For me – apart from the obvious – attractive design, well coded, flexible, and a few nice extra features such as sliders and page builders…it’s how often the author updates their theme and how good their support is.
I’ve just had to remind one author that they haven’t updated their theme that we purchased to use the latest versions of bundled plug-ins (they’re 14 versions behind) – it’s months out of date yet they’re happily releases new themes and leaving their old ones to die.
Occasional buyers on Themeforest will be enticed by a pretty layout and masses of features but savvy regular purchasers – the one’s authors should be targeting – will be checking out the authors support and update history.
Despite having bookmarked this particular authors new themes for future purchases, I’ve now removed them due to the bad support they’ve demonstrated for the older theme I’ve already purchased.
I didn’t like it so after 10 years on PC’s switched back to Mac for my main workstation. Fortunately the new Mac OSX is brilliant so I doubt I’ll be buying any new Windows OS, and we’ve kept Win7 on our Windows machines.
I think another buyer summed it up but just to +1 what they said, good authors on here have nothing to fear from a company that charge $55 for a no-frills business template when their equivalent products are selling for $40.
Pricing for any item is determined by ThemeForest people and not by the authors.
Incorrect – pricing is determined by what customers will pay, and Themeforest and it’s authors need to correctly judge what this is. Looking at their sales they’ve got it about right.
I don’t see any mad rush from customers to buy the new Woo themes, and this is because they’re competing with the more realistic pricing of Themeforest authors. In fact most of them don’t have any sales at all yet – I personally wouldn’t pay $55 for an ancient looking no-frills business template, even before comparing it to some of the stunning work provided by Themeforest authors.
I’ve had the same experience – when I’ve discovered after purchase that themes didn’t match demos, had serious issues or no support (when support was advertised as being provided), missing features, serious bugs & security issues etc. I’ve posted my concerns or feedback in a non-abusive way on the relevant theme feedback page.
I’ve made these comments to alert buyers to potential issues, as this sort of feedback is invaluable for me when browsing for new themes. It also gives the author a chance to respond or fix the issue, and considering the unreliable nature of some authors support, is the only way to register dissatisfaction with a bad purchase.
In almost every case my comments have been removed and marked as ‘offensive’, when they were nothing of the sort. Authors responses to my comments, however, insinuating that I’m either a novice (or ‘noob’ as they like to say on here) or troublemaker are left in place, despite the fact that their replies are a lot more offensive than my politely raised concerns.
After a few years on here I’ve come to the depressing conclusion that authors needs will always be put before buyers. There is very little protection for buyers on here, and when you’re stuck with a purchase that’s not fit for purpose you have to fight tooth and claw to get a refund.
Thank you for reporting the issues you find though, it really helps to alert buyers to potential issues, and if the authors really care about their product, gives them a chance to fix it.
I lost my trust in authors and honestly, I am afraid to purchase another item as I think that I can expect the same problems.
I’d say less than a quarter of the themes we’ve bought have worked straight out of the box and we usually have to use the authors support forum to obtain and report bug-fixes.
I can understand your concern, we wasted 4 weeks on the theme we had issues with earlier this year Every support request took several days for a reply, and ‘temporary’ fixes didn’t work so new ones had to be provided. This wasn’t a result of me having to be taught how to use Wordpress, there were coding issues with the theme.
The theme was ‘only’ $50, but took a month of our time to try and get working and in the end after support was withdrawn and the theme still didn’t work, we had to ditch it.
There are decent authors out there though so I wouldn’t give up on Themeforest, I can recommend Minti, WPexplorer and Muffingroup – all good authors backed up with excellent support and we’ve got our eye on a few others for future purchases. If we find a good author then we tend to stick with them. I’d recommend checking out how quickly, and professionally they deal with feedback and support issues and check their old themes to see if they’ve been kept updated.
On the one hand the fact that the recent update did not include a feature you liked to see does not mean it will not be implemented in a further release, but on the other hand submitting a feature request also does not automatically guarantee implementation.
No that’s fine, I didn’t expect it to, but Minti said he welcomed suggestions for improvements in the new version and so a few of us chipped in with some feedback. A couple of the features I wanted haven’t been included but that’s fine, it works perfectly for our own website and the new header styles are excellent.
