Frankly, we’re not even trying to compete with anyone, never were. We feel there’s room enough for everyone in the community to offer something for the millions of people that need websites. Our methods are always so vastly unique that there’s no reason to encroach on other territories. That being said, it doesn’t mean that some won’t try to encroach on our territory or exhibit other unbecoming behavior in the market to try and drive customers to their products.
We’ve been asked a few times now by potential customers “Why should I choose you?” and it’s an excellent question. The answer is, you shouldn’t, unless what we offer is the right fit for you and your project(s). If you think other resources out there would be a better fit for you we want you to choose them because we’re not concerned about the bottom line, giving customers a bunch of nonsense promises to get your money at any cost. We actually care that you use the right tools for you, even if that means choosing something other than StartupWP.
In order for you to better decide if StartupWP is the right solution for you we’re attempting to answer that question “Why should I choose you?” with a little more transparency on what our values are and exactly what our objectives are with the tools we build.
We respect the GPL. While nearly all WordPress themes are released under this license, few actually understand and respect it. Without getting into a lot of technical lingo the gist of the GPL is to protect you (the user) and your freedom to use the software on as many of your projects as you need, both personal and commercial without ever needing to pay a dollar more.
However, many theme shops pretend to release their products under the GPL and then go ahead and skirt the freedoms of the GPL flat out or find technical legal loopholes to try and squeeze more money out of you. Let’s clear up the fact that no one is forced to use the GPL.
Developers can release their products under any license or no license at all if they wish. However, if they want to be hosted on the official WordPress theme repo and listed on the commercial themes page, not only do all their products hosted on WordPress have to be 100% GPL, but so do all their WordPress released works everywhere need to be.
If you come across a WordPress product anywhere that has a payment tier like:
– Personal $19 (use theme on 1 site)
– Professional $49 (use theme on 5 sites)
– Developer $99 (use theme on Unlimited sites)
And they’re claiming that they’re in 100% compliance with the GPL, they’re lying and trying to cheat you out of your money. Do not listen to any arguments or reasoning trying to defend this model. We’ve contacted the GNU (the people who write the license) directly to confirm that this is illegal and anti-GPL to try and restrict usage like this.
However, this is the distinction of what many consider an acceptable loophole to this dilemma: you can’t restrict the usage of the theme, but you can word it carefully to mean that the 1, 5, unlimited site thing refers not to usage, but to customer support and product updates. We’re not going to bash the latter too harshly because it’s a difficult market and it’s about finding a balance of making customers happy, but also sustaining the business. If you run into the former, steer clear; don’t be cheated.
We’re the original and official Startup® WordPress Theme. If you Google startup wordpress theme you’ll find many competitors blatantly ripping off our trademark. UPDATE — Happy to announce that at the moment there are currently no known products infringing on our trademark.
They may indeed have prettier products, fancier products, more expensive products, but they clearly lack respect or integrity for others around them, including you (the customers) and ourselves (other businesses in the same market) to not have the decency to at least name their own products uniquely and avoid brand and consumer confusion in the marketplace. That clearly signifies that they don’t care about you, they only care about the bottom line. That might be business as usual for most, the dog eat dog attitude, but we actually care about our customers, their success and the quality of their business and website.
“Startup” is a highly sought after keyword, it’s a buzzword that carries a lot of SEO weight. That’s all well and good, but we actually care about what the word means, that’s probably why we were smart and caring enough to use it first. Because we’re not just riding the coattails of the popularity of the word, we’re actually authentic to its purpose. StartupWP LLC really was built around the entire idea of helping provide tools for new startups to get a jumpstart on their website for their new company.
We care about providing you the support, advice and education for all aspects of properly maintaining a web presence for your business, from the hosting and domain, to the website content management, to the design, to the marketing, SEO and social media and everything else that goes along with it.
Why do we still only charge $49 when others are charging hundreds of dollars? Is this in direct correlation to quality? We would actually argue the exact opposite. The more you pay, the more you’re really being cheated. Browse around, take a look at all the themes out there, 99% of them are very very similar in that they all conform to trends. Is it that we’re oblivious to trending popular design schemes? Of course not, we just choose to ignore them for the superficial and temporary fluff that they are. We’re more interested in providing something of substance and sustainability.
So, what’s wrong with all these cool, trendy design fads like parallax effects and fancy typography and marquee presentations of headers and call to action buttons and bloated selling point options like drag and drop etc. etc.? Nothing really, in fact it’s pretty natural for everyone to want to have the same phone, wear the same jeans, drive the same car. If that’s what you want, pretty much every other theme shop out there has you covered. Some people don’t care, some people want something unique, to stand out.
We personally don’t like being the same, there’s a term for that in this industry, cookie-cutter. Some of these themes out there are really quite beautiful which is exactly the issue. The more people that buy them, the more popular they become, the lower their quality. Once thousands of people are using that beautiful theme, the less unique they become, damaging reputation and brand recognition.
Let’s take a look at our demo. Some people’s first thought is “ugly”. What they actually mean is plain, simple, boring, symmetrical, generic, neutral, white label and on down the list of labels we go. This is precisely what we’re going for. We’re not in the business of selling duplicates of masterpieces that are already painted for you. We’re in the business of providing the tools you need to build a unique website for your brand. What we’re selling is a blank canvas, paint, paint brushes and the instruction and support to paint your own original masterpiece.
Startup and StartupPro are methodically designed to be as simple, fast, minimalistic as can be while also providing a standardized blueprint of a website and a subtle, unbranded, non-overbearing design which would require undoing things in your efforts to customize otherwise. We care about startups actually starting up and ascending, not just staying stagnant sheep who all look and behave the same at the watering hole because of companies that just want your money and only use the word startup for its superficial, Silicon Valley trendiness.
Tools and Support for Startups. That’s what we are, that’s what we’re offering, that’s how we’re different.