Last week I posted a poll question here on the Playground: How do you prefer to pay for premium WordPress themes? In just under a week I received a good number of responses, and am happy to provide the results here. My own analysis, thoughts, and voter feedback are after the jump and below the charts.
Analysis of Poll Results
The top two responses on this poll were Purchase each theme on its own and Themes for free, but pay for support. While there was a bit of discrepancy between the two, I consider them to have ultimately received the same amount of votes. A difference of one vote isn’t much.
The second level of popularity in the poll held two more options: Subscribe to a club for regular themes and I would never pay for a WordPress theme.
The least popular options were Any of the above and Other answer…, which ended up being “I create my own”.
What this says about the WordPress themes market
I’m definitely interested in this topmost level of votes. I can’t help but think that the reason that WordPress themes with a single price attached to them are preferred by many people is that the majority of theme shops out there are selling themes this way. It’s difficult, sometimes, to discern between the way things are and the way things should be, or the way we actually want them to be.
It’s also worth talking about the model where only support is paid for. I’m not going to get into this topic too much, since there will be more on how exactly to work these different models later this week, but there was one comment on the poll that caught my eye, from Theme Playground reader Marvia, who said:
I don’t change a theme regularly enough to need regular themes but I do like the club option for community support etc.
It seems that there is a similar thread running between the pay for support model and the themes club model: both offer a community of support. In all fairness, though, those who sell WordPress themes individually also offer great support for their themes. The point is, though, that people are beginning to realize that they are more likely to receive support for themes they use when they are actually contributing to the author in some way.
Oh, and it’s also interesting that there was one “Other answer” vote that said “I build my own”. Since I know that there are a good number of those who do develop WordPress themes and happen to read Theme Playground, this tells me something about WordPress developers: they don’t like to participate in polls!
My own thoughts on the issue
I’ve been really interested in this issue lately, and hope it shows this week as we spend all five days talking about making a living (which is different than making money, I should say). Coming up on Wednesday of this week will be a post where I describe in greater detail the different models that I know of, and have at least some experience with, as well as the thoughts of those who are themselves making a living from the model.
For the moment, I’d have to say that my favorite of the poll above is the Free themes, pay for support option, but I’m going to hold off on my own opinion until later this week. I hope you’ll stick around as well, and allow yourself to hear about some other ways to make a living with WordPress.
Seeing the results of the poll above, what do you think? Do you think this is representative of the WordPress community, or at least those who are willing to buy themes? And if you are interested in getting involved, in some way or another, with the WordPress themes market, I’d be interested in whether or not the results above influence you one way or another.