Should Aurthors offer free migration when a theme is discontinued



Over the past 4 years I’ve bought a few themes on Themeforest but now over half of them have been discontinued. Whilst I can understand not being offered a refund, I feel strongly that the authors should give a free migration to their customers to another theme of theirs, as it is often the case that the authors have built a newer version on the back of the old theme.

Thoughts and advice welcome.



I have tried to write a reply onto how stupefied i am seeing a thread like this one and people actually having the guts to ask for some things. I just can’t, this is wrong for so many reasons i simply can’t enum.


You didn’t try very hard now did you @twisted1919, do try enumerating a little.


Out of interest (as a big buyer) why should they?

What happens if the author removes all their files not just one?

Is there any other product in the world that would offer this?


I have a question to you. If you can explain it to than I don’t about other authors I will give you this offer. My question is:

Suppose you bought a dress about 5-10 years ago. Now its not fit you. So the shop owner should give you a new dress for free. Are you meaning like this? If any person offer like that then please check once his/her mental condition then tell me. Please.


Just out of interest @chwhy did you edit out the first line of your post stating your disagreement?

Firstly because it is their previous customers who have them still operating as authors, without previous customers they would not still be making themes. The introduction of a free migration would be an incentive to buyers to purchase a theme knowing that the author will not just jump ship whenever they feel like it.

I don’t know what the protocol is when an author removes all of their files and not just one, does the Author get their account deleted, are they barred?

There is no shelf life on offer currently and I believe their should be.


I edited it because (while I do completely disagree with the idea) I believe everyone is entitled to give their reasoning before people make judgement.

If an author removes one or all of their files does not make any difference - they can do this as and when they want. If buyers purchased within the last 6 months under the new support policy then authors need to continue to support the file at least (another reason why this move was bold of envato but beneficial to buyers).

I do not really get this - irrelevant of older buyers if they produce good themes then they will still get sales.

Even if you paid thousands of $ for a custom built theme then the agency doing that owuld not offer this service so why would you get it from a stock low cost solution?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I feel that the fact that buyers are getting thousand of $ worth of product for $50 is more than enough incentive - hence why it is the biggest marketplace even with the existing process.

The way it works is what means that envato offers the quality and quantity and variation that it does. If you are to change this then you will do more harm that good. Add anything that furthers the expectation on authors will only drive them away and long term create a negative impact on the marketplace.

Again can you give an example of any product which operates like this (without paying for extended warranties etc.).


That’s basically the same as buying a car one day and once that model is discontinued, going back to the dealer and asking for the new model version for free. You do, hopefully, see, how wrong that is?

Every item you purchase on Envato has a life cycle, and once that cycle ends, any seller obligation to you ends as well, any warranty/support claims aside (which is where Envato’s new support policy might come into play, provided your purchase was less than 6 months ago).

But it is still your decision whether you want to continue using that item (like it is your decision to continue driving your old car), or go and buy something new to replace the old one with. Of course, unlike a car, software doesn’t really have a trade-in value that could be counted towards the purchase of a new item, but then, you only paid up to $60 for a theme that would otherwise have cost you thousands to have developed just for you.

Nowhere (unless specifically offered and advertised at the time of your purchase), whether in the physical or virtual world, can a buyer go back to the seller and claim to get something else for free, just because another (otherwise unrelated) item has been discontinued.


Sorry @nkishor, your english is not very good, I do not fully understand what you are saying but I will try to answer you.

Firstly there is no 5/10 years ago, I have clearly stated in the past four years, so lets please stay on topic and not trip out. You are comparing me to a person who has changed body size after buying a dress. My point is my body has not changed size, in fact it hasn’t changed at all, so if you want to still talk about dresses, I can.

Now imagine, you wake up one morning to put on your dress only to find the dress has lost an arm?


Thank you @charlie4282,

I don’t see how a six month shelf life is a bold move by Envato, I actually feel more can be done in this area. If not by Envato maybe by some of the Authors.

I feel your argument about thousands for a a custom theme to be irrelevant, in that scenario, the designers are tweaking a specific theme for one individual, whilst on the marketplace the designers can already be making thousands and possibly tens of thousands for the same thing, 1 design. Whilst not being built for a specific client, themes on the marketplace are built with particular clients needs in mind by the designers.

I would also disagree with your opinion that making these changes would do more harm than good and also with your opinion that it would drive authors away and create a negative impact on the marketplace. Would it not be fair to say that it could attract more customers? I for one am going to be looking at alternatives as I am certainly not content with only a six month shelf life guarantee.

An example can be found for everything and anything these days.


That totally up to you and of course if you are not happy with how somewhere works you will need to go elsewhere.

Out of genuine interest as “An example can be found for everything and anything these days.

Could you suggest an example of a product that operates as you suggest? Even better another marketplace that does so?



Hi @Tekanewa,

Please don’t talk about cars, its off the point and a poor example. Cars are extremely large physically objects that cannot be cloned and offered to another customer by simply changing the license plate.


While the author does not update the item with new features or enhancements, you can still keep using the item you purchased. Nobody has taken it away from you.

That said, unless I’m mistaken you seem to asking for a free license to a new item produced by the author since you are a past customer on a separate product. This is a rather unusual request given that both items have significant differences and wouldn’t be approved otherwise.

Time and resources are always a scarce commodity for most single authors here (and necessarily so), your big idea to being offered a free license to the authors next product is guaranteed to be a nice dream :+1:

There is no free lunch, not even at Envato :joy: :joy:


are you a freelancer who use the themes to create websites for your customers? if so, do you charge them once for the project and then offer lifetime support and updates? I understand how frustrating this is on your end, but I guess this is what you get for paying $50 on a completely functional theme that took months to be developed.


