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Does ThemeForest do enough for its customers?

This is an open question to the community on the state of customer service from the Web’s largest premium WordPress theme marketplace.

This is an open question to the community: does ThemeForest do enough for its customers?

I'm talking of course about the Web's largest premium WordPress themes marketplace. My feeling is that it does a brilliant job of supporting theme authors, but I feel it could be doing more for its customers. Perhaps I'm alone in thinking this. In any case, here's some context to what I hope might be an interesting discussion.

Envato, the company behind ThemeForest, recently announced price changes to all the premium WordPress themes in its marketplace.

This announcement was made rather abruptly and took quite a few people by surprise. The overwhelming response however has been supportive of this price rise. The work of authors on ThemeForest has long been undervalued and the general consensus is that it was high time for an price raise.

I fully support theme authors on ThemeForest. I also support ThemeForest itself. I'm an avid user and the WordPress theme I'm using right now on this site was purchased there. I think ThemeForest houses some of the best WordPress themes to have ever seen the light of day and I'm in favour of paying more to support the developers and their work.

My bone of contention, as you will see in the video, is with Envato and its relationship to its customers. I want to see Envato, theme developers and customers benefit from each other's loyalty, trust and care. In the current configuration, I don't think Envato is doing enough to communicate with its customers and to offer them the value that they deserve.

What do you think? What's your experience with ThemeForest? I'd love to know. I'd also like to keep this discussion as constructive as possible.

Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

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17 Comments on "Does ThemeForest do enough for its customers?"

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ox
Guest

I hate ThemeForest. Their pricing for Multisite use is ridiculous, thousands of dollars for one theme, come on. There are theme authors who actually are OK with a buyer using their theme on MS for one license, but because they sell through ThemeForest there is nothing they can do about it. TF = greedy and stupid.

Tom Brady
Guest
OMG thank you for saying this ox, the MS thing really gets my blood boiling. It feels like I’m being penalized for using a particular type of wordpress installation… And as Will points out in his video, the company’s ethos is supposed to be about more than just making cash and supporting open source. Such a contradiction on that one. Aside from the MS issue, I’ve had some good experiences with single license themes. The one thing that kind of does annoy me though is the number of obsolete themes in my download section. I mean, no disrespect to the… Read more »
ox
Guest

I don’t have a problem with the price per se, it’s their choice. If they don’t want me as a customer I’m free to just stay away. The problem is that their rigidity kills potential business – some authors are willing to sell to me but the TF terms won’t allow it. That is always, always a bad thing.

ox
Guest

To be clear: I support the creators too. But as a MS network admin they won’t allow me to.

james anderson
Guest
I will lean towards a “yes” answer. I purchased a theme I wasn’t happy with (bloated code) and recevied a full refund 48 hours later. No questions asked. I don’t expect them to provide tech support and it is obvious that both WordPress and major web browsers and viewing platforms change dailey. What the public gets for their $35 or $40 is amazing. I do feel that the rush to add more and more features is actually hurting themes lately however. Sites like themetrust and the excellent themefoundry are filling the void with faster loading themes with less bloat. Amazing… Read more »
james anderson
Guest

On a side note – you have considered a quick review of themes from the themefoundry.com ? I have no connection to them apart from buying the portfolio theme. The code is so clean and bullet proof and loads faster than any wordpress site (check google and pingdom results) I have ever seen.

http://demo.thethemefoundry.com/portfolio-theme/

Cheers!

PS: (no need to post this in this thread – just a quick question)

Chris
Guest

Hey just to be totally clear.

When you buy a regular license theme from themeforest is it correct that you can’t use the same theme on a second site you own. Is this correct? Do you have to buy the same theme again for the second site if you’re really loving that theme?

How is this regulated?

Wil Webs
Guest
I am a customer with ThemeForest/Envato, I even have a small deposit with them. Although I am not happy with their pricing policy either – nor with their latest price increase – I think I will continue purchasing themes through ThemeForest. My biggest problem is the support forum. Some authors have created and are hosting a support forum on their own site. However, the majority of the authors is serving their customers through a non-searchable comments system and e-mail. I am sorry but that just terrible. Basically, this my biggest concern when I am considering buying a new theme. All… Read more »
Japh
Guest
Hi Will, thanks for opening a constructive discussion, and sorry I’m a little late to the table. At Envato, we certainly try to cater to our buyers as well as our authors. It’s true that sometimes we can get a little caught up in our excitement about doing something and our communication may not fully explain the benefits for all groups. We’ll try and do better at that in the future. As you can see from our post mentioned above, considerable analysis and thought went into this pricing increase and re-organising items to reflect their true value to our buyers.… Read more »
Darren
Guest

Sorry, Envato and ThemeForest are borderline fraudulent. Just Google the dozens of horror stories — terrible support, fraudulent sales, refused refunds, etc. You don’t want to do business with a company like this, no matter how pretty their themes are. Stay away…

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