TL;DR: Big changes are coming to StudioPress on or around June 8th, 2021. Here are the highlights, with more detail below.
- ProPlus customers will get access to Genesis Blocks Pro and Genesis Custom Blocks Pro for FREE in their StudioPress portal. This includes all future “Collections” released within Genesis Blocks Pro.
- Genesis Framework and the Sample Theme will be available for free. Anyone wanting access to Genesis Framework & Sample Theme in the future will be able to simply add your email address on the download form to download and be notified of future updates for FREE. Technical support for Genesis Framework / Sample Theme users will be provided for existing StudioPress customers or customers using Genesis Pro, WP Engine, or Flywheel. Of course, Genesis Framework and Sample Theme will continue to be maintained so you can keep building with the tools you love!
- 3rd party themes in the StudioPress marketplace will link directly to buy the theme on the theme provider’s own store. StudioPress / WP Engine will no longer be taking “marketplace fees” for 3rd party themes, nor will StudioPress be a bottleneck for 3rd party theme providers distributing theme updates and support. Additionally, because Genesis Framework will be provided for free, 3rd party theme providers will be able to include Genesis Framework in their store without requiring customers to buy Genesis Framework in addition to their theme. No more “icky funnel” for 3rd party theme providers!
- Certain 3rd party themes will be “Archived” in the StudioPress portal for existing customers. This only applies to themes where the theme authors have agreed to provide theme updates directly to StudioPress customers who purchased their theme. Our current approach of providing 3rd party theme updates through the StudioPress portal creates delays for users trying to get access to the most recent theme updates. This change will end that problem by providing direct access to theme downloads for StudioPress customers who have purchased 3rd party themes.
- StudioPress-made themes will no longer be sold individually. StudioPress-made themes will only be available for new customers via Genesis Pro, WP Engine hosting, or Flywheel hosting accounts. Hosting on WP Engine or Flywheel is not required to run Genesis products. Existing customers will still have access to their themes in the StudioPress portal. People interested in buying a theme individually are encouraged to check out those sold by a 3rd party Genesis theme provider. Genesis Framework & Sample Theme will be available to anyone for free. Please support 3rd party Genesis premium theme providers!
- In order to prepare for Full Site Editing themes in WordPress, all but our top 10 StudioPress-made themes will be Archived in the StudioPress portal for existing customers. This is similar to what StudioPress and other theme companies did around the shift to HTML5 themes. Archived themes will continue to be available for download and will be updated for security patches as always. Full details below.
Please read the details listed below before posting questions to StudioPress support or Genesis social media channels. There’s a good chance we’ve already covered what you’re looking for 🙂
After listening to customer feedback over the last year or so, we’ve decided to make a series of changes to StudioPress. These changes are aimed at providing more value to Pro Plus customers, improving the way we support 3rd party theme providers / users, and focusing our product and engineering efforts on preparing the Genesis community for Full Site Editing with the Gutenberg block editor in WordPress Core.
Pro Plus Customers
Many Pro Plus all-themes-package customers have lamented that Genesis Pro seems to be “double charging” Pro Plus customers for themes since the Genesis Pro package includes themes that Pro Plus customers also receive. In response, Pro Plus customers will now be getting Genesis Blocks Pro and Genesis Custom Blocks Pro for free to download in their StudioPress portal on or around June 8th, 2021.
Pro Plus customers will also benefit from all-new Collections for Genesis Blocks Pro. This means Pro Plus customers will have access to a wide variety of design options as they build with the block editor now, and ALSO when Full Site Editing arrives in WordPress Core.
We are Making Genesis Framework and the Genesis Sample Theme Free to Download and Distribute
This has been one of the biggest asks in all of Genesis and beyond. Gating Genesis Framework and Sample Theme behind a pay-wall causes confusion for people buying Genesis themes from 3rd party theme providers and limits the number of people who can build with Genesis Framework.
As you may have seen, in 2020 we launched VERY functional and free versions of Genesis Blocks and Custom Blocks, and we’re excited to bring this approach to our distribution of Genesis Framework and Sample Theme.
Starting on or around June 8th, 2021, anyone will be able to download Genesis Framework & Sample Theme by providing their email address in a form. Technical support for Genesis Framework / Sample Theme users will be provided for existing StudioPress customers or customers using Genesis Pro, WP Engine, or Flywheel.
As always, Genesis Framework and Sample Theme will continue to be maintained so you can keep building with the tools you love!
We’re Eliminating Marketplace Fees for 3rd Party Theme Developers
After listening to feedback from 3rd party theme authors in the StudioPress marketplace as well as customers who use those themes, we have decided to make changes to how the StudioPress marketplace works for 3rd party themes.
Starting on or around June 8th, 2021, 3rd party themes listed in the StudioPress marketplace will no longer have a “buy” button to purchase the theme through StudioPress. Instead, 3rd party themes listed in the marketplace will have a buy button that points directly to the theme provider’s website so customers can purchase those themes directly from the theme provider.
We feel this will help 3rd party Genesis theme providers find more success in their business by eliminating StudioPress marketplace fees while providing users who purchase those themes with direct access to theme updates and support.
