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robocreatif says

Hey guys!

I’m in a bit of a pickle. One of my items is in need of an update, and I’ve made some promises to people who have purchased it that they would see some of these changes.

However, as I’m working on this it’s clear that it’s an enormous update. So enormous, in fact, that it will end up breaking existing installations. It’s built entirely in JavaScript with a lot of user-defined options, so I can’t do any kind of auto-update for them.

What I’m trying to decide is, should I make this an entirely new item? Or should I put out an update with the changes and just put an explanation that they’re going to need to basically change everything around? I’m leaning towards the latter, as I don’t want to come off as going back on my promises, but I also don’t like the idea of forcing everyone to change their setups.

Any thoughts? I figure it’s best to get the opinion of buyers and other authors who have gone through the same thing.

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dexterous says

From what I have seen in past forum posts like these, you should go for an update. Sure the users may need to change many things, but they will be happy that they are not asked to purchase the ‘similar’ (same?) item again because of major update.

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phpdude says

The most important aspect is whether you want increased sales or loyal customers. If you make it a new item, then the previous item would be made obsolete so it may as well be removed from the marketplace, and also if someone buys it then later finds a more improved version then they may be a tad annoyed. However, on the other end of the scales, if it is a dramatic change and people would have to recode their JS to integrate the new version, then it’s probably better as a separate item.

The question is, for the end user, is the difference in features or how it looks big enough to warrant a new item? Try and ignore the coding side of things, and the technical details, just focus on whether the end user would be prepared to buy it again.

Hope this helps, there isn’t a definitive answer from me I’m afraid :)

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Tean says

Regardless of the size of your update, if its the same application, you should just make an update in my opinion.

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sevenspark Moderator says

Hi robocreatif,

Unless the update constitutes an entirely new product (meaning a different set of functionality), you wouldn’t have the option of submitting a new item anyway, so the point may be moot.

Still, I would recommend the update regardless, or you’ll have a lot of unhappy customers. I’ve recently released a major update to my best selling product – and in order to move forward, it could not be 100% backwards-compatible. I have had very few problems resulting from this. My recommendation is to take this strategy:

1. Make the product as backwards-compatible as possible

2. For customers who are upgrading, provide a clear explanation of the consequences. Explain that they may have to rework certain things; but that they are not required to upgrade – if they would like to stick with their current, working version, there’s nothing wrong with that.

3. Suggest that all users make a backup of their current setup so that they can easily revert if they are not pleased with the new version.

4. Provide a list of changes to be made when upgrading, to whatever extent this is possible.

5. For users that are frustrated, explain that you’re sorry but (a) in order to provide these improvements, the product could not be entirely backwards compatible (and explain the advantages of the new system), and (b) ask them to please consider that they are receiving an enormous upgrade free of charge, and it is their choice whether or not to upgrade.

Hope that helps :)

Chris

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robocreatif says

Thanks guys, this does point me closer to doing an update rather than a new item. To be honest, I don’t see either option giving me increased sales, as it’s held steady since day 1. It would of course be preferable to keep the confidence of buyers.

It’s a change that will put out an entirely new API . I would assume that if someone wants it badly enough, they would prefer to update their existing installation rather than purchase a new item. Normally I would keep the old API integrated as deprecated functions, but being JavaScript I don’t want the file to get any larger than it already is.

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