Changes to WordPress and After Effects on Elements

In the next few weeks we are going to be making some big changes to the value proposition for subscribers of Envato Elements. In particular, we are going to be making all items across all item types available to all subscribers (monthly and annual).

How did we get here?

We’ve been experimenting with WordPress items in annual and monthly subscriptions over the last few months, trying to learn how it impacted subscriber behavior. We also surveyed our WordPress authors to get a sense of how their items being available to all subscribers impacted support requests.

The most important result of our experiment was a significant increase in author earnings, directly attributable to the availability of all items to all subscribers in the test group.

The experiment ran for the second half of March through the end of April, and from the first few weeks of the test alone WordPress authors saw their Elements earnings double. We expect the next payout to be even higher.

During the same period, combined Market and Elements earnings for the WordPress items on Elements were also higher overall. Finally, for a majority of authors, support requests either decreased or stayed the same.

What does this mean for authors whose items are only available on Envato Market?

We are increasing investments in marketing and product to increase traffic, sales and ultimately author earnings on Envato Market.

It is also important to clarify that this is not a move away from annual subscriptions. More than ever before, we are very committed to growing the number of annual subscribers on Envato Elements and in the coming weeks, we will be updating the prices on Envato Elements to make annual subscriptions more attractive.

As always, our goal with changes like this is to maximise the earning potential of authors. For authors, we want Envato (Elements, Market and beyond) to be a source of ever-increasing recurring revenue, higher earnings overall, and over time, higher lifetime revenue from customers. We will continue to look for opportunities, like this one, that bring us closer to this goal.

We’ll be around for the next seven days responding in batches to any questions you have. Please remember our community guidelines as you post. Thanks.


And what about After Effects on Elements? Didn’t find anything about it in your text, @jamesgiroux.


Well I see major focus on wordpress. How about After Effects templates?

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Great question. After Effects items haven’t yet launched on Elements. Our data was around WordPress but we believe that After Effects authors would have experienced similar earnings growth if their items were tested.

Wow, this are really bad news, and as we mentioned before, it will cannibalize WP sales from Themeforest… now it’s way cheaper for an author to pay a monthly subscription (almost half of the average WP theme price) and be able to download hundreds of different themes than choosing a unique market item, or even chose the same theme at half the price (if an author has the same item in both market and elements).

@jamesgiroux how are you guys planning to stop cannibalization from market items when, with this changes, people can chose between thousands of themes for half the price of a market theme? It’s a U$D30 difference, and let me tell you, that’s a lot of money in some countries, which makes us believe that people will chose price (a generic elements theme) over quality (a specialized market theme).

We can only hope that this change will urge authors to take down their Wordpress items from elements seeing that now it’s like giving them away for free. We’ve been chatting with a few authors and they are only making cents for each download.


@jamesgiroux So, in the near future I’ll able to pay $29 for one month on Elements and download all 310 themes (available at this moment) and then stop my subscription? Is that correct? Simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ enough. Thanks.


I have voiced my concerns plenty of times about this, and whilst I don’t expect Envato to simply pivot their plans on my words, I know they’re not really listening to our concerns about market cannibalisation. I’m worried about it, and I’m involved in WordPress on Elements, I can’t imagine how the authors feel who haven’t been accepted to Elements.

Simple math says $29 < $59 and let me assure you, we have A LOT of customers here who are looking for the lowest possible price – case and point “I bought this HTML template because I thought it was a WordPress theme” or just look through the hordes of customers on these forums “I bought Elements for a month but it doesn’t include WordPress themes?! Refund now!”

As soon as users en masse realise that instead of buying one theme for $59 they can buy 450 for $29, regular theme sales are dead, yes Elements doesn’t include support, no, most users don’t care about that.

Envato have made this move only for themselves, remember Envato makes a minimum $13 per WordPress theme sale, and for a month on Elements from a user Envato makes $14.50 – so for just one month Envato are up on money, 2 months and they’re laughing, extrapolate forward as you will.

