Brian Richards, developer of the StartBox theme framework, gave a presentation at WordCamp Chicago last weekend. During his presentation, “Developing For Success or Any Fool Can Do This,” Richards announced that his Startbox theme is now free to download at his site.
In the announcement blog post on his site, Richards said that he has wanted to release StartBox for free since the beginning but couldn’t afford it. He said:
I also wanted it to become a more practical solution for commercial devs. Even though the GPL already grants users the ability to redistribute StartBox however they like, many were still uneasy about including it with their products (or even building StartBox-based products in the first place).
Richards also hopes the new free price tag will spark more of a community around the project, potentially one that could spur more integration between the couple of dozen theme frameworks on the market today.
Last weekend also saw the launch of the StartBox Developer’s Club as well. In place of a charge for the StartBox theme itself, the new club will give members access to all current and future theme releases, PSD files, tutorials, and support. The cost is $50 to join and $10/month to remain an active member, or $100 for one year.
Anyone who paid for StartBox already will be grandfathered into the Developer’s Club until July 2012. Lifetime members, who signed up before StartBox launched, will continue to get everything for all time. In his post Richards encourages any customers upset with this announcement should contact him.
Have you tried StartBox for yourself yet? If not, does the fact that it’s now available free mean you might be more likely to try it out on a project?