I’m working on adding a Theme Club to Pro Theme Design. I’ve been asked about it before but have always been put off because of the amount of effort involved in setting one up – however I have now found a nice simple way to do it – so I’m full steam ahead.
One of the things I am thinking about at the moment is the pricing of the theme club and so I thought I would do some research into existing pricing strategies from other theme shops.
WordPress Theme Club?
A WordPress Theme Club is a subscription site that gives subscribers access to all the themes/ products the company makes, plus support for those products, for a yearly fee.
Doing this makes a lot of business sense. When we started selling themes lifetime updates for a single purchase were the standard – but that’s unsustainable. I’m still supporting themes that were purchased for 8 years ago for $79. Thankfully it’s not very often – and it’s great people are still using my themes – but I’ve given them way more than $79 of my time (not to mention that I shared the $79 with Darren, and there were transaction fees, and web hosting, and software… etc).
Enter subscriptions. A yearly payment means that I can afford to spend more time giving people better support. It also gives me the incentive to continue improving existing themes, and not releasing and forgetting.
For users – a theme club can seem like an extra cost – however, we still offer the one-time payment on Pro Theme Design (through Creative Market) and that’s working well. Plus – if they do join the club – it will hopefully give them some confidence that we’ll still be around in 10 years making and supporting the themes.
In compiling this list, I focused on theme shops that matched Pro Theme Design (and my plans for it) as closely as possible. So they had to be 100% GPL, and they had to focus on WordPress (not be selling Joomla/ other cms templates). I also focused on the highest prices. Some of these shops have lower priced tiers, but I went for the top one.
When I started the spreadsheet I had columns for monthly and quarterly payments – assuming most shops would have a monthly option. I was wrong. Very few do. I assume this is because, having a monthly payment means that people could pay for 1 month, download all the themes, and then pay again the following for a single month the following year – getting all the new themes, and all the updates. So it makes perfect sense.
I was also surprised just how many WordPress Theme Shops have a ‘Lifetime’ payment option. That is, they have a single price that will buy you access to all of their themes – forever. Generally it seems to be between 2 and 3 times the yearly subscription fee.
Now I have the data – I still need to work out what to do for Pro Theme Design.
Currently, we have 8 themes for sale on Creative Market so the plan is to start with those and grow the collection over time. I was a little concerned that the number of themes is too small, but since the smallest collection is 10 – I think it will be ok and we have the themes available to let us increase it further in the future.
I have always thought of Pro Theme Design as being on the premium end of the theme scale – certainly in comparison to places like ThemeForest – and the prices will show that, but they won’t be right at the top.
In addition, I hadn’t considered offering a lifetime purchase but, I that’s now something I plan to offer once the Theme Club is set up.