Here we go again with another WP theme threatening to “change the world”…
*massive eye roll*
Like with crypto, I once again make predictions without knowing anything about the project.
What do we know about Frost and Brian Gardner?
Frost is Brian Gardner’s latest premium WordPress theme project/business.
It’s fucken sexy. The design work is A-level. Maybe some of y’all like those garbage pagebuilder demos but I don’t. They look cheap (and over-designed) to me.
Brian Gardner is also the founder/co-founder of Genesis…which was my favorite premium WordPress theme for a lonnnnnnnnggggg freaken time. It wasn’t only my favorite but for many other developers as well. And I’m not talking about “experts admins”…I’m talking about a time when the word “developer” was synonymous with “coder”.
Then Brian got busy in life and didn’t do much with Genesis. He used it more as an entry point to upsell other products/services and his how-to-make-money podcast. The theme’s growth was due instead to the contributions of 3rd-party development. For a period of 2 years, StudioPress was constantly offering lifetime deals for Genesis and its child themes. We should have known this was the end (of his contribution to it).
Because Brian then sold Genesis to WPEngine, where it’s now used to upsell WPEngine’s mediocre overly-priced overly-hyped hosting services.
Now Brian Gardner decides to jump back into the WordPress theme market with (what he hopes to be) a recurring-revenue premium theme. And I imagine he’s learned a lot about how much money he left out when Genesis sold as a one-time purchase. And hopes to replicate his past success but with greater payout.
Do I think Frost will be successful?
It feels like a cold faceless betrayal to all the loyal Genesis users. He literally walked out on the success of GenesisWP. So while Frost might look to be revamped and reinvented, it’s soulless to me.
The design quality is still top notch. The developers are top notch (WP core contributors). I also suspect the Gutenberg integrations in there will be awesome. But are they gonna out-hustle all the other themes currently grinding their way to what Genesis once was? Hell no. They’re gonna quit as soon as it doesn’t make the money they expect.
This project was never about passion and for that reason…I’m out.
PS: You can find me on GeneratePress (lead by Tom Usborne) who still keeps in the spirit of what Genesis once was.
Updates and replying to Brian Gardner:
- FrostWP renamed to Frost.
- Brian says Frost is actually a Genesis child theme, not a new theme. I think that’s good news. I do wish this was made more clear on the Frost website. It would certainly help with the mis-confusion.
- Brian says he never had a make-money-online podcast. I remembered RainMaker but he says he was never a part of that. He listed instead No Sidebar, StudioPress FM, and Agent Engine. I do remember StudioPress FM (which is not a paid podcast or money-coaching scheme). Long story short…he’s not about the money and very reasonable for him to defend this.
- Ultimately, my qualm is with him abandoning his loyal Genesis followers to pursue bigger money elsewhere. It doesn’t mean I don’t trust the quality of work, it means I don’t believe he’ll stick around for the long haul…especially if it doesn’t make the money he wants.
- DEC 24, 2021 update – Frost is acquired (I assume sold) by WPEngine (just like Genesis). WP Engine Acquires Brian Gardner’s Frost, Opens It to the Public -WPTavern. So we’ll never know what the heck Brian was really planning with it but hey, it’s now another free option…so you can’t complain. Let’s play. I always felt Frost wasn’t gonna last long but I didn’t think he’d exit this fast.
John @ S4
We love GeneratePress and recommend it to people all the time, you can actually feel the difference in the product when it is made by people who care about it, especially when it comes to support.
Agreed, love Generate Press and support is fabulous
Hi Johnny, appreciate your thoughts and opinion here. A couple of things I’d like to request:
1. Can you please update your post and replace references to “FrostWP” as simply “Frost.”
2. I don’t recall having a “how-to-make-money podcast,” and believe you have that mixed up with the podcast that Brian Clark was hosting.
3. Just wanted to point out that Frost is a Genesis-child theme.
Thanks for putting your requests here, Brian. I’ve renamed to Frost, clarified the child theme part, and also addressed your reply about the podcast thing. If you have any other thoughts to share, do put it here and I’ll do my best to make them heard.
Brian in the comments there being a gentleman. I admire that.
People seem to have forgotten to be nice to one another, and this article feels like another example of the entitled and toxic culture that is developing in the WordPress space.