Based on your replies to me and other authors here in this topic, I can only assume that there is a certain level of entitlement on your end, as you simply seem unable to acknowledge that your request, even as a hypothetical question, is out of bounds. And the size of an item really doesn’t matter here, as well as it is not relevant whether an item is physical or virtual … you are “asking” an author to give you something else for free, just because another unrelated item of the author has been discontinued. That is simply no way of conducting business for anybody; and most importantly, where would YOU draw the limit?

You also seem to have problems understanding the new support policy here on Envato. The standard support period of 6 months has absolutely nothing to do with an items life cycle (or shelf life); it only ensures that you as an buyer have guaranteed access to support for 6 months after purchase, while before, you had no right to claim any support at all, as all support was purely optional and at the authors sole discretion. That is a vast improvement for buyers, at the cost of the author. So, without paying a cent extra, buyers are now getting something in addition to the actual item, that they didn’t get before; and the new support policy is something that makes Envato stand out in comparison to other marketplaces. And as @charlie4282 already stated, I think we would all be very interested for you to show us some examples from other marketplaces that do offer what you are asking for.

Besides, most items here on Envato are sold for much longer than 6 months, but particularly with software, life cycles can be short and that is something you as a buyer simply have to accept, particularly since the theme and plugin market is a very fast paced environment, where style and features change often. System requirements also change frequently and sometimes there is simply no point for an author to continue working on an item, if those changes require too much effort in relation to sales or revenue. And in the end, it is at the authors discretion to discontinue an item for any reason, but provided you purchased within the 6 months prior to the item getting removed, you at the very least still have access to support.


Thanks @Typps,

Whilst nobody has taken the theme away, when a theme is discontinued the author generally takes away support and also takes away updates, resulting in a slow death of sorts.

Time and resources are also probably always a scarce commodity for purchasers of themes, are they not?


Thanks @devotchkah,

At last somebody can understand the frustration.

I wouldn’t posses the technical skills to offer lifetime support/updates for any of the themes I have purchased on themeforest even if I was charging my ‘customers’ which I am not.

What would you think of authors passing on themes that they abandon to other developers/authors to continue tweaking/updating and selling?


Thanks @Tekanewa,

Maybe their is a touch of entitlement, though it feels more like frustration, I will get into this below, but firstly I would like to say that I try to only buy themes from authors who offer support/have some sort of forum for buyers to share tips and tricks/help inform each other. This for me is a very important part of researching/purchasing a theme on themeforest. Support forums if run correctly offer purchasers and authors a place to grow from, it is not just buyers who gain from theme support, as you seem to be alluding to, maybe it is not just I who is lacking in understanding as you are alluding to.

One of the first themes I bought on Themeforest about 4 years ago had at the time I think about 150 sales, the author had an excellent feedback/support section which I contributed to. There was a strong community of passionate purchasers, who spent time working with the author, all in all, with time this theme got over 10,000 sales. Whilst you have not zoned in to the cheapness of the themes on offer in the marketplace, many others have, When I multiply $50 dollars by 10,000 sales, it comes in at $500,000.

The theme I am using as my example has been discontinued, the author has on the bases of his first theme now started to grow 2 more themes. Did the author get to where he is now solely by himself as you seem to be suggesting?


Naturally, the motivation for an author to further continue on an item depends directly on the success (or lack thereof) for that item, and the only measurement for that is total sales number and/or sales revenue. But at the same time, every sale is a business transaction where both parties get exactly what they bargained for (buyer gets the item, seller gets the money) … no one side is doing the other one a favor here, that could be “called in later”; so to turn around and state that the buyer is somewhat entitled to get any more than what s/he purchased, even if the item is discontinued, simply has no foundation.

Is it fair for some authors to quickly remove items for sale and simply re-release another item that looks, feels and works almost the same? Of course not, and as far as I know, market regulations actually stipulate that such a behavior is not allowed. So if a seller of yours is discontinueing and re-packaging an item and sell it as “new”, you should contact Envato and have them look into it. Although, at the same time, some superficial similarities between items does not automatically mean the items have much to do with each other.

And it is not uncommon that author and some buyers work together to make a product better (not talking about bug-fixing but adding new features). But again, this can not be construed as if the buyer is doing the author a favor, where the author “owes” the buyer anything in return. If the author manages to incorporate any changes or ideas a buyer proposed, the buyer got exactly what s/he wanted, without having to buy another item, or the same item again (due to lifetime updates). And the author has an improved item that can possibly attract more buyers, therefore increasing overall sales. Both sides win here, and in my opinion, this is a very fair trade-of. If an author takes such a proposed idea, but does NOT include it into an existing item, but instead decides to release a new one, the story is somewhat different of course, at least ethically speaking, because there is no legally binding agreement between author and the buyer proposing/co-developing a new feature, that stipulates that the new feature must be incorporated into an existing item.

The prices here on Envato are exceptionally low (compared to many other market places), so the only way for an author to make a living out of selling here, is by selling a lot. While that is particularly true for plugin and script authors, it also applies to some lesser degree to theme authors (although themes usually run 4 - 5 times the price of a decent plugin). But at the same time, most successful theme authors are actually teams of multiple people, where revenue has to be share, while plugin/script authors are usually single freelancers.


Still keen to hear an example of a product (or especially another marketplace) that operates lie this - there is some interesting point of view here and I genuinely think it would help add clarity. Thanks