You finally created your first WordPress Theme! This is it, the marketing is ready and you roll it out. While this is where you expect the big bucks start to roll in, this is the stage in the life of the them where you need to start hustling to answer your clients’ questions.
That is because your ability to provide quality customer service to your customer is everything. Fortunately, we had some of the best WordPress developers describe their process.
No reason to reinvent the wheel when you can follow what the successful do with their theme support.
Expert Strategies on WordPress Theme Support
Pankaj Kumar ThemesMonk
At ThemesMonk we setup a Vanilla discussion forum for Theme Support, a user can create topics about an issue.
The best tools that enhance the way we support are Sublime Text, Notepad++, and Netbeans. We use WAMP for local WordPress environments with debugging tools like Chrome Console, Firebug, and Theme Check WordPress plugin.
We resolve the issue instantly if it’s a small bug. For the bigger problems, we update the themes within 24 hours and inform our users through mail.
We upgrade our theme every 25 days when we collect a list of issues in the forum.
Mohammed Choukairi MoWeb Media
WordPress Theme authors support their themes through (a support ticketing systems, emails, or through other market places like ThemeForest.)
Authors of WordPress themes use many different tools to follow up with their customers. Make it easier on yourself by creating a forum and a dedicated customer service who maintains your forum.
To support a theme each week. it can take couple hours a week, but sometimes it can take up to 30+ hours a week depending on the volume of customer questions.
David Attard DART Creations
We rotate the support of our WordPress themes to different developers who are working on the themes. When we involve the developers, they can see first-hand what issues users are encountering. They then propose development enhancements for reducing support in the future.
We use Ticksy.com to support our WordPress themes and plugins. That way both we and the end-user can follow the progress of the support ticket.
We typically reserve 20% of development time for support. Upgrades are typically rolled out once a quarter or more often if the needs arise.
Rhys Wynne Winwar Media
My support is handled using a support forum which emails our team directly whenever a new support request is left. This works as occasionally we get support requests answered by other customers.
Support is behind a paywall, which purchasers of premium support or a premium theme or plugin gets access to. Free support is provided on an ad-hoc basis on WordPress.org support forums. This helps keep support down to around a couple of hours a week.
Shane Melaugh Thrive Themes
At Thrive Themes, support is an essential part of our business, that’s why we have a dedicated support forum to help our clients.
Currently, 7 people work full time to provide support for all our plugins and themes. Roughly 30% of those resources are allocated to our 10 themes.
To keep up with the WordPress changes and to keep improving upon our themes, we release updates every 3 weeks.
Keno Hellmann Sticktricks
As far as I know most WordPress Theme Authors use support forums to help their customers.
A great one is Ticksy.com, which allows me to receive and answer any support request in a short period of time. I spend about 20 hours per week answering all support requests. I do upgrades either every 3 month or when there are major WordPress Updates which affect my themes.
However, it depends on the theme, for example our KLEO theme, our most popular theme, requires around 6 hours of support per day.
We offer support through our dedicated website where clients can open a new ticket with their request. We offer support for any theme related problem and answer questions on how to achieve something with our theme.
For the first 3 years as a theme developer, I hosted my own Support Center via a WordPress site, but I recently switched to Zendesk.com to handle support tickets.
I typically direct customers to that support site and answer tickets within 24 hours during weekday business hours. It takes me anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to answer all support tickets each day, possibly longer if I just published a new theme. I update each theme with bug fixes and new features several times each year.
Ruben Bristian MVP Themes
We are a small team of three people, one being a full time support hero. We usually get around 50-70 customers per week asking for support. From these, around half are having setup issues or WordPress basic problems. The other half are small customization requests. We support our products via our own supportt centre (based on HelpScout).
All support inquiries for our WordPress.com themes are handled in the premium themes support forum from Monday to Friday.
All support inquiries for our Creative Market products are answered directly from within the Creative Market messaging system.
We provide support in the Themeforest comments section and in a ticket system. Support is a big part of theme development, and it’s literally a few solid hours every day minimum.
Most Cubell Themes are updated and improved quite regularly, with frequent updates to fix bugs, add improvements and the odd new requested feature.
Valenti is one of the top 6 selling Themeforest magazine themes of all time, and should overtake the #5 top seller in a few weeks/months as well.
As you can see from the theme developers who chimed in above, support is an on-going process. That is why a number of the teams above have dedicated staff to answer their theme related questions.
Let us know your thoughts below on theme support. How do you do it for your own theme? What questions do you have? Let us know in the comments below.