Last week I blogged about my experience with Headway, a premium framework theme builder for WordPress. One of the issues I discussed was how Headway charged a yearly license fee. A customer is required to pay this yearly fee if they want to receive updates, including bug fixes. I didn’t realize this when I originally purchased Headway, that I would be required to continue to purchase Headway every year if I wanted access to updates and bug fixes. Who charges paying customers for bug fixes?
Headway Themes, that’s who.
A few people left comments addressing what I wrote about, one of which contained a claim that most “top” premium WordPress products have gone to the yearly license pay model. Is this true? Here is what I was able to find out:
- Headway from Vesped – The Base package costs $87 and includes one year of support and updates. According to the email they send customers who’s license is about to expire, the term updates includes bug fixes.
- Genesis from StudioPress – This is the theme I’m currently using. It has a one-time purchase fee of $59 and includes unlimited support and updates.
- Thesis from DIYthemes – Thesis Basic is $87 and includes 12 months of forum support and upgrades. They don’t say if bug fixes are included after 12 months, but they do state there are no recurring costs or hidden fees, whatever that means.
- Builder from iThemes – The Foundation Pack is $80 and includes one year of support and updates. Again, I’m not sure if bug fixes are included after this initial one year of support and updates.
- Canvas from WooThemes: The Standard Package is $99 and comes with one year of support and updates. If you update your license within 60 days of its expiration, you get a 50% discount. They point out in the FAQ section that you’re free to continue to use your theme after the license expires, you just won’t receive support or updates.
There may be other premium WordPress theme frameworks out there worth mentioning, but the above list represents the most popular ones that I know of. Of the five listed, all but one indeed charge a yearly license fee. In my opinion, this is yet another reason to go with Genesis. Not only is it a fantastic premium framework for WordPress, you don’t have to re-purchase it every year to get support and updates. You buy it once and then you’re done paying for it. That’s it.
I don’t know about you, but when I buy something, I don’t want to pay for it more than once. If that’s something you want in a premium WordPress framework, you’d better get Genesis.