It’s fitting the tech executives behind Themler are based in Las Vegas.

Their $2 million investment into CMS web development software is certainly a gamble. It’s a massively crowded space, and they're taking on competition in the world of WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, three of the world's most popular open-source content management systems (CMSs).

After three years of development, the same people that also launched Artisteer launched a new software product called Themler, which creates responsive CMS web designs for WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal and PrestaShop. It also supports template designs for e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce and VirtueMart that work with WordPress and Joomla.

Konrad Musial, interim CEO in charge of the 50-person effort for Themler, said the software allows systems like Drupal and Joomla to play catch up to ever-dominating WordPress, which garners most of the technology integrations. And why wouldn't it? It powers nearly half of the world's websites.

More Than One CMS

That, in fact, is part of Themler's value proposition, Musial said. Among many customizable WordPress themes, it's the only design product supporting a variety of CMSs. It also allows developers to produce themes and templates they can own and sell to third parties.

screenshot of the themler web development software

Themler is also the first integrated visual web design environment for content management systems, Musial said. Of course, themes for these CMS systems exist. Themeforest, produced by Melbourne, Australia-based Envato, offers responsive website themes and templates to build websites that officials there promise renders well on mobile devices.

But, Musial said, “There are individual themes you can buy for Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, but you cannot buy the tools to develop those themes. It’s the only visual web design and theme development environment for CMS and e-commerce.”

Why Unique?

In a video demo, it's clear users of Themler can easily build websites, for sure, with drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG features. But unique? Not quite.

Asked what makes it so unique, Musial said Themler is the only actual tool that enables developers to visually produce WordPress themes (designs of WordPress Websites) that they can own and sell. It can be classified as an integrated development environment (IDE), along the likes of Visual Studio, he said. 

"Up until now," he added, "WordPress designers and developers had only one choice: purchase a theme and customize it. And they could customize only those parts of a theme that supported customization. Therefore they were not really development tools for producing a complete theme. Theme developers also had only one choice: use PHP coding and HTML tools to manually develop themes that they sell."

Developers who customize themes and those that develop themes for sale will use Themler. They can avoid hand-coding in PHP and HTML. And Themler allows customizing every part of the website design, instead of being limited to specific design areas supported by a specific theme.

He called it a "game-changer" because Themler "allows Joomla and Drupal to better compete with WordPress. Many developers started abandoning Joomla and Drupal because WordPress gained so much support, so many tools and so many visual features and themes that it was more difficult to stay with Joomla and Drupal."

Themler is "bringing those CMS platforms back to life, in a way." Further, he said, creating designs/themes/templates for e-commerce platforms like Magento, WooCommerce and PrestaShop is "still quite complex and there are no tools to visually create designs for those systems. Therefore Themler also brings the design for those platforms within the grasp of medium-level designers and developers."

Early Interest

Artisteer, an automated web designer created about seven years ago, has had more than 2 million downloads and more than 250,000 paying customers, according to Musial. Themler already had about 500 people sign up as of Tuesday. Musial called it "simple enough" to be installed by any WordPress, Joomla and Magento users, and used to customize websites while previewing the design changes with live content. 

Themler will come bundled with Artisteer software and customers who purchased Artisteer Standard Edition for their web design needs will receive Themler Business edition at the price of Artisteer upgrade ($59.95). Users who purchased Artisteer Standard within the last 12 months will receive Themler Business at no charge.

The company behind all this is called Artisteer, Ltd, a software company offering WYSIWYG solutions for web designers with offices in the US (Las Vegas), Cyprus, Ukraine and Russia.

Themler includes a library of 200,000 modern stock photos and graphics. It can be installed on a Windows desktop or used in a web browser with any environment where WordPress, Joomla or Magento is installed. Desktop versions for Mac and Linux are also scheduled. Themler also comes with access to a library of 4,000 web templates for WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal and other CMS and ecommerce systems. Themler costs between $49 to $199.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by gchampeau.