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Australia says

@familychoice , how much “longevity” do you expect from a theme ?

You mentioned you only get a Year or twos use out of them. Also you state, you have been making your own themes.

So, as a developer myself. Not a day goes by that we dont have to tweak things across our network, so I am kind of bewildered at where longevity comes into a custom theme.

Ongoing maintenance is your responsibility, and whilst I concur some themes are poorly coded, I am not sure that your figures are indeed accurate or indeed warrant much merit, with respect.

You say 25% of the themes you have bought “you have sent them back”

I am scratching my head here, trying to ascertain why and how you are circumventing the system , on an ongoing basis.

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wickedpixel says

EDIT: wrong thread

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familychoice says

@familychoice , how much “longevity” do you expect from a theme ?

We hoped to use themes for ‘budget’ client jobs, for local businesses that want a cheap website. Despite the budget price tag, clients will still expect their websites to last a few years.


Ongoing maintenance is your responsibility, and whilst I concur some themes are poorly coded, I am not sure that your figures are indeed accurate or indeed warrant much merit, with respect.

Think what you like, I couldn’t really care less.

If ongoing ‘maintenance’, i.e. updating function files and other supporting library files are going to be our responsibility then it’s really not worth our while buying a pre-built theme, and this is not how most are sold to us – they are usually promoted as having ‘lifetime updates’ and ‘full, free support’.

No two authors seem to structure or code their themes in the same way, so if we’re left to make constant tweaks to keep them working then it’s not cost-effective time-wise having to learn how each author has structured and coded their theme files or how they’ve integrated core functionality.

We’ve now come to the conclusion that it’s better to either use our own, or a commercial framework and build our own child themes on top. This way the framework can be kept updated and easily applied across multiple sites and themes. We compliment these with plugins from Codecanyon which again can be easily kept updated, rather than built in widgets from theme authors that become obsolete once the authors stops supporting and updating the theme.


You say 25% of the themes you have bought “you have sent them back” I am scratching my head here, trying to ascertain why and how you are circumventing the system , on an ongoing basis.

I didn’t, I said “haven’t been fit for purpose, and we’ve either sent them back or just not used them”.

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Australia says

Hmmm…

1. If you are using themes for “budget clients” then it really is your responsibility to maintain the theme. This really is end of story.

2. I am not aware of a website or theme that lasts a few years without minor to major modification and rigorous maintenance, I think with all due respect your living in cloud cuckooland if you think deploying themes is ftp and forget.

3. You obviously “do care less” by your continued involvement within the thread, don’t take offence. If we lived in a society where everyone was right, then no one would be posting !

4. Very little has changed in terms of html for years and years, ok with the advent of html5 then yes one can say it has additional functions. CSS has not changed, albeit it has improved, with browser specific functions. So all that changes on an ongoing basis are jQuery versions, and if you think you can leave a website alone for longer than a month without it requiring updates amazes me.

5. Perhaps you should “deploy” your sites using ALL self-hosted content and steer away from CDN – Latest Version, as this will undoubtedly cause issue.

6. no two authors are ever gonna structure code in the same way, unless they are copying or as you state , use a framework. But thats the beauty of the web.

7. your methodology for using a framework, one would assume foundation or bootstrap, notably. Then I see no difference to doing this or working with developed non framework themes, the parameters are still the same.

8. 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. With regard to your 25% comment, I think perhaps you are stating global fictitious facts for the purpose of posting replies, rather than thinking thru the practicalities.

If you are creating themes, as I stated before that is great, but you must concede that the amount of ongoing maintenance is massive ( if you are deploying as you stated your code to client sites ) I have been in this game nearly 20 years, and most of what you state thus far isnt actual reality, but more the response authors and developers get from disgruntled clients when they mess things up, add mismatched scripting or just get lost in the code.

Anyhoo, thats all I have to say. Wish you luck developing themes, and look forward to seeing your designs.

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graphic4444 says

When it comes to themes, and I posted a lot on this elsewhere, remember your competition:

a) Other theme membership sites sell access to a bunch of ok-quality themes for $99 a year with no limits on how many sites you can use it on. And they DO include timely very fast author responses and fixes to themes, w/annual subscription model.

