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Execute on your ideas

Written by Matty Cohen on November 28, 2013 Blog, Product News.

Ideas without execution are hallucinations.
Thomas Edison

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Often, when one has an idea, the execution of said idea gets in the way of realising the dream.

As we see it at Woo, WordPress is about empowerment. About instilling confidence. About creating opportunities to assist others in creating opportunities and executing on their ideas. Whether you’re a new blogger, a young start-up business or an individual looking to test an idea, WordPress is the platform for you.

Today, we’re proud to introduce you to our latest WordPress theme release. A theme inspired by those looking to start something new. A theme aimed at reaching for the skies. A theme inspired by the upstarts.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Upstart.

Execute on your idea

Upstart remains true to it’s name at all times. A full-width, large scale theme, Upstart is here to place your idea at the forefront of your WordPress-powered website.


Designed by our very own James Koster, Upstart can be shaped and crafted as desired with a few small tweaks in a child theme.

With the store functionality powered by WooCommerce, the entire WooCommerce extensions library is also at your disposal to take your online store to the next level.

Not just for business

While Upstart is primarily aimed at businesses and idea-makers, the theme can be used for anything from a standard blog-style layout to a website showcasing your company’s range of high quality products. With styling support for our Features and Testimonials plugins, as well as a “Business” page template, your own design is just a few small tweaks away in the “Theme Options” section.

Upstart also includes built-in styling for our new Our Team plugin, for showcasing your team members, what their roles are and how they contribute towards making your ideas a reality.

As long as you have a great idea, Upstart is the theme for you.


To illustrate this, we’ve set up a demo website to showcase Upstart and to show off just how easy it is to execute on your awesome idea.

Create quick and simple styling adjustments

Customising your copy of “Upstart” to meet your desires is important to us. With this in mind, no expense has been spared to ensure ease of use and customisation of the theme with a few clicks and your very own imagery.

Quickly provide a unique feel on your website, using our tailored selection of customisation options. A few simple clicks, your logo and your branding colours can transform Upstart into your very own, uniquely-branded, website.

Discount Coupon

Grab this theme with 35% off, during our Black Friday sale. Just use BLACKFRIDAY2013 as your coupon code on checkout.


43 Responses

  1. Kevin Gilbert
    November 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Looks nice. Every time in try to load the demo in Safari on my iPad, it starts to load and then crashes Safari.

    • Magnus Jepson
      November 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Try to load it directly:

      • Kevin Gilbert
        November 29, 2013 at 3:28 am #

        Yep. That worked. Thanks.

        • Ryan Ray
          November 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

          We have a new, and awesome, demo switcher waiting in the wings. We should see about putting that up sometime. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. aky007
    November 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    There are too many theme out there. 100+ in Themeforest. Do we still need more theme from wootheme? I think Woo team should forces more on BIG THINGS!

    • tinygiantstudios
      November 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Because you can be sure of code quality when it comes to Woo’s themes. On Themeforest, while it might looks nice, it’s a hit-and-miss affair when it comes to performing under pressure. With Woo you can be sure it’ll work out of the box…


    • James Koster
      November 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Not sure if serious..

    • Lorraine
      November 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

      I agree, there are so many themes already out there.

      BUT, I am really impressed by the updates, improvements, and customer support of Woothemes, that I’m reluctant to buy themes from developers that do not provide the customer service and updates that Woothemes does so well at!

      But you’re right, we should keep encouraging them to focus on those BIG THINGS that keeps Woothemes ahead of the game! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I REALLY like the Upstart design by the way, been looking forward to a more “flat” and progressive theme from the Woo Team.

    • Matty Cohen
      November 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Thanks for your feedback.

      “Big things” is quite vague. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you could, please post your ideas to WooIdeas and we’ll do our best to see if they fit into our larger product strategy, going forward. A blog post comment is not the ideal location to continue this conversation, as WooIdeas is the preferred platform for idea sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Again, thank you for your feedback. We always enjoy receiving feedback and seeing how/if we can meet the desired need. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. tinygiantstudios
    November 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm #


    It’s great to see you’re starting to reclaim your former glory when it comes to theme design. Well done James – top job!

