The documentation is a little lacking - next steps

I got the following email from CodeCanyon:

The documentation is a little lacking.

Most importantly, remember that buyers may not be technically inclined. They may just be looking for an item to drop into their existing code base. Also keep in mind that a typical user won’t really know about all the features your system brings to the table. With them in mind, you should also look into providing a quick start guide of some sort. It need not be long: a short one will do.

You can use a premade template or the Documenter tool for your documentation, both linked below:

We look forward to reviewing your submission once you’ve made the changes!

Envato Market Team

I already included all the necessary instructions in a very verbose pdf document that I packed into the main zip file. The message doesn’t indicate what exactly is wrong with my documentation. My questions are:

  1. How can I determine what exactly is wrong with my documentation?
  2. When I figure out point 1, can I easily upload just the main zip file without filling out the whole form once again?
  3. Is there a way of contacting the reviewers and explaining the situation?

Thank you for your help.


  1. Check some online documentations from top selling items from ThemeForest and make your documentation as presented there :slight_smile: ;

  2. When you get a soft rejection, your item will be under Hidden Items tab from your account. There you need to edit it and upload the new files + message to reviewer; No need to fill the form form again because all fields are saved from your first submission.

  3. No. You can’t contact reviewers personally; You need to explain all you want in reviewer’s message when resubmit the item.


Thank you for your reply. It is very helpful. I still have some doubts though.

As to point 1, by documentation you mean the description that is visible to people browsing the store or the file that they get when they make a purchase, with detailed usage instructions? I thought it was the latter. I can’t get other publishers’ documentations, can I? I can just see their items’ descriptions. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Anyway, my HTML description IMO was quite nice too. Perhaps it didn’t cover all the details, but it showed pretty pictures of all the features and it gave an overview of what the app is and how you could use it…

I wish the reviewers were giving you more useful feedback than just a generic copy-paste message that a lot of people get (see other threads on this forum).

No, documentation doesn’t mean the item description. Many authors have the documentation of their themes online on their websites.

But, shortly you need to add all blocks and explain them in the documentation, if this is a html template. Add some F.A.Q section on your documentation is also good.

I think this is more than enough from the reviewer. Because think about not getting any feedback(hard rejection).

Btw, I also got this point “Documentation is a little lacking” on one of my approved themes. So I described all my theme’s features and then the item has been approved.


So, to make sure that I understand it well, the documentation is the file that people who purchase get with the main zip file and not the HTML description that is shown to people who browse the store.

What I want to publish is an Android app. My documentation file is 8 pages long and, as I said, it’s quite detailed, especially that the app itself is not too complicated and an average Android developer could probably adapt it to their needs without any instructions or with just a few hints. I know that some people may not be programmers, and I used as simple terms as I could, but still I didn’t explain some things that I found obvious or easy, like where to get Android Studio or how to launch it (you can just use Google for it). Otherwise I’d have to make the documentation unnecessarily long and it would be a pain to read for most people.

I don’t agree with you that what I got from the reviewer is enough. To me hard rejection means that the app that you’re trying to publish violates some rules like using copyrighted content or showing nudity. When they tell you that your docs are a little lacking, they should at least give you an example of what subjects you should cover in more detail and which documentation file/URL they mean specifically.

Going back to your theme that was first soft rejected and then approved. How did you know that the missing piece was the theme’s features and not information on how to customize it, install it or troubleshoot problems? Were you not affraid that your app would get rejected once again? How many times did you attempt to publish your theme before they finally accepted it? How long is your documentation? How did you handle users who are not programmers?

Thanks again for your answers. You’re helping me a lot.

Exactly, the documentation comes in the downloaded package, a customer gets when purchasing your item.

  • If you believe the documentation is good and enough you can resubmit the item and explain this to the reviewer.

Here you can take a look at Common Rejection Reasons for Envato Market and see the entire list of rejection reasons. Violating copyright rules is only one reason, but you also get hard rejected for bad design, bad coding and many other reasons.

Regarding our theme, after checking the documentation we knew that there were some parts not explained very well so we added extra informations. Then we resubmitted the item. Result: success!

All the best :slight_smile:

Yuppie! They accepted my submission! Here it is:

What I changed in my documentation was:

  • I added a quick start guide condensing all the steps that I already had there, but in a shorter form
  • I added some screenshots from Android Studio, Facebook Audience Network dashboard and the app itself

I didn’t have to use the Envato template. I did everything in Google Docs and then downloaded the document as pdf.

I hope this will help other guys struggling with the same problem. Good luck to you all.

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