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pixelgrade says





Would this mean I can’t sell my support anymore? What next, paid customisations, so I can’t charge for customisations anymore?

This is another problem Envato have to deal with if they insist on their policy change. Many authors already offer paid support how can you deal with this.

Please guys give suggestions for this situation. If anyone interested in reading my suggestion, it’s in the previous page … http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/item-support-timeout-gathering-more-data/140559?page=21#1109070

We should just remove the term support from the equation, it’s too open for interpretation.

Make some kind of warranty mandatory (item has no bugs – bugs will be fixed, item works as advertised, item will be updated for x months). This will also remove a lot of frustration from authors, as with the term support, of course some people will think you will do a certain degree of customizations for them, or install WordPress for them and so on. Nobody will think of those things if you change the term support to the term warranty.

Then give authors the ability to sell support, customizations and so on on a voluntary basis with their own prices (in a given range – similar to the old elite author price adjustment tool), give us a forum for that and take your 30% off of that.

Agreed- “Zero bugs policy” kinda terms we used to describe the warranty we would given to our work/customization- it works nicely to give proper impression that “item has no bugs – bugs will be fixed, item works as advertised, item will be updated for x months”.

“Support” is a vague term- gives wrong message most of the time if not always.
+1 This sounds great.

-1 This is just as hazy as “support”. Come on, we are writing code, code is inherently bug prone, hence there will always be bugs. So to brag yourself with a Zero -Bug Policy is a big overstatement. Not to speak that most of the time bugs arise from the interaction of our themes with plugins and hosting environments. Where do we draw the line? Sometimes we do stupid things in our themes that break well coded plugins, and vice versa. Sometimes we take host settings too lax and we don’t watch our back enough; other times there are host environments that are simply configured bad.

Just my 2 cents.

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Splendous says






Would this mean I can’t sell my support anymore? What next, paid customisations, so I can’t charge for customisations anymore?

This is another problem Envato have to deal with if they insist on their policy change. Many authors already offer paid support how can you deal with this.

Please guys give suggestions for this situation. If anyone interested in reading my suggestion, it’s in the previous page … http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/item-support-timeout-gathering-more-data/140559?page=21#1109070

We should just remove the term support from the equation, it’s too open for interpretation.

Make some kind of warranty mandatory (item has no bugs – bugs will be fixed, item works as advertised, item will be updated for x months). This will also remove a lot of frustration from authors, as with the term support, of course some people will think you will do a certain degree of customizations for them, or install WordPress for them and so on. Nobody will think of those things if you change the term support to the term warranty.

Then give authors the ability to sell support, customizations and so on on a voluntary basis with their own prices (in a given range – similar to the old elite author price adjustment tool), give us a forum for that and take your 30% off of that.

Agreed- “Zero bugs policy” kinda terms we used to describe the warranty we would given to our work/customization- it works nicely to give proper impression that “item has no bugs – bugs will be fixed, item works as advertised, item will be updated for x months”.

“Support” is a vague term- gives wrong message most of the time if not always.
+1 This sounds great.

-1 This is just as hazy as “support”. Come on, we are writing code, code is inherently bug prone, hence there will always be bugs. So to brag yourself with a Zero -Bug Policy is a big overstatement. Not to speak that most of the time bugs arise from the interaction of our themes with plugins and hosting environments. Where do we draw the line? Sometimes we do stupid things in our themes that break well coded plugins, and vice versa. Sometimes we take host settings too lax and we don’t watch our back enough; other times there are host environments that are simply configured bad.

Just my 2 cents.

Thanks pixelgrade- you’re right “code is inherently bug prone” and even if there is no bugs today, tomorrow a new update from WordPress might break a thing. Guess “Zero bugs policy” is to ensure if a bug found it’ll be fixed. Conflicting with other plug-ins/hosting environments may not be a bug of our Theme/Plugin but yes, sometime buyers put the blame so it take extra effort/time to find out what is what. Thankfully it’s still a better indication what kind of “warranty” includes instead of saying “Support” and then list a tons of terms/condition to justify what is what.

I’ve been providing such warranty with my work since a long time- and it ease things a lot, so far!

