ThemeVillage saidI cannot agree more with above. Currently I’d define our business as very fragile. We always have to rush to create new theme instead of fine tuning and updating existing one. Yearly maintenance fees would definitely help here. Buyers will feel more secure and authors will cover their costs.
On a more serious note ( in contrast of my previous post )
In my opinion – the only way for authors to keep improving and supporting items is to sell themes on a subscription basis. New devices come out, new Wordpress versions, new browsers with new problems, etc. etc. – the only way to keep supporting items ( and doing customer support ) is with a recurring fee to access updates and support (in other words – to keep your purchase code valid).This approach would let me:
- Improve my item on a regular basis ( Improve doesn’t mean ‘mo options, ‘mo features. Improve as in cleaner code, optimize and test on more devices, etc. )
- Keep supporting the item (again – not “forced/expected/mandatory support”, but actual genuine support)
Customers would buy a “re-subscription” and that would mean that I could eventually make more sales and help us keep motivated to improve our existing themes instead of “rushing” to build a new one. This is the actual problem in my opinion and one that I’ve been thinking about on how to solve for a while now. The current model isn’t sustainable – we always need to “build the next big thing” in order to keep sales going instead of being able to focus on what we already have.
When you think about it – every reasonable piece of software out there charges again for updates. Support is always free. ( ScreenFlow, Tower, Sublime Text, Kaleidoscope, 1Password, – just a few apps that I’ve “upgraded” recently to keep up to date )
http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/25-days-no-replay-from-support/140464 ^THIS!!! FRESH AND HOT!!!
Thanks, gg no re
Many of the questions you have raised were discussed by Collis here.
Sorry but Collis does not discuss anything, those are just pretty empty words to silence some of the authors. It’s clear Envato doesn’t want to change anything, you talk about the community etc. but you don’t listen to us at all. All you do is crowd control, “we will wait until the heat comes down and then roll out the changes anyway”.
And saying that you are a business and thats why you need to take 30% from our income from support is just sad… and makes me sick that you think that way.
I guess it is time to start looking for alternatives.
ThemeFusion said+1 This is a pretty good idea, make the updates available only when you have active subscription.
I think as an author, we should first, stop acting like those buyers who threats with 1-star rating to get their work done.
Instead, we should help Envato understand both sides of the story and they do need to come up with a better plan for both, those who want to provide support and those who want to treat their items simply as an as-is stock item and don’t want to make a commitment about support.
Personally, we are happy to keep our item well supported and keep our staff employed for a very long time and also pay them an even better salary. Let me share a major story, most of our buyers get all the support in the first month and then come back after a major update. So right now, I agree with one of the authors who posted way back in this thread that this is still not sustainable without bundling updates together.
Lets take a step back: why can’t we simply make the entire purchase valid for 12 months? After that, the user has to purchase again for their license to be active. I think that makes the things very simple while not changing the rules? We all, including Envato, can learn from this small change.
Am I crazy?- Muhammad
LCweb saidCollis is right, 80/20 is the right number, it does not apply to you, but for us all.
Finally @Collis: I’d really like to know how did you make the stat on customers percentage asking for support. 80/20 is absolutely wrong. I think that at least 40% asks for support or at least some info about improvements/customizations, specially if you have a good system and provide support fastly! (e.g. me)
For ME it is 60/40 or 50/50…
Thanks to whoever it was for removing my message saying that because of mandatory support starting from December first, authors will not have normal Christmas and New Year holidays.
Personally I will not make my support team working on holidays. So will have to do it myself.*You can remove the post as many times as you like but I will post it again anyway.
Where did you gather your data on sales vs support requests and how many hrs per day support is offered and what the average support produces in tickets and I could go on?
If I want to offer 12 months support for free which i do already, then I have the right as it’s my product and my buyer. If I want to setup extra support then I’ll sell it myself so I can adjust the price accordingly to be sustainable for my business, so that I can continue to produce themes and support them. Also I don’t actually understand how you came to 30% commission for selling a service that you will not be doing for a product that isn’t yours and for no platform available for support to be offered. So 30% is for processing a payment?
All in all a really bad idea as far as I am concerned.Your track record lately has been shaky to say the least, you should read your forums more often and listen to your authors, and actually act upon the advise. Badge update is awful. Reviews do not work. Search is bust. No shopping cart still. Your fix to the review bar was to just remove it completely. Putting a banner to micro Envato freelancer website in shady places. Placing a button for installation services. Removal of half the elite benefits. I mean I could go on….
P.S The last part make me lough and then I wanted to cry for a bit because it is so true…
EDIT: One more thing why do we have to answer in 72h when Envato always answers my support tickets after 1-2 weeks?
digitalscience saidFair enough feedback, although the rewards are there to provide authors with inspiration to build amazing things!
Before we send authors into outer-space.. I think Envato should spend more money on a complete redesign of the entire marketplace so it’s as good as it can be and sustainable for the next 10 years. For a multimillion dollar company, you should have a marketplace design that reflects that – but it has the same layout since it started . The site isn’t even responsive yet, come on!
Inspiration to build amazing things? After $5 milion you get a MacBook ? I think that someone who earned $5 milion has already a MacBook if they want one… I liked the previous rewards better. I am glad I have passed the $500k mark just few days before the new rewards were anounced.
P.S The website look very good