Why Item Review Process should take up to 8 weeks

Hi Envato!

My name is Igor and I am owner of StylemixThemes. We are in Top-20 authors on Themeforest. Month ago I have uploaded for review a brand new education theme – Smarty School – and I still have not received your feedback. I contacted twice the Envato support and they said the review now can take up to 2 months. Before it was no longer than 2 weeks – that was ok.

I think this is absolutely unfair to authors, who build their business around Themeforest & other Envato marketplaces. For us it’s vital important to get the fastest response on the item reviews. We currently have 10 people in team, working on WordPress themes, updating, supporting, etc.

We don’t create multi-purpose WordPress themes – we only create micro-niche themes and we really enjoy creating micro-niche themes. The only bad side of micro-niche is the life time of the theme. If we don’t publish new theme, we reduce in sales. If we earn less, we can’t pay our team, can’t pay office rent on time, which is not good.

What I would like to suggest – it’s to provide privileges to Elite Authors in item review process and reduce the review time up to 1 week. I think the biggest amount of revenue generate only Elite & Power Elite Authors on Themeforest. I think it’s the same as in App Store, where only 5% of authors generate 90% of sales.

New authors on Themeforest should go through the normal process of review, because new authors don’t know all the requirements on code quality, design, etc. When we started on Themeforest in 2011 we also didn’t know much about the quality of themes, quality of design for Themeforest, many other small things.

If Envato will not solve the issue with the item review timing, it will get the following issues:

  • Authors will upload very raw themes just to get soft-rejection. Because authors know that they have 4-8 weeks more to complete the theme and after soft-rejection, immediately upload the update.
  • For Reviewers – it will mean more work & time to provide the feedback on raw themes. So the review timing will grow up like it does now.
  • Elite & Power Elite Authors may look for other marketplaces to stabilize their business and income flow. They may co-operate or go their way to sell the WordPress themes directly like Themezilla (Orman Clark) does.
  • Item support will become worse. Most new authors need time to build the right item support system – customer will be unhappy with Themeforest, and will probably lean to other marketplaces looking for better quality and response in support.
  • Quality of new themes may become amateurish. Most of new themes created by new authors are not compatible with popular and necessary WordPress plugins like Slider Revolution, Gravity Forms, WPML. Even Visual Composer modules are not styled and designed the right way – the authors style only that modules which they use in demo.

I might be wrong, but this is what I think. The only solution I see here is to work closely with Elite Authors and Power Elite Authors – providing more attention and dedication.

I hope Envato or Themeforest management will read my note about the current situation with Item Review process.

Thanks for reading,

Igor Ligay


Igor, I guess you should check out forums on daily basis to get a glimpse of what is happening. This will help State of the Union: ThemeForest review queues.

Author frustrations over here [ThemeForest] Envato Review Times

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Yes, I have read what Matthew Cox posted. What I suggest is to provide more dedication to Elite and Power Elite authors. Why do I suggest - I have explained in the post.

Countless suggestions have been provided in the past regarding this matter, change for good is yet to be seen. Hope, suggestions are taken care of.

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I think you make some good points and when bigger authors have people to pay it creates a massive problem. People have no choice but to look for other opportunities. I think it’s a little unfair though to say elite authors. I’m not an elite author but I’m also not a newbie and my reviews from my customers are very good. There needs to be a distinction in the review system for established authors and new authors. New authors don’t have employees, offices and haven’t setup their business and primary income around Themeforest - at least I presume they don’t as that would be a massive risk.

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Yes, that’s right! I mentioned that most of new authors, but not all new authors. I know several good authors, who is still not Elite. Your items looks fantastic - I think probably the Elite Author rank should start from $50000 sales.

Express reviews were already introduced for the $2.000.000 milestone http://elite.envato.com/ .

That’s like 1-2 express review item in 500,000 reviewed every month? Many, if not all, of these authors have a popular multi-demo item parked in popular items list and not submitting any new items anymore. Few others have moved out or no longer active.

