Styled Themes is about to make some big changes to how you purchase single themes from this site. Since January of this year (2014), I made a lot of new changes with the membership system and had enough time to test this out, plus get feedback from customers and members.
The good news is that the membership system I switched to works fairly well, and have used this in the past. It offers a lot of flexibility and scalability which I am about to take advantage of shortly because I am about to make some changes that will benefit everyone, including cutting my workload down almost by half. This means more development time for creating new themes.
The Current Single Theme Purchase Needs to Change
As I mentioned, I’ve had about 6 months to test out the new Styled Themes setup for both Single and Theme Membership purchases and discovered there is a serious problem with the single purchase method. However, I can easily say that the Theme Membership and the Premium Membership is working great,,,the problem is the single theme option. To start off with, this is how the current system works:
- A customer comes to Styled Themes and clicks on the Buy button for a particular theme
- They are redirected to PayPal
- After Payment, an email from Styled Themes is sent to the customer with a download link
- The customer then downloads the theme
- Then the customer has to return to the Styled Themes website and then signs up for a Support Membership (free)
So what is the problem?
- Too many steps for the customer…should be easier
- They get an email with the download link. Sometimes it gets filtered out by their email server (lost) so they keep waiting for the theme.
- The customer must keep the download link safe somewhere for a full year in order to re-download the theme when updates are released.
- The customer does not have access to theme documentation or support yet, so they have to come back to the site and sign up (register). The complicated part here is that they have to go searching for the Transaction ID of their original theme purchase which means more work for them to do.
- Every sign up for the Support Membership requires me to manually check their transaction ID to ensure they purchased a theme…which takes time. The terms of signing up is a bit harsh to delete customer sign ups if they don’t enter in their transaction ID, or if it’s not valid.
- Downloading theme updates is not easy for the customer because they have to find their original download link and sometimes they are lost.
- Many single theme customers when logged in my site see the “Downloads” menu link at the top and think this is where they get their theme updates, only to find they get a message they do not have access. Not their fault, because this is only for the theme memberships, but they are not aware of this.
- Renewing the Support Membership only gives access to documentation and support, but does not provide access to further theme updates
- I often get a lot of Support Membership sign-ups from users who did not purchase a theme or they are users of my free (Lite version) themes; support is done from the wordpress.org site. But this is not easily made known for them.
- Running two different purchase and download systems on the site doubles my workload and makes it easier for more mistakes on my part when updating themes and documentation.
As you can tell from the above list, the current system of buying single themes is not easy for the customer. It also creates a lot more work for me to manage the site having two separate purchase and download methods. The good news is that I will be making changes to Styled Themes to make this process much easier to purchase a single theme.
- Themes will now become separate memberships. For example, Preferential will be a membership, Circumference will be a membership, etc.
- You will get 1 full year access to theme documentation, support, plus theme updates that you can download from the “Downloads” section of my site….no more email download links.
- When you purchase a single theme, you get registered automatically; no more having to come back to the site and sign up separately. Your purchase automatically validates immediately once payment is completed. No more having to search for your transaction ID and adding it to the sign up form.
- You will also benefit by renewing a second year with a major discount. This means you extend your support and theme downloads for a second year if you decide to renew.
- You can easily upgrade your single theme membership to a full Theme Membership or the Premium Membership at any time and access “all” themes.
Current Theme Memberships
Anyone who currently has an active Theme or Premium Membership (access to all themes) won’t be affected with these changes. You will still have access to all themes for the life of your membership and you won’t lose any time either.
Themes and Support that Previously Expired
Anyone who purchased a single theme and signed up for support that expired will be able to renew their theme and theme support for another year at a major discount. Once I complete the changes, you are welcome to log into the site and renew your theme without having to purchase it at full price.
When Will this Happen?
I’m planning this for Sunday, June 22, 2014. Be prepared that you might not have access to support for the whole day while I make these changes because of the changes I need to implement.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me and I will be happy to follow up with you.