 100% custom designs that take 1 to 2 months and we turn a decent profit whenever we can get a client.

This type of web design is kind of shady, but I know some people who have done it in the past and made an easy $1,000 profit because of it. They didn't know any kind of programming or design skills but they had access to people who wanted/needed new web designs. They undercut the competition and after they made a sale they would just go to themeforest and purchase a theme in order to upload it to the clients hosting account. They would configure everything and set it up to show all the proper content, logos, images, etc. The theme would be completely set up and all the owner would have to do is pay for the hosting after this guy was done.

I do know that in his TOS and contracts that it actually said he would be using a premium wordpress theme that he would configure to show everything the client wanted. So did he actually play the client in any way since it was in the TOS and Contract?

But isn't there some kind of ethical code with this that is being broken? The buyer/client can easily go to themeforest and purchase the theme themelves, but they don't know how to do any of the work. Hell, they may not even know about themeforest or even what wordpress is lol.

This falls into the middle man role, similar to how someone would resell an SEO service as their own. The only difference with selling a themeforest theme as your own design is that people can figure out what theme you used to do this and they wouldn't be able to figure out what SEO service you used when you resold it to them.

  • What is your opinion on this?
  • Do you think there is something unethical going on with this type of business model?
  • Are you ok with someone marketing to potential buyers and selling them a predesigned theme as their own?



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Razzy

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idealmike

Yeah well you could do that, it's just business isn't it at the end of the day. As long as everyone is happy and nobody is complaining then it's a win win all round for everyone isn't it. It might seem unethical and I'm not trying to justify it, just saying you see that in business grey areas like this where it sort of seems unethical that you're doing that, but that would only be unethical if the buyer wasn't happy and hasn't said to you that you should specifically design a theme for them. But even then, if you could pull it off and the buyer was happy with the work, then that's the win win. They get their work done and are happy with it. You get paid for the work you done, even though you didn't really do it.

The trick is to having a coder on hand that you can use as a throwback if it doesn't work out and they reject the work you've done for them. Although I don't mean reject in the same way as you could reject an SEOClerks order. But clients could say they're not happy and not pay you if they are paying after the work is done. Or end up asking for a refund. Or worse, opening a PayPal dispute against you.

So if you had that fall back guy you could give the work to for them to whip up something more suited for the client, that would help you get out of what could be a bit of a sticky situation. And that's the thing with that business model is that it is a bit "fly by night".

But again, if you can pull it off so everyone is happy then power to you! Starting a web design company and selling WordPress themes.  Is it ethical?




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Lynne

Well I guess someone that knows nothing about setting up a website would not really understand what is being done, or know how to set everything up for himself so the seller is providing a needed service.

However I do believe that in business it is important to be transparent and honest with people. I would say that even though it is mentioned in the contract it would be important to tell the customer that they could purchase their theme themselves and upload it all themselves. I really do believe chances are they would still go with this since they would struggle to do it themselves. They would be paying for that service.

If you are acting like you are designing a website from scratch yourself but instead just go buy a theme from Themeforest then I think you are looking at the seller being unethical and dishonest.




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hitmeasap

I would say that even though it is mentioned in the contract it would be important to tell the customer that they could purchase their theme themselves and upload it all themselves.


This reminds me of one of my decent income sources a few years back. I sold domains to small companies.

I basically called a company, after I did some "research" (I basically just searched for their website and the url they where using). Let's say I called "Lynnesblog.com". What I did was to give them a decent sales speech, and in that speech tell them about all the people that won't be able to find them, due to their ".com". So I sold them ".se, .net .org" etc. - And most of these clients were truly happy. - However, I told them that they could do it themselves, but most of them just liked my approach so I got orders.




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Lynne

Andre I have had loads of people try and do that with me, but they were never honest with me! They contacted me and told me that someone was wanting to purchase all the other domains and that if I didn't hurry up and buy them it would damage my business.

My response was that if people in China wanted to buy up a domain name that is based on an Afrikaans word then they can be my guest. LOL




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hitmeasap

Haha! Starting a web design company and selling WordPress themes.  Is it ethical?

Yeah well, I've always been honest with my clients, potential clients and other random people too. Always. First of all, I'm raised that way, but if we fast forward to present day, I want to be honest, as I personally believe it will benefit me way more in the long run. I actually got fired one time, when I was working as a salesperson, due to the fact that I was "too" honest.

"Sure, honesty is good but it's more important to make sales" was kind of their reasoning for it. And yeah, if they want to work like that, be my guest. I will never do it.




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Lynne

Yes I think if my domain name was one the was a huge brand name or something then I would buy them all up, or if for example it was a really high traffic keyword I would buy them all.... but for my mommy blog?

Well it actually technically isn't even a real word. Kabouter means elf or pixie in Afrikaans. Kaboutertjie means small or baby elf or pixie. Kaboutjie is just a nonsense word cutting out the "ERT" in the middle of the word. You know like when a little kid leaves out half a word when they start talking? Well that was the idea anyway.

What someone in China is going to be doing with that is beyond me, a nonsense word derived from an Afrikaans word? They can buy all of them for all I care.




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vinaya

I started my freelance career by writing, later I moved into other areas like digital marketing, web designing and SEO. My first web designing service was wordpress customization, later I moved to wordpress designing. I am thinking to move into building wordpress websites. If I succeed I might someday build themes and sell themes. Currently, I am working as an individual, however, if my business grows I will build a company and hire people to work for me. I have build websites for my clients from free themes and also build websites from premium themes they bought themselves. I have never bought anything on themeforest and used it on customer's website,. Therefore, I don't know whether this is ethical or unethical.




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