I would be dollars to pesos for almost any website that Safari for Windows has fewer users than IE7.
Don’t waste your time testing all browsers. Test relevant browsers. When a project has specific needs then test further.
Have the client buy it, or make an account for them and hand it over. It saves a huge headache when they want to update later and aren’t working with you (it happens more than you think). If they own the license and have a valid purchase code it clears away so much frustration vetting them.
Elite authors have already earned so much more because of the Elite program
It’s the other way around. Authors earn the Elite program because they sold a specific amount outside the program. The program doesn’t change their earnings at all, or change their commitment/expectation. It’s simply a signifier of sales volume by price.
I think your expectations aren’t realistic regarding how Elite’s relate to the marketplace’s business model. Unless you were willing to pay more for increased value (assurance of updates) then authors and Envato won’t change their behavior.
I do think this change needs to happen. Otherwise it’s basic economics. Authors should not put effort into updates that yield no profits. Why would anyone?
That’s what is driving dissatisfaction here. Customer experience is important, but it doesn’t override economics. If you can’t maintain a product fiscally then it’s not worth doing for any customer.
Personally, I would hope that Envato would ask all Elite authors to sign a new contract when they accept the new status. The contract could simply say that if the author chooses to no longer support a theme that is sold as Elite, then Envato will maintain it and keep the profits.
Authors have no contract with Envato, and Envato cannot assume ownership of copyrighted work to modify/sell it themselves. This isn’t how a marketplace model works or could work legally.
Perhaps Envato needs to provide the customers with a guarantee that every Wordpress theme will be updated for at least two years from inception?
How much would you pay for that assurance? Because that’s a big risk for an author if the item doesn’t sell well and they still need to devote resources to maintaining a product nobody buys.
At the very least, Envato should remove products immediately when an authors announces they are no longer updating a theme of this kind. Allowing it to be sold while it is no longer comparable is unethical and is a guaranteed bad customer experience waiting to happen.
Envato should be more aggressive removing outdated products. It reflects poorly on the marketplace.
@ rnsloan: Thanks, that should do it. Now if only the forums were responsive…
@ Crusader12 — I appreciate that you work for Envato but don’t represent them in responding. Envato needs authors working at the company to have a voice internally.
The way Envato is moving though, there is no line between goods and services — and it seems like the services Envato wants to push are not via original authors. There are plenty of customization requests where I happily say: “No thanks, work with a freelancer.”
But from my viewpoint, product updates are not a product. They are a support service and they’re extremely valuable to buyers because you can’t hire a freelancer for anywhere near the same price as an author can implement those fixes and distribute en masse to buyers. That’s why the economy of scale from a digital product works, but you have to charge for value.
What angers me is Envato leaning toward allowing third-parties to step in as update services (for money and without my consent) who may/may not be skilled enough to do the job. Meanwhile authors are not allowed to monetize updates on their own products.
The only menu that does not have this is Forums. We can add a link to /forums/ to appear on touch devices in the dropdown if people request it. Different people will expect a different solution to the problem (we could implement some kind of double-tap mechanism to the parent link). While maybe not ideal, we hope this solution at least makes these menus usable on touch devices.
On touch devices, I’m only ever trying to access themeforest.net/forums which is the parent link, but that’s not possible after this change. I’m used to seeing this mix of posts on the desktop and I don’t ever browse the sub-forums because it shows an inconsistent mix of stuff. It’s pretty annoying not be able to see the same threads on my phone and laptop.
This has been going on for a few months, and usually I just say screw it and don’t use the forums on my phone anymore unless I really want to follow a discussion.
However, there’s a whole sister market for services with many capable developers that would probably love to make an income customizing and supporting plugins and themes. Seems like everyone would win and any support / update issues would at least be isolated to a single section of one market.
That doesn’t work for me as a business. If I’m going to invest in producing a product and maintaining it to continue selling it to new customers, why would I ever want a third-party to step in and be compensated for supporting updates when I’m not allowed to profit from providing updates?
Nobody is more capable of providing better service/knowledge than the original author, and what buyer wouldn’t want to get updates via the official releases? Envato wants this, but I don’t think authors or buyers do.
If you have a car under warranty and you take it to a junk garage, they might screw things up. Then you take the car to a factory authorized dealer. Are they required to fix someone else’s mistakes? That’s exactly what a two market system does. A dealer will simply say you violated the warranty terms and refuse service unless you pay out of pocket. How is that a win/win?
My broken record answer: paid updates would solve this.
Buyers should receive all updates as part of their purchase for a fixed period (ex: 12 months), then afterward had to renew their license to continue getting updates. This would give authors an incentive to maintain old items because they could legitimately earn from their existing customers.
Right now, Envato’s business model encourages authors to do as little as possible after they’re made the sale. It’s a lose/lose situation where the only way to earn more is churning out new themes or produce blockbuster smash hit. Not everyone can be/stay in the top ten. Do the math.
The face value of any theme as the renewal price is dirt cheap compared to paying any freelancer or in-house person to maintain the same codebase for a year.
The real question is whether you (as a buyer) get business value from those updates, and would pay that renewal cost versus maintaining it yourself. Otherwise this situation will not change.
I think we can all agree that there is some sort of fee involved in handling payments (and paying for terabytes of hosting, bandwidth, staff, legals, reviewers, advertising, office space, etc…) And as mentioned, Envato is looking at removing that extra buyer fee all together – because they’re awesome – and it will also increase conversions.
It’s just bad UX. You don’t need to remove the fee. Every other business on the planet just incorporates that into the price and makes it invisible. It feels bad getting “stuck” with a fee. Envato does hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of transactions per year. They should have been able to do the math and price this into the marketplaces a long time ago. You can bet they know exactly how much revenue goes through PayPal to negotiate rates. It’s bizarre they’ve only removed the surcharge for high-priced items, and are considering stepping down the charge in the future. Just price items without presenting fees.