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meks says

Hi folks,

We have been thinking that in the future we might create a free theme on WordPress.org before submitting it here on ThemeForest.

Let’s say that main difference would be that free theme will come with basic layout only, and then we may offer “extended” premium version here on ThemeForest, with additional features, shortcodes and theme options included, additional widgets, additional layouts, etc…

We would like to hear opinion from other developers as well as from Envato staff.

- Has anyone tried to do this yet? - Is that allowed at all? - Is such theme will be still exclusive?

Thanks, Meks team

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lyricskhan says

Free

Your Idea, Thumbs Down..!! Don’t Ask Why I Just Feel So :)

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ChapterThemes says

i don’t know if it’s allowed when you’re an exlusive author. Since than you only may have the theme available on themeforest. Maybe even though it has less options it would still be the standard theme and it’s design.

People may only get the free theme and for the rest use plugins to do what they’ll want.

So unless the extended version has some kind of really unique feature i think people who know about the free standard will use the free one just because they like the design and figure the rest out with plugins.

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billyf says

I have pondered about this some time ago. Would like to hear what Envato says because although they have the same design, they are functionally different without certain features. So, is that still considered ‘selling’ the theme elsewhere when it is made free and having different functions?

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meks says

Thanks for your opinions!

We think that people who download the theme for free will gladly pay for premiun version if they like the free version so we don’t feel like we can lose money on this, quite contrary, we think that both authors and ThemeForest can benefit from this because of high potential reach via WordpPess.org. From the clients point of view, they will be able to try before they buy, which is good as well.

One more thing to mention, approved themes on WordPress.org these days are very very good regarding code standards and development approaches. The approval criteria of theme reviewers on wordpress.org is very high, so the client will know that he’s buying a good theme with reliable code.

Regarding “exclusiveness” of the theme, it says that “authors cannot sell theme on other place”. Well, if it’s free it is not selling, right? :)

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Playnethemes says

I was wondering if I could organize a free give a way of one of my themes via twitter. The answer of support was that I could not give the theme away for free. So i doubt that this would be accepted.

Unless you change the design quite a bit so there are no similarities? I understand that his could turn out to be a viable marketing strategy, but i’m afraid it isn’t allowed! I flagged this for a staff reply ;)

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designedbydash says

I was wondering if I could organize a free give a way of one of my themes via twitter. The answer of support was that I could not give the theme away for free. So i doubt that this would be accepted. Unless you change the design quite a bit so there are no similarities? I understand that his could turn out to be a viable marketing strategy, but i’m afraid it isn’t allowed! I flagged this for a staff reply ;)

That’s different though, you’re giving away the same theme for free rather than a cut down version with limited features.

I could be mistaken, but I’m sure I’ve heard of CodeCanyon authors doing something like that with their items.

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aleluja says

I was wondering if I could organize a free give a way of one of my themes via twitter. The answer of support was that I could not give the theme away for free. So i doubt that this would be accepted.

How’s that? I know there are people that do this. You can get a free item licence but only if it is one-time thing, one license for example.

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Playnethemes says

Really? They told me I could only do it if I purchased it with another account and hand out that license? :)

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KingDog Staff says

Please see this Knowledgebase article.

Additionally, if an author is exclusive they may not offer items that are for sale on the Marketplaces for free on another site without voiding their exclusivity agreement with the Envato Marketplaces.
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