After nearly eight years in business, Theme Hybrid has released its first commercial plugin. Up until now, all of the club’s themes and plugins have been free, but Justin Tadlock decided to try something new with the release of Theme Designer, priced at $125 (with support). The price tag reflects the fact that Theme Designer targets independent theme authors, a very small niche demographic. The plugin is a theme portfolio manager with meta fields that cater to displaying theme data. It is the first of its kind and goes far beyond a traditional portfolio plugin to pull in data from WordPress.org, such as ratings, active installs, and downloads. I spoke with Tadlock to find out why he decided to make the plunge into commercial plugin development after nearly a decade of creating free products and charging for support. “From my observations, the larger WP ecosystem has changed over the years,” Tadlock said. “When I first began Theme Hybrid, people were more willing to pay for support and less willing to pay for an entire theme/plugin. “Commercial plugins were pretty much nonexistent at the time. Today, it’s a much different picture. Essentially, it’s a move that I think makes sense for
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