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VF says

TL;DR : Any kind of promise is a false advertisement. The concept of replicating “Successful authors” is another false advertisement / motivation

Advertising with Zero-Bug concept would be equally misleading as Mandatory-Support policy. Both can become misleading advertisements.

The problem right now is not with authors or buyers. They give / expect what they are able to / unable to.

For the last 4-5 years, Envato is indirectly benefiting the voluntary supportive nature of authors. Even without mandatory policy, it is the authors who supported for following reasons (I guess):

1. As a help towards buyers – with the understanding of inconsistent nature of code based products.

2. Gives competitive value / advantage.

3. Avoid bitter feedback from buyers – regardless limited knowledge of buyers

So by making the support mandatory, the Reason #1 mentioned above will vanish over time. Point #3 will dominate. “Quality of support” will reduce and point #2 will lose its meaning within single year. Buyers will see inconsistency in support more than ever. Envato will advertise the ecosystem as efficient as “6 months support + 72 hours response time”.

Collis’s quote on the main blog post:
Last but not least, top authors indicate providing support is one of the main drivers of their success on ThemeForest. We want all of our authors to be successful and we feel this is an important step towards achieving that.

The scaring truth is, Envato benefited from voluntary efforts of successful authors who setup their own support channels to make it efficient (Envato missed to improve this area and just focused on irrelevant new ventures like PhotoDune and Microlancer). Still now the Comments section is a pain for the authors as they have to answer buyers in 2 channels simultaneously – if they have to be successful and efficient. Both buyers and authors are facing difficulties here – it is a long unsolved painful story.

Now, instead of improving the system and give back the authors / buyers / industry, Envato wants to replicate same efforts put by the so called successful authors. From my observation, the successful authors are the ones who went far beyond Envato’s ecosystem and its limits and that’s why succeeded. But now Envato wants every authors to do the same level of efforts – while knowing it is impossible to achieve top 10 by 100s of people – due to competitive nature of market. Where is the equation?

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visualkicks says

You know, one of my favourite motivational and success coaches is Brian Tracey, it was Brian that got me to power elite level and changed the way I view my work / life. Honestly without him I would of given up on this whole thing a long time ago.

I was just on a news site and an advert for tracy’s new book came up. The advert said this.

“Your greatest asset is your earning ability, your greatest resource is your time” – Brian Tracy.

I’m fully prepared to move away from themeforest should my time be made into a commodity that I have no power over controlling. I don’t know if this thread is still being followed by staff but I do hope they see this. Someone wants me for an hour? $100 dollars please. This is a micro stock website and needs to remain a micro stock website.

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DeanoX says

As mostly a buyer, all I take away from everything I have read so far, is, I am losing some support time, for any product I may purchase.

And when I say support, I mean, quality of workmanship, defects, manuals and instructions, and fixing such.

So prices go up, support periods are less, and to get added support, your pay MORE now?

So what do I get out of this then?

Are the programs and themes I purchase going to be of better quality and workmanship from the start?

Are programmers and themer’s going to be vetted for skill, and reputation?

Will there be better details about WHO, I am dealing with when purchasing a item? I don’t care about the badges, I want to see qualifications, certifications, portfolios, and personal or company background information, and also, where a seller or company is LOCATED, country of origin.

Will there be a better rating system?

Will support become standardized? Right now it is a circus, everyone has something different.

When I buy a program or a theme, I want it to perform as advertised. I don’t want first release, beta or alpha software, that takes 10 revisions or updates, and a year plus, to become production ready.

So far, everything is sounding to be in a very, very, grey area of business.

There is lots of discussion and ranting going on here, about all this. Interesting.

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Makis77 says

@DeanoX, this is a very interesting post BUT out of topic :)

I know that here you will likely get more exposure and to be honest I agree in most of your concerns but please open your own topic and post your questions in there.

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urbazon says

This is a micro stock website and needs to remain a micro stock website.

This.

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kodeforest says

I personally believe most of authors happily giving support to its buyers, mostly buyers point out the actual bugs in product that helped author to make it better and more reliable.

I have a question related to this new change, if support period is 6 month, is this support period start from the day of product released or the day buyer purchase that product? confusing!!!

