As premium WordPress themes continue to gain in popularity throughout the world, customers are becoming more familiar with the various subscription plans made available to those who wish to purchase pre-made templates. The choices are practically endless in today’s open marketplace, with new themes arriving for sale in a virtual stream that gives would-be buyers an enormous amount of leeway when it comes to deciding on which product or package to acquire.
This week, we aim to analyze the different plans that are offered by various companies that have created different ways to attract WordPress theme users. Some, such as Elegant Themes, have devised a yearly subscription plan that grants full access to all templates (currently 80 and counting) in exchange for a $39 renewable yearly price. StudioPress allows members to purchase products individually, or opt for a one-time fee of $349.95 with the ability to download current and future releases provided they are in-house productions. Still others let members subscribe for a recurring monthly charge with varying levels of access.
Yearly Subscription Plans
Elegant Themes founder Nick Roach was the very first major theme company owner to work out a way to attract a large amount of clients through a one-year subscription offer that has convinced more than 160,000 people and firms to come aboard. Not only that, but the twelve-month scheme is the only premium theme package available for the site. With more than six dozen premium themes marketed within the site’s catalog (ranging from standard blog layouts to e-Commerce templates).
By focusing on soft color palettes and clean layouts, Roach has somewhat revolutionized the market while including responsive design as part of his repertoire. The result has been a fluid revenue stream in the several millions of dollars; giving the founder and his cohorts plenty of funds to continue building impressive, viable themes that cater to the demanding needs of a global market.
ET customers are able to decide upon renewal each year, and also have the option to purchase additional plugins built by the company on a per-item basis.
Monthly Subscription Plans
While the yearly renewal option is attractive to many, some prefer to manage their theme company memberships on a monthly basis. This offers more flexibility and allows those with constantly changing needs to opt in and out of plans as they see fit. Almost all recurring membership plans (monthly and yearly) offer some level of customer support, which is vital in cases where the pre-designed product doesn’t meet the specific demands of a WordPress website. This is also useful for accessing forums and knowledge bases that often contain helpful tips of coding procedures that are necessary to make modifications within the Editor.
Individual Product Purchases
Sometimes a developer or WordPress site webmaster can simply “fall in love” with one particular theme that appears to be a perfect fit. In these cases, the option to bypass a plan that would commit the customer to several payments is ideal.
This case came up in a recent project I happened to be working on for an e-Commerce site. The owner had a specific design in mind, and when we found a theme that fit his plans and offered all the functionality necessary to get the storefront up and running immediately, there was no other hurdle to overcome except a few free plugin installations.
While a one-time fee can be extremely convenient, it may be more beneficial to those who manage several websites to seriously consider going the monthly or yearly subscription route.
This Week’s Poll
In this week’s poll, we’re asking our readers to chime-in and give opinions on what the best subscription plan is. Do you prefer paying once per year for one or more products, or would you rather become a monthly member? Or are your business goals better suited for making one-time theme purchases? Let us know what you think!