The Architectural Forum
I agree with the others - I purchased and always recommended outofthesandbox because of their vast knowledgebase and continual updates - but now along with paying for the themes we have to pay for the privilege to easily update - you're turning against your own loyal customers and moving goalposts - not cool
Hello The Architectural Forum,
Thank you for taking the time to review our app. We understand your frustration, but we wanted to follow up on this review to clarify a point regarding the update process.
Purchasing a theme comes with free updates for life. These free updates come in the form of brand new files of the latest version of the theme. The new version of the theme does need to be rebuilt, as is the standard process for updating any Shopify themes.
Our Theme Updater app was developed to provide a shortcut for updating. The app can update a copy of your theme while preserving your home page sections and theme editor settings.
We have recently implemented a subscription fee for the app, but all new theme purchases come with a free year of the app’s Basic Plan. The free year begins from the date the new theme file is registered in the app, a process which is necessary to unlock the updating feature.
So in short, any purchase of our themes comes with the guarantee of free updates for life following the normal Shopify procedure for updating. The app is also free for the first year with the theme, after which, a subscription is required to continue using the Theme Updater app.
We’d be happy to answer any additional questions you have regarding updating the themes, or any shop-specific questions you might have. You can reach out to our Help Centre here: https://help.outofthesandbox.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.
All the best,
The Out of the Sandbox Team
This review is more for the Flex Theme as they deleted the review they request from me for their product. The issue I had with the Flex Theme is that it was full of bugs and didnt work, the issues I came accross with support are all repeated here in previous posts. There product is expensive and full of bugs, there support is very slow and very poor quality once they do reply , even to the point of being comical. I only wish I had read all these reviews first before shelling out the US$450.00. I did download and try it out, but it was only once running that the bugs started showing. I now only use it for the headers then use a page template. Im now currently looking for a different product to use that is also mobile friendly.
Hello UPAN Frypan,
We’re sorry to hear you’ve been having trouble with the Flex theme and we apologize for any frustration. Flex is our most recent theme release and we continue to improve it with each new update for the theme.
I have reviewed the contacts we’ve had with your shop from our Help Centre and I’m unable to find any outstanding issues. We apologize if you’ve had an unsatisfactory experience with our support team, we are committed to supporting our product and helping your shop in any way we can. We would be happy to review any issues you are having with the theme if you submit a support request to our Help Centre here: https://help.outofthesandbox.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.
I have visited your shop and I can see you are currently using version 1.1.2 of the Flex theme. We’ve recently released an update for the theme, v1.1.3 which resolves a few lingering bugs. I’d encourage you to update your theme to the latest version if you continue to have trouble with it.
Please do not hesitate to reach out, we are here to help!
The Out of the Sandbox Team
Marie Sharp's USA
This app is of no use for my store, which I imagine is much like your store; simple. The app could not update my theme, which had the most minimal customization's a store could have, a google and facebook pixel.
To update my theme, I can hire an developer for 8 hours or more for the work (which I verified with "Out of the Sandbox" support was typical and too be expected if you wanted to update any of their themes, after your first version), at a cost of $65 per hour and up.
Which brings up the bigger question, it is far cheaper to buy a theme from a company that has a better update process for their themes, or simple buy a brand new theme each time you want to take advantage of any new features offered in a newer release or update.
Either way, IMHO, why waste a penny on an app (or THEME) that is supposed to update my SITE, when it fails miserably and requires a developer to keep it going?
ALL "Out of the Sandbox" customers should take the time to voice their dissatisfaction to Tobi and the entire Shopify team, so that this company can be banned from providing THEMES for SHOPIFY STORES and CUSTOMERS.
Twitter is a great medium for reaching Tobi and the entire Shopify team, to let them know the type of bad actors they have operating within their platform, feeding off the good graces of Shopify customers.
Hello Marie Sharp's USA team,
The Theme Updater app was developed to provide a shortcut for updating our themes. The app will update a copy of your theme, preserving the home page sections and theme editor settings from your original theme file. The app can identify customizations made to the original theme files, and it will carry them over as long as the custom code doesn’t result in a conflict with the updated theme files.
If a theme file contains a significant amount of custom or third-party code, the app may not be able to include this third-party work in the updated version. When this happens, the app will display a list of files that contained third-party code that couldn’t be brought over in the update. From there, you’ll need to re-install the third-party code on your new version of the theme.
