January 28, 2014
THBThemes were born almost three years ago, as a side project of The Happy Bit, a collaboration between Andrea & Simone, originally entirely focused on client work.
Through these years, between highs and lows, we’ve strived to better define THBThemes, making it gain a preminent role in our everyday activities.
Times are a-changin’
Selling WordPress themes on ThemeForest made us grow both technically and from the product design stand point, keeping ourselves on par with an ever-evolving market, made of bars being constantly raised.
The ThemeForest system, which of course has its virtues, has brought products to look more like one another and has led designers and developers to pack them with features that would likely go unused most of the times, with the sole purpose of maximizing the chances of the product being approved.
These issues aside, the main problem with ThemeForest is that there’s no way for a seller to “know” the buyer, making the whole process rather cold and detached and ultimately making it hard to look after how sales happen and what comes immediately after that.
That’s why we’ve been thinking about designing our own selling platform: we want to create and distribute even greater products and control the sales process, offering a better purchase experience to the customer.
The change is here
The transition has already begun: with our last two themes, Rockford and Zancudo, not only we’ve put a new version of our development framework to use, but we’ve also specifically sweetened the process behind their installation, guiding the customer through the first steps with the product and giving clear answers to possible questions that could arise.
When the selling platform will be operative, all the themes prior to Rockford will be removed from sale, since it’s not possible for us to adapt them to the new quality standards we’ve set for our products.
In a similar case in the past, we had decided to completely rewrite our Eruption, Push, Resolution and Shutter themes, to adapt them to a more advanced version of our framework, and mainly to make them responsive to mobile devices.
But too much time had passed, and that brought data compatibility problems and created an unpleasant situation of customers being put against a wall: updating their theme to a better version would entail losing any customization they may have done.
That’s our fault, and we think we’ve learned our lesson.
The themes will still be available to customers that have bought them through ThemeForest, and we’re currently evaluating the possibility of reinterpret our most successful ones into brand new products.
Another important aspect we’d like to highlight is support.
When a customer purchases a theme of ours on ThemeForest, three are his options to get in touch with us: using the item’s comments, sending us an email through our profile’s contact form, or creating an account on our Support Forum.
Also, should there be issues with the sale, the customer should directly contact Envato support.
We think this state of things is overly complex, and it decreases significantly the chances of the customer to promptly receive the needed answer, and reduces our ability to keep track of issues even more greatly.
The new platform will feature a shared knowledge base and a support system based on tickets that will enable registered customers to reach to us quickly. Also, tickets and replies from other customers of the same products will always be accessible.
As in the current form, support will only be directed to bugs: we want to be clear on this, keeping track of what’s open, what’s been resolved, and what’s not pertaining to our support policy.
We’d love to hear from you
Our goal is to deliver a better experience of use for our products, and that’s what the development of a new selling platform is all about.
We’ll likely release more details about these changes in the coming weeks, but the general idea is that it will be a gradual process that will begin with the new support system first, then go on with the creation of the knowledge base, and lastly the development of the platform through which our newest creations will be sold.
Having a new system in place means that you’ll have to sign up again, resubmitting the purchase codes of the items you’ve bought on ThemeForest. You’ll be notified via email about this at an appropriate time, of course.
In the meanwhile, we’d love to hear your opinions about what could be our biggest change yet.