WooThemes: The Reboot
Just this month, WooThemes introduced a club revamp and implemented new tiered licensing and support packages. Previously you could purchase one theme for $70. With it you get 2 bonus themes plus lifetime support. Now, with the new tiered licensing scheme, WooThemes introduces 3 more packages in addition to its Standard Package offering: the Developer Theme Package, the Standard Club Package, and the Developer Club Package.
Standard Package – $70
WooThemes retains this package everyone has gotten used to. You still get the theme you want with unlimited domain usage plus two other themes of your choice. Previously, however, you got lifetime support for your purchased theme while in the new scheme only 1 year of support is included. WooThemes has explained that revenues gotten from the initial purchase 3 years ago will not sustain the support services obtained during the lifetime of the product. Users have the option to purchase lifetime support service for an additional $30. This package does not include PSD files.
Developer Package – $150
This package is similar to the Standard package. You get unlimited domain usage for the theme you purchased plus 3 other themes. The Developer package includes PSD files for additional customization capabilities. Service is likewise for 1 year with the option for lifetime support for an additional $30.
Standard Club Package – $20 per month + $125 start-up fee
This package gives you access to all 82 themes in the WooThemes inventory with unlimited domain uses as well as an additional of at least 1 theme a month. It gives you access to support services as long as membership is current. This package does not include access to PSD files.
Developer Club Package – $25 per month + $200 start-up fee
This package also gives you access to all 82 themes in the WooThemes inventory with unlimited domain uses as well as an additional of at least 1 theme a month. PSD files are included with this package. Support access available as long as membership is current.
Similarly extensions of the popular WooCommerce plugin are now under a tiered licensing scheme. You can purchase single site use, usage for up to 5 sites or unlimited site usage.
While a lot of folks have accepted the changes in WooThemes some have expressed dissatisfaction with the new setup. One user stated that from his point of view WooThemes jacked the prices up and lowered the support quality. Another user lamented the shutting down of support forums as support is not email based in response to the new system. The majority of users, however, still think WooThemes needs to do what is necessary to sustain its business in response to the growth the WordPress industry.
Sometimes, in order for businesses to survive in an ever evolving business environment, changes have to be undertaken to ensure the viability and profitability of such. Otherwise, to remain in business without profitability is a futile endeavor. Any change, especially in businesses, does not happen at a whim. Surely, the people behind WooThemes have put in the thought process before they arrived at their new scheme. The tricky part is in the area of providing support and for how long. Unless there is a guarantee that every theme that comes out of WooThemes is fail-proof (all things remaining constant) up to a certain point, no matter how many updates and plugins come out, – people will still expect to receive support. And if they don’t they will simply switch providers. It’s as simple as that.See the WooThemes Reboot