The app provides an alternative to the standard Shopify process of updating themes. With most Shopify themes, updating involves obtaining a brand new copy of the latest version. This new copy needs to be re-configured, you are essentially rebuilding your theme in each update.
In the standard process for updating Shopify themes, you would need to completely reinstall all code that was added to the previous version as you rebuild your brand new file.
No matter which method of updating you are following, it’s recommended to keep detailed notes about the changes and additions made to your theme files so that you are prepared to reinstall any third-party code that the app couldn’t carry over.
We’d be happy to answer any additional questions you might have about updating, or about the theme in general. You can reach out to our Help Centre here: https://help.outofthesandbox.com/hc/en-us/requests/new.
Please do not hesitate to submit a support request. We are here to help in any way we can!
All the best,
The Out of the Sandbox Team
I just wanted to Upgrade from Turbo to Flex but not anymore. If you don't move back the pricing of the updater app to free plan and pro , like it was before, you will loose all your clients. I was told when purchased the Turbo theme that we have free updates forever, doing this manually is impossible. Especially when the previous version has glitches , and now we can't do anything without paying the extra buck.
Hi OchelariDirect — thank you sharing your feedback and concerns!
We understand that updating a Shopify theme by uploading the updated version and reconfiguring the settings can be time consuming, so we have been working hard on improving and maintaining the Theme Updater App, adding new features and support for more themes, and want to keep offering you the time-saving convenience of updating without needing to reconfigure your settings. We understand your grievance with the change in pricing, and hope the subscriptions options we're offering line up with how you value the app, so we can continue to offer you the fastest updating experience possible.
Regular updates via the standard Shopify updating process will remain free, and in addition to that, the first year of the TUA Basic plan is free with each theme registration. So if you do happen to upgrade to Flex, you would have a year of free use from the date you register your new theme!
Please feel free to reach out to us directly here: https://help.outofthesandbox.com/hc/en-us/requests/new for any additional questions about the Theme Updater app, the Pro Plan or any other theme questions in general.
All the best,
The Out of the Sandbox Team
Peaches and Screams
I was happy with the theme whilst the updates through their app were free. At $500 for this theme, I would expect all the future automatic updates to be free. This is by far the greediest and unethical company I have ever come across. All they are doing is ripping people off by making the manual updates too difficult to install by a layperson and thus locking them into the paid updates plan. I am very disappointed with this company and DO not recommend Out of the Sandbox to anyone. There are plenty of other great Shopify themes out there. Do not waste your money on this theme as it is not worth. It is majorly overpriced.
Hello Peaches and Screams,
We appreciate the input on your experience with Out of the Sandbox, the Flex theme and the Theme Updater App - we're sorry limiting of free access to the Theme Updater App to the first year of use has created this experience!
To keep the details of the various products separate, the Flex theme ($450USD) while rich in settings and features, can be updated through the normal updating method, which is the same process as initially installing and configuring the theme - we stand by the notion that this can be accomplished by any Shopify user, and we continue to make the robust feature-set easier and easier to configure (with pre-built demos included with the theme .zips).
While a normal update on Shopify does generally involve reconfiguring settings, it is the method available to all Shopify themes - we haven't made this process intentionally difficult, but seek ways to make the process easier and faster.
The Theme Updater App is a tool for making parts of the Shopify updating process automatic - in particular, obtaining the new version of the theme, carrying over past setting configurations, and detecting code customizations are conducted automatically. With the changes to the pricing plans, this tool is available for free for the first year of usage (based on the theme's registration date through the app) - following the free year, a number of flexible subscriptions options are available for users who value the time-savings the app offers. Rest assured, at no point in the use of any Out of the Sandbox theme (including Flex) is the Theme Updater App required! Updated theme files continue to be available for free and using the Theme Updater App to update the theme is optional.
To note, if you're a user of the Flex theme, which was released in Aug 2019, the free trial of the Basic Plan of the app should be available to you, based on the registration date of your Flex theme which would still be within its first year. If you're looking for any assistance with accessing the free trial feel free to contact the Out of the Sandbox Help Center - email@example.com
The Out of the Sandbox Team
Bella Lino Linens
I did a lot of research and selected OTSB for our theme choice. Never had an issue, questions were answered timely, and no problem with previous updates.
I didn't so much mind the $9/month if it kept my theme updated which I assume is the proper thing to do. So I did sign up, did update the Responsive theme with this latest update, and now ALL of my critically important options are a mess apparently from some light customizations for options and for the cart by another popular and commonly used app provider. Even on the product pages the options are all out of order!
