After culling the stats from 2012 for WordPress.com I thought I’d do another round of stats related to those that run theme shops and are considering the behaviors of bloggers in light of their business model.
I know that my team is constantly thinking about these elements so that we might not only refine our business strategy but also our product offering with our WordPress Theme, Standard, which is available on WordPress.com.
The first one is a powerful signal that’s worth thinking about for your WordPress business:
1. Theme Switches
In 2012 there were an average of 1,446,328 theme switches per month in the WordPress.com community with a grand total of 17,355,934 people who decided that their current theme wasn’t the best one for them.
We all know what this is like as many of us have swapped our own theme multiple times (even in the past few months perhaps). There are some of us who can’t seem to stick with the same theme longer than a week (yes, I know a handful).
This is one of the most powerful features that WordPress has in the ability to quickly and near-effortlessly switch your entire look-and-feel with the click of a button. It’s also one of the biggest challenges of a WordPress Theme-based business as switching themes can mean loss of continual/residual income.
But not only that, every active theme is also an active marketer for the theme which brings in more eyeballs and attracts more attention, hopefully converting towards a sale of some sort. The questions then arise are metrics such as retention, quality and competitiveness of features, community development, pricing, and so forth.
Now this statistic isn’t just for Premium Themes – it appears to include all themes and I guarantee most of these switches are about free ones being swapped for the user. But it is a very important metric to consider for one’s own business.
2. Support Requests
Now a much more boring and less glamorous statistic is the number of support requests that came in for 2012 – 104,698 in total for the year.
Keeping the context relevant to this blog post the business side of things is quite simple: Support is dollar figures and a cost that the company much take on when considering a WordPress-related business. Now these stats may not be relevant to a self-hosted WordPress.org selection because these support requests spam the gamut of issues, not just themes, but you have to consider the cost of support for your users, community, and customers.
WordPress.com and Automattic have full-time salaried employees and staff which manage these issues and that’s a cost they are willing (and need) to have to have such a stellar business.
[via misc stats]