Most of the users know Themeforest, Codecanyon and Envato Market in the Internet Community or at least most of them might have visited this website once in their lifetime. For those who don’t know what is Themeforest or Envato Market, here it is. Envato (previously Eden) is a company that operates Digital Marketplace which sells creative designs, themes, videos, stock photos, scripts and much more. Any creative professional can sign up as a seller and start selling items in their Marketplace. They currently have 7 Marketplaces and few other sites on their network.
Even though they have 7 marketplaces selling a lot of creative assets, themeforest stands as number one in sales. Even though themeforest sales were not great years back, it started growing because of WordPress. Yes it might be surprising but its the truth, they sell a lot of HTML and WordPress templates, many buy them regularly for their Design Business.
Millions of Visitors / Buyers and Thousands of sellers – Make this Digital Marketplace as number one in the world and also generate more revenue crossing millions every month. On an average, every new WordPress theme (released by established sellers) sells at least 200 to 500 times in a month. And these themes cost from anywhere between $29 to $60 – out of which 50% is Envato’s profit. There is 11,288 WordPress theme as of today, in last 4 days more than 40 themes were released (price ranging from $15 to $60) – even though most of them didn’t have any sales till now except few. It’s too early to say anything as they might bring on more sales in future.
Let us do a simple calculation – If a WordPress developer sells a theme which is priced at $60 100 times in a month, total revenue will be $6,000 – a profit of $3000 for Envato every month from one WordPress Developer.
Since most of the buyers stack the items for no reason, they spend a lot of money for a poor quality theme and lose money after few months or days. As one of the buyers who has wasted a lot of money on these Themes, I write this article on How you can save money
From the below image if you see that this theme is being sold at $39 and the seller highlights that the theme original price is $59. The theme is being sold at a discounted price for a limited time, which is an option that Team Envato has released – where theme owners can name their own price. Sellers come up with so many offers and nice graphics to make you believe that it worth $59 or more, in reality, that’s not the case with many sellers. Most of the sellers are Freelancers or small business owners with very poor support. Some of them outsource their theme design jobs to India, Indonesia and Philippines. Some of the owners are from these countries and probably would have spent $1000 to $3000 for one theme development.
Since most of them use Drag and Drop and other plugins and resources which can be bought for $245 (like Visual Composer) for extended license to be used in their theme. Let us say if theme owner sells a theme for $30 and sells more than 500 times in 1 year, He makes a profit of $7500 in one years time, out of which he would have spent 60% on development and maintenance. With that, he still gets a profit of $3000 in one years time for one theme. However, that’s the least case scenario because an established sellers sell their theme at least more than 1000 times in one year and sometimes more than 2500 in one year.
My Point here is, do not buy a theme just because they say its $29 or $39 and only for first 100 buyers or 50 Buyers. Wait for few days, you might find some other theme that’s best for you or better in terms of design and quality.
Ratings are very important for any theme, you should be checking them first. Most of the theme owners, try different things to get 5 star ratings and buyers end up giving them 5 stars even though they are not worth 5 stars. Be careful and check ratings and their percentage. If you see most of them rated 3 or 4 or 2 – stay away from them. These ratings also change very frequently, if you ask for a refund after giving them 1 star – your 1 star will be removed once your purchase is void.
Checking comments are very important, in fact, more important than other 4 points. When you start checking comments you will be able to know how many people had problems while installing or while updating or even while doing some small changes in their theme. If you look at this below image, this theme is Albedo theme from WPLAB ( Theme Developer) – This theme is sold more than 400 times since 20th November 2017 and updated more than 20 times.
If you check most of the comments everyone has some or the other problem. In this case, WPLAB had an offer and sold the theme for just $19 and most of them bought in the very first month including me. When I started getting problems with the theme, I decided to get a refund and gave a negative feedback, however, the 1-star rating was removed as I am not an active seller.
Buyers stack up by buying the theme looking at the front end and design quality – forgetting about other technical issues, and user-friendly issues. Selling a theme for $19 in first few days will get you more sales and then increasing the theme price, would make you think that its a good theme even though the theme is not of High-Quality standards.
The below theme description says that its highly customizable theme and delivered after community members feedback, however, the output is not that of High Quality. So checking item comments will help you in deciding whether to buy or not, if everyone is raising doubts – don’t buy it.
Some times, theme owners never reply to any comments or they take at least 5 or 10 days to reply to any comments and in some cases months.
This is one more factor which you should consider before buying any theme, If you check this below image – this seller, Cridio Studio from US (Owner Sam Rizzi) has only one theme which is listing directory sold more than 5000 times from 2017 April. I purchased a theme called Xshop from them in the month of November 2016 – later the item was removed within few months and themeforest refused to refund me as it was downloaded by me and it was over 3 or 4 months period. I never used the theme, just bought and kept it for future usage.
When I contacted the owner, he refused to answer me even though I sent 5 emails. Sam Rizzi – if you read come across this article and read this – know that i bought listingpro theme too and I am still your customer (even though I am not using this theme too on any site).
At least 50 % buyers who buy themes never use the theme for complete duration. If a seller has one or 2 items, please avoid such sellers, its only an exception in some cases like ThemeFusion who sell famous AVADA theme – as they dedicate their entire team and efforts on developing one theme. But other sellers simply remove that one item after few months and disappear. So be careful, wait for some time before deciding on any theme.
Checking profile will sort a lot of things, make sure to check if they are selling any other items on any other marketplace and also check their badges. You will come to know how long they have been selling items on Envato and other credits they have got during this period. Most of the sellers have multiple items and sell both plugins and themes, so please check their entire profile and also their profile page to know if they have a dedicated support portal or email support. Check their website to know if they are company or individuals.
These are the major 5 aspects to keep in mind before purchasing any theme or template from themeforest. Please advised that you will always get something better and more advanced theme here so waiting is the key. No disrespect to any seller or theme owner, it’s just my personal view. If you think there is something you need to add to the above 5 – please comment below and let me know about that.
BONUS TIP (SUPPORT):
I never included support from the above 5 as support comes after purchase and if these 5 aspects are taken care, then most of the buyers provide support. And support is not something you need to worry about if there is an issue in WordPress it always something to do with plugin compatibility or at least that’s what the problem is most of the times. As far as theme support is concerned, it paid after 6 months, which is costly with some themes, but if you end up sticking to a theme for more than 6 months, then buy the support. Even though paid support is not something i recommend ( which I will discuss in future articles).
Happy Buying and Designing
Above 5 aspects are same for Codecanyon too, except there are few more things that need to be checked before buying any script or plugin or app, which I will discuss in my future article.