[wp-hackers] General consensus of "Premium Theme" concept

Mark Jaquith mark.wordpress at txfx.net
Fri Mar 21 19:11:06 GMT 2008

On Mar 19, 2008, at 5:01 PM, Glenn Ansley wrote:
> What is the general consensus among the members of this list  
> concerning
> premium themes and plugins for sale? *
> Placing the whole licensing debate aside*, how do you feel about  
> those who:
>   - Are quite apt at programming
>   - Have opted to do so within an opensource arena (like WP)
>   - And then seek to profit (by selling their code) rather than
>   contribute back (by publicly releasing their code)?

It's a legal grey area, especially with plugins.  But leaving that  
aside, you've set it up as "profit OR contribute back".  I posit that  
both are possible, and indeed are not at odds at all.  I'm not a  
supporter of self-destructive altruism.  I wouldn't still be  
contributing my time to WordPress if it was detrimental to my well- 

I won't bore you by reiterating the stuff previous posters have said,  
so here's where the philosophy meets practice:

- Custom plugin development
	You can charge a lot more to develop custom plugins tailored for a  
specific site or company. It's also not very hard to sell them on the  
concept of GPLing the code and releasing it.  Just tell them that it  
will allow people to improve their plugin FREE OF CHARGE, and grant  
them goodwill in the WordPress community.
- Scaling, Security, Community Management
	Again, lucrative.  And the sites that need it are the ones that can  
get your name out there and refer you a lot of business.
- WordPress core development
	More of an investment in yourself.  You can help strengthen the micro- 
market in which you earn your living.  As popular as WordPress is,  
most people have never heard of it, and you are absolutely better off  
making the market bigger and stronger than by building fences and  
trying to stake out your territory.

Mark Jaquith

Covered Web Services

WordPress Ninja @ b5media Inc

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