Envato is very expensive with very little support, when it comes to theme, because the themes cost as much as $50 each and don’t include guaranteed support for any length of time. So when Wordpress Version (new) comes out, it often breaks the theme, rendering it not as useful. That alone keeps me from buying a lot of themes here.

If envato had:

a) licenses that don’t restrict it to single-use single-site (at least 3 sites) and

b) author Support and Updates to ensure compatability with new WP versions, included for at least 12-24 months after purchase, that would be helpful.

It should be noted for buyers then that unless you’re a programmer/coder with decent php/css knowledge, you should be careful about buying themes. Granted for coders who have clients, maybe the expectation is coder-selling-to-coder doesn’t require as much support, but coder-selling-to-end-customer, support for themes iis a Must have.

Google “wordpress theme membership site” and check the forum threads for what competitors offer, it’s important that Envato authors provide similar levels of support. Some do, the best guys, but many do not. I’d recommend to envato that you have a THEME SUPPORT REQUIREMENT for authors. Again it can’t be ridiculous which I’ve seen from buyers, asking for new functions not included in the original theme, that’s not fair of buyers to ask.

BUYERS: Don’t ask for features to be added to themes, that’s not fair to authors.

AUTHORS: Be sure to promptly fix bugs as reported, and update theme compatability for at least 3 WP releases after publishing the theme, with updates, so it stays usable/useful for buyers.

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familychoice says

Hmmm… 1. If you are using themes for “budget clients” then it really is your responsibility to maintain the theme. This really is end of story.

I think this is the last time I’m going to write this as it’s getting a bit repetitive, but if an author is promoting their product as having regular, unlimited, lifetime updates and support then I’m at a loss why you should think the problem is mine when I’m disappointed this isn’t provided.

If authors aren’t going to provide updates or support – THEN DON’T SHOUT ABOUT OT ON YOUR SALES PAGE. Then there’s no misunderstanding on the part of the customer.


2. I am not aware of a website or theme that lasts a few years without minor to major modification and rigorous maintenance, I think with all due respect your living in cloud cuckooland if you think deploying themes is ftp and forget.

Where did I say that? I’m fully aware that themes require regular updates, but if authors aren’t going to provide what they promote then it’s more cost effective for us to use a framework.


3. You obviously “do care less” by your continued involvement within the thread, don’t take offence. If we lived in a society where everyone was right, then no one would be posting !

I don’t care less that you didn’t believe what I wrote. Obviously I care about the issues in this thread otherwise I wouldn’t be wasting my evening posting.


if you think you can leave a website alone for longer than a month without it requiring updates amazes me.

I’m starting to get the impression that you’re either not reading, or not understanding what I’ve written. Nowhere in any of my posts have I said anything remotely resembling what you’ve just accused me of.


8. 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. With regard to your 25% comment, I think perhaps you are stating global fictitious facts for the purpose of posting replies, rather than thinking thru the practicalities.

So you’re accusing me of lying? I think it’s time for me to stop responding to your comments, I don’t respond to trolling.


most of what you state thus far isnt actual reality, but more the response authors and developers get from disgruntled clients when they mess things up, add mismatched scripting or just get lost in the code.

As above, whatever etc.


Envato is very expensive with very little support, when it comes to theme, because the themes cost as much as $50 each and don’t include guaranteed support for any length of time. So when Wordpress Version (new) comes out, it often breaks the theme, rendering it not as useful. That alone keeps me from buying a lot of themes here.

+1 everything you’ve written.

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Australia says

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Cara_design says

When it comes to themes, and I posted a lot on this elsewhere, remember your competition:

.......

BUYERS: Don’t ask for features to be added to themes, that’s not fair to authors.

AUTHORS: Be sure to promptly fix bugs as reported, and update theme compatability for at least 3 WP releases after publishing the theme, with updates, so it stays usable/useful for buyers.

