Most Wanted [....] Over $350K in total prizes and earnings so far.This is just a fancy number without any real value. When you submit a theme for an event you get maximum $250 to 500.. You know how much it takes to create a theme? At least one month considering that you’re a great designer and already have a quality framework.. The prizes of the most wanted events are really really low considering what you have to do for a theme – so saying that you offered over $350K in prizes means nothing..
We very much realize and appreciate the effort it takes to create a great theme, which is why we typically open up our Most Wanted events on ThemeForest for 8-12 weeks. Our Microniche Theme Most Wanted for example ran for over 2 months, with a grand prize of $3,000 cash.
But really, the prizes we give away here are meant to be the icing on the cake. The real value and true winners are those authors that recognize the underlying buyer demand we’re trying to fill and create a great new item that meets the needs of the market. What the numbers we put forward in the article mean for Microniche themes, if you do a little extra math, is that the top submissions for that event alone have already gone on to earn over $35,000+ on average in sales in just a few months, which I think we can all agree is the best kind of reward really, and certainly seems worth the effort for a single theme.
Safe to say there is plenty of opportunity and success in creating niche themes that do one thing really well. Also if you want to read a bit more about why we run events like these and how to get involved, check out this article.
You also failed to address what really kicked all this off, the ”$1000 worth of value in a $43 theme” lines that some authors are using.
Using copy like this to market your item is perfectly acceptable and in line with our item promotion guidelines. While we do not allow misleading claims or false advertising, you can certainly communicate the value of your item (including features/functionality that are considered part of the item) to buyers in whatever creative and effective ways work best for your marketing and brand strategy. This is very common promotional practice for “added value” features that a product provides, especially those that buyers might otherwise have to pay for separately / incur an additional cost.
For instance, here on ThemeForest you could just as well say “$1,000’s worth of development time in a $43 theme”, or “includes $100 worth of custom designed icons”, as it may apply. An AudioJungle author could similarly say “save $1,000’s worth of live studio time”, or “$10,000s of samples and instruments used”, or “get a $16 Million+ violin sound” in an $18 track. Or a VideoHive author could advertise “$1,000s of top of the line camera and lighting equipment used”, or “$100s of custom footage included” in their videos or project files.
Again our aim is not to either encourage or restrict this practice, but leave it to you as the author to decide what works best for your item and highlighting its value to potential customers.
And regarding plugins. You say themes are only allowed to bundle premium plugins if they show a purpose for them. Explain how including 6 different sliders that all do the same thing have any meaningful purpose for the end user?
When it comes to things like multiple sliders, it’s okay as different sliders may be more meaningful to different buyers, and providing several options could potentially help to serve a wider audience. For example if many of your buyers keep requesting a specific feature that one slider provides that another does not, or perhaps a specific alternate slider altogether (be it custom, free, or premium), and you decide to add it to your item (assuming doing so complies with its terms/license), that is acceptable. We do not aim to either encourage or restrict this, but leave it to the author to decide what is best for their item and users.
The primary intent of our current policy here is to prevent authors from attempting to include plugins simply for the sake of it or purely to exploit the plugins’ value. Remember that any/all included plugins will be assessed and should serve a clear and useful purpose with respect to the overall item, and that best coding practice also of course still applies, so for example the theme should not indiscriminately load plugin assets that aren’t being used.
We hear your concern about pricing, and understand it is also a very sensitive topic. To be clear, we’re not saying prices will never change – as mentioned in the article pricing is constantly under evaluation and the potential of future adjustments is always on the table. However as we’ve also said, pricing policy considers many, many factors, and simply raising it in an attempt to shift internal competition as suggested is not a viable reason on it’s own.
ThemeForest is not in its own bubble, and simply raising prices here is not a magic bullet solution. There’s no guarantee that a price rise solely on multi-purpose themes will result in the outcome you’re looking for, or improve individual theme sales for you personally. There are innumerable direct and indirect consequences that could occur as a result, including those that could negatively impact the wider community’s earning potential. Again, while it’s not set in stone, pricing changes must be carefully considered from a holistic perspective and put in place for the right reasons.
So, while we do take things like item functionality and features into consideration (e.g. current pricing for WordPress ranges from $38 for a more general blogging site theme, all the way to $63 for a theme with more unique and advanced functionality), ultimately our pricing strategy looks at everything from the value of the author’s work, to the relative value to buyers, internal market forces, external market factors and competition, elasticity of the marketplace, historical trends and outcomes, long term growth, and more. While we do set pricing internally, it is certainly not an arbitrary decision in any way.
With all of that in mind, we are not prepared to make any price changes here at this point in time. We recognize that not all of you may agree, but we hope you understand the basis behind the current decision.
Aside from pricing, there are a few more specific questions that have been raised in the thread, that I’ll reply to shortly. Thanks!
Thanks everyone for your patience (and the entertaining GIFs)! Apologies for the additional delay while we combed through the final details, but as promised we’ve got a thorough response for you all on the issues at hand.
I’ve opened a new thread on it here, so I’m going to lock this one down to start the conversation fresh.
As many of you will probably know there’s been a few active threads lately around the marketing and promotion of multi-purpose themes and the use of multiple demos on ThemeForest.
After thorough evaluation and internal review, we’ve written up an in-depth article to clarify our current stance on these topics and issues. Check out the blog post here.
Thanks again for your ongoing patience during the past few weeks and over the holiday. Hopefully this addresses most of your concerns, as well as outlines some next steps for moving the issue forward in a positive way.
As some of you may have noticed, we just added a new “Top New Files” menu link as well as a “Browse Top New Items” button on the homepage underneath the search bar.
Powered by our faceted search system, it’s a new way to showcase of the best-selling items published within the last month, highlighting quality content in a way that nicely balances both freshness and popularity.
Read more about it on the Market Blog, and enjoy!
We’ve done some more looking into the custom CMS question. Here’s an update with some additional clarification:Site Templates with custom CMS functionality will not be permitted in the HTML Site Templates category, and we will be creating a new ThemeForest > CMS Themes > Custom subcategory where these should be submitted. In the meantime, you can submit these items to the ThemeForest > CMS Themes > Miscellaneous category.
- A static HTML version of these custom CMS themes may still be submitted as a standalone item to HTML site templates, just as authors can create an HTML version of a WordPress item (or vice versa). You may of course cross-link between the two items.
- General, open-ended CMS utilities and frameworks should be submitted to CodeCanyon.
Again, we’ll be reaching out to a few authors we’ve identified with items that may need to be recategorized in this way. If you have items of your own or notice any others that may need to be moved in this way, please contact me privately via my profile or let us know through support and we can help expedite this process as quickly and smoothly as possible.
@Grozav when your item comes through the queue, the reviewer will be able to move it to the appropriate category if needed.
Hey everyone, no need to bump Rest assured Growth and Quality teams are working together to assess this topic very thoroughly.
Coming to the end of this week now, I wanted to give you all an update on what we’re doing and where we’re at so far. This is a massively complex issue touching on everything from theme “bundle” policy, to niche themes, multi-purpose themes, marketing and promotion of items, categorization, pricing, plugins, opportunities for exposure, and much more. We’re in the midst of lots of discussion and review of existing and recent items, researching and evaluating the issue from all angles, and ultimately working to come up with some concrete steps we can bring to the community for establishing better definitions and guidelines around themes here and improving general policy.
To be clear, I am not by any means suggesting that some sweeping change is (or is not) on it’s way. What we’re aiming for here and now is to give clarity to current policy, share our views on the concerns you all have raised, and present some next steps. I’ll circle back next week, and continue to keep my eye on this thread in the meantime.