Minti is my favourite author and an excellent example of how it can be done – as his sales now prove. There are a ton of virtually identical themes out there, some cheaper, most with additional features, but he keeps on selling well and I think that’s down to his professionalism and support. One look on his feedback page and you can tell you’re going to get a good service.
Not so good the recent theme we had problems with – just checked to see if they’d fixed the many bugs it contained and it appears the author has removed it from Themeforest – which is bad news for the hundreds of customers that bought it.
I hope this helps.DNP
Hi DNP, I agree with everything you’ve said, and I’m sure you provide excellent support. But I’m not complaining about all authors, just the bad ones.
FWIW I’ve been building and developing websites for 20 years, and building custom WP themes for clients for the last 7 so I don’t need a lesson in using Wordpress. I would only contact support unless there was either:
A problem with the theme I’ve purchased – bug, browser inconsistency, security issue etc.
The documentation supplied (Word doc, online help, .pdf, demo etc.) did not include all the details required to set the theme up as in the demo.
The purchased theme did not match the demo (yes, this has happened on two occasions).
The theme features don’t match the product description on TF.
In my earlier post I mentioned making suggestions for improvement on a support forum as these were invited by the author, and because of his excellent support, alerted him to a copycat theme as a mark of loyalty. Plus I wanted to buy more copies for clients and wanted to check first if he was open to providing additional features in his update, again as a mark of loyalty – - rather than simply buying one of the newer themes which contained the extra features I required.
I fully understand there are awful customers who expect you to customise their site for free or teach them the basics of using Wordpress, but as I said if authors make this clear this is not supported on their product page, rather than hard-selling their ‘excellent support’ then there’s no case for misunderstanding.
I also understand small companies find it difficult to keep up with requests. If I was an author I would use the FAQ section more effectively and direct common queries to this page. Very few authors seem to utilise this as much as they could, and seem to answer the same queries repeatedly.
Marketplace term and conditions are clear.
You think so? Themeforest are very clear about not providing support and suggest it’s down to individual authors to provide this. However, recently one theme we purchased, full to the brim with bugs, despite promoting full support on their product page, removed this when we had to ask ‘too many questions’ (requests for bug fixes and shortcode details not provided in their demo or documentation). When we queried this we were told that their support was provided ‘as a gift’ and we were ‘wasting our (their) precious time’.
This is typical of the mixed messages buyers receive – on the one hand some authors actively promote a full support service (not an optional ‘gift’), yet fail to provide this when customers require it to get their themes to work.
For me, support is 50% of the product. If it’s listed as part of the package then I expect it to be provided. If it’s not, and it’s a ‘gift’, then for heavens sake make sure this is stated on the product page.
When there are issues, some tend to get too emotional, buyers and authors. My tip to all for what it’s worth: Try to seperate the issue (the what) from the way it’s addressed (the how).
My tip, for authors, is to remember that you’re not just a developer/designer. You’re selling a product and representing your business online. Make sure you make it very clear what your clients will receive and they’ll be no room for misinterpretation, and maybe some customer facing/sales skills wouldn’t go amiss for some authors either.
I can imagine that you do not want these people as your customer (I know I wouldn’t) and therefor want this additional control to ‘un-customer’ them.
Definitely, I’ve had some terrible clients. But if they’ve paid us for a website and support, then we would be sued if we decided we weren’t going to provide this. What we do have though, are strict terms and conditions which clients accept when we take on their commission, and these state we can stop providing support if we receive abusive emails from them.
I can definitely see the issues authors face from some customers, but on the whole I’ve noticed very positive feedback and politeness towards authors that provide good support for their product. If customers are abusive then maybe there needs to be a mechanism for deactivating their connection to a product.
If you don’t like the concept of stock items choose a different business model
We’ve only been using stock themes over the past couple of years, however this has become almost unavoidable as stock themes are flooding the market, leaving small web companies no option but to include themes in their business model for clients with smaller budgets.
In 99.(9)% cases authors are very polite and helpful when buyers are nice and not demanding something “ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” on Saturday evening.
