I just found out that the Pro version of Mimbo is apparently available for a whopping $89.99. I’m sure the creator deserves a lot of compensation for all of his efforts: just look at the features list.

Butconsidering that WordPress is a free and openly available CMS, I find it absurd to charge $90 for a theme. Yes, it’s very comprehensive, and the features all sound very attractive. However, the idea that this guy is making money off a free system rubs me the wrong way. I’m very willing to pay for a theme, but really, $90 is way too much. I would definitely consider $40, but I have many concerns. Let’s take a look at the features.

Key Features include…

  • A comprehensive control panel for controlling all aspects of the site, no more editing templates manually!
  • A built-in contact form with control panel options
  • Attractive custom templates for: search results, date archives, sitemap, contact, author archives and category archives
  • Google Analytics and Feedburner and simple advertising options in the control panel
  • A custom script that automatically crops and resizes images – no more creating two or three versions of each image
  • Printer-friendly rendering of single post pages
  • </ul>

Here are my rebuttals:

  • Regarding the comprehensive control panel: how do I know what the control panel will look like? I can’t access the administrative functions from the demo.
  • The contact form has no spam solution. Is one available out of the box, and if not, how easy is it to integrate?
  • They claim to have attractive custom templates: may I see them?
  • I have no interest in advertisements, so it’s unimportant to me.
  • There are already image resizers out there: built-in ones in WP 2.6, plugins, etc.
  • I can already use Lester Chan’s very excellent WP-Print plugin.

Most important is how my blog will look after I completely customize it. When I get a theme, I put a lot of work into the customization. Sometimes the theme isn’t flexible enough or just too different for me to get the desired results. I absolutely refuse to pay for a theme that I can’t try out first, especially if it’s going to run me $90.

All in all, the restrictive demo and the high price are two big reasons that I would never purchase this theme. With all the free ones that are widely available, a little bit of elbow grease will bring you a long way. I don’t have a clue how much other “premium” WordPress (or other CMS) themes cost, but the idea of paying $90 to pretty up a free and widely supported CMS is absolutely crazy to me. A price drop and an administrative demo would probably win me over though.