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WebDesignPlanet says

I thought i’ll start this thread to get some insight into what veteran and new authors, customers and Envato staff think about the future of themeforest marketplace. It is without a doubt that it’s really hot at the moment (reached 1 million members few days ago), but how long will it stay afloat and keep attracting new designers/developers? There are more and more themes and templates available and it’s inevitable that many will look similar. I’m saying this because many new designs get rejected just because of looking the same as existing ones, while being technically and style-wise really good. Are we reaching the point where it’s going to get noticeably more difficult to get new items approved, hence to get a lot of sales for new authors, and the only ones having constant, substantial revenue are going to be the existing elite members? I’m asking this from a perspective of a relatively fresh member of the community, comparing myself to the top twenty contributors for example.

The whole situation reminds me of some MMO games, where players who joined early will never ever be matched by new players, any time in the future. I couldn’t help but to notice this similarity. A pyramid scheme of a kind?

Maybe i am being to drastic, but what are your thoughts on the subject? If you are an established author, do you feel the breath of newbies on your back, or not? If you have joined recently, what are your fears, expectations, do you have any long or short term plans? Do you have any ideas how the TF business model could be improved for mutual benefit? Speak up.

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MelforDMThemes says
WebDesignPlanet said

The whole situation reminds me of some MMO games, where players who joined early will never ever be matched by new players, any time in the future. I couldn’t help but to notice this similarity. A pyramid scheme of a kind?

According to this, as I joined (with another author name) some time over a year ago, the hierarchy of the top authors in the WP section was a complete different. I think there will always be a change in the top regions, depending on trends and who can follow them and incorporate them.

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ThemeProvince says
MelforDMThemes said
WebDesignPlanet said

The whole situation reminds me of some MMO games, where players who joined early will never ever be matched by new players, any time in the future. I couldn’t help but to notice this similarity. A pyramid scheme of a kind?

According to this, as I joined (with another author name) some time over a year ago, the hierarchy of the top authors in the WP section was a complete different. I think there will always be a change in the top regions, depending on trends and who can follow them and incorporate them.

And who makes the trends.

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theMOLITOR says

I would hope that standards and expectations will always be increasing. It’s the nature of every creative industry. Think of it this way, if the limits weren’t continually pushed, the ecosystem of theme design/development would become stagnant.

I really do believe that any author that rests on their laurels will suffer the same fate.

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kaaz says
themolitor said
I would hope that standards and expectations will always be increasing. It’s the nature of every creative industry. Think of it this way, if the limits weren’t continually pushed, the ecosystem of theme design/development would become stagnant. I really do believe that any author that rests on their laurels will suffer the same fate.

absolutely, creative industry-the unlimited possibilities

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JoelBesada says

We’re in a time where the Web is constantly evolving, with new technologies and ways to design turning up continously. I believe the authors who turn out to be most successful will be the ones who can stay current with the changes. The Web is also rapdily expanding outside of computers and laptops, which brings new challenges and problems to be solved.

We can’t be sure if Wordpress will still be the top CMS a couple of years from now. If a new and better CMS comes along, Wordpress designers will have to adapt to survive and won’t be able to keep getting huge amounts of sales on their older items. The same goes for HTML standards, I’m sure that soon enough HTML5 templates will be the only templates that get accepted by the TF buyers and reviewers.

The web changes constantly, and authors will have to adapt. This gives opportunites for new authors with fresh minds to enter the market and have an advantage over the more seasoned web designers who are set in their old ways. I believe it will be the new authors that keep pushing TF forward with new unique designs and trends.

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CLINE123 says

This thread brings to mind a pet peeve I have which has been mentioned frequently the forums for the benefit of authors (and of course buyers). It’s been debated to the extent of both ads- nauseum and infinitum to no avail and I see it as missed opportunities for the few authors who would dare take a calculated risk.

Now that we’re almost to the end of the possible permutations and combinations for themes on TF, can a few brave souls attempt some ‘niche’ themes. Yes there are no niche themes but in marketing this is called product differentiation. Think restaurant, church, pre-school (think Peekaboo theme), green (Eco-Biz) and then think about the less glamorous business types like the local hardware, flower shop, beauty salon, dentist, attorney etc.

Again, yes, any theme can me customized for these but an author doing the right layouts, using images, icons etc., and actually doing some research to add a few functions/features that are specific to that business will score a winner in my opinion. Do it well and you’ll have a long term seller.

I have another tip, an author can carve his own niche by being the one author to turn out stellar ‘niche’ themes for a different business with each theme he introduces.

Authors, I buy and configure themes from TF for clients for a living and this is my voice.

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collis Envato team says

Hey guys! Great thread!

I completely agree with CLINE123 . I think the future is niche themes. There are a bunch on the site and quite a few do really well. But we’ve barely scratched the surface.

When I look at independent theme shops (not on ThemeForest) there are quite a few appearing for things like Bands, Churches, Video, and so on. It seems a natural progression to specialization as the overall market has grown big enough to support those specialised niches.

I think we have many more years of growth to be had here on ThemeForest, and some of that will be for do-everything themes like the current massive seller U-Design. But I think a large part will be for new niche themes, for themes for non-WP CMSes, and for eCommerce. The latter two are growing faster than WordPress themes at the moment. It’s a bit harder to tell about niche WP themes as they are all jumbled in with do-everything themes.

As for future authors being able to break in to the market, I think that’s always possible. Right now Orman Clark is on track to break the all time monthly sales record. He’s been on ThemeForest less than a year! :-) Admittedly Orman is freakishly talented!

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CLINE123 says

@collis, I was praying for Envato to chime in on this and I hope authors are listening. Authors have to realize the golden opportunities in front of them:

  • TF buyers are all over the planet- great sales potential
  • Eventually ALL businesses will need a website regardless of how small they are

Hence the opportunities for these niche themes and I want to stress not just slapping on business-specific images and icons but with some real thought and research behind it.

Authors should also be aware of the market segments that buy their themes. In my opinion, they are:

  1. WP noobs buying and configuring a theme for their own business or for a friend/relative
  2. An employee with computer skills who’s been handed the task by management
  3. Part-time web designers who can’t yet quit their day job
  4. Full time web designers (configurers!) like me who did

I think it may be worthwhile for Envato to look into obtaining feedback from buyers like myself ‘in the field’ so to speak so as to give authors better insights. For example I have clients who need themes with product showcases, portfolios with image sliders etc.

Even with a flood of niche themes there still won’t be saturation as I may have 5 attorney offices needing 5 different themes and the same goes for the other business types.

So now I anxiously await.

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CLINE123 says

TO WHO IT MAY CONCERN :)

  • Doctors/Dentist Offices
  • Schools and other training institutes
  • Attorneys
  • Beauty Salons/Florists etc.
  • Churches/Religous
  • Automobile Dealerships
  • Construction/Contractors (need robust portfolio features)
  • Hardwares/Retail (to promote brands carried with product showcases with an ‘industrial’ feel)
  • Sea related sites- cruises, hotels, guesthouse

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