When it comes to purchasing a paid WordPress theme, you might assume that there’s only one payment method. Most people believe that you always pay a one time fee and then a single theme is yours forever. Although this is definitely the case for some themes, it’s not the case for all of them. Certain themes require a recurring payment in order for you to access future updates and support, and there are even theme clubs that allow people access to multiple themes from a specific developer for a fee. These alternative payment and subscription methods might be offputting to many people, but they can actually be incredibly helpful in the long run.
You might believe that a one-time payment theme might include updates and support for a lifetime, but this is more often than not not actually the case. Realistically, a developer most likely won’t be able to provide lifelong support and updates to their customers without collecting ongoing payments from them. If this becomes the case, you’re going to be up a creek without an update. Because of this, a decent amount of developers have switched to an annual payment plan. While in most cases you will still have the ability to use the theme after the initial payment period has expired, you will have to take the time to renew your license if you wish to continue receiving support and updates. This might all seem like a way for developers to take all of your money, but it’s truly the way to go. If you choose to stick with a one-time payment plan, as stated before, there’s a very good chance you’re going to end up up a creek without an update in the not so distant future.