Has Envato ever had a “lifetime support” option?

The notion that a “lifetime support” has been purchased is actually an extremely common misconception among ThemeForest customers. Envato has never sold any kind of “lifetime support” option and so you’ve never purchased one. But the history behind this is interesting.

Now, it is possible that some theme authors may have taken advantage of undefined support terms in the past to throw marketing terms in their product descriptions like “lifetime guarantee” or “unlimited support.” However, this was never anything that Envato endorsed, and I can promise that Theme Blvd products never used any marketing terms or verbiage like this.

This evolution of the support on Envato is actually quite interesting. There’s an article by Barış Ünver that does a good job of documenting how it all went down.

Many customers don’t realize that, in the past, support was actually always optional for theme authors. We did it to help our customers and support our products. And so even though we all gave support to the best of our abilities, Envato did not actually have any rules to regulate it. Because theme authors have always been so generous with customer support, to compete in such a competitive, saturated market, many customers have come to assume they purchased some sort “lifetime support” policy for their old WordPress themes on ThemeForest, which never existed.

But in reality, when you get an email from a customer that purchased a theme for $39 from you over 8 years ago, demanding that you fix their broken website, you can see that there are definitely some problems with the system.

So finally in 2014, Envato decided it was time to define customer support and create some basic terms for it. It took over a year of community debates and the project kept getting delayed and delayed. But eventually, they came up with a system where products come with 6 (or 12) months of support from the author upon purchase. And when it expires, it can be extended by the customer for a reduced fee than the product was originally purchased for.

However, one of the compromises in their system (to accommodate community lash back) was that support from the author and customer access to the downloads were kept completely separate. So purchasing a product now or in the past, you should always have access to that product and its updates, as long it exists on Envato. And back on the inception date, September 1, 2015, all old purchases were given a complimentary 6 months of support, from that point forward.

And at that point, Envato asked all authors to start abiding by this new standard of providing support, for customers to receive a consistent experience across all products. So here we are!

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