Improve quality of Support for CodeCanyon Product Creators

Hello Everyone,

If you are a newbie like me as regards uploading a new product and experiencing rejections upon rejections, then I believe this thread should be of benefit to you.

I would want to believe that there could be better and improved ways of guiding developers into uploading new products without been hard rejected after most of their hard work and immense investment into getting the product ready for their target audience. It is quite frustrating to notice that after these investments into these products, you get a message that outrightly rejects your work without any proper guidance or tips into the reason for the rejection.

I would like to get the candid opinions of both professionals in here and customers alike as regards getting this thread to reach to the envato administration on this issue so as to properly appease and encourage product creators even if their products do not meet the standards and requirements of their policies.

Considering the above issue, I would advice that;

1. Despite the fact that there are notable detailed explaination of the standard required for any product to be uploaded by a creator on this platform, I believe it should be broken down to simple understandable tips that can be understood by most creators for the fact that these creators might not be aware of certain business etiquettes hence, completely misunderstanding the requirements even after investing so much efforts in creating the product.

2. Even after rejecting a creators product, at least they should be given comprehensive reason(s) for the action taken not just to appease the creator after so much effort invested, but to also encourage them to improve on the product and its value or impact towards the envato community and the world as a whole.

3. More should be done on the support system, I believe there are better ways of supporting creative minds than the current procedure embraced. I even believe there are some of the creators here who would voluntarily give their time to support just like many are already doing to make these environment alot flexible and accomodating. These support team should not be guessing or assumming certain answers to issues, but discretely proferring solutions that satisfy the envato community as a whole.

I believe many of us would want to see these effected to encourage even the basest of product creators out there to do more. I would please employ your opinions and suggestions about these thoughts, and most importantly, let’s get this to the envato team, most especially CodeCanyon in particular.

Thank you

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While I am all for new authors succeeding, for people trying to innovate the marketplace, and have outlined my views on this topic several times recently, I do think it is important to challenge the context to any ideas to prevent further confusion and frustration.

In the case of your suggestions:

  1. There cannot be definitive / tick box guidelines in a market where there is a degree of unavoidable subjectivity, and where it is impossible for envato to set an indisputable standard. For example in terms of design, basic principles like typography or spacing etc. are a fundamental. That can be a standard but it remains the responsibility of the author to correctly interpret and apply that.

  2. Cannot and should not ever happen for (many but mostly) 2 reasons.

  • Envato get thousands if not tens of thousands of submissions a month most of which are rejected. Lets say they spend 5 mins feeding back to just 1,000 of those (this would not be even close to how long ‘comprehensive feedback’ would take nor the volume which they would face) that is over 2 working weeks of a full time employee. Review times would amount to weeks, or envato would need to hire many many more reviewers which would drive costs/commission up.

  • The elephant in the room topic - the issue is more often the author not envato. If you look at most of the recent rejections (not all) in these forums alone, you can see how far off the standards of basic best practice they are. There is no way that these authors are going to understand or be able to action the reviewer telling them that they need to improve hierarchy, or develop more dynamic functionality etc. as examples. This will lead to an increase in failed resubmissions, delays, and more frustration for both authors and envato.

  1. I am not entirely sure what this relates to, unless you mean more people supporting creators and new authors? On that I would point out that we amongst several other experienced users frequently volunteer our time and suggestions, and in the majority of cases it is either ignored or not understood - simply reinforcing the challenges that are faced.

I’d add to all this the misconception that elites just get approved and newbies never do. This is simply not true. The reason it looks like this is because Elites have invested the time to fine tune their skills and products which is what gets things approved, not their status.

Again I welcome suggestions as to how this type of suggestion could realistically happen and how envato overcome the issues raised above?

The category you submitted to is drastically different from the rest. Nearly all of the categories across all of the marketplaces here, including most categories on CodeCanyon, are design-centric.

Your category (PHP scripts) is one of only a handful where function is valued over form. I do agree that the review process could be improved for those few categories, but only subtle changes are needed, in my opinion.

For other categories, a hard rejection indicates a problem with design. The design may not be unique enough, or there may be fundamental flaws with typography, colors, spacing, etc. You get the idea. But that’s not applicable to your category. You’re not held to that standard.

For your category, they want functions. Most new authors who get rejected look at the author guidelines and think, “but I followed the checklist, why was I rejected?” Envato isn’t clear enough that for these categories, they literally hand-pick submissions that they like and reject the rest. Those checklists are just the beginning.