Compare this to author earnings: I can’t tell you how much I earn per theme download on Elements because Envato do not make download numbers or statistics available (read into that as you will) however I can tell you that in January 2018 one of my themes earned me, and get ready for this:


Yep, 18 cents. So that means that potentially, someone wanted my theme, decided to get Envato Elements instead, and for that I earned 18 cents instead of around $40

Now I realise that Monthly subscribers weren’t able to download WP themes in January, but some were in March 2018 and in that month my lowest theme earned me $7.55 whereas normally a purchase of that same theme earns me $30.80

If we assume that only 1 user downloaded that theme to earn me the $7.55, then I’m down around $23.25 – that obviously gets much worse if it took multiple users downloading the theme to earn me the $7.55

But why am I so clearly bothered if "my earnings had a significant increase"

Well the truth is there wasn’t a significant increase, overall my Elements earnings doubled from Feb 2018 to March 2018, but it’s worth noting that even doubling, my Elements earnings are roughly 10% of my marketplace earnings up from around 5%.

My major worry is that for me to go from 5% to 10% on Elements, is going to lose me 50% or more sales from Themeforest in the long run – but remember Envato will still earn roughly the same or more money during this same period.

This is not a move to benefit authors, this is a move to benefit Envato only, for every sale we lose from the marketplaces to Elements, Envato earn exactly the same amount of money, if not more. Envato are actively making moves toward increasing their own income by literally cannibalising the market that has allowed them to get to this place.

Never forget this: if just 10 of your buyers choose to go to Elements each month instead of buying your theme direct, you’ll be down roughly $300 – Envato however will earn exactly the same amount of money, if not more, and guess what. 10 of your buyers will definitely go to elements each month because it now costs half as much for 450 WordPress themes as it does for just 1 direct.

Anyone at Envato who likes a beer, would you like 1 beer served to you by a bartender for $8, or 450 beers in a bottle for $4 (but you have to drink them in a month) tell me now a single one of you who would choose the former?

Childish simile aside, it’s just such blatant cannibalisation and outright aggression toward authors, I cannot believe I don’t see more people upset about this, or perhaps Envato has just alienated most users to the point that they literally cannot be bothered to protest any more.

Will Envato assure us that when sales start to drop on the marketplaces (they already are) they will do something about it, or should we just expect that we’re all about to earn a lot less?


I understand that it’s finally decided to include WordPress in a monthly subscription to Elements. Then it would be fair and safe for authors if the themes could not be downloaded, and could only be used as Hosted WordPress. Those. the buyer will be able to use the themes only while paying for it.


WordPress also on monthly is surely great for Envato, but I’m worried about marketplace sales.
After all now customers can download everything for a price that is lower than a single plugin!!

I will evaluate sales behavior and decide whether to keep my products on Elements or not. When I agreed to Elements, one of the essential clauses where the high price, targeting agencies.


Are u sure you monitored the authors earnings correctly? I see a huge drop in sales on my Graphicriver earnings and no/ negligible growth on my Elements Earnings. I can imagine their is an increase in sales in the first months of elements. But after that their is no need to buy new items because they already downloaded all items on elements. This is what I see on my earnings report.


Dear @jamesgiroux your decision is shocking, although it is not surprising.

I will refer to the post from @tommusrhodus (regarding the earnings of the authors).

Why a simple thing like “how many people have downloaded your item” in earnings reports has not been implemented yet on Envato Elements?

Or it’s just a good idea not to display them to authors if it turned out that my monthly earnings ($28.69 for a WordPress Theme) translates to 500 downloads in a month.

You ran an experiment that lasts 1.5 months, an experiment that was known to a handful of buyers only or only those who were very interested, and on this basis, you made a decision that in the long run hits the authors on Envato Marketplaces?