I don’t see any evidence to back the 99.9% claim, based on my experience of buying and regularly checking theme feedback. Most authors yes, but not 99.9%. As for the Saturday evening thing – welcome to my world.
familychoice saidHey there familychoice,
2. Looking at the amount some authors are making on here, compared to most web designers I’m struggling to summon up sympathy over earnings.
nice to meet you outside the support forum
Hi, thank you Do you provide support on Mintis forum? If so please note none of the criticisms apply to your theme. Minti (and you own support) are the best I’ve ever experienced – 5 stars! If every theme I bought was as well supported as yours I’d be very happy!
I just checked your forum history in one of the forums I work in, you opened 11
Ok, just to expand on that, here’s a summary of the reasons for each thread:
4 were bugs for which fixes were provided.
6 were requests for fixes or improvements to the theme (minti actively encourages suggestions from customers). For example there was no sitemap or archive templates so I wasn’t able to create a sitemap, or even use a plugin to create one. The blog layout required featured images to be used for every post which isn’t always practical otherwise a preset icon is displayed. Some of the requests have been included in the last update which is excellent. Some haven’t – there’s still a ton of CSS being generated in the head which we don’t like, and the shortcode ‘generator’ you promote is nothing of the sort, it just drops tags onto the page.
The reason for the requests were, as explained, that we rate the theme and support so much we’d like to use it for client sites. However the lack of a page builder and user friendly shortcode builder mean we still can’t do this. I was merely trying to help you achieve more sales, mostly from us! This was customer feedback, meant to help. If we didn’t like the theme we wouldn’t bother.
It’s not a problem, we use your theme for our own site and we love it, but with more editing tools we would buy more copies for clients.
The last request was to alert you that I’d spotted a rip-off of your theme by another author. Again I did this out of customer loyalty, not to waste your time.
You do realise buyers view these forums as well? The amount of customer slagging off I read on these forums makes me question why I buy from Themeforest authors sometimes. Anyway, to respond to this one:
I believe that buyers absolutely shouldn’t be given possibility for asking refunds from authors. Other then misuse opportunities, here are some other reasons:
- 1. theme is a digital good, it can be copied in infinity number of copies, recoded, resold, used for learning etc. once you get refund, you got both – theme copy AND the money.
- 2. theme are relatively cheap piece of software, considering how many time, effort, knowledge and skill is needed to produce one quality theme, and what the theme buyer can do with it – there was one radical example of reselling theme for 15 million dollars ( !! ... allegedly )
- 3. there is a theme demo which you can thoroughly examine, there are comments and other contacts where you can ask author any pre-sale question – most theme authors will give you any information, support (in reasonable limits), F.A.Q … If you are not sure, or you suspect on something – don’t buy it .
- 4. themes are reviewed thoroughly (whatever some people claim) and most of them available on TF are working properly. Some major error or bug might slip through … Shouldn’t you try to solve it that, first ? If not, contact Envato support and prove the case. They will refund you.
- 5. Is it possible that some buyers lack basic knowledge to even set up themes ? (as they lack basic manners, too – I had those experiences …)
Even after all these arguments, I believe that, in some cases, refunds should be possible, but strictly through Envato support system (absolutely not directly with authors), and the buyer MUST prove the case. Buyers are (very much so) not always right – I believe that both authors and buyers must be protected from bad quality (yes, even the buyers should be rated) and scam.
1. A them is completely useless in the long term without access to support or updates, which are unobtainable after a refund.
2. Looking at the amount some authors are making on here, compared to most web designers I’m struggling to summon up sympathy over earnings. Love to see some actual proof over the theme resale for $15,000000 too.
3. Demos don’t always match what you get as a download. I know, I’ve experienced this on several occasions, and there is no way of knowing how good supplied documentation, support, and editing usability will be until you buy the thing.
4. 50% of the themes I’ve bought are full of bugs, yet I always try to work patiently with the author to fix them. Not really my job, but it happens. If there’s an issue and you contact TF they will pass you back to the author. There is no guarantee of anything or any kind of consumer protection for buyers.
“Buyers are (very much so) not always right” – you have data to back up this statement?