Chris and I have an internal debate on the growth of our theme store and what in particular what is driving that growth. Chris feels people buy theme support and not the theme itself. I believe people buy WordPress themes based on design and it is an emotional decision. For many buyers, theme support is an after thought.
Part of this debate is due to our roles in the theme development process. I work on the design and Chris works on support in our forum. Or maybe we just think in two completely different ways.
Which One of Us is Right?
I suspect both of us.
If you use our formal buyer reviews as a guide, I’m clearly the winner. While we have five star ratings for all reviews, the reviews are mostly product and design focused. Comments include:
- I’ve worked with hundreds of themes, and this one is definitely well-designed and easy to work with. I especially love that it’s built on the Genesis framework. Easy to set up and customize.
- This must be the ultimate medical practice theme and any business based on appointments and consultancy.
- Great theme for a professional services company. It’s clean, modern and easy to use.
- The Frederik child theme is great looking and very flexible. At this price, it’s a steal. Even if you are new to WordPress, you can work through the instructions and have a great looking site up quickly. Kudos to Web Savvy Marketing from a happy lawyer.
- I’m a fan of Genesis Framework and when I came across these themes designed by WSM I was absolutely speechless.
- I purchased the Hans theme last year and love it! It looks very professional and “corporate” and for me, that was exactly what I wanted.
But in support of Chris and his views on sales, here are some comments from the forum:
- Thank you so much for the quick response …. the service here is top notch and will be sure to purchase more!
- You guys rock!
- Thank you – I really, truly, appreciate the support for customization.
- Thank you for the quick support, i really appreciate that : )
- Thanks for the great support.
- Awesome! You guys are always so great about answering questions quickly.
In Reality, Neither the Theme Nor the Support Can Exist Without Each Other
To sell anything, I have to design WordPress themes that are visually pleasing. And in our case, we make sure they fit a niche market. If potential buyers don’t like the look of the theme or find purpose for it, no one will buy it.
On the other hand, I also have to have Chris and Debbie available to provide rock solid support or our theme store would quickly go out of business. If we didn’t have excellent support in our forum, many buyers would be screaming for refunds.
Both are critical for success.
Interesting Facts About People Who Buy WordPress Theme
When we launched our theme store I had no idea what to expect. Some things I learned along the way include:
- About 10-20% of our theme buyers never even log into the forum to view instructions or ask questions.
- The remaining 80% are mostly people who read and figure things out on their own and we never hear from them.
- We only receive support questions from a tiny amount of buyers.
- Of those buyers who do ask questions, I lose money on virtually every one of them. They literally ask so many questions that I spend way more in support time than the $49.95 they gave me to purchase the theme.
When we first started receiving support requests I think I almost fainted. I witnessed the same people asking a ton of questions and I had no idea how the theme sales could fund the time for my coders to answer all of these questions. Then I realized that these frequent support visitors were only a small fraction of those that actually buy our WordPress themes.
What Type of Theme Buyer Are You?
The point of this post is to educate future theme buyers. Ask yourself what type of theme buyer you are and what is important to you. If design is your sole concern, you can be free to browse around the internet and buy virtually any WordPress theme at will.
If theme support is critical to you, then you have to shop carefully. You need to make sure the theme developer can adequately support your expectations for support.
Trust me, everyone has different levels of expectations. Some people expect us to provide unlimited one on one support over the phone in exchange for their $49.95 theme purchase. I would love to do that, but I cannot. We would be out of business before I could blink. Other people don’t expect any support what-so-ever.
Know your expectations, know what is standard for the industry, and then search for a theme developer that matches up to what you personally need.
I’m Not Sure if We are Normal
We answer theme questions within 24 hours and many times within a few hours. And we (okay really Chris and Debbie) don’t just answer our users’ questions; we give CSS tweaks and a little education. Chris takes the time to give an answer and he tries to make sure our buyers stay on the path of best practices. If you look through our forum questions you’ll see the vast majority of our posts are closed. We’ve answered them all and the only open ones are waiting for responses from users.
Is this normal? I’m not sure. I do know that for some of our buyers, this level of support is probably more important than the theme design. Others would be happier if I discounted the theme and gave them no support.
The Take Away
Know who you are before you hit the buy button. You’ll be happier, as will the WordPress theme developer.