No Warranty On Templates

Recently we have had a long conversation with one of our customers regarding template warranty. That is, if a particular template does not work with a particular browser or particular customisation option, then who is responsible for fixing it? We feel it is important to publically state our position on template warranty.

We welcome your feedback on template issues, and when we will make an effort to solve those issues in the long term, however, there is no warranty provided to solve your immediate design issues related to the use of a "single template".

Why is this?

  • The most important reason is because templates are provided free. Even if you had a 3rd party professional web designer design your website 3 years ago, you would expect to pay for an upgrade due to the unforeseen issues of a browser version change, or upgrades to any of the required 3rd party libraries used within your website. The hosting fee you pay is not for your template, it is for web hosting. 
  • You can always choose to use a different template, or design your own. There are hundreds of templates to choose from. If a template does not work to your needs, you can choose another. If the template you really want is so close to what you want, but it has just a few issues, then you can consult a professional web designer to help smooth off the rough edges. 
  • Some of our templates are several years old. We have a choice to either delete those old templates, or keep them around for those who want to use them. We have chosen to keep old templates unless they are clearly broken. 
  • Not all templates work with all customisation features. eg some templates don't have banners, logos, category menus, search, breadcrumbs or a bunch of other features that are exposed within the CMS. We completely agree with your that it would be awesome if all features could be used with all templates, but it is just too hard for us to backward implement all the possible permiatations. 
  • We did not invent HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, CSV, Google Analytics, XML, colourbox popup, and a bunch of 3rd party social plugins. Most important we did not invent any of the browsers, or mobile browsers on the multitude of computer OS, tablets and phones. Sometimes languages and features change or get depricated. The basic principle of a content management system is merely that it "inserts the required code/objects into the final content delivery". How those bits "render on any given day, is a design issue, not a system fault. All of these technologies are subject to change, and we cannot provide warranty over these situations.  We do however constantly strive to make our content delivery compatible with the current momentum of browser and mobile standards, but in making these changes, we also could cause conflict with your legacy code. Where we make changes to our system or global CSS includes, we tend to fix those issues for free, but where the issue relates to a change outside of our control, then we can't warranty it. 

In general, once you select a template and start customising it, that website is now yours. We provide no warranty over your website design or content. You need to pay for any website design issue, because we didn't invent HTML nor the browser. You also don't need to pay us, you can go to any web designer to help you with that issue, as design issues are relevant to the whole web industry, not just our CMS product. 

We do however provide warranty on our content management system, that each function provided by the content management system will insert your content into the appropriate place within the HTML or CSS body of code underlying your website, where the template supports that feature. The existence of a feature within the CMS does not mean the feature exists on any individual template. 

To clarify further, if you face the following issues, we cannot provide warranty, but welcome your feedback so that in time we can improve our overall service. 

  • if a browser upgrade effects only your website design, but does not generally effect the vast majority of our customers, then any fix is chargeable time. 
  • if a template does not work as you expected it to, or a customisation doesn't work as anticipated, then any fix is chargeable time, however we welcome your feedback which will be considered in due course for either a fix to the original template or deletion of that particular template. 
  • if a change to the TinyMCE version, or alternative WYSIWYG editor, causes a content editing issue, we will hope to address the problem, but there will be no fast resolution due to the 3rd party nature of the development, and complexity of that code. it is a known issue that sometimes invalid HTML/JSS/CSS code gets rerendered, or deleted by that tool. It is a known issue that some browsers sometimes conflict with certain TinyMCE version, particularly IE. We all suffer this issue, and we all need to work around it by using a different browser type, or by cleaning up our HTML code.  
  • if a 3rd party tool like addthis, share this, facebook, twitter, colourbox, jquery, google analytics etc issue arrises, we will consider the severity of the issue. If several of our customer sites are effected and it is an easy fix, we will fix it for free as we would of course want our customers to have great continued service. However, if the issue only effects a few sites, we will offer you the option to pay for the issue to be fixed or replaced, or otherwise if the issue is too big, we will delete the feature for free. Obviously we cannot warranty a 3rd party feature, so deletion of the feature might be the only option. 
  • if your website does not display on a new device, or new browser, please bring it to our attention, as we want to know, but unfortunately we can't fix it for you for free. 

The following design items _are_ covered under warranty

  • If we make a global CSS or content delivery change that effects your website negatively, we will fix it for free, where that issue was caused by our changes. 
  • Any failure or error by the CMS to insert the HTML or CSS or Javascript in the wrong place or way, we will fix it for free, so long as the original template was intended to support that feature. 

Posted: Friday 10 January 2014

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