Listener Poll: What’s the most important selling point for you when it comes to purchasing a theme?

The poll this week asks what the most important selling point is for you when it comes to purchasing a theme. For me, the most important selling point is support. When ever I’m on the lookout to purchase a new theme, I do a thorough background check with sites I know are using the theme I’m interested in. I question those folks to ask them how easy it is to modify or work with. I also ask them their opinion of the support they received. I also browse through the support forums if they are available to the public as well as performing a few Google searches to see if any major issues had popped up with the company in the past.

I think many people undervalue support. Justin Tadlock on the Hybrid Forums has helped me out a ton of times already. Without his help, I’d be stuck at a roadblock with no way around it. If I can’t get a good handle on how good the support is for the product, I’ll pass it by.

[poll id=”22″]

9 responses to “Listener Poll: What’s the most important selling point for you when it comes to purchasing a theme?”

  1. Personally, Design is the most important factor, but price is right up there too. If I was looking at two themes which were pretty close design wise, I would go with the cheaper even if I needed to make my own modifications to make it better suite my site.

    I am interested to see how History/Longevity Of The Business and License play into the purchasing factor as well…

  2. I’d have added code quality to your list too. There are plenty of well designed themes, with good support, the license I want and are cheap. There is no point using them if they don’t work in IE6, don’t enqueue their scripts correctly or take too long to load.

    I voted for design.

  3. Design for me. I believe this is the most important factor when initially selecting and purchasing a theme. I doubt most theme buyers are going to actually look at the code quality (unless they’re technically savvy). They’ll just buy it, and if there’s a problem, ask for support later.

    I generally don’t need support when it comes to WordPress themes, but I can imagine that would be another major factor for people just starting out.

    Price isn’t a huge factor for me as long as it’s reasonable. Obviously I wouldn’t want to be spending a ridiculous amount of money for a theme lots of people are going to have anyway.

    Personally I don’t really care about the license either. Sure GPL themes are the least restrictive, but if there’s a really good design that I want to use, I’ll live with it.

    Business reputation is an interesting choice. I can certainly see myself being more likely to buy a theme from one of the big names rather than a site I’ve never heard of before.

  4. Design, or fitness for purpose, is clearly the most important characteristic. If the design does not meet requirements then nothing else matters.

  5. Code Quality -> Support (and how reliable the company is, part of which is History/Longevity) -> Design -> Price -> License (all are at least GPL, which is good enough for me)

  6. @JD Hartley – Yeah. On the initial offering, the design is the first thing I take notice of. Everything else comes after the fact.

    @Ryan – I suppose I could have added that as an option worth voting for, but I thought that the majority of people who were buying themes were non developer types. So I didn’t include it in the poll. Also, other than viewing the source on the demo, how would you know the quality of the code before purchasing it?

    @Leland – My thoughts exactly regarding the license.

    @Aaron D. Campbell – Again, how would you know the quality of the code without having access to the PHP files until after you purchased the theme?

  7. First, while you can’t see the PHP, you can see all the (X)HTML and CSS which can give you a pretty good idea for how well coded the theme is. Additionally, some places let you download and use the theme, only paying for support (such as Theme Hybrid). Lastly, you can tell based on reputation or other projects. For example, I know that Studio Press has quality code in their themes because programmers that I know have said so. Additionally, I know that Joost has been inside their themes to work on the code and I know he produces solid code (because I’ve seen it elsewhere such as his plugins).


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