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.