AJ Clarke from WPExplorer talks about WPBakery Page Builder

In recent days, we had an opportunity to review ThemeForest themes which are backed up by WPBakery Page Builder to see how we actually helped theme authors to raise their sales. According to rough estimates, it seems that themes with WPBakery Page Builder as a part of their package have given their authors around $1 200 000 in total earnings since our first version of VC. Taking this into account we decided to dig a little bit deeper to see the exact success story of the particular author as an insight to our potential and existing customers.

Total is one of many premium responsive multipurpose WordPress themes developed by WPExplorer who is an Elite author and a huge fan of WordPress with a portfolio of more than 25 items on ThemeForest.

WPExplorer is one of the many Elite authors who discovered the powerful capabilities of WPBakery Page Builder in the early stages and has taken all the benefits of including it as a part of his themes in order to enhance sales and capabilities of his products.

As WPBakery has a long-time relationship with WPExplorer we kindly asked AJ Clarke from WPExplorer to share their thoughts about WPBakery Page Builder and how it helped their business.

Hi AJ, you have been on Envato for around 5 years already. Tell us how did you discover it and what were the main benefits of joining this marketplace?

I actually started out on Envato as an affiliate promoting other people’s products. I am still an affiliate and have currently referred more than 10,300 people to the Envato Marketplace. In the process of promoting other people’s products, I figured I could make a lot more money from selling my own items. So I taught myself how to code WordPress themes and in just a couple of months I released my first theme at ThemeForest, which became a top seller at the time.

I started my own store recently at AuthenticThemes but I still keep a portfolio at Envato and will be releasing products hopefully every month. Even though Envato takes a large portion of the sales to me it’s very small compared to all the advantages.

  • Envato does a lot of the advertising for you.
  • There is already a large member base and exposure for your products.
  • The Elite program has some great benefits and is also fun to be a part of.
  • And overall it’s a very nice community to be a part of.

When did you discover WPBakery Page Builder and how was your very first meeting?

I discovered the WPBakery Page Builder when it was first released but I didn’t think much of it at the time. At first, I was a little skeptical, but as time went by the plugin was updated and improved and really started to stand out.

At the moment, you have several themes backed up by WPBakery Page Builder. How did you come up with the idea to include the visual content plugin in your theme package?

The WPBakery Page Builder was greatly improved over the years and it gained so much popularity that people were actually requesting the WPBakery Page Builder for all my themes! Every time I released a theme people would ask me if the WPBakery Page Builder was supported…result? I started including the plugin with my themes.

Adding the WPBakery Page Builder to my more advanced and newer themes has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Sales and five-star ratings have increased while support questions have decreased. So many people are already using the WPBakery Page Builder prior to purchasing my themes making it easier for them to get things up and running. In fact a lot of customers I’ve spoken to tell me that they only look for themes that are WPBakery Page Builder compatible.

Can you share some insights on why did you choose WPBakery Page Builder instead of other solutions provided by different vendors?

As mentioned previously, the main reason for using the WPBakery Page Builder was that customers and potential customers were requesting it almost every day.

We have heard good things about your support system and relationship with customers. So, maybe you got any comments from them about WPBakery Page Builder and what are their thoughts regarding our product?

Out of the thousands of people who have used my themes, I have only had a small handful of people (3-5) that didn’t like the WPBakery Page Builder and found it hard to use. 99.9% of people really love the plugin and I’m constantly being told how awesome it is and how it’s made it so much easier for them to create websites for their clients.

In terms of WPBakery Page Builder bugs, I very rarely have someone report a bug. The plugin is working pretty much flawlessly for all my customers, which makes their and my life easier!

During the development process of a theme you use WPBakery Page Builder yourself, maybe you have estimated data on how much time you saved during the development process in order to move the theme into the market faster?

I actually spend more time developing a theme and demo with the WPBakery Page Builder. The reason for this is that now my themes can be more advanced and include features. Previously I would create 1 or maybe 2 homepage templates now with the WPBakery Page Builder I can technically create an unlimited number of pages and layouts.

I actually developed a plugin called “WPBakery Page Builder Extension” which adds over 30 more modules to my theme (included with my Total WordPress Theme). This plugin took me quite a lot of time to develop but it was very easy to create because the WPBakery Page Builder is SOOO easy to “extend”. And the development of this plugin will definitely make it a lot faster for me to create new themes and theme demos in the future.

It’s been a while since the first version of WPBakery Page Builder saw the daylight and we tried really hard to improve it in different directions. How do you see the evolution process and which directions are most crucial for you as a theme author?

From what I’ve seen all the updates/edits to the WPBakery Page Builder have been fantastic. I’ve recently started playing around with the Front-End editor which I think a lot of customers will love to have. I am not a huge fan of the Front-End editor but I’m thinking it will “grow” on me over time 😉

The only thing I would love to see is an update to the back-end design. I think the pop-up window could really use a design overhaul (hopefully with font icon support) and the actual composer modules can use some tweaking to better match WP 3.8. Of course, that’s just me getting picky.

One of the directions we are working on is attracting 3rd party developers to come up with their unique addons developed for WPBakery Page Builder only to sell them on CodeCanyon. Do you see it as a good direction in order to widen the borders and capabilities of this plugin? Any plugins you would love to see?

I think this is a great idea. Like I’ve mentioned previously I developed my own Extension plugin which I use in my themes, but it has been created with only my themes in mind so I don’t see myself ever selling it.

Attracting more plugin developers to create 3rd party plugins for the WPBakery Page Builder is definitely the way to go. If you were to simply start adding more and more modules to the standard plugin it creates a problem for theme developers having to go back to old themes to add support (styling) for these new modules also it’s best to have a slimmed-down plugin that allows the user to decide if they want to add more modules or not. That keeps people’s sites slim and fast.

Another great thing about having 3rd party developers come up with unique add-ons is that people will be creating different things. It will be great to see more niche add-ons come about such as hotel add-ons, non-profit add-ons, crowdfunding add-ons, event add-ons…etc. The development of niche add-on plugins for the WPBakery Page Builder is something I think people should/will start doing in the near future.

I’ve seen a few plugins out there already and they look really good! I have yet to try any because I have so much fun developing new modules myself 😉

If we continue talking about evolution – tell us a bit about your future plans and what users can expect from you in the near future?

My next step is to ensure full compatibility with the new Front-End functionality. I’m currently having a couple of compatibility issues with the modifications I’ve made to the theme, but I’m sure they will get sorted out quickly! After that, I want to continue making new modules for my WPBakery Page Builder Extension so my users will have access to more great options.

I will likely continue using the WPBakery Page Builder as long as it’s being sold and supported 😉

Any final comments?

The WPBakery Page Builder is awesome and the support is even better. Keep up the great work!

Raitis Sevelis is a seasoned product manager at WPBakery who loves design and community