It’s not possible to provide a true “checklist to approval” because there are too many subjective variables that can make or break your submission. For example, the reviewer might ponder:

  • What does your item do?
  • How useful is it, and to how many people?
  • Are there existing items that do the same thing?
  • Any free open-source alternatives that do this just as well, if not better?
  • Will the buyer community here be interested in it?
  • Does the item have a strong sales potential?
  • Have similar items been submitted before? How did their sales perform?
  • Is this kind of item likely to be maintained for a long time?

Your rejection email mentioned that your item didn’t meet the “quality standard.” This is a general term that is used across all of the marketplaces. The term was coined for those design-centric categories. It has an unintuitive meaning for yours.

If your item is overall just super bad, super sloppy, and clearly put together in a few days, then perhaps you can take that term literally. But otherwise, the kinds of questions listed above make up the “quality standard” for you. It’s super arbitrary and subjective.

So why did the reviewer use the term “quality standard” if it means something different for you? Well, they actually didn’t. It was a canned response.

So why can’t the reviewer simply type out a response manually to kindly let you know that your item isn’t suitable for this marketplace? Well, there are far too many submissions for this to be feasible at scale.

And that’s why for me, the larger issue is the rejection email and canned responses, which were written only with design-based categories in mind:

  • They give developers a false impression that their item still has a chance of approval in the future. It typically does not.

  • They give developers an impression that their work wasn’t good enough. After all, if an item doesn’t meet their “quality standard”, they must think it’s low quality. But that’s not always the case for your category.

This isn’t a problem with the reviewers. They’re making proper use of the tools that were provided to them. It’s more a problem with Envato’s leadership not being interested in fine-tuning the process for the minority. Sorry for your poor experience.

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@charlie4282 Thank you so much for this detailed response and insight.

I totally understand your points raised on point 1. , it is valid however, I would also suggest that the other categories are design based compared to the code based products and should be validated by other yardstick instead of the standards used on design based categories.

I concur with the fact that Elite users where once newbies and had gained through various experiences the rudiments behind getting their products approved, I never suggested otherwise on my post either, but what I really am looking forward to achieving is creating a SOLUTION for encouraging newbies to anchor on so as to roll-out top notch products. I believe this is a good cause irrespective of the situation of getting rejected as a newbie.

I know i will grow by experience and get some products approved eventually however, my aim is making the process easier for the next newbie to come in :smile:

@baileyherbert summarised the difference between code based projects far better than I ever could and the wider issues that impact this.

Again I am not in any way against new authors coming through - for me it is the second half of our second point which is the biggest part.

I agree that the review process could definitely be improved but too often the blame is planted entirely on envato. It’s the same with warez sites, purchase reversals, etc. more often than not people are blaming envato for not stopping something which they have zero control over or which they are not entirely responsible for.

With reviews, often the delays in review times, lack of clarity, or high rejections is a result of or at least heavily influenced by authors rushing to make sales, under estimating the investment and technical skills required, or simply having unrealistic expectation. Finding ways for authors to do their part as much as envato is also important and would free up significant time for reviewers to feedback in more detail.

Of course every example will be different, but I am certain if there was a tangible way for envato to simplify the process of growing the volume of (quality) items then they would implement it, hence the importance of realistic solutions.

@baileyherbert Again… very valid points as regards the reviewers job, and thanks for giving proper insight to the process of reviewers as regards this category, I was also thinking towards the same line after reading @charlie4282 comments.

Since you believe the problem is from Envato’s leadship ethics on this subject matter, how do we profer a solution that can cement proper relationship between the authors of products and the reviewers by getting the attention of Envato’s leadership as regards the ethics and process they have chosen to use in resolving this issue?

I would say it’s less an ethics issue and more that they simply don’t have the spare resources to invest in something so miniscule. They’re a fairly small team, and they’re busy with too many other things.

The review process that’s in place right now has mostly been there for over a decade and they are certainly aware of its flaws. They have a massive backlog and it’s most likely filled with plenty of improvements for this process.

I’ve repeatedly seen them take months to address high priority issues on their backlog, so I’m not holding my breath for any significant changes in the near future, you know? :sweat_smile:

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@baileyherbert Wow! I really wish i could help in some way, I mean… This hub has been my go to page for more than 10 years now, and I love the collective effort of seeing creative individuals succeed.

I really wish there was a way to ready address this issue.