    • James Koster
      November 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ryan Ray
      November 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Thank you for the awesome comments here, much appreciated!

  4. Theresa
    November 28, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Love it!

    • concepta
      November 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Great, I see the demo content is not up yet.. I will be waiting for that to give it a try.

      • Matty Cohen
        November 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

        The theme demo content is now live on the Theme Demo Content page.

        Upstart looks great out of the box, with or without the theme demo content. We look forward to seeing how you make this theme your own, with your own lovely content and imagery. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Matty Cohen
      November 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

      Thanks Theresa! ๐Ÿ™‚ We look forward to seeing how you make Upstart your own. Please do send us links when you’ve got an Upstart-powered website online. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Chris Lema
    November 29, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Wow – just saw Upstart and now I have something new to be thankful for on Thanksgiving! Really love it. The testimonial approach is GORGEOUS!

    • Matty Cohen
      November 29, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      That’s wonderful to hear, Chris. Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Tony Nguyen
    November 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    I love this post. It is actually useful for me. I do also work on online business now but my experience is not much. after reading your article, I think I have ideas for my business. Thanks for sharing. I do follow you recently. Hope to read more interesting information from you. Great job!

  7. alhegra
    November 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    looks so good man

  8. allmyhoney
    December 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Stunning work woo. I have tested it out a good deal and the shop and checkout area and cart all look just super. Really nice work here. Hats off.

    • Ryan Ray
      December 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Chippy
    December 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Huh? This design is REALLY not conversion-based. Wow. Starting to lose confidence in you guys …

    • Ryan Ray
      December 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      What to you is non conversion based, honest curiosity. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. davejay
    December 3, 2013 at 4:37 am #

    Guys… This is fantastic. I don’t often see themes that are so good they make me want to scrap my whole site and start fresh… But this is one of those. The look and feel is coherent throughout and the experience is immersive. Nice, nice work ๐Ÿ™‚

    • James Koster
      December 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

      Thanks Dave!

  11. Brandon
    December 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    I’m having some problems with the theme’s layout not responding to selections made in the wootheme admin section.

    Also I am receiving an error of “GD Library Error: imagecreatetruecolor does not exusts – on the featured posts section on the homepage (and this is not removed when I unclick the show checkbox.

  12. mensphere
    December 4, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Tired of chasing you guys now. My Order: #5100254443. I did not receive a discount at checkout. Have sent couple of emails but not joy. Poor customer service can be beginning of the end. This is our 5th attempt to gain any attention.

    • Maria Scarpello
      December 4, 2013 at 11:35 am #

      Hi there!

      I’ve replied to your tickets now. Sorry about the delay!

  13. likoma
    December 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Whoa, raising the bar guys! Great job. A client just sent me a link to some who-knows-who developer but I think I can show them Upstart and they’ll be sold and then I get to use WOO rather than who-knows-who.

    • Ryan Ray
      December 6, 2013 at 5:02 am #

      We definitely love to hear that, thanks for the feedback. Hope they choose Upstart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. sgG7ui9iiuhY
    December 6, 2013 at 5:01 am #

    Just setting things up and having a hard time finding the answer and this thread looks responsive. Can the rocket launching on the theme homepage be changed or removed through the dashboard or I do have to dig a little deeper?

    • Ryan Ray
      December 6, 2013 at 5:04 am #

      Not a theme option, submit a ticket for advice and help on that. –

    • James Koster
      December 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      I’ll add this as an FAQ item on the documentation ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Frank McClung
    December 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    I really like the design direction that Woo has taken with this theme–more creativity and more risk/reward for users.

    The one thing I question is the use of so many “bouncy ball” transitions in the theme. Having so many elements slide in from the left and bounce around is distracting. I’m not even sure what purpose it serves for the user other than to show something cool/new can be done on the development end . This article ( really opened my thinking on the use of transitions and how they can be effectively used to communicate information and state changes to the users that are relevant not just cool. Is there a way to turn off these transitions in the theme areas or try different types of transitions for different areas?

