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-bianca- says

That’s the whole point: you DON’T have to! And IF you DO want to offer it: What’s better than get your clients to pay you directly? There’s a serious lack of business thinking here.

+1 to that. It’s not mandatory. If you want to offer support (because it’s a good business practice) consider to make a business model(what and how) and price model for it. Nobody can expect you to work for free. If you do so, please drop me a line. I’ve got tons of work ;-). I know there is a lot going on about this subject on the forums between authors and buyers. And how this should be handled. But in regarding to your concern: Technology evolves all the time…so are web standards, design trends etc. Sometime you have to let stuff go. Manufactories do so as well.

1616 posts Chris Robinson
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contempoinc says

This is most likely a bad idea. Why? Because users will demand updates even if there’s nothing to fix. If the theme is coded good, it may work just fine even after 1-2 years, but the user who paid a fee to get updates will have expectations and will ask for updates, since he paid for it.

Agreed.

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VF says

This is most likely a bad idea. Why? Because users will demand updates even if there’s nothing to fix. If the theme is coded good, it may work just fine even after 1-2 years, but the user who paid a fee to get updates will have expectations and will ask for updates, since he paid for it.

Yes, and even if the author makes updates exactly after 2 years, some buyers may complain those updates could have made an year back but the author purposefully doing it after a gap. When it comes “paid commitments”, none of action will look pure for buyer’s eyes.

And anyone buying right now will not foresee the need for update after 2 years. But the fact that they have to pay in the future will interfere their current buying decision severely.

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GravityDept says

I’ve suggested Envato introduce paid updates numerous times in the last few years. If you look beyond WordPress, which is actually very resilient to core upgrades, the sustainability of free lifetime updates is easily debatable. Try to name some commercial software businesses that willingly generate revenue from new customers only.

Envato can afford to do this because it’s not important if an author goes bust. Another simply takes his place. Envato never counted on revenue from that author’s existing customers, but imagine if they did.

I’ve seen authors pump themes into some categories and never update them. Eventually their items get disabled and they disappear. If there was a financial incentive to keep hundreds (or thousands) of existing customers happy then I’m sure that wouldn’t happen.

As much as buyers love free updates, I bet a lot more would prefer not being abandoned by the developer. If an author is providing value through updates he shouldn’t have any reservations about charging. The buyer will decide if that fee is fair or he can hire someone else to maintain their site. I guarantee author-driven updates would be a bargain just like the initial sale is.

Realistically, I’ve given up on Envato implementing paid updates. It’s a risky move for them and I’ve never seen them take a stance on it — let alone favor one side. I’m working on implementing this myself as a “support” service because that’s what it is. I think buyers should get a limited period of updates included in their purchase and then they can decide how they’ll maintain their investment.

It’s up to you to decide what kind of customer you want. There’s room for more than the free-forever business model that’s the norm here. As more authors are hitting Elite level I think you’ll see a similar attitude become more common, and what it means to sell here diverge.

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GravityDept says

Hmm, whenever I comment on “paid upgrade” topics the thread dies. Not sure why that is.

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Code125 says

Let me rephrase the issue and solution.

Issue: Let’s say you have a theme priced at 40$ and you decided to add more features to it to increase its value and after you did these updates, you found it is not fair to sell it at 40 and you should raise it to 45$ or 50$ and you already sold it to a couple hundred/thousands customer, the existing buyer got your work for free or in other words u lost about 5-10$ per existing sale.

Solution: Give the buyer option to pay the difference to get the new update, if he didn’t want to pay, he can access the old version of the theme, and to make this fair for both, the paid update shouldn’t have any fixes for existing code, it should only contain new features.

This way, any author with a current theme can pay time and effort to make it more amazing for more 5$ from each buyer “this is not too much to pay to get a better theme if you love it”.

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ChapterThemes says

Let me rephrase the issue and solution.

Issue: Let’s say you have a theme priced at 40$ and you decided to add more features to it to increase its value and after you did these updates, you found it is not fair to sell it at 40 and you should raise it to 45$ or 50$ and you already sold it to a couple hundred/thousands customer, the existing buyer got your work for free or in other words u lost about 5-10$ per existing sale.

Solution: Give the buyer option to pay the difference to get the new update, if he didn’t want to pay, he can access the old version of the theme, and to make this fair for both, the paid update shouldn’t have any fixes for existing code, it should only contain new features.

This way, any author with a current theme can pay time and effort to make it more amazing for more 5$ from each buyer “this is not too much to pay to get a better theme if you love it”.

This can’t be done. You can’t raise the price of an existing item. Also, when uploaded an update, existing buyers can download it. So why would they pay you extra?

Anyway: Updates as they are now are fine. The ideas from the last posts even don’t have anything to do with what this thread is about.

And finaly: there is no issue, it was just an idea about recurring fees through envato for longer update life – which in turn: is a very bad idea. So the conclusion is: this thread should be closed

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Parallelus says

I can relate to this situation. I have a couple themes that came out just before the responsive trend took off. Now my customers want to know if/when I’ll update them to be responsive. Unfortunately, if a design is developed without the intent of a responsive structures it can sometimes be a huge challenge to add. In my case, I could develop a new theme twice over in less time than I could convert these to be responsive so it would be a complete loss for me to do the update. I don’t want to leave my customers out in the code. I continue to fix issues, update for new version of WP, BP and other plugins but I can’t add this new functionality.

I recently explained the situation on our Help Center from the stand point of a software release. When major infrastructure or feature upgrades are developed for most software it get’s released as a new version with an upgrade fee. There is no method for me to do this so for now those themes cannot be made responsive because it will simply cost me too much to do it. I can’t even recover a part of that cost the way things are now.

The priority is placed on new products and not maintaining old ones (in 99.9% of cases) on Envato marketplaces. I’m not judging that as being a positive or negative. Both have good and bad qualities. It’s just the way it is. I don’t see this changing either. Especially not with regard to WP products. There is a culture of expectation in the WP community that everything should be either free or forever. It’s just the way things are and I think its better to adapt the business model than try to change the culture of a community this large. Especially if you’re not in a position to change it.

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Code125 says

This can’t be done. You can’t raise the price of an existing item. Also, when uploaded an update, existing buyers can download it. So why would they pay you extra?

As far as i know, you can increase your item price but you must have a good reason for that increase “I increased some of my items price”

I am here talking about giving an extra GOOD value as an optional payed update.

The buyer should have two option “Download last update for example: 1.8” “Download Payed Update 2.0” and he will be directed to pay the 5$ in envato.

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VF says

The buyer should have two option “Download last update for example: 1.8” “Download Payed Update 2.0” and he will be directed to pay the 5$ in envato.

It is practically impossible for both author and reviewer to decide whether the difference between updates 1.8 and 2.0 justifies the price difference. The more fragments of work it requires to implement, there are less chances to see it in action.

These kind of threads needs to come up with simplified solutions – not just with rough idea about need.

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