We’ll still take great care in validating the quality of 3rd party themes listed in the StudioPress marketplace, so you can rest assured that the themes listed there are of the highest quality; however, we’ll no longer be “taxing” 3rd party theme providers with marketplace fees, and people buying those themes directly from the provider will get MUCH faster access to theme updates and support.
We’re Making it Faster for Existing StudioPress Customers to Get Theme Updates & Support for 3rd Party Themes
As mentioned above, the current way StudioPress operates is to sell 3rd party themes via the marketplace and publish future updates for those themes in the StudioPress portal.
These updates to 3rd party themes are submitted by the theme author, put into a queue, and eventually vetted and published in the StudioPress portal. Based on when an author submits the update to StudioPress and how long the queue is, StudioPress customers can often be waiting for weeks on theme updates that the author has already published on their own store / to their direct customers!
This causes headaches for everyone.
For 3rd party themes where the author has agreed, we will be archiving certain 3rd party themes in the StudioPress portal and providing customers with a way to get theme updates and support directly from the theme authors. Some 3rd party theme authors may elect to continue providing updates through My.StudioPress.
If you have purchased a theme that will be archived, you will receive an email from StudioPress on how to get direct updates for your theme(s) from the author of that theme. Each 3rd party theme author has a ~unique way of validating your email address for the themes you purchased through StudioPress, so we’ll be emailing you instructions on how to download direct theme updates specific to the 3rd party theme(s) you purchased.
As we have discussed in the past, there are big changes coming to WordPress with the introduction of Full Site Editing themes. While this new way of building themes will be optional (especially at first), we’ve decided to focus most of our product and engineering efforts for Genesis related products on preparing to take advantage of these new capabilities.
If you’ve been familiar with Genesis / WordPress for a while, you might remember a similar shift to HTML5 themes and the transition StudioPress and every other theme provider went through during that period. This is another one of those moments.
In order to prepare for this future and focus our product & engineering efforts, we will be “archiving” all of our StudioPress-made themes except for the top 10 (listed below). Archiving in the StudioPress context means..
- The theme will no longer be sold or distributed to new customers.
- For existing customers, the theme will be available to download in the archive section within the StudioPress portal.
- We won’t be making major updates to the theme, but we WILL make security updates if necessary.
You do NOT need to switch your theme if your theme(s) is archived in the StudioPress portal, especially if you are not applying theme updates to your site due to modifications you’ve made to theme files.
The StudioPress themes that will be archived include…
- Academy Pro Theme
- Agency Pro Theme
- AgentPress Pro Theme
- Atmosphere Pro Theme
- Author Pro Theme
- Beautiful Pro Theme
- Daily Dish Pro Theme
- Digital Pro Theme
- eleven40 Pro Theme
- Enterprise Pro Theme
- Executive Pro Theme
- Lifestyle Pro Theme
- Metro Pro Theme
- Minimum Pro Theme
- Modern Studio Pro Theme
- News Pro Theme
- Outreach Pro Theme
- Parallax Pro Theme
- Sixteen Nine Pro Theme
- Wellness Pro Theme
The StudioPress themes that will NOT be archived include Genesis Sample, Revolution Pro, Monochrome Pro, Authority Pro, Essence Pro, Magazine Pro, Altitude Pro, Infinity Pro, Breakthrough Pro, and Navigation Pro.
StudioPress will also stop selling StudioPress-made themes as a one-time purchase. New StudioPress customers can instead buy Genesis Pro or WP Engine / Flywheel hosting to get access to StudioPress-made themes. For customers who prefer a one-time purchase option, we highly recommend you consider one of the 3rd party Genesis Framework theme providers with themes listed in the StudioPress marketplace. Please help us support the Genesis product ecosystem by buying from one of the many wonderful Genesis theme providers!
The Future of StudioPress and Genesis
We know many of you have been around since the very beginning of Genesis and may be wondering with these changes, “Will WP Engine keep investing in StudioPress and Genesis?”. We’d like to reassure you that this will absolutely continue to be the case.
These changes are about thanking the many Pro Plus customers who have helped StudioPress grow to what it is, stop billing flows that tax 3rd party theme providers, stop theme update flows that greatly slow down theme users’ access to updates, while investing in Genesis products for the future of WordPress EXACTLY like StudioPress did with the transition to HTML5 themes.
We have invested millions of dollars in funding both the FREE and premium versions of Genesis products and will continue that investment as we prepare our offerings for Full Site Editing in WordPress Core.
Pro Plus customers will get free access to Genesis Blocks / Custom Blocks Pro, 3rd party themes will have direct buy buttons, and StudioPress-made themes will no longer be sold for a one time fee starting on or around June 8th, 2021. If you’re using a theme that will be archived (StudioPress-made or 3rd party), you will receive an email with timing and instructions for your theme. Archived themes WILL be updated for security patches.
We hope you enjoy these changes, but if you have any questions about how this may affect you or your StudioPress account, please reach out to us via the support form in your StudioPress portal.