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Orbital_Themes says

@bitfade, like system is a trap! Don’t dream about healthy authoring life just by cutting option for buyers ;) Once Envato implement a like system, in one month or so they will just add “dislike” option due to buyer requests – will be worse than getting a 4 star, 3 star and not even 1 star but that is almost equal to negative star. Think about having negative number in terms of “like” reputation for an item uploaded in the recent 2 weeks! :D Actually this will work even better for those who intends to blackmail for free custom work. And it will take another 3-4 years to fine-tune and perfect that system. And without the possibility to add a 4 star or 3 star, even most of the good/gentle buyers would be forced to think about “dislike” option to choose. And as an author, not giving the opportunity to the buyers to leave a 4 star kind of feedback is little bit greedy too!

You nailed it. Like system might be good on PhotoDune or AudioJungle, but certainly not on Themeforest or CodeCanyon where we sell bigger products.

You guys (devs) have to start thinking about each marketplace differently, not try to kill few birds with one stone. I think that PhotoDune doesn’t even need any rating system – you buy a stock photo because you need it for your project, not because you like it. You can like a song, though.

Now ThemeForest needs something deeper and more transparent. A good channel of communication both between buyers and authors, and buyers and buyers. Also a protection from Envato for authors to prevent being blackmailed. These all are things that a simple ‘Like’ system won’t do. I strongly vote against ‘Like’ system.

Let’s think about buyers perspective first:

You are looking to buy a theme and you want to know what other buyers think about it. You look at rating, but rating doesn’t tell you whole story. It doesn’t tell you why the theme has only 3 stars. Is it due to bugs? Maybe it was downrated by some newbies that don’t know how to install a WordPress theme? Maybe someone gave the theme 1 star because the author refused to do free customization work?

You can always check item comments but you will have to shift through tens (if not hundreds) of pages of support request posts or “great theme” comments at the top. This is bad user experience – you can either waste a lot of your precious time, play lottery and buy a 3 stat theme without reading comments and hope for the best or just move on to another item.

Authors perspective:

You want to get valuable feedback from your customers. Not only you want to know what you did good but, most importantly, you want to know why people are downrating your theme.

You want to prevent a situation where someone blackmails you to give 1 star rating for not doing additional work for free. You want some kind of protection from Envato and community against such ratings.

You want to be able to respond to feedback.

Given all the above points, I think that there should be a review system introduced to ThemeForest.

  • The review system would be separated from item comments/support requests so that it’s easy for potential buyers to find reviews.
  • Each review should have a star-based rating tied to it and a review should be required when rating an item.
  • Authors should be able to respond to any review.
  • Buyers should be able to change the rating/review.
  • Authors should be able to ask support staff to moderate the review/rating if, for example, the review says “Theme is crap, author doesn’t want to customize it for free” or “Theme is crap, stylesheet is missing”.
  • There should be a possibility to mark someone’s review as helpful or not. Not sure if this option should be available to everyone or only people who have purchased the item.
  • Rating details should be available (number of each star rating), also half-stars are welcome.

The current comments section would be utilised as pre-sales questions and support forum for an item. Of course ability to search through these comments is crucial, also a forum-like threaded display (with topic titles, topic statuses like ‘resolved’ etc.) should be developed.

Again, this proposition is only suited for ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. The rest of the marketplaces could have something simple in place of current rating system or no rating system at all. This would save you some server side processing power as building a review/support system for each of 2.5 million PhotoDune would be a huge overkill.

EDIT: TLDR – I propose an Amazon-style rating system, completely separated from item comments/support questions. This system should be available only on marketplaces that need such complex system, that is ThemeForest and CodeCanyon.

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bitfade says

@bitfade, like system is a trap! Don’t dream about healthy authoring life just by cutting option for buyers ;) Once Envato implement a like system, in one month or so they will just add “dislike” option due to buyer requests

well, “dislike” option was never mentioned so i’m going to assume it wouldn’t be there or else we’ll just end up with the same crap that we have now.

To me, honest feedback coming from buyers with some-to-good experience is much more valuable than a mere average number which includes rating from people who have zero knowledge on the subject, do not read item descriptions and think that what “support is not mandatory” really means is “authors are supposed to do your work for free”

More often than not, i read post from buyers who admit they just skip anything rated less than 4.

