The updates to our pricing and business model have received a significant amount of attention over the last few days from our customers, competitors and the general WordPress community.
Within the blog post’s comments, on social channels and internally at WooThemes we’ve discussed the repercussions of the decisions we’ve made. There are some things we have gotten wrong, and we’d like to address that.
Before we do though, we want to go into a bit more detail behind our reasoning.
First off, it’s important to understand that when we offered ‘lifetime’ support for a product; this referred to the lifetime of the product. As you’ve seen previously, we’ve retired products. That’s because these products, at some stage, become no longer viable or sustainable, and we can’t justify spending time on improving that product.
More importantly, WooThemes no longer simply provides a great design and layout structure for your blog. This was what the WordPress market catered for when we initially developed our business model.
With all the innovation that’s happened within the WordPress system; we’re now able to build functionality that allow businesses to exist online. We empower an incredible amount of businesses to generate revenue and build livelihoods. These businesses depend on us to be around for a very long time.
For some that might be a simple one pager, a brochure site, an online catalog, or even a fully fledged e-commerce site. In the digital era where we find ourselves today; your business needs an online presence.
With the pricing and licensing updates we announced, we want to make sure that your business will be able to thrive. In order for that to happen, WooThemes would need to have a sustainable business model and make sure that we were able to keep the promises we made.
It’s clear that most users agree that we’re well justified in increasing our prices and adapting our business model. We’re extremely happy about that.
(Thanks to everyone that has left a note of support on the blog, social media or sent us a private message. We really appreciate that! Although some feedback was difficult to swallow it was important for us to hear from you all.)
What many don’t seem to be happy about is that we’re changing the terms of a product you’ve already paid for. Specifically, that we’ve now capped support and updates for 2 years on any purchase before the 1st of August.
Obviously, that’s not an ideal situation. We wish we could have made you a more realistic promise.
Our decision in this regard was influenced entirely with our eyes on sustainability in being around for a long time. We assumed that this was in the whole WooCommunity’s best interest and that every one of our customers would want to support us in that goal. Even if that meant that you would have to compromise or sacrifice certain terms / conditions that were previously attached to your purchase.
We’re sorry for making that assumption.
We’re also sorry for the way we communicated this in our previous post. Reading & re-reading our words, we might’ve come across as being defensive. We would be telling you a lie if we said that we weren’t concerned about potential negative feedback; so we probably focused too much on justifying our decision. Instead we should’ve appealed to you.
To do right by you, we would now like to give you the option of whether you want to back our strategy for sustainability or whether you would want to stick to the previous terms & conditions that you signed into (which means we’ll grandfather all of your purchases). If you choose the latter, your purchases before 1 August 2013 (that were already unlimited or lifetime) will remain unlimited and lifetime forever.
We won’t value you as a customer any less if you want to be grandfathered, nor do we want to coerce you to adopt the changes if you fundamentally disagree in how we’ve gone about the re-structure. The decision is entirely yours.
Our Appeal For Support
As we have admitted, we have made a real mistake in pricing our products and the business that we built around it. We only realized this about 18 months ago, as the effects of those mistakes have silently been chipping away at our business. 18 months ago the cracks widened and we noticed them for the first time.
The new changes are designed to right our previous wrongs and ensure that we never have to worry about this again.
So we call on all of you to support us in this regard and adopt the new pricing plan. By doing so, you will ensure that WooThemes stays around for a very long time.
You will also support our vision to really invest in innovation, as well as building out our support offering to the extent that we can give you insanely awesome support every, single time.
How do I update my licenses?
Simply visit your licenses page once you’re logged in. From there, if you’re eligible to have your unlimited licenses grand-fathered in, you’ll be able to update all your unlimited licenses bought before the 1st August 2013.
We’ve ended our Theme Clubs. If you were previously an active, paying member you should have been grandfathered into the All Themes Package.