introducing-array

Introducing Array

I’m Mike McAlister. I’ve been involved with WordPress since 2009. For the past five years, I’ve been designing and developing quality WordPress themes under the moniker Okay Themes. With Okay, I was able to experiment with design and development as a theme provider on a massive scale at ThemeForest. I’m humbled to say I’ve since shared my WordPress theme collection with over 20,000 awesomely creative and supportive people.

Okay Themes has been a great vehicle to learn the ins-and-outs of the commercial theme space, as well as a great way to learn about my clientele and where I fit into the equation. Being a small-scale operation has provided me with the opportunity to connect with people who share the same ethos as myself and strive for simplicity.

Rather than focusing on the quantity of themes over the years, I’ve stayed fiercely dedicated to the quality of each and every theme in my collection. Spending hours nudging pixels around, reworking code to be as efficient and clean as possible, listening to feedback from users, keeping up with standards and adopting new technologies when they emerge. Details that can ultimately make a good product great.

While I’ve been hard at work on said details, the WordPress theme marketplace has gone and complicated itself a great deal, getting further and further away from WordPress’s core philosophy.

Great software should work with little configuration and setup. WordPress is designed to get you up and running and fully functional in no longer than five minutes. You shouldn’t have to battle to use the standard functionality of WordPress.

Sign me up! I’m ready to get back to this simpler way of doing things. Care to join me?

Introducing Array

Okay Themes will now be known simply as Array. We (still) specialize in beautifully crafted, high quality WordPress goods. New name, new website, new logo, same way of doing business.

Why the new name? What happens to Okay Themes?

Over the years, Okay Themes has always done as well as I had hoped, even exceeding my expectations on many accounts. I’m thrilled to have grown it into a trustworthy brand, ultimately allowing Okay Themes to evolve and become something even better — Array.

Why Array?

As you might imagine, rebranding is quite the task. Simply coming to the decision of going through with a rebrand is a whole decision in itself, let alone the endless subsequent decisions. I knew all of this going into it, but it just felt like the right time to rebrand and relaunch the theme shop.

ar·ray (n)
1. an impressive display or collection of a particular object.
2. an ordered arrangement, in particular.

The day before I was set to leave for a few weeks to Thailand in October, I was doing some last-minute cleanup on a bug fix to clear my to-do list. As I double-checked my work and skimmed through the code, it hit me. array(). It was something I had written probably six billion times but never thought anything of it. It’s a very familiar word, we all know it means a kind of unique collection. WordPress folks are familiar with it because of its vast use in themes and plugins. It looks nice typed out, it sounds friendly, it conveys a sense of order and structure. So I named this new WordPress adventure Array, and I hope you like it. (Please like it, rebranding is hard. See above.)

Who is behind Array?

Many of you probably already know myself, Mike McAlister, but there are a few more lads responsible for some of the quality work around here. John Parris joined me earlier this year to help wrangle code and work out some great UX features for Array and the theme collection. George Gecewicz is a support heavyweight, helping us clear support tickets while the new site was being built. Read more about us and our philosophy on the About page.

New WordPress theme shops launch every day. Why is Array any different?

Unlike many of these new theme shops that pop up, I’ve been doing this since 2009. I’ve been through the ups and downs of the WordPress ecosystem. I’ve carved a niche in a bloated, saturated marketplace. I’ve earned the trust of my peers and customers by creating honest, well-made WordPress goods that enable users instead of hinder them.

What does this mean for existing customers?

If you’re already a customer, all of your purchases, downloads, support tickets and account info have been safely and securely migrated from Okay Themes to Array. Simply sign in with the same username and password you’ve used previously. Check out your new Dashboard area and let us know what you think!

Departure from ThemeForest

Over the course of my five year tenure at ThemeForest, Envato has grown from a quiet, close-knit community to a multi-million dollar mega-marketplace, with over 3.5 million members and around 5 million marketplace items. Talk about growth.

Just as Envato has grown over the years, so have my own endeavors. Using ThemeForest as a platform, I’ve created a pretty good name for myself with my previous adventure, Okay Themes, designing and developing a unique collection of WordPress themes that have been deemed trustworthy and considered a breath of fresh air in the bloated, settings-infested theme landscape.

After fighting the good fight for five years, my body of work has officially outgrown the ThemeForest marketplace. Although it has been a great platform for starting my business, my own ethos and aspirations have evolved. Starting today, my WordPress themes will be available exclusively through Array and WordPress.com.

ThemeForest Customers

I’ve gone to great lengths to make sure my ThemeForest customers are well taken care of during this transition. If you’ve purchased a theme from Okay Themes via ThemeForest, your download will no longer be available via your ThemeForest Downloads section starting today.

But fear not, loyal customer! You can transfer your purchase history to Array and still access your theme downloads and support for 1 year! After 1 year, you may choose to renew your license at a 20% discount to continue getting updates and theme support.

Simply visit the ThemeForest registration page and enter your email and Purchase Code. Using this form, you can transfer each of your ThemeForest purchases to Array. If you are a new user, an account will be created for you and the details will be dispatched to your email. If you already had an account at Okay Themes, you can sign in using the same credentials to access your downloads.

We’ve worked tirelessly to make sure this is a smooth transition for everyone involved. Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions about the transition. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have.

