I know it’s been a while, but I promise, ratings is still important to us. The justification is pretty simple — it’s incredibly important we get this right.
I can’t agree more. It’s incredibly important that you do it right, no matter how much time will it take. Will you share your plans with the community for discussion before implementing these changes?
I think that ratings is a more complex subject than it seems. Here’s my point of view:
I’ve been coding in PHP/JS/HTML/CSS before WordPress appeared. Then I created a few WordPress websites (in 2007 or 2008) and I joined ThemeForest soon after that. Times were different back then and my first WordPress theme sold around 20 times. I wasn’t experienced with WordPress back then and it wasn’t as easy to be used as it is today. Menus didn’t exist, custom post types didn’t exist, Google Fonts didn’t exist, responsive websites didn’t exist, iPhone didn’t exist… My very first themes and plugins were far from being perfect but somehow they still managed to get ~4.0 rating on average.
Then WordPress improved, browsers improved, computers improved, my skills have improved and my current themes have in the large part decent code and the future ones will be of decent quality as well. Nonetheless, even if I removed my very first theme (rated 4.0) 4 years ago, I still see its rating today. This is a bit stressful to some authors because they are becoming “support slaves” like VF noticed and they want to satisfy subjective opinions of purchasers. Those are real support questions I received in the past few day:
30% of support questions I receive (lack of user knowledge, user mistake or server issue):
- How do I update the theme?
- How do I login to the FTP server?
- What is a child theme?
- How to edit my theme?
- How do I set static front page?
- How to reverse posts order on the blog?
- Using WPML – how?
- My server returns 404 – page not found.
- What is a widget?
- How to configure the footer?
- What is my item purchase code?
- [I answer such questions with a copy/paste link to the documentation, Codex or FAQ]
1% of questions I receive (real bugs):
- YouTube in conjunction with CSS3 transforms enabled for a slideshow doesn’t work on Firefox/Mac but works in Chrome/Mac, Safari/Mac and all PC browsers [this is something I’m happy to investigate and fix if I’m informed about that].
69% of support questions I receive (custom modifications):
- How can I edit the color of my Facebook icon on mobile phone only?
- How can I upload 5 times larger logo and scale it down 5 times with CSS?
- How can I replace Facebook icon with some other website’s icon?
- How can I add my custom WPML language switcher to the header?
- How can I set background image for a page?
- How can I replace header X with header Y?
- How can I reverse thumbnail mouse over animation?
- How can I hide the menu?
- some people have 90 support tickets opened, all are about custom modifications. If something can be described on the support forum or is a general question then support staff answers this and we put it to the FAQ. Most things aren’t like that and most people are asking about custom modifications that only they need. If I say that I wouldn’t be able to write the full answer on the forum because it’s too complex then I very often get something like:
I’ve got to say I’m very disappointed by your reply, it is a simple question and I would expected the author to be able to easily provide the answer. Saying to hire a freelance developer to wade through code … well I could do that myself, I was just looking for some simple assistance from the author to tell me where to look.
This response after just paying for one of the most expensive themes on themeforest has left a very bitter taste in my mouth and certainly my rating for the theme will reflect that
It isn’t funny to listen to such blackmailing people that know that ratings are final and permanent and they demand changes. I answered that person and I listed the places that need modifications before I got this message by the way.
Often someone buys a theme for $30 and asks for modifications that require a developer to spend 2 hours on doing that for them. And what can I do?
- I can accept a 1 star rating (he rates support and not the theme).
- Or I can spend 2 hours (worth $250) on doing that for him.
So, what is actually rated? Are we selling products or services?Just yesterday:
Im very surprised that I would need a developer to change things that are so standard. So your saying that people with no or basic knowledge of code have to get a developer to help…Why would someone like this have to get advanced help to get rid of things like the random logos on the bottom of the footer?
This person actually didn’t open the documentation at all and we resolved that quickly but you get an idea what the problem is. Another unjustified frustration and pretentiousness. I wanted to help but I got this in reply and probably some bad rating because the customer only remembers his frustration and the fact that the theme is not easy to be used (although it is easy to be used and he could test that here – http://trial.devatic.com/ prior to purchase).
Even if I answer someone with the full solution, often I get something like that in reply: “I couldn’t manage to follow your instructions, can you please login to my server and do that for me?”.
I feel like the current system is wasting the authors’ time. Instead of coding for 12 months in a year, we spend 10 months on support and 2 months on coding.
During the peak days we were receiving 500 questions in 7 days. Few of which are real bugs. Most qualify as general WordPress support.
Justinfrench, do you think that something can be done about this? Will this be open for discussion? Will this be considered at all?
It’s sometimes a situation without a solution. E.g. a customer wants to modify a theme without having money for a freelance developer and without knowing what the HTML or a child theme is. He demands help from an author and threatens him with a bad rating. All that even if a documentation and item description pages clearly state that we are not able to help with any custom modifications: http://docs.devatic.com/daisho/#support
This is not fully author-friendly system. Do you think that anything can be done about that? Can we stop worrying how to reply a client and start spending more time on coding?
