I have nothing against premium blog themes, being custom designs that costs money to use, but not being unique. In other words, you buy a theme (and hopefully get support on it), and others can buy it as well. While you won’t get a custom design, you know that the theme in question won’t be as widespread as, say, Cutline, or any other popular WordPress theme. At the price of a license, ranging from $20 or so, up to a few hundred dollars sometimes.
People doing premium themes sometimes go to great lengths to defend themselves. Like Darren Hoyt did just recently, in a progress report on his upcoming Mimbo Pro premium theme. He said this, taking about the need for premium themes:
So there does seem to be a viable market since not everyone can afford a $10,000 custom design with a full-featured CMS.
Whoa there! $10,000 is a crazy number to wave around, when talking about blog designs! Darren probably knows that as well, since he’s throwing “full-featured CMS” in there, when he’s actually talking about premium themes in general, and WordPress ones in particular.
This number is misleading, since it’s really high. You can get a decent custom theme from $750 and upwards, with high quality stuff at $2,000, and maybe even lower. At least if we’re talking WordPress themes (or blog themes for that matter), and that’s what Darren’s doing.
It’s bad form to throw around fantasy numbers just to defend premium themes. It’s also totally unnecessary.
I can understand why this is more or less common though. Why should you pay for a premium theme that others can buy as well, when you can get a custom tailored to your needs, just for you? The answer is to save money, of course. Paying $299 for a premium theme surely sounds like a good idea if you believe that it could cost you $10,000 to have it custom made, right?
The thing is, most premium themes out there could be custom made jobs for around $1,000.
$299 (the number’s just taken to illustrate the point – there are cheaper licenses and whatnot) doesn’t sound like quite such a good deal when compared to $1,000, right? It might still be worth it, as I said, I have nothing against premium themes, but it’s certainly something completely different when pulling a zero from the custom number, right?
I urge premium theme developers to stop exaggerating. There’s no need to do that, and it just makes you look seedy. Concentrate on your product instead.