I submitted a ticket 2 days ago to OTSB w/no response yet, and then submitted a priority ticket yesterday, which I should have done initially not realizing how critical this problem is.. The timeframe for a ticket response says the same thing- 1-2 days so what is the priority ticket advantage? And I do NOT want to talk to someone from zendesk with a generic response that never takes care of a problem.
What is the advantage of updating if it deconstructs the current theme/website? I could have stayed with wordpress for that! This was our whole purpose of selecting OTSB for shopify!
We are launching this site NEXT WEEK!! I contacted a shopify expert and they want hundreds of dollars to update these few lines of customization! WHAT??? No thank you!!!
I am also reading all the complaints here and the responses from OTSB do not sound very empathetic or helpful to those having problems with the update.
We were fine with previous updates and NO ISSUES until this most recent one! I am hoping to hear from someone TODAY and how this will be taken care of!
I would advise anyone considering an OTSB theme to hold off. I am happy to provide a previous positive review AFTER this has fixed!
UPDATE: I did receive an email back from OTSB and they did take a little deeper look at the issues we had with the theme update. They were very courteous and somewhat helpful but basically threw it back to the options app we were using to fix the issues. Interesting that one of the suggestions was NOT to do the update, or use a previous saved version before the update, and work out the issues later. This is opposite of what OTSB suggests on their site. We did work with the options app and they have been very very helpful. Again, we did not expect OTSB to fix these (light) customization issues, but did expect a heads up notice that upcoming updates can and most likely will affect the architecture of your site. The majority of Shopify users are not web developers, coders etc. . Most purchase a theme so as not to have build a site theme from scratch (note: a big selling point on the themes is you can customize it however you want), which is why we switched to Shopify/OTSB..It was our expectation that this would resolve the Wordpress issues of a current site, however at least Wordpress always gives you a heads up on major updates. We are continuing with it for now as we have quite a bit of time and money invested, but we are wiser to the communication and limitations we experienced and hope that OTSB sees all these reviews and will give their fellow business owners and customers a better experience in the future as promised on their sales pages.
Hello Bella Lino Linens!
Thank you for the review, for updating the review with your more recent remarks, and for sticking with Out of the Sandbox for your theme choice on Shopify.
We're glad we had a chance to look into this issue deeper, and we share your concerns around theme updates when working with customizations and apps. As themes, apps and the Shopify platform change over time, updating and ensuring compatibility can become complex and time consuming. While the Theme Updater App can make some of these updating steps quicker and easier (obtaining the new version, carrying over previous setting configurations, carrying over compatible code customizations), some aspects of updating still require special consideration (especially app installations and more complicated code customizations).
Unlike the Wordpress platform where much of the updating process occurs automatically affecting themes and the platform simultaneously, updates on the Shopify platform generally require a number of manual steps. The Theme Updater App is unique to Out of the Sandbox (and Pixel Union) themes, and offers time-savings by addressing some of these manual steps automatically - however, it remains that past app installations and code customizations may require special attention (from app support or a custom developer, depending on the nature of the modification) to ensure compatibility with a new version of the theme, like in the normal updating process on Shopify.
We take this review to heart, and will continue to improve the experience of the Theme Updater App to make the outcomes and expectations clearer - the Shopify ecosystem is vast, and offering an updating tool that can ensure ongoing compatibility with the wide array of apps and customizations is an ongoing challenge; trust that Out of the Sandbox is in your corner for making this process as easy and quick as possible!
The Out of the Sandbox Team
I've been a loyal and happy customer for years having purchased the Parallax theme and now on the Turbo theme. Received the email like everyone else and decided to update prior to the price increase for the basic plan. All of a sudden updates that were smooth with no user input from me, changed to 'we cannot update these three customizations'. Following the instructions to manually update the code, I keep getting an error on one of the customizations. Emailed support multiple times and no response AT ALL which has never happened in the past. Why all of a sudden is there radio silence from a support team that was very responsive in the past [even though I upgraded to the PRO plan as they wanted which is supposed to get me priority support]. I'm very disappointed in Out of the Sandbox. If you're going to start charging for updates then at the very least offer support for your products. Given my current situation and the feedback of other irate customers, I would NOT recommend purchasing a theme from this company in the future.
Developer response is useless as it seems that they haven't even read my review. I've already submitted two support requests with NO response.
