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WOLFTHEMES says

hey guys

what is the best way to offer support for your themes?

just sticking to ThemeForest seems a simple way to go, using the comments and messaging.

or is it worth starting a forum, or using google+, facebook or twitter?

hoping some of your guys can share some tips

thanks so much

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infuse01 says

there are already some other threads out there where this is discussed in details. But I’m lazy as you and won’t be able to look for it hehe. Just give it a shot.

But for now I can say – never supply support via Social Media Tools since you can’t track if the one who has requested support actually purchased your file or not.

And here are some of the most common solutions:
  • Stick with Themeforest Comments – envato probably has something in the pipeline which makes it easier to offer support soon. But you shouldn’t rely on that.
  • Install a Forum. I’ve heard there are some out there which are easy to modify and implement a purchase verification. I think its the Vanilla Forum Software? Not sure…I know Kriesi is using something like that (and many others, especially the top authors)
  • Some authors choose to offer support via ticksy, which is a web based software which you need to pay monthly. It also has an Integration with the Envato API .

Hope that helps so far

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WOLFTHEMES says

thanks infuse

that helps a lot, sounds like sticking to the comments is the go.

don’t want to jump in the deep end without learning how to tread water first :)

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infuse01 says

Thats how I do it. For now I have 1 item in my portfolio here. Until now I have a good overview over all the support requests made in the comments. But I guess after 3-4 items I’m going to have a look for another solution – probably a forum solution with purchase verification. I think thats the way to go.

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MDNW says

Ticksy has been the best option for me… I’ve used both the TF comments threads and a self-hosted forum and ended up using Ticksy exclusively. For me, it’s the best balance of cost/effectiveness/convenience. It’s easy to use, integrates with the Envato products API (which means adding products is easy and you can validate purchases quickly), and it allows you to scale out a support team (you can add support specialists to your account and even assign specific products to team members), and allows for both public and private tickets. It’s not perfect by any measure… but it’s gotten a lot better in the last couple months alone thanks to user feedback, and I’ve got faith that it’ll continue to grow into an even more powerful tool over the next year. It’s also under active development, which means that you can request features and the devs tend to listen pretty carefully and will build features if you can make your case.

Anyways, this is beginning to sound a bit like an advertisement so I’ll cut it short… The important thing is that you try a few options out and find what’s right for your particular workflow. No one solution is going to be right for every author here… it’s a really personal decision that you’ve gotta make.

The TF comments thread is an awesome starting point… mainly because it’s free, doesn’t require any setup, and doesn’t require you to inform buyers of a new spot to find help. The cons are that it’s not searchable (which means re-answering tickets over and over), doesn’t allow for private tickets (no way to get confidential information without sending users to your email inbox), and doesn’t allow for tracking of issues (opening/closing tickets). Envato has been saying something is in the works for this stuff for literally years… that’s not meant to sound sarcastic, it’s just to emphasize that if you’re waiting for the improvements here, it may or may not take some time. That said, I used the TF comments threads for 90% of my time here and they worked fine until my needs simple began to outgrow it.

A self-hosted forum that you build from scratch has obvious benefits of giving you full control of everything, but at the expense of a significant amount of time/money to develop it (which means less time developing products…). In my experience, it’s a tougher road to travel unless you’re really going to devote some serious time to the initial development and you understand that any improvements to the system (and bugfixes) are on you, not anyone else. That means taking time away from other projects to invest into your support forum. That said, it can also become a pretty awesome marketing tool if you can also turn it into a home for tutorials/blogposts/etc.

TL;DR The important thing is that you try a few options out and find what’s right for your particular workflow. No one solution is going to be right for every author here… it’s a really personal decision that you’ve gotta make after weighing the pros and cons of each solution.

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