Support » Themes and Templates » WP Themes – Charge? No-charge?

  • Okay, here’s a question for you guys…

    1. Is there a website that SELLS wordpress themes?
    2. Would you, do you support it?
    3. How do you feel about it?

    just curious…..because i see a lot of free templates and i’m wondering if there are people who actually charge for themes they’ve created….

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)
  • I believe I had seen a site that does sell templates, but I believe they will also customize it for your specific needs.

    Most templates are created and distributed as-is and must be modified to suit the new users’ taste.

    I don’t believe there is a lot of money to be made in making templates and attempting to sell it as so MANY people give out free templates.


    Mark (podz)


    Support Maven

    Additionally, I am told that because all themes use WP code, they cannot be fully copyrighted. Something along the lines of the theme needing GPL code therefore… can’t see it myself.

    Before someone yells at me for getting this wrong, this was in a discussion to which I was not fully taking part in and I was surprised at the result too. Given that when you pay for a theme you do so confident in the knowledge that it will not then appear on a thousand others, if anyone could clarify this it would be useful.

    Don’t know who it was that told you this podz, but I can’t see how they’re right about it.

    For example, I can design a layout incorporating no WP code at all, representing areas where data is normally displayed by template tags with static content, and then copyright and license my design with no restrictions. I can come back and add in the WP stuff to construct a theme based on my design, but the design itself is still held under my copyright etc.

    Kaf, there has been a huge discussion on this and the legailty of it all, and the bottom line is themes must be licensed GPL Compatable, because they directly call methods defined by the parenting software without being given their own space or an API, for more info, read the GPL.

    [Standard IANAL preface] GPL doesn’t prevent anyone from selling their work–look at Red Hat Linux, for instance. All it says (to greatly simplify a long legal document) is that you must provide source code to customers and you must give back to the community changes made to the underlying product. Since themes clearly do the former and generally speaking the latter doesn’t apply, someone could sell them. However, as mentioned, there are so many free themes available one wonders how big a market would be for paid versions.

    I think if someone has true design skills he or she would be more likely to make money customizing themes and/or supplying graphics.

    The question was not about selling or not, but rather if sold, can the person who bought redistribute, and the answer is yes.

    Sorry masquerade but that wasn’t the question. It was:

    “1. Is there a website that SELLS wordpress themes?
    2. Would you, do you support it?
    3. How do you feel about it?”

    In any case, unless you’re the forum police here to keep us in bounds…

    Kaf is right. You can make a theme or a plugin and not GPL it. Whoever challenges this will loose in court. Because if anything that binds to GPL software is GPL, then, basically, everything I know of is GPL. As simple as that. The key difference should and will rely on the question: Can this work as a stand alone product? And the answer, is yes, almost all the time — meaning the GPL is mostly worthless when it comes to virally making software GPL.

    Also, contrary to what Bill suggests, you must not give back to the community changes made to the underlying product. Far from it, even: You must merely give the source code to your customer.

    In a nutshell, the GPL means that:

    * You may freely use the works for any purpose, including commercial ones
    * You may freely make derivative works provided that you leave the proper attribution and copyright notices
    * You may freely distribute the works and derivative works provided that you make the source code readily available under the same terms

    Okay, so I’m curious now. If I offer a bunch of themes free for use and download, but alongside those themes I offer to make custom themes to a person’s specification, with custom graphics and css/xhtml coding, and available to that person and only that person for a fee, how does the community feel about that?


    Most WP themes and Plugins are very intimately tied with WP’s core code.

    kickass, I think that’s a perfectly acceptable model. Think of the free themes as advertisements and marketing collateral for your design business. The more people who use them, the better for you.

    denis: we’ll have to agree to disagree but again my statement was extremely simplified. As it happens, an extensive interview with ESR came to my attention today which may give interested parties better understanding:

    @kickass: that’s a perfectly acceptable model, yes. I’ve no idea how the community will react, though.

    @firas: the last sentence from your pointer is:

    “If the program dynamically links plug-ins, but the communication between them is limited to invoking the ‘main’ function of the plug-in with some options and waiting for it to return, that is a borderline case.” –> and this is exactly what happens in wordpress plugins

    @bill: the GPL says you have to release your source code to your customer under the same terms. and it says a statement that the source is available to the customer is good enough.

    it says nowhere that you must reveal your changes to the community — the community is not your customer base. though obviously, your customers are free to distribute the changes if they want. 🙂

    I have published a free theme (Neptune) and am about to publish another one. I also do customizations or complete themes for a fee — I have done several already.

    My current site [] doesn’t really mention selling WP themes, although it is part of what I do (just not the way I market it, yet). So yes, I support that. If you want a theme to your specifications I will produce that, for a fee. I have bills to pay as well, you know…

    Selling pre-made themes is not a viable business model, for the following reasons:

    • there are so many free themes available (well into the hundreds) that your templates would have to be absolutely extraordinary for anyone to consider forking out for them
    • the wordpress community is mostly allergic to paying for anything on top of their hosting costs. Matt had to resort to spamming search engines to get a revenue stream for this site.
    • no paid theme is ever going to get showcased on the theme repositories, and people won’t pay for themes if they don’t know they exist. It’s hard enough to promote free themes without official support, let alone paid ones.

    I’ve never had a vast amount of success doing custom themes for money either. Trying to make money out of wordpressers is a hopeless cause. If you’re in this for cash, your best option is to master the templating systems of MT or EE, since those users are by definition more accepting of the concept of having to pay for stuff.

    Have you noticed how most theme lack one thing of another. Its like water water everywhere not a drop to drink. I tried hundreds of themes trying to find what I was looking for. Even then in one case I made a custom theme and in another I adopted gila. I realized that Gila theme does something very very strange. It loads the two sidebars first and then the main content! Ideally I would have liked the content to load first and then sidebars. It really screws up your serps and search engine descriptions of your pages. So I am in search again.

    I can see there is a business here.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)
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