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scottwills Envato team says

Really enjoyed the latest blog post, Options for Protecting Your Themes, nice job. :) However, the article didn’t mention whether submitting a live preview was compulsory or not.

(i) If you are truly paranoid about pirating (like I am!), are authors allowed to NOT submit a live preview?

(ii) If any author has already submitted a file with a live preview, is it okay to send a request to support to REMOVE the live preview?

Thanks in advance. :)

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JeffreyWay says

Absolutely not. It is the author’s decision. However, I personally feel that your sales will suffer.

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jremick Envato team says

You’ll probably get more sales by providing a live preview. If people want to pirate your themes, they will do it one way or another even if that means buying it once and distributing it. Sure, you might get one sale that way but you’re potentially loosing many more by not providing a live preview.

Also, if you have a live preview already, you can click the edit tab on your item’s page, remove the link and click save changes. Hope this helps :)

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scottwills Envato team says

Awesome, thanks for the fast response, guys. :)

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roozbeh007 says

I personally would never buy a product which doesn’t have a live preview. if you don’t trust your customers then you should not be in this business.

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JeffreyWay says

Agreed. :)

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AmandaHackwith says

Just echoing the sentiment here. While not required, live previews are often a decisive difference that makes the difference between buyers admiring a theme, and buying it.

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elisent says

Template monster has been successfully selling templates for so many years without a live preview (except for dynamic themes like osc, wp etc.) and so have all the other competitors. We don’t have live previews on most of our themes and are doing quite well in the sales dept.

I think that buyers should consider purchasing templates without the live preview since that will insure it’s uniqueness level is much closer to the sales amount. It’s a matter of protecting our customers investments, not lack of trust in them. We trust our clients, just not the lame pirates.

I can assure you from server logs that many people steal the live previews, and funny enough some of them even have the audacity to mail us to send them missing files. For example our latest portfolio template (the one that got featured) has a mail.php that can’t be ripped off since it’s serve-side scripting. I got a couple mails saying that that need that file, or that they purchased it but mailer.php was corrupt and so on.

I believe that the screenshots and a sellers track record (for code quality) should be enough for most buyers.

If you are insisting on making a live preview, I would advise you do so only on files that have multiple skins (and only put one skin live) or if you feel that you have way too many animated features in it and screenshots won’t do it justice.

All the best, Octav

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