Over the last 10 years, my wife and I have worked on several hyperlocal ventures.
We’ve had some successes and failures, but none of our attempts lived up to our expectations.
Then in 2013, I attended AgentPress, a conference by Copyblogger Media, about building a hyperlocal site. While I wasn’t sure I wanted to try hyperlocal again, I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel either.
I knew I would get a different perspective at AgentPress, since the focus was on real estate rather than an advertising method of generating revenue. We loved the premise, so we dug in again and launched Lifestyle Frisco on June 6, 2013. The site has, by all accounts, been more successful than anything else we’d tried.
However, my “day job” is running VSEllis.com, a boutique agency that specializes in WordPress, and in particular, Genesis-based websites. For the last 8 years, it’s what I’ve done full time, and now with a team in place, we’re taking the next big step into building themes and plugins.
While I’ve wanted to build and release themes & plugins for a long time, it wasn’t until Juan (Sr. Developer), Martin (Head of Support), and I came together as a company that we’ve been able to make that dream a reality.
The new design needed to be more visual, support our love of helping local businesses garner more attention, be fast-loading, and had to kick ass on mobile devices. 73% of our traffic come to us on mobile devices (tablet and phone), so there was no skimping here.
It made sense to use our experience running a hyperlocal site to build a theme that we would use ourselves and sell to others.
Months later, after 2 major design revisions, countless development hours, endless testing, and an outside audit by ThemeReview.co to make sure we nailed security and other best practices, the “Local Media” theme is now for sale!
The Future of Local Media
One thing you’ll notice about Local Media is the lack of ad spaces. We know there are better ways to make money in local than banner ads, and we wanted the focus to be on creating a beautiful user experience. There are widget areas and plenty of places you can put ads if you want to, but we’re exploring better ways of driving revenue and will share those concepts with you down the road.
If you buy the theme, you’ll also get free upgrades and support for life. We’ve got a lengthy road-map of things we’ll build into this theme and its accompanying plugin (to support local business listings). Once you buy the theme and install it, you’ll see updates (as you would any other WordPress update) as we release them.
This theme was born from our experience building hundreds of websites over the years, and running a number of media-oriented sites.
We’re excited to launch our first theme, and hope you enjoy using it as much as we’ve enjoyed building it.
When you buy a copy, be sure to let us know when it’s live on your site. We want to see and share the news on our social media channels!
And, don’t forget, Local Media is a Genesis child theme, so you’ll also need the Genesis Theme Framework.
Comments, questions, or feedback? Drop us a comment below.