Recently, Nate Whitehilll’s UniqueBlogDesigns.com (UBD) catapulted to the top of the WordPress themes community, thanks to exposure from Nate redesigning John Chow’s and Shoemoney’s blogs. Currently, business is booming for UBD’s custom design service and pre-made pay-per-download themes. With all the money and success, I wonder if Nate still have the time to sit back and realize his services and products… suck?
Before you get me wrong, my view on UBD services and products doesn’t stem from jealousy. No, I’ve already decided not to take the freelance and paid themes route. Therefore, UBD is not my competition nor am I interested in earning that level of money. Freelance and paid-themes are not worthwhile, for me.
I think it’s sad how UBD and its paid themes have gotten to where they are, in a short period of time, all thanks to exposure and not quality in services and products because they don’t strive to make WordPress more attractive. Furthermore, Unique Blog Designs custom and pre-made products are not unique.
Compare Nate Whitehill’s (owner of UBD) and John Chow’s (redesign by Nate) blog designs and you’ll get the picture.
As for the pay-per-download or “exclusive themes” as UBD like to call them, how can you label something exclusive when you’re going to resell it over and over again? Beats me. Second, most of the “exclusive themes” are not unique and not the top-notch quality that you’d expect from a $79 price tag (about $30 above Template Monster’s price per theme).
Compare the following themes from UBD and then tell me how unique they are:
The above might be an unfair comparison because I compared UBD themes to themselves and most of their themes are done by one designer, Adriaan Pienaar. However, search any free WordPress themes database or site and you’ll run cross more similar themes to the examples above. Again, what UBD sell is nothing new or unique. At this point, its products are simply “unique” because they’re from one designer with a recognizable style. I could do the same thing and label myself unique, but that isn’t really honest when it comes to offering something truthfully different for WordPress theme customers is it?
Beyond the fact that UBD theme’s are not unique, let’s break down their quality. The structure of the designs are not carefully thought out. You don’t need to be a designer to recognize their apparent spacing and alignment problems. Graphics-wise, they suffer the Template Monster syndrome, which is too many in your face eye-candy – meant for fooling uninformed customers into thinking they’ve gotten their money worth.
But unlike Template Monster, what’s worse is the quality of UBD’s eye-candy. They’re cheaply done gradients, shadows, and reflections. Obviously, UBD’s main designer for the “exclusive themes” is subtlety-intolerant, contrast-intolerant, design-flow-intolerant, and focus-intolerant.
Without the exposure and the fact that UniqueBlogDesigns.com is really the only site or service with an ample amount of paid themes to compete with Template Monster, I would never understand why people would do business with or buy from UBD.
Before you criticize me for this honest and blunt review (I wouldn’t mind if you do), know that I’m contributing to UBD’s success by writing about it. In conclusion, UBD is simply a new cookie cutter service / product that customers are not tired of yet and it remains a joke until it cleans up its act by:
- hiring more designers for variety in styles
- pushing the limit for WordPress theme users like what Brian Gardner did with the Revolution theme
- striving to make WordPress more attractive while still making money