Lifetime WordPress theme packages or license are becoming a rarity nowadays. Unlike early 2013, August 2013 marked a major shift in thinking of major WordPress shops with WooThemes moving into yearly renewals.
After awhile, other major WordPress theme developers followed suit, though developers like Elegant Themes, Themify and CSSIgniter started offering their lifetime license tier, albeit more expensively.
So, the question is, is it worth the price to purchase a lifetime WordPress theme package, if not a few? Read on to find out WPStarter’s take on this.
To be frank, buying a lifetime theme package is not a small commitment, especially if you are in countries where the exchange rate and the average salary is low compared to the US.
A typical lifetime WordPress theme package can easily set you USD 250 back, if not more. Also, if you are a typical end user, you will only need the theme for one or two websites you own. So yes, answering our question, is it a wise decision to pay so much?
1) Lifetime WordPress Theme Packages – Enterprise Users Demand It
If you have been following web trends, you would know that WordPress easily powers up to 25% of all websites Worldwide 1, and the number is growing. Among users adopting WordPress are enterprise customers, major corporations who are drawn by the simplicity of WordPress management and posting articles. After all, before WordPress, making an alteration on your post can take hours.
Major news portals are now on WordPress as well, drawn in by the quality plugins and themes in the WordPress ecosystem23. And though WordPress can easily be accessed and installed by moms and pops or casual bloggers, the very fact more enterprise users started using WordPress only means that
- Quality of WordPress products will increase
- Prices of WordPress products will also increase
You see, unlike you and me, major corporations like CNN, Forbes, Reuters, Sony, eBay and Samsung have no issues paying a few hundred or even thousands of US dollars for themes and features (note: plugins) they need. And precisely because they are willing to pay so much, the market started to attract quality programmers who are willing to forgo some high paying job in the Silicon Valley or with companies like Google, Apple or Facebook in order to give it a go on the WordPress ecosystem. This brings us to our other point
2) Lifetime WordPress Theme Packages – Commercialised WordPress
You see, Woothemes and WooCommerce were able to pull off their price increase because
- Competing solutions were either unstable, demanded too much resources (read : Magento), too pricey or the combination of the three.
- Many customers have already invested on WooCommerce licenses to back out
- Numerous bloggers who are trying to monetise their site
Back when WooCommerce was launched as a fork of Jigoshop (which was then the most innovative WordPress ecommerce plugin around), there were no real competitor. Other than Magento, OpenCart and Prestashop, corporate customers had to make the step up and pay sixty to a hundred thousand US dollars for enterprise grade solutions. However, solutions like Demandware, Hybris and ATG might be too steep for customers with turnovers of less than a million dollars nor have the manpower and/or resources to manage it.4 That is where WooCommerce shines.
However due to WooCommerce, some major WordPress developers have joined in the fray, causing prices of WordPress themes and plugins to increase and at times, out of reach of traditional WordPress users. Will the prices continue to increase? Will the price increases be sustainable to the ecosystem of WordPress
3) Lifetime WordPress Theme Packages – An Increasing Rarity
It was just awhile ago that theme developers like Graph Paper Press and Organic Themes were going at lifetime packages. Nowadays, they have moved onto yearly renewals, which could add up to quite a fair bit. If you are planning to run a number of WordPress sites, it is best to invest in a few theme shops before they decide to change to yearly renewals as well.
4) Lifetime WordPress Theme Packages – Sustainability For Your Website
Building a website in Malaysia can be really affordable or really expensive, depending on the path you take. In other words, there are so many options available in the market, including solutions like SquareSpace and Wix. However, if you prefer more control over your site, you might hire a developer or put it together yourself.
Now, whilst hiring a developer is the easiest thing to do, the cost of putting up a complex site like a Hotel Booking System or a Learning Management System, can go up to RM 50-100k. And that is not counting in retainer fees, whereby you pay a certain amount every month to keep your site updated to the latest version of WordPress. Without retainer fees, major WordPress updates might just break your site.
With lifetime WordPress theme packages, you will have the ease of mind to focus on your business as the theme developer ensures your theme gets regular updates. Rather than spending hours to be a programmer and designer, the time you save could be easily invested back into your business.
5) Lifetime WordPress Theme Packages – Best Practices
We have purchased a number of ThemeForest themes, only to find the updates spotty and the programming not up to mark. Only a handful of ThemeForest themes gets updated regularly over two to three years, the so-called lifespan of a WordPress theme.
In comparison, because WordPress Theme Shops are there for the long haul, themes are usually updated regularly over two years or more. And because they do not go through Envato’s commission system plus the extremely crowded competition on ThemeForest (there’s now 5000 plus WordPress themes on ThemeForest), independent theme shops can invest time and effort back to improving their theme, rather than throwing all sorts of features into it, so that they can be on the top of ThemeForest’s list.
With Lifetime WordPress Theme Packages, you are assured of best coding practices and that most popular theme shops out there keep an eye on the performance of their themes.
Should you invest in a lifetime WordPress theme package? Yes, you definitely should, if your business runs on a WordPress platform. Which WordPress Theme Shops do we recommend? We have a list, but it is coming soon. Stay tuned to WPStarters.com!
- http://themefuse.com/did-you-know-that-around-25-of-all-new-sites-are-built-with-wordpress/ ↩
- http://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/40-most-notable-big-name-brands-that-are-using-wordpress/ ↩