I’m pleased to announce that we are now moving into private beta for my new Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress. When I announced this theme back in September, I never dreamed so many people would be interested.
So far, 2,474 people have signed up to receive news and updates about the theme. Unfortunately, I have been woefully remiss in providing those updates. I am embarrassed to admit this is the first update since that original post.
Part of the issue is that I kept thinking we would be ready to move to beta testing “sometime this week or next.” (I can see you web developers smiling now.) Each week quietly slipped into the next, as we worked to add new features and squash the bugs we found.
We also saw a plethora of new devices introduced into the market this fall, including the iPad Mini. We wanted to make sure that the design was completely responsive and would render beautifully on every machine. When I realized that 30 percent of my own readers were viewing my blog on a mobile device, this became an even higher priority.
Andrew Buckman, my technical partner, has worked long nights and weekends to get us to this point, and I couldn’t be more excited with where we are today. The theme is packed with features, flexibility, and speed. I am running it live on this site now, so you can get a sense of what it can do.
(By the way, I benchmarked the load times against twelve popular blogs. As you may know, this is an important metric when it comes to Google’s analysis. Get Noticed! was faster than all but one, against which it tied. I expect our results to improve even further, once we optimize for speed.)
So here’s the plan. I am launching the formal beta application process today. You can signup here if you want to be considered. Andrew and I will review the applications starting on Wednesday, December 26th.
We will only pick a handful of testers for this first round, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t selected. We want to make sure everything is working before we roll it out further. We don’t want the number of support requests to exceed our personal bandwidth.
I will notify those who have been selected on January 1st. (If you don’t hear from me on that day, you can assume you weren’t selected.) We will provide you with instructions on what to do next, along with a link to a user forum where you can ask questions and report problems.
In the meantime, we will be building out a dedicated website for the theme, writing the documentation, and determining the launch strategy.
If you want a list of the features the theme will include, you can read my original post. We’ve added a few items since then, but I’ll save that for another update.
Please note: this is not a child theme. We built this from the ground up. However, developers will be able to build child themes on top of this one.
Having told you what I know, here’s what I don’t know:
- The final pricing. We will likely have a tiered approach with both blogger and developer editions. If you have thoughts on this, please let me know in the comments.
- The beta path. We will likely have several rounds of beta testing. Each time, we hope to widen the circle and bring new testers onboard. If you don’t get selected in the first round, don’t lose heart. However, I don’t know the timing of these at this point.
- The ship date. If there’s one thing I have learned over the last few months, don’t announce something until you are ready to ship it. We have a target in mind, but we are not stating this publicly.
Clearly I have underestimated the amount of work this project would require. (This seems to be the case with almost anything significant I take on. I’m convinced it’s one of the reasons for my success.) But we’ve made real progress in the last few months, and we’ll be there before you know it.
Thanks in advance for your interest and patience. Andrew and I appreciate it.