Array Cuts Theme Club Pricing, Releases Free Theme Pack

array-logo

Array launched a redesign of its theme shop this week along with drastic price cuts for single theme and club purchases. After conducting a customer survey earlier this year, the company moved to act on feedback regarding its pricing structure.

Previously, Array offered single theme purchases ranging in price from $49 to $89 and the entire collection for $199. The new pricing is more straightforward with all single themes at $49 and club membership for $89.

The company, which began under the name Okay Themes and rebranded two years ago, announced last April that it would be returning to Themeforest after disappointing experiences selling on Creative Market and WordPress.com. Array currently has five items in its portfolio on Themeforest ranging in price from $44-64. The company negotiated an agreement with the marketplace that gives them a better rate than other non-exclusive authors typically receive.

“Although I can’t go into this in too much detail, we are actually not operating at the typical non-exclusive author rates, as most would rightfully assume,” founder Mike McAlister said in a comment on our post about the news. “We’ve worked out a mutually beneficial agreement with Envato that gives us a little more room for experimentation and bandwidth for providing quality support.”

With equal or more affordable pricing at Themeforest, customers had little incentive to buy directly from the Array website with the previous pricing structure in place. The new $89 club membership is now more compelling for those who are interested in purchasing multiple themes directly from Array.

In addition to the the redesign and new pricing, Array released a free theme pack to help potential customers get acquainted with their products before purchasing. The pack includes five of their most popular themes, some of which were not previously offered for free, including Author, Editor, Fixed, Typable and Transmit. Editor is also available on WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

free-theme-pack

Array’s journey over the past two years, which includes pulling out of Themeforest, rebranding, and then jumping back into the marketplace with a more beneficial arrangement, necessitated an update in its pricing structure in order to remain competitive. Customers gravitate towards straightforward pricing that they can understand, especially when products are sold across multiple marketplaces.

The theme shop’s experimentation with selling on Themeforest, WordPress.com, Creative Market, Mojo Marketplace, and Array’s own website shows how much it has had to adapt to reach potential customers. Commercial WordPress themes are a multi-million dollar industry, but there’s no single avenue paved to success even when partnering with one of the dominant marketplaces.

25 Comments


  1. Thanks for the write-up, Sarah!

    I made a principled decision several years ago when I first started releasing commercial products to only create honest, finely-crafted products that solve more problems than they create. As many can imagine, this isn’t the road to millions of dollars in an industry where many are willing to release products with more “features” (headaches), lower standards and lower prices. As you mention, it’s a race to compete for attention despite the popularity of avenues you choose to distribute through.

    The tradeoff is that we have 100% complete creative autonomy to wake up every day and create fulfilling products, experiment with design, try out new avenues and continue fighting the good fight towards better WordPress products.

    A great post by Adrian Kosmaczewski, recently highlighted on the Tavern, had a poignant quote that I think many can learn something from.

    “Do not worry about hype. Keep doing your thing, keep learning what you were learning, and move on. Pay attention to it only if you have a genuine interest, or if you feel that it could bring you some benefit in the medium or long run.”

    Array’s journey has never been towards any dollar amount or someone else’s idea of what our success should be. Instead, our priority remains focused on making beautiful, honest products that we think are helping our customers and benefitting the medium as a whole. It would be great to see more of a focus on true craftsmanship and less on revenue reports.

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    1. Can you tell me if any of your themes works well with a LMS wordpress site based on Woothemes’ Sensei plugin?

      I consider your work one of the finests in the market.

      Thanks

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      1. Hi Luis,

        I’ve actually never tried integrating Sensei but it shouldn’t be to hard to integrate. We keep our styles in check, so it should integrate pretty well. I’m hoping to do a theme specifically for this category soon, stay tuned!

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  2. I have purchased quite a few themes over the years now. I recently purchased a theme on Envato and it was uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure who I was purchasing from and it seems these marketplaces don’t provide a lot of information and it take real digging and time. After completing a confusing purchase process I had trouble finding and then asking for support. Now I won’t repeat purchasing from a marketplace.

    I usually purchase from the developers website. I wish they would take more time in showcasing their themes and provide more useful information. Such as screen shots of their customizer and more carefully completed demos. I also want to know a lot about the developer them self so I know who I’m dealing with in the long run. Also I would like to see specifics when they claim their code is clean and solid and what does that really mean. I also would like see more showcases of how that particular theme was used in the past. I prefer niche themes that display purpose and use. Not one developer has ever asked me to critique their theme presentation which I would gladly do in exchange for a free theme. Here’s the bottom line. The more details I know about a theme the more likely I will or will not buy one.

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    1. One of the reasons you should always look at dev feedback on marketplaces, along with the comments section of their store page. You can usually tell which devs are good, and which aren’t.

      Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve bought about 20-30 themes from Themeforest over the years, and – with the exception of one – they have all been excellent, both from a product/coding point of view, as well as a support one.

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  3. The only catch is, there is no support provided for these free themes.

    I do not understand this. If there was no support for free WordPress themes and plugins, WordPress would have not have grown for ten years.

    Free downloads are useless without support. No support means no bug reports. Software products are rarely perfect.

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    1. Hi Mitchell,

      Thanks for your feedback. I can see where you’re coming from, but I disagree that they are worthless. In fact, the amount of websites and businesses I’ve seen powered by free products (with or without support) is actually pretty astounding. I imagine the folks benefitting from those free products would tend to agree.

      We’re confident this won’t be too sticky of an issue for folks. Firstly, the themes we just released for free have been heavily tested and updated for years now, and will continue to be. We’re happy to continue taking bug reports and releasing updates when needed. In our experience, support for our themes typically comes down to customization questions, and that’s where we don’t want to get stuck. That seems like a fair trade off, in my opinion.