That is in fact my exact reaction when Matt announced the new Elite program updates. The reason behind this, which is in fact totally valid, is that after 1-2M we’re not just freelancers, we’re straight businesses with teams behind. It’s true that many authors (myself included) have only 1 item as our main focus. But there are in fact many authors that release a lot of items and not focusing on just 1. It’s a tie, but it’s only a phase of the Elite program and it will get more updates.

Thanks. I think the old badges were better with the colors the numbers now mean little untill you get elite.

Agree with you!

I also agree with @StylemixThemes those people who are Elite author or power Elite they must need to pass other than normal review system. At least reduce the review time 50% or 75% less than other normal review time.
This is going to worse nowadays. It is going to much difficult for us to maintain team costing and other expenditure.

Theme sale is down. New theme release takes 2-3 month , at that time design become old.

Hope Envato will take review time as a serious issue , we have to think about another alternative income source.

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Theme sales are down, because we rely on the new theme, which should boost the sales. One month passed and no answer still - http://puu.sh/oUZhS/35fb84117f.png

AppStore has several times bigger load of items, but they review now the apps within 2 days.

AppStore does have over $6bn in annual gross profits though. I’m not sure what it is for Envato, but they’d have to sell about 15,000 themes an hour to get that. I’m guessing they’re not quite there yet. Don’t get me wrong, I hate long review times as much as they next guy or gal, but just because one company can easily do something in a short period of time, doesn’t mean another one can.

It’s $6B in AppStore revenue not profits and is a little drop in total $233B in revenue last year. Envato’s major revenue rests entirely in running this marketplace while Apple currently does not really need the money earned through the App Store.

Of course, we can argue that since they are making lots of money elsewhere, they can afford the costs of speeding the review process but at least they care.

Envato’s problem does not seem to be one of lack of money in making this happen but one of lack of planning and perhaps lack of will.

$233B in revenue, $6B in gross profits.

Hold on, the $633 is revenue for everything, including phones and Macs and all that jazz. But still, the $6B is gross profit from the AppStore, from a revenue of about $20B.

The idea is that Apple had the same problem with item reviews on App Store. They had the longest review until 1 month. And after that they introduced a new review system where authors get response within 24-48 hours.

This is where Envato should learn and create own system for speeding up the review process. Hiring new reviewers is not a solution for Envato. The best idea is automatisation of review process.


Hi all,

Can Envato think of my below suggestions:

  1. Automation Review:
    I wonder if do you guys (or Envato) have any automation procedure on theme review? if no, why? if yes, how many percentage and what prevent you from slow review?
    We are trying to do some automation test & check in our internal procedure and it really helps to decrease 50% effort compared to manual test.
    But we still get long time for review. We did invest quite many bucks to do this but it just save us to NOT have many softrejection if any, we still have to wait for a long time for the first review.
    My manual test greatly comes from the fine-art review of the theme where the eyes of a designers speak subjectively.

  2. Partners Support:
    Like Avada they have 2 partners to work with theme to share the wordload and many matters.
    Does Envato have these partners to help in these hectic days?
    (maybe themereview co with Emil & Justin? (I see Emil joined the Envato team but I doubt that Justin or someone else in their team can help for these days? Please outsource to some one who you know thay can do, you’re the lord on the WP market, everyone can give you a hand or even both hands if you ask… )

I know we are not so prestigious to speak or contribute to review process as some well known authors here (for I haven’t been Elite now) but this is the way some software companies have been doing for years.

I share the same feeling with @StylemixThemes, most of our themes (and future themes as planned until the end of Y2016) are niche themes so we can provide the best as we research on the industry. New items are the best way to boost the sales of all items.
So you guys think we should change the direction and do some one-hit state of the art theme with multipurpose-megaconcept-massidea-alluse theme to make a living…
We thought we should be Elite and scaleup the team quite soon but long review time is really killing our plan (even kill backup of backup plan :slight_smile:) .
I have been building our company of 10+ people around Envato Market and it’s night mare to wait like this.

I know quite many authors here, 5+ said they have 10+ queuing items (psd,html,wp…) and I think it should be more than that so I won’t expect it will come back to the old happy days when we only have to wait 5-8 days for the 1st review soon…“sigh”