Feeling sad 🙁
I wrote an honest opinion (complete with personal experience and detailed reasons) how I felt about Brian’s work, without any expectation for it to be different. It’s intended to answer the public so people can stop messaging me personally on Facebook (asking how I feel about Frost and why). If my opinions help the founder, it’s great. If they don’t, well that’s sad. :/
Love your honest feedback and speaking your mind. People don’t have to agree with it and thats fine. No apologies needed. You were not mean spirited in anything that you said.
I always appreciate honest insights and opinion.
I respect how you mentioned the word feelings in the title itself which shows it’s a personal view and does need to agreed by everyone.
Haven’t heard Forst before and did brief check on it and marked to check for in-depth look later.
It could be good but again I have yet to see a solid good enough reason for switching to another theme not just Forst from GeneratePress.
Nowadays I moved most of my sites to GP Blocks with GP and everything runs perfectly even decided not dabble with Oxygen.
Tom and development is amazing and their support forum is goldmine.
Yeah, Tom is just a one-man show but wow does he keep dedication on it. It really goes to show that even a 1-man show can outdo an entire company at times. Will have to see what Frost users have to say. I haven’t tried it yet.
Hey, everyone shit-talking Brian and Genesis well, he’s got the last laugh for now. The FREE Frost Genesis theme (and Genesis framework is free now) is gorgeous. This teacher is ecstatic–she finally has an attractive theme that her adult ed learners can actually be taught–and for free! Thank you, Brian Gardner (who I don’t know, but would love to)! And thank you, WPEngine for vowing to update it free for its lifetime (and yeah, I can’t afford their hosting or any of my students either; most of us are on disability). It is a lifeline for teachers for low-income or low-literacy students…finally!!
Ummm….the intention of this post was to predict Brian’s short-term commitment to his new Frost theme. And him selling it off to WP Engine has proven my prediction 100% correct. Seems I got the first AND the last laugh.
In all honesty, I’m not here to diss Brian. I just don’t believe in his projects anymore and that’s that. But that’s not supposed to be a reflection of his individual character.
I’m sorry you don’t believe in my projects anymore. I want to point out that my commitment to Frost is as strong as ever. Given my hiring by WP Engine in September, it only made sense to bring Frost into the company so that Nick Diego and I could use it as a tool for learning and teaching. All customers were refunded 100% in full, and we have been updating it weekly. On the contrary, I want to say that had I not recommended (strongly) to bring it in and open source it, the project would have certainly slowed down. (Only then would have proved the point you set out to make.) There is no ill-will nor negativity with my comment other than to reassure you that my/our commitment to Frost is strong, and the theme will continue to evolve and be a richer resource for the WordPress community.
Thanks for your comment/clarification. No offense taken and likewise, none was intended from me. Hey if you’re giving up on Frost as a monetization project, and pivoting it away into something else. That certainly opens the door for a whole different discussion about what it is now. I’m not following it but happy for you and hope it goes in a direction that fulfills you. All the best to ya, Brian.
I also want to clarify that Frost launched as a Genesis child theme. As FSE evolved and WordPress 5.8 and 5.9 shipped, we transitioned to a standalone version.
Johnny, I’ve watched Brian and his work for a long time, and was a Genesis user before CopyPress bought it, through his departing there, and on… I *think* there are some parts of that story that you might have misconstrued, and Brian has always been too much of a gentleman to speak about publicly. I just have a vague memory of being displeased with how CopyBlogger handled things, and being firmly in Brian’s camp. So – I’m a BG fanboy I guess. I’ve been watching Frost – and it’s doing some very very cool things with templates and blocks and portability. I’m running it on my site despite it still being experimental, and I’m about ready to pull the trigger on putting it on a client site.
So, sure, have your opinions I guess, but I think your story on Brian is out of bounds and doesn’t look well.
There’s my opinion. Everybody’s got one.
I am learning with Frost theme via an instructor at Udemy, Gregg Davis, but from his lessons, he went indept into Frost theme, but I see at the time of the course, The FrostWP theme xml files where still accessable on the Frost webiste. But now for a new student as myself, there is no way to get the xml files to study the lessons by Gregg Davis at Udemy for the files where removed from the FrostWP website.
Please can you reach Brian Gardner, or if he can see this comment, and maybe provide a repository or link to a webisite to download Frost xml files for lessons and teaching purposes? Many students such as myself at Udemy would love to know how to build sites using the Frost WordPress theme.
Please let me know how to get the files so I can properly learn from Gregg Davis in working with Frost Theme.
I would put out a Tweet and tag Brian. He’s pretty responsive there.