Note: What follows contains no affiliate links, just my honest opinion:
I recently stumbled across an affiliate site that had tracked down all the available Joomla template clubs and all the commercial Joomla template providers. By their reckoning there are now 14 clubs and 29 template providers.
We have a membership to precisely three of these clubs: Rockettheme.com and Joomlart.com because they produce quality work that we use for in-house projects and one other because we wanted to learn more about a particular designer before working with them.
Browsing throught the other 11 clubs, it really didn’t take long for a glaze to settle over my eyes. Running up a club is a difficult task – particularly if you’re entering the game late and well-established websites can offer 40 templates against your one or two. In this competitive market, only two companies really stood out, one for its design and the other for its marketing:
- BeautyinDesign.com and in particular their JoomlaOS template. It really is a nice implementation of MooTools throughout an entire site.
- JoomlaStorm.com. What’s impressive about these guys is not so much their templates (although their debut design was nicely innovative with a in-built MP3 player), but their marketing. Their ideas weren’t original but there were really well done. I’ve recently has the pleasure of reading "Ogilvy on Advertising", a book which is more than 20 years old now, but is full of timeless advise. Copyblogger.com recently pointed out how the book can help bloggers write better posts. He also describes how he produced an advertisment with a number of spelling mistakes and gave people a discount for each one they found. Needless to say some people spent hours poring over every word of the ad. Joomlastorm did the same thing by hiding a code on their website and giving away free memberships to people who found it. They also have a free Mac Book giveaway. This was the only example of inspired marketing I saw for any of the new clubs.
Its hard to tell how successful these 11 companies will be, but if I had to guess, these two would seem to have the best chance of succeeding in a crowded field.