If this time will start from the day of product released then i personally believe you are asking for so many errors to be part of package as long as it shelf. Mostly products and framework gets better as by buyers or users feedback so its very important for a author to hear more and more from users regarding product.

Making support premium i think it somehow benefits to the author but will decrease the feedback from user.

I suggest instead of making center point for buyer and for the authors, envato should remove the product which are under rated. I mean review rating also made review vote-able to a level where it lead product to be removed permanently from themeforest.

Note: Its different than reporting a product or copy rights.

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themac says

Hi,

I’ve read previous super long thread fairly full and this thread partly, maybe my issues are already mentioned

In my portfolio there are some lower priced items where I get between $3,95 and $4,95

that’s okay, and I’m supporting these items though, but sometimes I think “please take your money and don’t ask again” ;) – but solved any issues, even if it costs some time

codecanyon’s PHP items are depending on so many things and every server and case of usage is different and if these really low priced items have to be supported by rule … I think this isn’t worth and that fair

Outside the marketplace customers will get just three minutes for those $4,95 from me (while I’m charging with every beginning 30 minutes)

don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to spend time in my items, but in my case (for example) the invested time won’t be compensated when I’m comparing to my usual hourly rates – but that’s okay

and I’m happy to improve, extend and bug fixing my items too – and if there’re questions I’m happy to answer
when support is part of the price and prominent announced I think there’re would be much mor questions ..

so if the support ist mandatory for 6 month AND with the same item price I’m not that amused

that’s my 2 cents
thx for reading my confusedness :)
mac

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themeva says

I admire Envato for trying to evolve the support system, I remember discussing with a few members of staff at the California Envato Meet-up about it.

How It Used To Work.

I’ve offered “support” from day one – it covered with the following:

  • Fix any bugs with the theme
  • Improve compatibility with plugins ( where possible )
  • Help getting started with the theme and some general wordpress questions.
  • Small changes to the code or css.

How It Evolved.

My current setup is for users to register on a BP / bbPress forum and currently there is approximately 8,000 users.

As the client base grew, I found myself spending far too many hours on support and not enough on development and changed to the following.

  • Fix any bugs with the theme
  • Improve compatibility with plugins ( if the theme was at fault )

The following point:

  • Help getting started with the theme and some general wordpress questions.

I created better documentation + screencasts and a link to an FAQ which popups when the user clicks to post a new thread which dramatically reduced repetitive questions.

The following point:

  • Small changes to the code or css.

I created a “premium” forum which is subscription based, it offers small changes to the CSS or code based on a “Fair use” policy.

My Ideal Support System.

The above works well – however, I’d love to have the above system fully integrated into the Envato marketplace as opposed to signing up to a separate forum.

I think setting an overall price or any suggestion that “support” is included with the theme is a bad idea, it’s open to interpretation and some users will squeeze every penny / cent out of you for any bolt-on or support package.

It needs to stay simple!

Bug Fixes

I think fixing any bugs with the theme should be mandatory for as long as the theme is for sale. The option to phase out the theme is also a good idea.

How to use Theme / WordPress + Documentation

I think documentation should be hosted on the Theme item page on Envato itself!

Using an easy to use global template that every author has to use.

That way, the users are familiar with the documentation layout and how to use it, it will also integrate with a common WordPress / Theme FAQ – for questions like “How do I update the theme?” , “Where do I set the home page etc”.

Maybe even with a contributor option for users who want to post suggestions on how to improve the documentation and it can be reviewed and published by authors.

The key to this is easy to see / access for when the user wants some help, quick easy access to documentation / guides etc is offered first and then they can proceed to posting a question if they’re still stuck.

Customization

This should be strictly optional and author’s should be able to set the price ( integrate with Envato Studio maybe ) and if they don’t want to offer customization themselves, they could nominate someone from Envato Studio with some sort of commission setup.

Helpful Information

  • Please read our community guidelines. Self promotion and discussion of piracy is not allowed.
  • Open a support ticket if you would like specific help with your account, deposits or purchases.
  • Item Support by authors is optional and may vary. Please see the Support tab on each item page.

Most of all, enjoy your time here. Thank you for being a valued Envato community member.

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