PageLines DMS has a free (i.e. “Lite” or “Basic”) version, with limited functionality. This is what everyone downloads and those that have an activation / upgrade key input it to unlock the additional features.
However, since all the theme’s upgrades are in the same code base (i.e. free version is actually the same version), a coder could enable some of the upgrades without having to pay. Although it’s an ethical consideration, it’s technically possible.
For example, to get the magazine style layout on the free version, you could comment out these two lines. You can see that hacking along to get all the features of the upgraded version would be cumbersome. Worst of all, when you update to the latest release, all those hacks get overwritten (which is why we use child themes for customizations).
How to Convert PageLines DMS Basic
Now that that’s out of the way — and you recognize that upgrading PageLines is beneficial (why wouldn’t it be — of course PL wants to make it attractive to upgrade), let’s talk about the different upgrade options.
DMS Personal Membership is $10/month ($120/yr) or $96/yr paid annually ($24 savings).
It upgrades a single site to unlock all the DMS features.
DMS Business Membership is $20/mo ($240/yr) or $192/yr paid annually ($48 savings).
It upgrades 6 sites.
DMS Developer Membership is $30/mo ($360/yr) or $288/yr paid annually ($72 savings).
It allows for unlimited activations and enables WordPress Multisite support.
You do not need to go through an approval process or prove you’re a “coder” or “developer” or anything like that to purchase this version. You simply add it to your cart and checkout, just like the other membership options.
Features to Upgrade For
The PageLines Pricing page has a comparison of the membership types mentioned above. Plus, they have a “Why go Pro?” section. Here’s a screenshot from September 2013:
More Reasons to Upgrade
You may want to join The PageLines 300. To be considered, you must have purchased any level of membership for PageLines Framework or PageLines DMS.
Additionally, some of the store extensions (child themes, drag-and-drop sections, and plugins) have the “if Pro Version” checks to enable extra features or piggy-back off features from core that require the upgraded version.
Once you’re a DMS member and your site has the extra functionality, you might wonder “Why should I keep paying?”
If you do stop paying, you’ll continue receiving theme updates (since it’s all one free code base, remember), but your Pro features will be deactivated.
For example, if you have the Pro version and activate the magazine style post format (mentioned at the beginning of this post), they’ll change to the default format.
If you renew your membership, the magazine format will work again. In other words, no settings are lost; they’re just deactivated.
An important distinction, though, is that cloned sections (cloning is a Pro feature) won’t disappear. You just won’t be able to create new clones.
Also, if you want to sell your own products on the PageLines Shop, you’ll also need to have a current membership.