    • James Koster
      December 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Questioning the purpose of design elements in a WordPress theme is gonna lead you on a path to nowhere imo.

      Our job is to provide appealing design to a large amount of people working in a wide range of industries. So inevitably we’ll introduce things which might not appeal to everyone.

      Remember that we don’t actually specify the purpose of the design ourselves, the end user does. That makes designing themes tricky and explains why we see so many cookie-cutter minimalist themes which follow the same design patterns.

      So while some of these elements might not appeal to one particular business, they might be a perfect fir for another. EG. if you’re selling parts for sports cars the animations in Upstart would probably make sense (while not serving any real purpose ito communication, I concede).

      With Upstart, part of the theme of the design was to utilise some css3 animations as it’s not something we’ve done much with in the past. They can all be removed with some simple edits.

      I love the principles in Franks post, but I think if we followed that philosophy in commercial WordPress themes the space would be pretty boring given that we do not know how people will be using our themes 100% of the time.

      • Frank McClung
        December 16, 2013 at 12:30 am #

        If you design for nothing, you’ll be successful every time. That’s what leads to bland and boring design–not questioning the purpose an element of a theme serves.

        This theme isn’t boring or unfocused though. You have a clear statement of design purpose for startups and those with ideas. I think that the theme provides the framework for one your customers to fulfill that purpose well.

        My point is that the elements of a theme’s design should serve the purpose of the theme. We should always be asking ourselves how does this function, content, architecture, illustration, graphic and yes, even bouncy transition slide in from the left thingy serve the theme’s purpose. If it serves no purpose other than neat and cool dev stuff that we’ve not used in a theme before, then fine, it’s just there to be cool. But if the element serves no purpose and is actually distracting from the design, then more consideration should be given to it to change, alter or remove it from the theme.

        We could make the buttons on a page blink. If you are as old as I am, you may remember the time with they all did (and text too). We don’t design like that now though because it doesn’t serve the purpose of the design (except on very rare occasions) and is in fact distracting to users.

        We need to question the purpose of a design element. Always.

        • James Koster
          December 16, 2013 at 11:59 am #

          I am totally in agreement with you on this. One of my favourite quotes to apply to design is:

          Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

          But I stand my point in saying that it is difficult to apply this philosophy when:

          1. We’re operating in a very competitive market where the smallest details can make you stand out from the competition
          2. We have a situation where we do not know the intended use of the theme 100% of the time (yes the theme is aimed at startups but that is not to say it’s restricted to that genre)

          It’s actually something of a paradox, the theme industry has self-perpetuated a culture of more-is-more to the detriment thereof.

          But fear not, this is something we’re focussing a lot of our attention on in 2014 as we look to make our themes a lot leaner ito code and purpose.

          • Frank McClung
            December 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

            Looking forwarded to leaner and more focused themes from Woo in 2014!

  16. howardpw
    December 12, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    One thing it’s missing is a portfolio. But did I read somewhere that you’re working on a Portfolio plugin…?

    • James Koster
      December 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      We sure are. Keep your eyes peeled early 2014 ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. melpomene
    December 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    About a year ago James Koster kindly helped me out with some PHP code for a Woo issue on the WP forum. Bingo, it worked! So when scouting round for a new theme, I came across ‘Upstart’ and was immediately interested in its looks etc I confess my interest grew when I discovered who had written it, and service is important to me as someone who couldn’t be described as expert! In fact Alexander Pope’s quote of “A little learning is a dangerous thing” is probably more appropriate. I duly purchased it and made more progress in about 6 hours, than I’d made in 6 days with the now abandoned theme that was shackling me before hand.

    I think it’s a fantastic theme, and whilst I was only going to run it as a small project, I’ve kind of resolved to transfer all my sites into it now. Still bits and pieces I’m struggling with (to be expected) and some really simple stuff as well, which I’m sure is residue from the previous theme, but over all I think its really good, and am just starting to realise what people meant when I used to read posts in various places that said “love this theme”