If it was for me, i would just get rid of whole rating system and introduce like/dislike for item comments. Users would “like” comments that helped them decide whether to buy something or not, most liked comments will be shown on top and provide valuable feedback for both potential buyers and authors which would still able to reply.

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doru says


can someone tell me how a like system is an improvement from the current one?
It probably isn’t an improvement, I have no opinion yet, but it depends on your perspective, which is why I’m keen to see everyone discuss this.

There is nothing to debate about the rating system. Is a retarded idea. The only point of “likes” is to get information from the users by the website who use it. also give users something to brag about. This website is not facebook, this is like amazon. And guess what rating system amazon have?

So no, no likes. What information gives the buyers 245 thumbs up and 34 thumbs down? Absolutely nothing.


Pretend we have no rating system at all. Think about what authors need, and what buyers need to know about an item before they buy it. Is a star-rating system still the right direction for us to head? “Yes” and “no” are both fine answers, I just want to explore our options — it’s not really about less or more work, it’s about the right work.

It doesn’t work like this. Really.

This was another thread created by a frustrated user. Create an official thread, stick it. Put there the options envato take in account. You can find ideas on the forum, listen to what jonathan01 said, we discussed this before. There are hundreds of posts discussing the rating system from many point of view.

People don’t fail for this again. You will just provide two billion suggestions in this thread and then three years later we will be at the same point as now.

Let envato take a step forward, provide a roadmap and time frame and if they want feedback we will definitely help. But this thread is no way to go.

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doru says

TLDR – I propose an Amazon-style rating system, completely separated from item comments/support questions. This system should be available only on marketplaces that need such complex system, that is ThemeForest and CodeCanyon.

So the rest of the marketplaces should just kill themselves?

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doru says
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VF says


I hope you come up with possibly 3 alternatives and at least throw up another pole to get some feedback before putting a like system in…
Absolutely — ratings are too important not to. The first step on something like this is consulting with the community and getting feedback (and I guess this thread has sort-of turned into a tiny part of that). Even if the changes we’re planning seem like exactly what’s been asked for over the years, we’ll still want buy-in from the community.

We all believed that Envato already have a paid/dedicated staff to extract the feedbacks and promote them towards relevant staff. Probably you might be getting enough feedbacks/complaints through the staff “KingDog” isn’t it? In such case, every second spent on this thread is a crime against humanity for everyone of us.

It is awkward to think about different rating systems while the already existed system didn’t even tocuhed / finetuned for years. Not even experimented with “harmless” attempts like half star/ non integer value display methods etc.

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doru says

There is nothing to debate about the rating system. Is a retarded idea.

I’m retarded.

Wanted to say “about likes system” not “ratings”

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pixelentity says

After all these years, do you believe there’s the slightest chance envato is willing to invest the man power and time needed by a rating system like amazon ? Seriously ? Just get real.

While you would wait for that to get out the pipeline (aka forever), you’d keep a system which allows buyers blackmailing authors to get free work and authors self rating their own item to fool buyers with early 5 stars.

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VF says

After all these years, do you believe there’s the slightest chance envato is willing to invest the man power and time needed by a rating system like amazon ? Seriously ? Just get real.

Yes and Yes :)

In the past, they did’t have dedicated staff even for making decisions. Atleast now they allows some staffs to make decision. I would guess around 200-400 man hours can be enough to make decisions into action.

The problem with any new rating system is – it is impossible to convert an existing system into different one! If a buyer rates a 3 star for an item today, how it will be displayed when the format changed in to “Like” system? All of you who thinks about a new rating system should start from this question.

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pixelentity says

Yes and Yes :) In the past, they did’t have dedicated staff even for making decisions. Atleast now they allows some staffs to make decision. I would guess around 200-400 man hours can be enough to make decisions into action.

“The faster we address Ratings, the faster we get to the projects that follow.” tells me a different story.


The problem with any new rating system is – it is impossible to convert an existing system into different one! If a buyer rates a 3 star for an item today, how it will be displayed when the format changed in to “Like” system? All of you who thinks about a new rating system should start from this question.

likes = ratings*(stars-1)/4

But, as mentioned earlier, i’d prefer a “Was this comment helpful to you? yes/no” solution.

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