Freemium WordPress themes are a big business. Transparency reports of Codeinwp, the company behind ThemeIsle, prove how lucrative it can be. While revenue potential is well established, the conundrum of managing freemium codebases remains. As a freemium theme author, you have several methods of delivering paid functionality to your users: Premium functionality separated into child theme. Separately maintained, but largely overlapping, premium parent theme. Premium functionality separated into paid plugin. Separate premium parent theme managed in tow with free theme via pre-processing. Some methods are more convenient for the developer at the expense of the user, and vice versa. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each, including two “best of both worlds” approaches. The separate codebase approach A user-friendly approach would be to maintain two separate codebases. One for the free theme. One for the paid theme. Let’s break down the flow of the user: User downloads free parent theme. User buys paid parent theme. User customizes with a child theme. Upgrades to paid parent theme are hopefully seamless. Conclusion: Clearly convenient for the user,
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