One of the core functions of WordPress has always been the fact that it is open source software and the tremendous community that backs it. Along with that community comes the free WordPress themes and plugins that we’ve all come to enjoy.
Over the past few months, an interesting trend has began with a variety of “premium” WordPress themes being released that have a cost associated with them. Many of these themes come from freelance designers who make themes for clients for a living, and do a great job of it. While some target bloggers, others are designed to be more of a Content Management System (CMS), which is used by many online magazines, news and sports sites.
The availability of these premium themes gives WordPress users a chance to stand out from the crowd of free themes out there and also allows the purchaser to see what they are going to get ahead of time. It also benefits the designer by allowing them the opportunity to do the work once, then have a steady source of income trickle in and will likely result in even more income than if they were to create a custom made theme for a client.
I’ve been following these themes pretty closely over the past month and I think this is a trend that is here to stay. I also think you will start to see more premium WordPress plugins available that have a cost associated with them. I’ve already seen a few examples of this and expect that to continue as WordPress continues to grow in popularity.
If you’d like to see some examples of the premium WordPress themes available, I have thrown together a Premium WordPress Gallery over at Hack WordPress. The post includes screenshots, costs associated with the theme, and more.
What do you think of the premium themes trend currently going around the blogosphere?