It all started with DW Focus, which is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing magazine style WordPress theme ever (esp. for v. 1.0). I made my purchase at Creative Market and later decided to buy DW Argo at Design Wall too.
There were minor glitches along the way (like the so-called “split” license question back in 2014) but things had been good until recently, when Design Wall decided to change their license and limit not only support but also updates to just 1 year. Worst still, they also decided to NOT grandfather their long-time customers (including yours truly who purchased from them when they started up). Now, many of them could not even download (not to say update) what they have paid for, because their licenses have expired. THIS is unacceptable.
When it comes to WordPress themes, lifetime license is a joke when updates are denied. Customers expect lifetime updates when they pay for a single theme, which is very different from club membership that grants access to ALL themes. I have paid for both lifetime membership and annual subscription at different places with no complaints, because I know what I am paying for.
**MORE IMPORTANTLY, PURCHASES MADE AT BOTH CREATIVE MARKET AND THEME FOREST GET LIFETIME UPGRADE AND FUTURE UPDATES.**
To be fair, folks at Design Wall, from Dominic to Jin, are both reasonable and flexible to deal with. (I have interacted with them in more than a handful of occasions.) Let’s hope they’ll come back to the right track. But until then, I would NOT recommend Design Wall to anybody (and I have recommended them to many colleagues of mine).
Thanks for your interesting in our product.
I know what you want and your feel facing change the license and limit not only support but also updates to just 1 year.
According to the new license scheme, we apply the limit 1 year to update and technical support which is quite common across WP theme clubs now.
In your case, I would like to make an exception that I will enable the update access so that you can upgrade your theme to our latest version for free, no extra cost for this. And you can use this version for lifetime.
However, if you wish to get future updates or technical questions access, a renewal fee $34.3 will be applied then.
Hope for your understanding.
Note: You can download the latest version or update your theme from back-end now.
If you have any question, you can let me know, I will help you answer it.
RE: Design Wall NOT recommended: changes license, denies download and updates for paid customers
Thanks for your reply, Dominc. I do appreciate your kind offer. However, it does not address some critical questions. And I hope Jin will have the time to take a closer look at this too.
First and foremost, when we bought single themes like DW Argo, they came with LIFETIME UPGRADE and/or FUTURE UPDATES. These words are still clearly shown on your product pages over at Creative Market and Theme Forest as of TODAY. While vendors do change their terms and prices, revoking future updates is totally unheard of even among half decent merchants.
So my question is, are customers who bought (buy and will buy) from Creative Market and Theme Forest getting lifetime updates while those who made (make and will make) their purchases right here at Design Wall are not?
The fact that both Creative Market and Theme Forest require future updates for all their products speaks volumes. It is a mainstream practice that single theme purchases come with lifetime updates. Club membership with annual subscription, on the other hand, is a totally different story, because it grants access to at least a dozen or two themes at a relatively lower price. So while you may ask customers to pay for premium, extended support (which is quite common these days), denying their access to product downloads and updates is unacceptable to most people.
Many of your customers (and potential customers) may not even speak out but walk away. To be honest, who on earth would pay $35 every year for ONE SINGLE THEME, esp. when they could easily find another equally good (if not better) WordPress theme elsewhere for $35 – $50 AND get lifetime updates? And I have spent more than a couple of thousand dollars on WordPress themes in the last few years at like a dozen places.
Last but not least, even if Design Wall decides to go with a less competitive pricing model, please at least do the right thing and grandfather those customers who paid BEFORE you change your terms. And even if you pull your products from Creative Market and Theme Forest (because Design Wall no longer offers future updates), those who already made their purchases will ask for and get their refunds. I don’t see any remote possibility of a class action lawsuit, but your online reputation will certainly be damaged, badly.
P.S. While I may not use Design Wall any more in the future, that they allow this non-complimentary thread in their public forum proves that these are nice and decent people. So good luck, guys.
Thank you for the profound and sincere comment. When it comes to charging the license and update fees, we hope to bring considerable benefits to our beloved customers! Also, we need to have more funding to cover the old products.
To be honest, what you said is fair comment. In the upcoming time, we’re seriously considering the possibility of not to unlimited downloading the products’ updates. However, we do charge for the support of previous themes and plugins. It is similar to the way ThemeForest charge users.
So, what do you think?
Good to hear from you, Jackie. Yes, allowing lifetime access to product downloads and future updates while charging extra for premium, extended support is a more reasonably and commonly accepted practice. And I understand that Design Wall (like every other business entity including my own) needs to strike a good balance between principles and profitability. Although I am not exactly a big fan of their so-called "split" license, Theme Forest’s pricing model of charging extra for extended support after 6 months proves to be commercially viable.
A few places where I have purchased WordPress themes set aside private sections in their support forums so only paid customers (or in this case, those who have paid for extended support) could read and write. Of course, they also come with good documentation and tutorials with screenshots and videos, so ANYBODY (even potential customers) could see how easy it is to use their themes.
I look forward to Design Wall eventually moving back to the right track, and continue to strive in business while contributing to the WordPress community at large.
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