It is obvious that the earnings of the authors on Envato Elements have been doubled during the experiment If suddenly thousands of people could download their Themes for $29…


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Saying “significant increase in author earnings”, “Elements earnings double” sounds great, but without any real numbers and stats these statements seem to hide what the actual situation is. Maybe doubling from 10USD to 20USD per month is great for people for a bit of extra revenue, it is not great for authors with teams.

How was the test done? Did you test this with both small and large authors? Did you check if it affected sales of authors that were not in the test group (eg. authors who have same niche / similar products) on Themeforest?

Also having the test for only a month and a half does not seem like a real test. Maybe that month was better for sales overall (sales fluctuate all year long). Maybe having more than 1 test group, more time and other parameters would produce a different result.

Are there any limitations regarding the number of downloads of WordPress themes per month? In your test, how many themes were downloaded on average? Did you see bulk downloads of items?

A lot of authors were already skeptical when WordPress theme were added on the annual plan. And now? I cannot see any author being happy about the announcement.


Bad news again:(


One after another…Seems the CodeCanyon/Themforest markets will be gone soon. I do not see a bright future for Elements either. I do not see who takes all those decisions but definitely he have never talked with any author (the heart of this eco-system).
We had in our plan to release new items on the market but is clearly that will be just a waste of time so we’ll look for alternative way.


Definitely not. Envato Elements and Envato Market do not have the same content. Envato Market still has some great items you cannot find on Elements.

I was going to not post anything, but I think I can write my personal point of view, as I am also a buyer on Envato Market.

Elements seems to be dedicated more to agencies/freelancers who build websites for customers. They have technical knowledge and maybe they look for low price.

But let’s not forget there are many, many buyers (just look daily at all those support requests around our forums) who need technical help&support. They will continue to buy from Envato Market, as they need support and/or customizations.

Given the nature of WordPress you can never be sure that the website you build based on certain plugins with a theme will always work. So, the support is an important part.

Subscriptions are very subjective. For instance, I always prefer to buy something when I need it ( a book, a dress, a movie, a furniture, a theme, a plugin, etc) instead of paying a monthly subscription to get all those bulk, for a lower price.

But at the same time, I’m sure that there are for instance, publishers who prefer instead to have monthly subscriptions with everything included…

I’d say it’s enough room in the wild web for both :slight_smile:


I’m usually agree with your thoughts and even now (partially). Still, are so many things to be said on the opposite direction but will be better to keep the topic clean.

Just one mention, many changes over the last 2 years have affected the market in a bad way. This is the true feeling from inside, as a very active author on CodeCanyon, and for sure many other big authors will share the same thoughts. If Envato will continue on this way (hopefully not) there will be no way than leaving the market :no_mouth:


Coming from someone who already has WordPress themes on Elements – Users have no problem trying to contact me on item comments, email, twitter and facebook to get support for Elements purchases, rather than just purchasing the item correctly.

It’s worth noting that whilst the OP mentioned that support requests “Stayed the same of decreased” I can confirm that mine did not, we saw around a threefold increase of users contacting us for support for “Elements purchases”

Lastly, as someone who sells HTML templates, and the WordPress versions of the same item, I can tell you there’s a huge subset of buyers who are looking only at the cheapest price, not the product they receive. Also as an author who sells a few items without support (end of life items) most buyers of those simply still assume support is included.

These are just the facts as I see them, this announcement won’t kill the marketplaces today, tomorrow, or this year, but for WordPress themes at least, the overall longevity of Themeforest just went down, like our earnings.


Same ol’ bs: authors sales increasing bla bla bla. I’ve launched 3 new themes in the last 6-7 months and my earnings are still on a down slope. Since spring 2017 sales are lower every month. Furthermore, you cannot predict anything. Today I’m making $200 the next 2 days $30 then 1 day $0.

Next month news: After further testing we have decided that support will be now mandatory for Envato Elements WP themes because authors are making 0.36 double.

Thank you Ob… Envato.


So true!!! There is no channel or path from our side untouched by people asking for support instead of buying the item or even the support period.
This is the main reason for why we’ll never release one of our current items on Elements too.