Joshua ‘Red’ Russak from First Time Online has performed an interesting investigation into WordPress theme stores and what their developers offer their customers. The results are astounding.
Based on 53 WordPress theme stores, Joshua found that:
- 62% have “No Pricing Pages”
- 31% have “Pricing” in their Navigation Bar
- 10% are “Subscription Only” models
- 33% mentioned “Footer Removal Rules”, of which 6 restricted removal!
- 40% allowed uploading to “Unlimited Domains”
- 21% included .PSD’s (In some cases, getting the .psd meant an increase of $100)
- 17% didn’t offer or didn’t define whether or not they offered Support
- 42% offered “All Theme Packages”, though in many cases, there were limits set.
I do believe that pricing plans are useful for customers however I understand that some developers prefer to price themes individually on their sites. I was more shocked at the percentage of theme stores who restrict the removal of the developer footer link though and a whopping 60% of stores also restrict the number of domains the design can be used on, clearly breaking WordPress’s GPL Policy. Restricting the number of websites a person uploads a purchased design too is near impossible to enforce though out of principle, I personally wouldn’t purchase a theme if it restricted the number of sites I could upload it too.
With only 1 in 5 theme stores including the original photoshop psd files, it would seem that most theme developers are concerned about others stealing their designs. I do find this very frustrating at times, particularly if a theme uses a lot of images, as it makes it much more difficult to customise the design to suit your needs.
For a complete breakdown of what theme stores offer, I recommend reading Joshuas article, as he explains which theme stores offer photoshop psds and which stores restrict how the theme is used.