Special Thanks

Although this site may seem simple in nature, it was a technological feat that required more than just my hands. The following folks are highly skilled in what they do, and without their help, Array wouldn’t be what it is.

Heavy Heavy – Heavy Heavy is a creative studio based in San Antonio, TX. I worked with Steven Darby and Erik Ford to develop a new logo to accompany Array’s simple and thoughtful aesthetic. Darby collected my ideas, concentrated them down and turned them into a graphic, creating something truly unique that further underscores my dedication to simplicity. Look for a follow-up post about the process of working through a redesign with these guys.

John Parris – John joined Array at the beginning of 2014 and has been an invaluable asset to my small team. John shares the same passion for simplicity and has influenced many decisions that have led to a more seamless user experience.

George Gecewicz – George has held down the support forum while John and I worked on building out Array and updating the theme collection.

Justin Sainton – Justin helped me import my support discussions from my previous support app, Tender, into bbPress. We’ve open-sourced this project for anyone who is looking to make the same switch.

Pippin Williamson – Pippin is the lead developer and mastermind behind EasyDigitalDownloads, which powers the shopping cart and many other features on Array. I couldn’t have built this site without his quality, extendable plugins.

Nick Cernis – Nick helped me set up a seamless process for ThemeForest users to register on Array and transfer their purchases to their Array dashboard.

Mandi McAlister – Mandi, my wife, provided me with endless amounts of coffee, feedback, support and motivation to keep building the site, even when I hated it and didn’t want to work on it anymore.

Published by Mike McAlister

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. I design all the things.

27 Comments

  1. Fantastic work on the entire project, Mike. Quite the behemoth undertaking, but you appear to have executed it quite flawlessly and with great grace. Good work, friend!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Justin! It was great to finally work with you on a project. Let’s do that again soon!

  2. Congratulations! I know how difficult it is to not only rebrand yourself but to also step off the ledge and go against the current. I have always been a huge fan of what you do, both professionally and creatively, and I know that Array is exactly what the WordPress community needs.

    Keep leading the charge. The rest of the world will catch up.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Erik (and Darby)! The work Heavy Heavy did really set the tone for the rest of the design and development. I’m thrilled with the way the brand turned out.

  3. Incredible work on all of this Mike!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Robbie! I appreciate the kind words. I hope you’re finding your way around the site well.

  4. Congratulations on the rebranding and redesign, Mike! Looks great, and I can’t wait to see what themes you release in the coming months under this new moniker. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Shawn! I’m thrilled to finally have some of your own great work on my site.

  5. Love it, man. Congrats — can’t wait to see this thing grown even more!

    Reply
  6. Congratulations Mike! I have always loved your work. Remember, our conversation few days back on Twitter (@psahalot) ?
    Best wishes for the new venture!

    Reply
  7. Congrats Mike. The new site looks terrific and best of luck going independent!

    Reply
  8. It’s great to see your team grow and the business evolve. Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

    Reply
  9. Hey Mike! Congratulations, always admired your work, which keeps getting better and better. My best wishes on this new journey. I know you’ll do great 🙂

    Reply
  10. Congratulations on the rebrand launch, Mike, it looks amazing!

    Wishing you and the team all the best with Array 🙂

    Reply
  11. All sounds great, but how editable are these themes? What can be done with them? Can you change the colours? Does it include sliders? I only see front-end elements. I’d like to see how easy they are to edit on the backend.

    Nonetheless, best of luck with this new direction.

    Reply
    • Hi Ed,
      Each theme has different customization options, but they all generally have a logo upload, accent/link color picker, a Custom CSS field and social link icons. Our themes aren’t loaded with a ton of options. Instead, we spend extra time designing them so they don’t require a ton of customization.

      For users who are familiar with a little code, they’ll be able to easily customize the themes further. The code is clean and easy to read and navigate.

  12. Congrats on the rebranding and the new site. They both look gorgeous. It’s great to see a developer such as yourself, who’s so committed to code quality, is growing even bigger. Well done!

    Reply
  13. Congrats Array Team! This all sounds like a great move.

    Reply
  14. Congrats. Array seems like a perfect name. Looking forward to seeing what comes next. FRESH & CLEAN

    Reply
  15. Congratulations to you all. Good to see things go forward. Enjoy and keep crafting great stuff!

    Reply
  16. Ummmm…. so where are all the themes from ThemeForest gone? Will we get access to them here?

    I just went to download Pocket again and it is gone. In fact, all of the themes I have purchased from you at ThemeForest have been removed.

    Can we access them here? I have purchased 4 of them….

    Reply
    • Hi Craig, you can definitely download your ThemeForest purchases here. See the ThemeForest Customers section of this post, or just visit this page to transfer your purchases to Array. If you have any questions, let us know in the forums.

  17. Okay Themes was a great name, and Array is even better. I like the look of your themes, and close to buying one (or more). Question: Is the main Array web site built using one of the Array themes, and if so, is it available for purchase?

    Reply
    • Hey Toto, thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately, Array isn’t based on any particular theme. However, it shares the same aesthetic, clean code and architecture that our themes have. If you like the look of Array, North might be a nice theme to start with and build off of!

  18. congrats man, looking forward to seeing what’s next

    Reply
  19. what about themes we have bought on themeforest that you removed, for example i bought medium, and now i dont have access to any updates.

    Reply

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