After some year here as author I have some consideration I want to publish.
This company is for me still the best to working for and most of things are working good but not everything, especially in the last years.
Envato not innovate no more by too much time
The Envato market is the best of the world but it can be improved a lot.
- Found the correct item with the features user want require hours and is almost impossible some time, this can be solved almost partially by add more options for the user:
- Admin usability and simplicity (builder or not, composer quality etc…)
- Performance (back-end and front-end)
- Unique feature (booking system for hotels, portfolio engine for business, photo albums, lightbox etc…for photography etc…, fullpage layout)
- Premium included plugins list
- Split from one page, small niche sites and multipurpose
- And the below updates ideas
- Support problems, lot’s of costumers have problems with the support that not help or have very long response time. Also this points can be improved:
- Documentation quality - offline, online, static PDF or Interactive, video docs
- Support quality - average response time, percentage of solved/not solved
- The bot, not a big work, by add a simple API for write the comments a bot can be intergrated and save some work to the support team.
- Envato should highlight not only the design of the themes but also the overall quality of the themes: seo, speed, code quality, customization power, simplicity, flexibility. The design is only a very small part of all but currently, due to Envato, all users look only to the design. This cause the creation of very bad themes, not usable, unstable, but very good on design. And after the purchase the users are not happy (surprise!).
My perception of last years is that Envato seem not to see what the problems are and what can be done for improve the market.
ThemeForest authors should create only the design (WP)
Currently every author must create his documentation, his theme options panel, his components, menu, footer, and the support is a problem. This is absurd, for various reasons:
- On ThemeForest all the themes are almost the same in terms of features, but anyway every author must build everything from zero again and again.
- Due there is not a unified framework the costumers can never become good to create website, everytime they must learn the new composer and theme. (And VC is not a solution due is very very bad)
- Create a powerful theme with great features not bring advantages in terms of sales.
- Lot’s of different tools with the same scope (page builders, mega menu and various plugins) cause only a big confusion and low quality, is always best on big and awesome product. There is the need to create one big framework with all the features shared by all themes ready to use: menu and footer, page builder, theme options panel, documentation.
- There is no sense creating again and again the same things.
- Bugs are many and in every single theme.
- Review times is very slow.
The benefits are very interesting:
- No more bugs, incompatibility and code problems.
- No more support requests due to problems or bug.
- Extremely better quality of the theme under all points: seo, speed, simplicity, customization.
- Better design quality, due authors do only this.
- Increasing of author earnings due they spend very less time to create a theme, they create only design and contents.
- Review time almost nulled and no more infinite soft-rejects.
- Costumers become master of website creation due they learn to use only one tools, not a new one for every theme.
- Costumers star using the documentation due it would be extremely better and always the same.
Other problems of Envato
- There is still a Flash uploader for authors.
- Almost all the Envato sites are not responsive.
- There is still not a public guideline for item requirements, and for most common reviewer requests.
- The support board work good but there is the need for APIs that allow to write messages and use the bots.
- Update the reviewer requests that are completely wrongs.
- Requirement for an offline PDF documentation when there is already a better online documentation with organized contents, advanced search and filter features, video etc. Obviously a PDF is not required.
- Not real-life requirements that any user will never require. Ex. when a theme require a core plugin for make the theme to work(like, Aveda) there is no need to check the theme without the plugin active, every single user of the world will activate it.
- And many more.
The wrong chooses of Envato in last years
ADP without min price
Current Envato improvements seem abandoned and all the energies of Envato seem focused on 2 things: found other business models and improve the Envato earnings, both two good points but are not doing in the correct way. Currently the ADP has caused medium-small damages to the average earnings and has destroied the 1° and 2° page of the Envato sites, the most visible. Currently all the WordPress themes of 1° and 2° are 29$ / 39$. Any theme with the correct price of 59$ not sell no more in first pages.
Is clear to everyone but Envato that the ADP caused more problems than benefits.
The confirmed downgrade of quality
Themes, templates and plugins quality is extremely lower than years ago.
- The main problem of internet is to find the best and the correct content not to have the contents. Internet is full of great contents, the problem is find them.