Thanks for the remarks on the Theme Updater App - we're always looking for ways to improve the experience.
From your note, it sounds like some customizations to your theme were not automatically carried over during the update - while the app can detect all your code customizations, it will only carry over customizations that will not cause a conflict with the new version of the theme. For instance, if you have customized a part of the theme that is then updated in some way in the new version, this customization would need special attention to be sure it's working/necessary with the updated feature. The app provides the note to let you know there are templates that require special attention, since simply carrying over the customizations 'as-is' could cause problems. We hope you value this improvement to the updating process, as updating normally would involve you finding all the code customizations throughout your modified code templates, after you had manually reconfigured the theme settings. Even without the code being applied automatically, the app still provides significant time-savings compared to the normal updating process.
Thank you for your patience as we work to reply to our support requests in order - we have a lot of questions at this time of year, and trust that you will receive a reply as we address the support requests in the order they were received (or updated). If you're submitting multiple notes, we strongly suggest submitting a new ticket, so as to avoid updating the date/time on the original submission.
As a Pro Plan user, you have access to the Priority Support contact form, which is a feature within the app. Any questions we receive from this contact form are replied to first, so we can prioritize your support experience. To access Priority Support, go into the Theme Updater App, and choose 'Action' below the theme you'll be asking about - choose 'Contact Priority Theme Support' to open the special contact form. We look forward to replying to your priority support request!
All the best!
-The Out of the Sandbox team
Update: I'm upgrading my rating to 2 stars because after writing my original review, tech support helped me update my theme. If it works correctly the next time I try to update, then I'll upgrade it to a three. When the app does work, it works well. (Although the default file name isn't the actual version you're upgrading to, it's whatever version you already have plus the current date. So the UI is oddly inaccurate, which definitely doesn't help if the app hasn't been working correctly so you're already frustrated.)
I used the paid version of this app for awhile and was able to update my theme two or three times. Then in early June it stopped working correctly. I experienced multiple problems just getting to the update screen. Then when I finally was able to get there, the only option I got was to "update" to the theme version I'm currently using (7.0.5). I spent the month in a fruitless back and forth with OOTS tech support to resolve this problem. I tried using this app on three different computers (MacBook Pro, iMac, HP laptop) and five different browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, IE). I gave OOTS tech support access to my Shopify account to try to fix the problem, and after a cursory go at it, they suggested that I upgrade my OS and browser to the most recent version. So I did that, even though it might have meant that some of my software and printer might no longer work. And guess what? Problem not solved. At that point, they finally admitted that they were having some problems with the Theme Updater app and browser cookies. They said they hoped to have it resolved soon. It still wasn't working by early August, so I uninstalled the app. Now that it's the end of Sept., I decided to try it again in the hopes of being able to finally update my theme. But nope, same problem. The fact that I actually paid for several months of this app without being able to use it is ridiculous. And that it still doesn't work is more ridiculous. As much as I sometimes hate cable/internet companies, at least when your service isn't working they refund your money. Not so with OOTS.
If I could give 0 stars I would! I have been managing this website for our company for over 2 years and I can't think of even one time that we've used this app. And now I come back from vacation to an email saying this week (because they only gave a weeks notice) the Free Basic Plan will now be charged $9 per month.
I've read many of the other reviews and the responses from OOTS -- they seem to not understand why we all are frustrated with this. Regardless if there's a way to update themes without the app -- there's only a handful of updates throughout the year, but yet you want to charge us PER MONTH for these handfuls of updates -- that I should add we've hardly ever if at all, used.
This subsidy website has been temporarily on back-burner -- it's most definitely not worth an additional $9 per month for practically nothing in return. I will be deleting this app -- this theme had too many conflicts with other apps we've tried to use and no solutions available anyways.
I'm in complete agreement with all the recent (re)views of this company. I've bought two of their themes; Turbo ($350) and Flex ($450). One of the main reasons we chose to buy these themes is because the FREE Theme Updater helps to make their very high price tag slightly more digestible. Their recent decision to start charging for this app is a ridiculously shady move; luring people in with a free service and subsequently charging for it is the ultimate form of greed.
...And before someone replies to this review suggesting that manual theme updates are still free - the idea that manually updating the theme is supposed to replace the Theme Updater is laughable.
This behaviour coupled with THE WORST customer service we've ever come across, is enough for us to leave $750 on the table and go in search of a company that values their customers.
This is quite frankly disgusting behaviour. AVOID AVOID AVOID.