1. Hey Steven,

        Renewal is 50% off the initial cost, and is NOT billed automatically.
        Don’t want to lock people into long-lasting contracts, renewal is optional.

        1. Thanks, I like that. We’re doing it the same way at churchthemes.com. Seems like the most reasonable approach.

  1. I assume then that the $200 price tag for the hotel themes is paying off. If so, that’s really cool to hear. I imagine that gives him some real breathing room as far as providing greater support to less customers.

    1. My initial thought is that there is no way I’d pay $200.00 for a theme but if it’s working for him, congrats!

      1. Considering that support is provided not just via a forum, but by email and Skype as well, most questions and issues are resolved in 10-15 minutes.

        So as Steven mentioned above, such a price does give some breathing room.

        Also, something that hasn’t been mentioned in this post:
        On AcademiaThemes, every purchase includes 1 hour of customization work.
        Considering that most developers charge at least $120 / hour, this price tag becomes even more “reasonable”, don’t you think?

        1. There are a million ways to justify a price and I’m in no position to tell you what to charge. You know better than I do what to charge but I know what I’m willing to pay for something. Yes, the one hour of free customization is a nice cherry on top of everything else and it was mentioned in the post as you added that information into one of your answers :)

          How do you plan on scaling the business if you’re going to give personal support via skype or email? How does that work with 100-500 customers?

          1. Good question.

            That bridge will be crossed when we get to it :) But I’m pretty sure that it will be much easier to scale than shops selling for $40 with unlimited everything, unless they are planning on doing this for a year or two.

            But my main focus goes into the stability and flexibility of the themes. They are easy to customize and extend, don’t contain areas and features that require a ton of updates and adjustments, such as shortcode managers, sliders, and all the other stuff found in bloated themes.

            With over 60 commercial themes that I have developed in the last 5 years, I have a feeling about stuff that breaks often and stuff that is timeless. And this is what I tried to apply at both HermesThemes and AcademiaThemes.

            P.S. I really hope that my previous comment didn’t sound “with a tone”, just trying to keep the conversation going :)

      2. One reason you wouldn’t pay $200 for a theme is because you don’t need it for your business. If you have a hotel or school, you need a niche theme or a different website solution altogether, so your options might be:

        1. $50 – $100 from ThemeForest or another shop that makes all types of themes and doesn’t specialize in hotel or school themes. The features may or may not be ideal because the maker may or may not be totally familiar with the industry. The theme may or may not receive improvements because the focus has shifted again to making another type of theme.

        2. $200 for a hotel or school theme from a provider that specializes in those types of themes. That’s their focus so they probably understand better what will be useful to you and are more likely to bring improvements to their niche products because that’s the only kind of product they have.

        3. Solutions not using a pre-made WordPress theme almost always cost significantly more, maybe $1,000 or more. I’m not familiar with the hotel or school industries so this is just a guess.

        I’d look strongly at the $200 option if I was in the market for a niche theme. It’s probably only a little more than the themes from people who don’t focus on the niche when compared to alternative solutions. A hotel will probably be willing to spend more to have a nice website than the cost of sheets for one bed. Likewise, a school will probably be willing to spend more than the cost of a few desks for one room.

        As a maker of niche WordPress themes, what Dumitru is doing with AcademiaThemes and HermesThemes is super interesting to me. I hope he shares more about his experience with this “high price” model. WordPress people tend to compare WordPress solutions to WordPress solutions but real-world customers usually compare all solutions, whether WordPress or not. That’s the whole picture.

        1. Hey Steven,

          I might share some info on my blog in the upcoming future.
          HermesThemes will be 1 year old on 1st of February, so it will be a great time to make a summary.

          But yes, you are making good points about choosing a more expensive, niche theme. It is easier to update and improve 5 themes in the same category, than 5 themes in 5 different categories.

          1. I’ll look forward to that. It’d be great to hear how you’re marketing a niche theme shop too.

  2. Amazed there’s no cheaper plan option that does not include “1 hour of free custom coding” and “Expert advice on website best-practices”, a lot of people like to do this themselves or get their own developer to do it. But hey, if it’s working well then congrats.

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