- A big number of items, that are for 80% garbage, cause only more frustration to costumers.
- If Envato really want maintain this situation he should almost create a dedicated area for high quality items (high quality items have objectively a better level of quality)
The politic of quantity instead of quality
This is never a good idea for obvious reasons:
- The main problem of internet is to find the best and the correct contents not to have the contents. Internet is full of great contents, the problem is find them.
- A big number of items, that are for 80% garbage, cause only more frustration and wasting of time.
- The best company in every business is the one that provide the best products, not the inverse.
The hated Elements
Elements is hated also by author that are into it Earnings are ridicouls.
Currently no one but Envato have advantages of elements, on short-terms period maybe for Envato but also Envato will lost money with Elements if continue in this way.
I asked to an Envato Australian Team Member the reason behind Elements, the reason received is: Lot’s of web agencies asking for a service like Elements, so the goal of Elements is to catch a new group of customer that without Elements would be lost.
I hope this is not the true reason due is completely wrong. A web agency sell the sites to his clients for 1000-2000-3000K, 49$ of a theme is obviously not a problem for a web agency. At same time, from agencies point of view, is normal that lot’s of agencies ask for Elements, it cost 3000% less than ThemeForest! This not mean Envato must create it. Last thing, should be clear, Elements not have nothing of innovative, it is only the shakes of the same old things.
The missed innovations
Start big projects
Create a place where more authors can collaborate together to only one big project. In this way:
- Envato publish a set of big innovative projects.
- A fixed number of authors can join the project.
- When the project is completed the earnings are splitted.
- These project must have a bigger visibility on Envato.
Thanks to the very big authors community and the trust of Envato this is possible. There are still big problems on website creation, solve this problems is possible but require a very big work not possible for single authors. Ex.
- Theme Framework as describer above.
- A page builder that work good.
- A complete, ready to use, social network framework (BuddyPress is very bad).
This is one of the best feature for Envato. Any other company not have this advantage:
TF,CC,GR,PD,VH,AJ,ES are all related together.
Every theme and plugin should have the option to directly integrate Envato studio with the support.
ThemeForest authors should have a way to use the PhotoDune images on their preview demo without pay big amount of money, and theme’s costumers should have a way to buy the images of the live theme preview from Photodune.
CodeCanyon plugins used in a theme should have a dedicated area. And there is the need to incentivate the usage of plugins into the themes.
Any photo marketplaces on the web offer a pack of images of the same type and style. As theme author, I must find every single image separately and some time use ps for make all the images of same style and type (light, colors, subject, eta …)
Is still impossible find a pack of good graphics images like for example: https://www.helpscout.net/blog/
Why Envato doing this?
From what I seen my personal opinion is that there is no more a innovation figure behind Envato but only a sales team with the only goal to improve the Envato earnings.
Increase company’s earnings is the main goal of every business but Envato is making it wrongly for me. I’m sure currently Envato is improving the earnings, but I think only within a short-term period, on long-period I think the chooses of Envato of these years will cause a damage of earnings also for Envato. I’m not a expert but these points are never a good thing:
- Downgrade the quality, the best company in every business is the one that provide the best products, not the inverse.
- A ever bigger frustration of author community.
- A ever bigger frustration of costumers community.
I want also highlight that now there is a wave of new authors as never before, I think this is caused by Envato for improve the earnings: 100 new amatorial authors of level 1 that pay 35%+ of commission and create 1-2 items / year bring to Envato much more money that 10 great Elite authors that pay 12% commission.
These are the big problems of Envato today:
- Big amount of low quality items on all marketplace that saturate the market.
- Difficulty to find what you are looking for and the themes are the same.
- Themes good only on design, bad under everything else.
- Support is a big problem for authors.
- WordPress themes are still to difficult to use, far a away from a good solution.
- Distruction of authors earnings.
- Review times.
- The affiliate system not work.
Anyway I want repeat that Envato for me is still one of the best companies I’m working for and currently there are not other similar companies. I’m a great developer but I don’t know nothing of marketing and without Envato I would never be able to make the web my first and only work and become a web freelancer.