      Secondly, we do provide a detailed help file with each theme that would answer any question you might have about the theme out of the box. That’s more than can be said about many free themes you’ll find out there.

      WordPress is one of the few places on the internet where you can get literally hundreds of hours of design and development work for absolutely free and it still isn’t enough to please everyone. Free is empowering, not worthless.

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      1. Free is empowering, not worthless.

        Boom. Thanks for this, Mike. It never fails to amaze me how used we seem to have become to complaining about something that’s free.

        If you want premium support, pay premium pricing. If you want any kind of support, that needs to be considered as a premium offering, too.

        Free doesn’t pay the bills. Either use free, and enjoy for what it is and offers, or pay the premium and then complain when the support, product and service isn’t up to the amount you’re paying.

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      2. If you want any kind of support, that needs to be considered as a premium offering, too.

        Please tell WordPress, Github, Linux, Mozilla, etc., to change their business plan.

        It does not make sense to rely on an unsupported product.

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      3. WordPress has premium (domain claiming). Mozilla relies on donations. Which is why they’ve struggled to adapt in last couple of years when trying to push new solutions on top of their core product.

        If you want to use free, go ahead. No-one’s forcing you to. However, as much as you might feel it doesn’t make sense to rely on an unsupported product, it makes equally less sense to rely on free products getting premium-level support and features.

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      4. Boom. IMHO this is the attitude that has to change.

        If WP was only used to power personal blogs that nobody cares about this attitude may have merit. Problem is, many, many, many businesses make use of free plugins and themes as well.

        If devs aren’t thick-skinned enough to take criticism/feedback/support requests/etc. about a “free” product then they should stop offering them. Period.

        I’m constantly amazed by the poor attitudes of devs that provide these “free” products.

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      5. Then blame the businesses that feel fine about charging for their own business “services”, but are happy to skin others for free….

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      6. Sounds like we’re just mincing words about what support vs unsupported is. As mentioned above, we aren’t leaving anyone high and dry with a faulty product. We stand behind everything we make, free or paid. But there’s a big difference between providing fixes when needed and helping someone build and customize their website for free.

        You also can’t necessarily say that a paid product is inherently better or more supported than a free product. I would argue that our free themes provide a better service than many paid WordPress products you’ll find. Take W3 Total Cache for example. Hugely popular plugin that has both free and paid support but you notoriously can’t get ahold of anyone over there, even if you paid them hundreds of dollars. I know from experience! It depends entirely on the product and the people behind it, not how it’s marketed.

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      7. @Danny Brown

        This is now officially the lamest/silliest/most whiny “free” dev excuse-to-be-pissed-off-at-the-world statement I have now EVER heard. Good job.

        Problem is that most WP “free” plugin/theme devs have no concept of how to make money let alone run a business.

        I buy plenty of premium stuff but avoid devs with a “it’s free so screw you” attitude when it comes to their “free” offerings.

        Of course I’m arguing with a guy that only values his time at $80 for a 3-hour “blog consulting” session. ;-)

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      8. Yawn.

        PS, it’s one hour, but no worries, user error on your side, it happens.

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      9. Like I said, user error on your side, no worries. If you actually clicked the “Next” button, you’d understand that.

        By the way, fun email – not too original, but fun. ;-)

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  4. Some time back, I started using Point theme from Themeshop. I was comfortable with its appearance. Free themes available over the web cannot be better. However, Point from Themeshop has better looks. The only thing is that if I could make some alterations, the it would have been great.

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  5. Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t NEED to follow ME,

    You don’t NEED to follow ANYBODY!

    You’ve got to think for yourselves!

    You’re ALL individuals!

    You’re all different!

    OK?

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  6. The themes from Array are great. And the only time I’ve asked for support, the support team has been fantastic as well.

    Visually, the theme designs make a great starter for pretty much all the projects I can think of. It’s really the designs that got me interested in Array.

    I was lucky to get a heads-up before the pricing change, so I put off my renewal for a few days. I was happy to get the Lifetime Membership package: I think the licensing terms are great.

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  7. I think the re-design looks great – well done and good luck!

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  8. Congratulations on your themes. They look gorgeous. Too bad there isn’t a way to get the same types of features at the bottom of a content article. For example, Paperback uses the “Show comments” button and Publisher has the three tabs. It would be a nice feature to click on a button then all three tabs are available.

    I’m always amazed what people accomplish with MegaMenus but have never been so lucky as to get them to look like the samples on ThemeForest. Do you include documentation for setting the menus up in the same way?

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  9. In regards to exclusivity and non-exclusivity on ThemeForest, I was reading the exclusivity terms on Envato. It states that selling items elsewhere = non-exclusive, that seems pretty clear cut.

    But I wonder if providing customers free access to products within a paid membership is equated with selling products directly (I don’t think it should). Would Envato consider that a breach of the exclusivity terms? What if you provide products for free, while also having them listed on Theme Forest, would that breach the exclusivity terms?

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  10. ummm, I read all the comments but want to get back to the redesign. Great work and good job with the pricing change it will help bring more sales in as well in the future.

    Make it easy for us new time visitors to understand everything on the website so our purchase will be a painless process. lol

    I’m not a client of yours but tried to view your business as a first time visitor just now. Even though I’ve visited your business more then once in the past. :)

    Everyone loves free stuff and still demand top notch support on this free stuff. Meanwhile the paying customers need the same support and they are paying clients. I’d focus on satisfying the paying clients to keep there business and also make them happy enough to recommend your business to others.

    You said your free themes are well documented and usually updated/tested a lot which is great. Let it be known in the readme file that support is not for customizing the theme, what you see in the instructions is what you get and get further help on the official WordPress forum for further customization’s.

    You can’t make everyone happy but it’s a hard business isn’t it…

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