Tom just pointed me to this discussion as I was looking into this same thing through a support thread. So I just wanted to add what I had provided to him earlier.
These days, there are a lot of people starting to build WP based competitors to SquareSpace, Wix, etc… that would like to be able to add functionality to themes that they offer as GP Add-ons does, without the users needing to go out and get their own license.
I would be more than happy to upgrade to a Developer/Agency version. Most companies offering this range from $250/Lifetime to $199/year. I’m a one man development shop as well so I do understand making money.
I like your theme and what it offers with the add-ons. Simply put though, as a developer, I look for the way that I can do work for my clients with the least amount of resistance to their needs. I have several themes/plugins that allow me to re-use. One of the worst things I can do to a client is to say, I’ll build you a website, but first you need to go to vendor A, B, C and D to buy their plugins before I can get started.
Here’s some examples of other WP theme/plugin sites that are doing quite well using that sort of model.
Again, I like what you have to offer and I want to see you succeed and I’m willing to be your first agency client even. Those sites above are all doing really well, and your theme with the add-ons is a fantastic competitor with how customizable it is.
If you have a mailing list or Facebook group, I would encourage you to setup a poll to see how many would upgrade if you offered such a thing. If you get more than 10 results, you’ve got a golden opportunity.
Now to add a little more about how I work. Basically, if a client hires me for maintenance, I setup and manage their complete install and use my developer/agency licenses. If a client doesn’t hire me for maintenance, then they are on their own for licenses as I may just decide to stop using something and paying for. This way, if the user stops paying and things break, they’re on their own, unless they want to hire me again.
I personally don’t care if something is white label or not. But as I mentioned to Tom, there are a lot of devs trying to compete with the page builder sites using WP. It’s starting to get real heated and a lot of it that I see seems to be headed by the way that Beaver Builder has setup their business model, with white labeling.
I pay Thrive Themes, StudioPress, Dynamik Website Builder, Beaver Builder, Beaver Tunnels, WPMU Dev, tools like PHP Storm and some others annually and I gladly do it. Why, I can knock out more work in less time. I don’t change what I charge clients because my value to them hasn’t changed. Instead I can get more. Since these tools help me make more, I have no problem paying annual fees.
That said, there are devs/designers that don’t have my annual sales and I understand that, I was once there. So again, I like to look at Beaver Builder, they basically have a standard license for unlimited sites (like GP Premium is now, except annual), a Pro license, which is more for unlimited sites, includes their theme and is multisite capable (to a point), then they have an Agency license which is even more that is multisite capable, down to changing settings on an individual basis from the network admin and includes white labeling.
I know that a lot of people that use builder plugins haven’t found a really good theme that they like. I found GP through many in those communities who recommend it and/or Genesis with Dynamik. There are a lot of people that are looking for that one theme that they turn to for everything. And GP Premium (or higher level) could easily be that theme.
I will add that I saw mention of child themes being in the possible future. This could do even more to get people to move to this setup. StudioPress has made a killing because of it (Their model is per child theme or upgrade to the developer package for all).