What does it mean if a theme is marked as unsupported on ThemeForest?

tl;dr: All the themes we sell (on ThemeForest or anywhere else) will receive updates, regardless of their supported / unsupported status. This means fixing bugs and maintaining compatibility with newer versions of WordPress and theme-compatible plugins (as advertised and seen on demo pages).

We receive quite some questions as to what it means if a theme is marked as ‘supported’ or ‘unsupported’ on ThemeForest. Even though Envato says that the goal with the introduction of support packs was a more consistent buyer experience on the marketplace, we can see in the wild that every author interprets it a little bit differently.

To save you from the doubts and unpleasant surprises when you face an issue using our product, I decided to put together our point of view and clarify our policy about this matter.

What is our promise to you regarding all our products?

When the support packs were introduced in fall 2015 at Envato Marketplaces, we selectively opted-in to officially support about two thirds of our themes there. We mainly omitted the old themes, for example HairPress and CarPress. But that does not mean that these products are dead.

We are well aware that there are thousands of websites which use these older themes. These businesses rely on us and we know it is very bad news for the site owner to find out that the theme they bought was abandoned by its developers. We feel responsible for these businesses and the people who decided to trust us and give their money for our product.

Therefore, we will ensure that all our themes for sale are kept in good shape and function flawlessly. In order to do that, we do accept the bug fixes and fix them in a timely manner (don’t take my word for it, check our changelogs).

What’s the catch then?

In alignment with our philosophy, I can transparently share what these themes that have ‘unsupported’ status on ThemeForest do not benefit from:

  • No new features. No brand new features will be added into mature themes. It is hard to make breaking changes in the products that thousands use already (we never want anyone to update the theme and realize it broke the styles – backwards compatibility is important in our updates). We would rather collect this feedback and eventually create new themes with the new knowledge acquired. This is exactly what we did creating StructurePress (knowledge from BuildPress), Auto (knowledge from CarPress) and Beauty (knowledge from HairPress). There are more themes like these to come, so feedback is always welcome!
  • No 1-on-1 support. Some clients require more help than others. We gladly support all levels of users on our themes that claim to be ‘supported’, including newbies to the WordPress ecosystem (fun fact: they are usually blown away how easy it is to work with our themes, how intuitive the admin interface is and how everything ‘just works’). But our older themes are a little bit more complicated to setup and don’t come with the newest features like page builder functionality, so we discourage complete beginners to start with unsupported themes. Even though we feel empathy for you and strive to help everyone, we might decline ‘how to achieve this’ type of questions for these themes.
    We believe that our products ship with well-written documentation, help center and video tutorials, in addition to contextual help (within the theme, next to individual settings), so you will need to check these out.

Whoa, what a long article. I hope it was worth the time and it explains our philosophy regarding support provided and all the options you have as our customer.

Do not hesitate to ask anything else in the comments below. If I forgot to explain something, I will update this article accordingly.

Primoz (co-founder and developer) from ProteusThemes