Because of Envato, developers can't work together, even if they want to - why?


I am a plugin developer. My plugins are not available through Envato (but through my website directly, which works well for me) but I have already bought themes and plugins here.

Now, I am trying to make my plugins as best as I can, and often it means working with other developers, their plugins and their themes especially. That’s no problem and usually a pleasure except in the case they have a contract with Envato. It seems like authors here are not able to share their products with other developers (or with anybody with a free license), which makes it impossible to test. Result? The products don’t have a very good compatibility with other plugins. Every time an user told me he needs help and that the theme he bought came from Envato, I know I will not be able do to anything.

I am also thinking of adding a note mentioning that I can’t provide support if the WordPress of my client includes any product sold from Envato. That would be a solution. A better one would be that Envato would let its developers/users the right to share the products they made with other developers they want to work with easily and for free. That would benefit everyone. Or at least provide a coupon system so that your developers can create a free coupon for someone to get their product.


That is a lie, who ever told you. They can share, but not provide a license.

So it’s a lie or it’s too problematic for them to do? For example, the two latest I got:

I’m afraid I’m not allowed to send themes out to anyone outside of Envato though, company name (and the themes) are under an exclusive contract with Envato which forbids distributing the theme in any shape or form (paid or free). The only way to get the theme (legally) is via Themeforest.


We understand your concern, but I am afraid, we are in exclusive agreement with envato which does not allow us to offer a free license even for testing or review purpose.

Is there a way Envato could make this easy, maybe a real official explanation somewhere about how to handle this kind of issues to help our users and simply for a better WP environment for everyone? For me it’s time consuming to go on Envato, look for the theme developer and write an email just to get reply like this. Sometimes they agree to send me a ZIP, that I can install, test quickly. But my plugins require testing when there are updates as well, and developers can’t send me a ZIP every time they do a new release, it’s too much work for everyone. Real collaboration is not possible here.