WordPress.com hosting unfortunately doesn’t allow custom themes (we mention that in the “Installation” section of the documentation as well). You need your own server. Every single WP website requires at least the following:
1) A server
2) WordPress 3.5.1
3) Some theme
A server – can be Bluehost, GoDaddy, Dreamhost, Laughing Squid, localhost (WAMP/MAMP) or anything else. See: http://wordpress.org/hosting/. If you’re looking for a cheap hosting solution then you can find some that cost just $3/mo, $5/mo or $7/mo. We use $10/mo hosting and it’s more than enough even for multiple websites.
All WP-based websites require a stand-alone server so I understand that this might be surprising and you didn’t expect that WordPress.com hosting won’t work with custom themes. They simply don’t have installation option…
Nonetheless, I encourage you to keep in touch with us and we’ll answer all your questions. If you’re new to WordPress then you’ll need to spend some time on getting to know everything but Themeforest, WordPress forum (and other dev forums) have excellent and friendly communities that are willing to help This thread is a good example!
I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear – I meant OUR support forum
1) Solution: http://support.forcg.com/topic/daisho-common-changes
2) Go to [Portfolio > Add New] and use “External Link” option. It will work exactly this way.
3) That’s unfortunately not possible and I can’t think of any way to do this with default files.
3a) Do you really need this? That’s not a big difference to the visitor. We can discuss your idea if you wish and perhaps find some alternatives.
3b) If you’re certain about this then custom modification to achieve this would require you to load portfolio template in normal templates and hide thumbnails when page loads but keep filter visible. You’ll also need to change its CSS to make it appear in some other place (maybe header?).
Time required: 1-2h (where half of the time is CSS)
Developers on our support forum can do it for you. And there is really no other way to do this than with custom modification… We simply didn’t consider such option during development.
I hope that it clarifies everything and let me know if you need more information about this Also, I’m glad that you like the theme! I hope that you’ll soon configure it to your exact needs (with or without our help). Our support forum is open for your requests.
Absolutely +1 for:
Referral program changes.
@quosik, @mudi, (@everyone?)
Rating system changes.
Doing regular roadmap posts and gathering feedback.
Thanks for sharing another good piece of information from you
This is something to complete it for those interested in details: http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/faq
I’ve got related question(s).
1. It’s understandable that you have to comply with DMCA law to qualify for safe harbor provisions for service providers but I noticed that you not always do that. For instance our support ticket (#178348) was received by you on 23rd December 2010 and it still didn’t got response (28th January 2011). According to law all the notifications should be promptly forwarded to opposing party and complaining party should be notified about that. This is your article about ‘put back’ procedures: http://wiki.envato.com/selling/copyright-selling/a-dmca-takedown-notice-has-been-issued-against-my-item-what-does-this-mean/ What are authors supposed to do when their notice or counter-notice (or other notices) are getting ignored? Why this happens?
2. DMCA law is strange to me. You act first and ask questions later. Any item can be deleted without preceding notice. Perhaps you can’t do anything about that because that’s the law but in my opinion it contributes to some false claims that come from misunderstanding or mistakes and that can damage both authors and marketplace slightly.
3. It’s good to hear that reviewers will have impact on more things. Good system and requirements seem to be the best foundation of great company. Focus on review more and I believe that such problems may be decreased It’s worth additional funds and hassle in my opinion.
I think that reviewers and support should help authors more on ‘private’ non-official level (as much as possible). Most of the authors don’t know law and they just want to create items. Going towards ‘automated’ treatment of authors isn’t good in my opinion. Friendly, non-official support advices may reduce many problems and passively following law isn’t always good for anyone involved.
Thanks for your quick replies! Now I see what’s it all about. So I can use these tutorials but I have to make some significant changes in code, right? These limits are indeed difficult to define because code structure will look the same with or without tutorial…
@Keliah You “Repeatedly protected Envato Marketplaces against copyright violations” so I trust your opinion. I just want to play fair and use only those files/sources that can be used.
@campuscodi All I need from those tutorials is HTML structure and JS script (or at least idea how it works). I will always replace CSS and graphic anyway.
Okay, they are commercial free but what about Themeforest rule:
The file must NOT be based on a tutorial. For example: You cannot submit a file that you created by following a tutorial, in whole or in part.
These tutorials are licensed under MIT or CC but Envato support told me that I can use first tutorial and I can’t use the second one. Still, I don’t know what’s the difference between them?
I joined Themeforest not so long ago and I created two WP themes so far. I’m planning to continue creating them but I’m a little confused with copyright rules and external code usage rules. Of course I read all the copyright articles here on Themeforest but they seem to be incomplete. I’m contacting Envato support each time I’m not sure whether I can use something as a part of my theme or not but I’m getting frustrated with diversified replies.
Once they said that I can use this tutorial to implement Piecemaker to my WP theme (it can be used commercially according to NETTUTS rules): http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/wordpress/integrating-the-piecemaker-3d-gallery-into-your-wordpress-theme/
Can you please tell me what’s the difference between those two? I’d like to add some more functionality to my further themes and tutorials/articles/blogs/forums are a great way to speed up creating process and get help but I’m not sure if I could use that…
Any simple and comprehensive explanation would be great!