@Graphic4444 while we completely agree with these last two comments we all have to remember the difference between the model of marketplace here and in other sites and ultimately the pros and cons of why each site choses the way they do.

Here envato do the best they can within restrictions of “individual sellers” rather than bespoke products – effectively many other sites are just “authors” (some who sell on here also) but who have created their own marketplace.

As a result of these and the other differences (no point in listing them all) here the support, update ownership etc of course is harder to maintain and control BUT as a result we see many more files uploaded, a greater choice and often more modern designs and functionality (irrelevant of if there are bugs etc in this context).

Yes there are examples elsewhere of some features that would be wonderful to see here but which are simply not applicable to this model.

In the end the number of sales, users etc is far higher here than nearly any other marketplace – this just goes to prove that there are amjority of happy customers, and that at the end of the day people chose here because of the superior and varied files available.

Maybe thats because they are too inexperienced or unaware, mislead of a lack of support ( from SOME authors), we will never really know but from a business point of view it 2 million plus users says it works, so I can kind of see why envato chose this route and I am convinced that they are moving to improve all aspect sof the marketplace but that understandably it takes time.

Again not saying you are wrong just shining an alternative light on it
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familychoice says

In the end the number of sales, users etc is far higher here than nearly any other marketplace – this just goes to prove that there are amjority of happy customers, and that at the end of the day people chose here because of the superior and varied files available.

More varied definitely, but I’d argue the superior bit.

It proves that at the moment, there’s a big demand for the products that are being sold. Are the majority of customers happy though? That’s not something I’d agree with after visiting the comments sections and forums on a regular basis. And in a year or so’s time when customers caught in the recent surge in purchases discover their theme has stopped working after a major Wordpress update and the author has vanished, or just isn’t updating their theme any more…will they still be happy?

And what happens when regular, bulk-buying web agency customers like us discover better, more reliable and cost effective alternatives? What happens when the cheaper end of the market sign up for less hassle web-builder style sites instead?

There are alternatives so to keep customers sweet some authors really need to step up their game, and charging $50 for a buggy template with a years shelf-life, no support or updates doesn’t do it for us.

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Cara_design says

I guess it comes back to the buy as is point of this marketplace.

You have obviously read more threads and comments sections than us but I would argue that the majority of buyers in most (obviously not all) situations are happy – even those with issues and making negative comments will have in mot cases had their problems resolved.

Of course there will be bad exceptions but in the grander scale of the marketplace (again we have not and I am sure noone else has read a huge % of all item comments) people are content.

As for alternatives – we actually got asked by a new client today about templates etc (mostly because a competitor agency quoted quite a lot for their site and they were concerned as the other agency use a template for their own site that the client had seen here and this made them very nervous!). They wanted to know why they should not use something similar. Explaining the pros and cons of templates/site builders etc we saw two key points regarding here .v. other options.

- It will take a long time for any marketplace to catch up with here in terms of choice/number of themes etc AND we do not know how envato will evolve in that time

- The big issue with site builders (they cited W?X or even using the likes of Gen?s?s) is that the simple fact is many people using these types of files/marketplaces (NOT ALL – I appreciate there are some “professional” agencies that use them for cheap projects) have very little visualization, design or tech skills.

Even if there are cheaper, easier, supported options i bet that novice users will still struggle and if the user cannot create something that works/looks good it will be a mistake whereas here at least there is some form of pre made look/feel that at very worst resembles a passable looking site and in some cases very high end layouts.

There are some great tools etc out there to simplify web building but while it may work for agencies who use them for project it will never work properly for beginner users etc.

Again its just our opinion but look at the other BIG commercial marketplace *emplate M’r – their designs are pretty poor, their code is highly questionable and they charge a fortune for the simplest of amends to anything. Their support is shocking and takes forever yet they just get bigger and bigger everyday – why because as you said demand is high and those who know less remain dominant and just go with the biggest choice and the most prominent

Out of interest – you say you use a framework and add in code canyon files. Genuine question: how is code canyon different from here? If an author stops supporting a plugin form there an update may screw it up just the same as a theme on here? I am not arguing with you on it just curious.

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