The Future of StartBox with WebDevStudios

Startbox, the framework which was acquired by WebDevStudios in late 2012, is ready to launch its next version, StartBox 2.7.

I reached out to Brad Williams, co-founder of WebDevStudios (WDS), to learn more about how StartBox fits into the world of WDS.

What kind of growth plans do you have for the framework?

Our current plan is to re-energize the development and community around the StartBox framework. We just launched StartBox 2.7, which includes some highly requested updates such as eliminating TimThumb, increased language support, and lots of bug fixes. We also just launched a new theme called Brochure, with another really amazing theme launch coming in just a few days.

If anyone reading would like to get involved I recommend following the Github project and joining in on our weekly dev chats in IRC freenode channel #wpstartbox every Friday at 11am Eastern.

Is it lined up to be a competitor to StudioPress’ Genesis framework?

I get asked this question quite a bit and although there are some similarities I don’t really think StartBox is a competitor. We still use Genesis on a lot of the websites we develop and love it. We also use StartBox. It’s all about using the right tool for the job. I would say the biggest difference is the StartBox framework is freely available on Github. We have no plans to charge for the base framework, instead focusing on selling custom premium child themes and support for StartBox.

The next version of StartBox is actually going to make a pretty dramatic shift away from the current setup which will really make it different from Genesis and most frameworks out there. We’ll have more details on that shift in a few weeks.

What makes StartBox different from all the other frameworks available?

As with all frameworks there are some pretty common similarities. With StartBox we’re focusing on building a framework that works for us. We’re taking our knowledge from the hundreds of websites we’ve built and launched over the years and incorporating features and ideas based on those experiences. A question we always ask ourselves is: What would make our lives easier? If a specific feature would make our lives easier, chances are it would also help other StartBox users as well.

We’ve always prided ourselves on our strong development skills. We’re currently working on using those development skills to introduce some really amazing add-ons for StartBox and SB child themes. I fully expect these add-ons to really demonstrate the power of StartBox and WDS!

How and why does Startbox fit into the vision of WDS?

For a few years now we’ve been wanting to explore the commercial market for WordPress. This has been a real challenge because our clients always come first. We’ve had numerous side projects over the years that never made it to the light of day. StartBox presented us with a nice turnkey solution for selling commercial products, in this case custom child themes. We certainly don’t expect StartBox to become our full time jobs, but it’s extremely fun having a project like StartBox to work on. The entire WDS team has had some part in helping with StartBox.

We have some really exciting things we’re launching this year. The future of StartBox is very bright!

Thanks Brad! I appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions about StartBox and where it’s going.