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How is selling child themes going ?

Aug. 21, 2015

Hey everybody,

Brainstorming about effective ways to monetize our theme business for both users/devs I figured out that child themes might be a good way ( WooThemes model ), does anyone else try it and is happy to share thoughts ?

My concerns are :

- Selling Child Themes on top of a popular free theme means you might not be as effective as selling a pro version ( financial wise ), you would sell it cheaper and don't know how many people will get 2+

- Selling Child Themes on top of an already premium version makes me worry about the distribution, let's say you have 20-30 new paid user per day, with a 5-10% conversion rate and a low price tag ( about 30% of the premium theme ), you can get a 1.5-3% increase in revenue which seems a bit low.

11 votes   Flag
Manuel Vicedo

I personally am against selling child themes. They're a rather difficult concept to explain for some users, and most of the time they just want something straightforward.

In my opinion, child themes should be reserved to customizations. What happens when a customer wants to modify a child theme? Does he create a child out of a child?

Ben Sibley

I would be worried about needing to update the child theme and wiping out users' customizations. If they only contain CSS, then this may be avoidable though.

That said, the end user doesn't really care about whether it's a child theme or even know what a "child theme" is. What they care about is the design you are selling them. You could call it a "skin" and simply package it as a plugin. They can activate the plugin to change their site's design without disrupting the child theme system. The plugin would just enqueue a stylesheet and maybe some fonts from Google Fonts.

Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with 'sketch')

There's a definite market for third-party Genesis themes, and it seems to work out fine. If I'm modifying a child theme, I might end up renaming it, but it's not that often that updates get released for the child themes versus the parent themes.


Thanks for the input!