One of the most important buying attributes is knowing how much does a WordPress theme cost. Of course, pricing is not the only decision-making factor. How a theme looks to the typical buyer is probably the most important, but the price comes in second.
It’s obvious that the theme market for WordPress is massive with a variety of options and niche-based themes. Rough Pixels is just one of many, but you definitely won’t have a problem finding your chosen theme.
I will touch base on a few facts about WordPress theme cost and pricing, but more so about Rough Pixels and the change we might be making.
WordPress Theme Prices – Pricing Models
When you start looking at the 1000’s of themes available, it can be quite overwhelming. WordPress theme prices generally fall into a short-list of pricing models:
- Single Theme – When you just want 1 theme only with one year of updates and support.
- Memberships – This usually gives you access to the complete selection of themes a theme shop offers.
- Subscriptions – Not widely used, but generally this is a subscription-based concept.
Everyone has their preference, but the two most common are the single and membership-based options. The subscription model is not as common but is used by a few theme shops. One, in particular, has the option where $35 gets you the theme and a free month of support and updates. Once your initial month is finished, your subscription kicks in at $7.99 USD/mth until you cancel. If you total this up for the year, you are looking at $122.89.
Average Theme Pricing
I’ve been designing and selling themes for over a decade. Through the years I have seen a variety of pricing ranging from free to as high as $200. Anyone who pays $200 will generally be a customer looking for something specific.
Theme prices have not changed much since I first got into this business. They generally fall somewhere between $39 to $69 USD. Typically, the average price is $59 USD which seems to be the sweet spot for a single theme.
Theme Memberships will be the one option that offers a greater range of price differences. Memberships can be as low as $49 to as much as $399. There are some websites that offer lifetime access to themes, including theme updates and support!
How many themes you get for signing up will depend on what the theme shop has in their portfolio. How you determine value will be up to you. Value can be considered by how many themes you get, quality of themes, type of themes, category niche-based themes, or any combination thereof.
For theme memberships where you can access all themes, you will see a median price of around $89 USD.
How Are Prices Determined?
WordPress theme prices are determined by many factors, but here is a quick rundown of what is used by most theme shops:
- Market Standards – Simply put, theme shops will look at what most sites are charging.
- Cost of Theme Development – To design a quality theme, the fact that it takes 2-3 months to build one means incurring costs/expenses during this time. If you consider building a theme full-time for even 2 months, the initial cost would be $6000 (at least!) before it even goes live.
- Cost of Updates – Take into consideration the amount of time that is required to maintain a library of themes, both current and future releases.
- Cost of Support – Providing support is another cost of doing business, so this is factored into WordPress theme prices.
- Niche Themes – Theme shops that create niche-specific themes can often result in higher costs. For example, WooCommerce themes require a lot more work to build and maintain.
- Theme Features – How many and what kind of features does a theme provide you.
- Staffing – The big theme shops have a team of developers and support staff. They don’t work for free, so there’s the cost of having employees. In business terms, this is called labor costs. This can include staff or freelancers.
- Business Expenses – Running any kind of business comes with expenses. Aside from being able to pay yourself and/or staff, there are other things like keeping software up-to-date, computer equipment to maintain, advertising, hosting, travel expenses such as going to WordCamps, rent, electricity, phone, and more. But here is one big doozy of a cost…paying taxes!
Adjusting WordPress theme prices is common for most theme shops. Every year, it can be challenging to maintain a competitive pricing model when you consider how many are in this business. There is also market saturation to consider as well.
Rough Pixels Theme Pricing
Over the last 14+ years of designing and selling themes, prices, and pricing strategies have not changed much.
When I first started, I was doing what most theme shops were doing–offering theme memberships that give access to all themes. Selling single themes was not as common back then, although some sites were doing just that.
Eventually, I realized that customers only wanted one theme but were often forced to pay for a full theme membership. The mindset was “why pay for every theme being offered when I just need one theme?” So, I decided to give customers the option to choose one theme or all themes!
I even took it further when I found out most theme buyers are not big fans of getting only 1 year of updates and support. Sure, you can renew your theme for another year for a 50% savings off the price. There are several people that don’t mind the choice of renewing. However, on-the-flip-side, there many who want just one theme with lifetime updates, support, and only deal with one payment.
Since the redesign of the Rough Pixels website, we implemented a new price level to provide you with the option of buying a single theme with lifetime updates and support.
This turned out to be popular as most people are now opting in for the Single Lifetime option. Current customers and members are now upgrading their current theme to take advantage of it for just $20 more!
Basically, you pay once, and that is it! The idea of losing updates, support, and paying a renewal fee after the first year is now eliminated! Currently, we are offering the Single Lifetime option at $69 USD ($99 CAD), which is actually a great deal considering what you are getting.
Pricing in USD Currency
Most products and services offered online are usually priced in US currency. This is especially true when it comes to WordPress theme prices (plugins too).
There are exceptions as some companies will list their prices using their home (country) currency. Others might have the ability to automatically detect where you are and then the checkout converts the price to your home currency.
Based on my own history of buying products and services online, the most prominent currency has been USD; the Euro being second.
For Rough Pixels, Canada is our country of origin, but I’ve been pricing themes in USD (US Dollars) since I first started designing themes a decade ago. I did this to coincide with the method most theme shops offer; $49 to $69 USD.
Moving to CAD Prices?
There is a possibility I may be switching our theme prices from USD to CAD. The primary reason is for accounting, taxation requirements, and business structure, as recommended by an accountant.
The checkout total will be in CA dollars, and then with whatever your payment method is, your statement would show what you actually paid with your home currency based on the exchange rate.
However, because the US dollar is still a prominent method of purchasing, Rough Pixels would include an approximate USD price as a guideline.
Perhaps something like this:
EXAMPLE: If you purchased the Single Lifetime option for $99 CAD, this is what you would pay on checkout. Your method of payment statement will show what you actually paid based on the exchange rate from your home country’s currency. So if you are in the USA, it would show something like $69 US.
Before you checkout, you can always use an online currency calculator to give you an idea of what you would be paying in your own currency. A popular one is www.xe.com.
Showing CAD with USD pricing as a Guideline
Basically, when you purchase a theme, you would be paying in Canadian dollars (CAD). The USD price you see is only a guideline.
Looking for Your Feedback
I’m still contemplating the switch, but I would appreciate any feedback in the comments regarding the move from USD to CAD, including how prices would be displayed on the site.
- Should I keep it as US dollar only?
- Would this make things too complicated or confusing for buyers?
- Should both currencies be shown on the price table?