642 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Has sold $10,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
ChapterThemes says

We used prebuilt themes as a way to provide clients with a very low budget, a cheap way to get online. But when you’re then forced to unpick code or a framework that no longer works 12 months later, and has in fact been abandoned by its author as even they couldn’t face doing it, that option is no longer commercially viable as a ‘cheap’ solution.

I agree! That’s also a problem: themes build upon bloated frameworks which are hard to maintain and a menace to unpick.

But as a business you should avoid situations like that. Use themes wihtout big frameworks and 25 premium packed plugins which is an update mess every single month.

Most forget: using 50 buck themes as a low budget solution, while the themes they choose have a development value of around like 4000 bucks: is not giving the client a low-budget feeling since some themes have so many features.

A good low budget solotion is a nice 40/50 buck theme without some major pain in the ass framework, and max. 2 or 3 plugins, which if build right will hardly ever fail. When choosing low budget solutions for clients it’s up the to buyer to keep those things in mind. At least i think that it would be a smart thing to do :)

When there are maybe paid update options, it would maybe increase the update and support. But it will also bring up other discussions, since there will be people who don’t understand why they have to pay for an update or something.

It’s a tricky ‘problem’ – but with some smart thinking as a user/buyer you can avoid a lot of issues.

323 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
familychoice says

But as a business you should avoid situations like that. Use themes wihtout big frameworks and 25 premium packed plugins which is an update mess every single month.

That doesn’t always work. There are a few authors on here that promote very straightforward, simple, well coded themes and we’ve been tempted to buy these. However, after watching their performance over a period of time they’ve been dropped in favour of better frameworks and left to die by their authors. If we’d bought one of these themes we’d have been left with a useless product within 12 months of our purchase, just like their unhappy customers.

As a contrast, it seems the best supported themes on here currently are using big frameworks and come bundled with all the bells and whistles you would never need.


When there are maybe paid update options, it would maybe increase the update and support. But it will also bring up other discussions, since there will be people who don’t understand why they have to pay for an update or something.

Customers that don’t understand why they have to pay more aren’t the market you’re looking for anyway. They’ll buy a cheap theme and never update Wordpress until their site gets hacked and their host kicks them off the server.

The market is bigger and more varied than that, and there’s an opportunity to provide an option for customers who are looking for peace of mind and a guarantee of a long term solution. Like me. Like all the customers who have been left with a broken theme and don’t want to go down that route again.


It’s a tricky ‘problem’ – but with some smart thinking as a user/buyer you can avoid a lot of issues.

I’m smart. I’ve avoided these issues by not buying themes and using a framework on which we build our own custom child themes. But we’d still like to buy good commercial themes for clients that have less money to spend. There are authors on here that provide this, but you have to know where to look and that takes practice.

A ‘premium’ theme section would be easy for new customers to find, and provide more profit for authors that are putting more work into their products.

187 posts
  • Has referred 1000+ members
  • Has sold $2M+ on Envato Market
  • Has been a beta tester for an Envato feature
  • Has collected 50+ items on Envato Market
+5 more
ait says

I’ve just read an very interesting article I want to share. Here you go guys – http://www.poststat.us/state-wordpress-theme-industry/

What are your thoughts on that?

1552 posts How's the surf doing?
  • Nominated Community Superstar of the month
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 3 years
  • Had an item featured on Envato Market
+7 more
tommusrhodus says

^ Really interesting article echoing a lot of what I’ve already been thinking about. It’s clear that $50 cannot sustainably buy a theme, support and updates forever. I think a recurring payment idea would definitely help to remove some of the tension from this.

I also follow the point made in the medium comments, the issue we have is that either someone is going to have to lead the way with this, or the WordPress theme community as a whole is going to have to agree on something significant.

Thanks for sharing, and cheers to OBOX for writing! :)

686 posts Magento Elite & Gravity Maker
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Located in United States
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
+3 more
GravityDept says

I’ve just read an very interesting article I want to share. Here you go guys – http://www.poststat.us/state-wordpress-theme-industry/ What are your thoughts on that?

Sounds like everything we’ve been saying in for years: one-off purchases are not sustainable for products that need years of support.

I hired a team to help me build a platform (for myself) and I’m glad to see other theme shops are doing/thinking about similar projects. Sadly because Envato is an open marketplace it’ll probably be the last to change, but that shouldn’t stop you (dear maker) from pushing ahead before you get pushed out.

323 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
  • Has referred 1+ members
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
familychoice says

We’re happy to pay an annual subscription for plugins such as Gravity Forms, so I don’t see why this pricing model can’t be applied to themes and plugins on here.

Basically the theme is sold with 12 months of updates free, and after that customers need to renew their subscription if they want to continue to receive updates.

This would pay authors development costs, provide an incentive for them to keep their themes up to date and compatible, and provide customers with a product they can rely on.

Everyone’s a winner, even Envato as they get more commission.

For idiots that just want a quick, cheap fix they can decide not to pay a subscription when their 12 months expires, or buy a cheap theme from authors that aren’t participating in the subscription model.

686 posts Magento Elite & Gravity Maker
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Located in United States
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 4 years
+3 more
GravityDept says

We’re happy to pay an annual subscription for plugins such as Gravity Forms, so I don’t see why this pricing model can’t be applied to themes and plugins on here.

Basically the theme is sold with 12 months of updates free, and after that customers need to renew their subscription if they want to continue to receive updates.

This would pay authors development costs, provide an incentive for them to keep their themes up to date and compatible, and provide customers with a product they can rely on.

Everyone’s a winner, even Envato as they get more commission.

For idiots that just want a quick, cheap fix they can decide not to pay a subscription when their 12 months expires, or buy a cheap theme from authors that aren’t participating in the subscription model.

Exactly. This is very close to how my new platform works (minus Envato having a cut — snooze/lose).

Helpful Information

  • Please read our community guidelines. Self promotion and discussion of piracy is not allowed.
  • Open a support ticket if you would like specific help with your account, deposits or purchases.
  • Item Support by authors is optional and may vary. Please see the Support tab on each item page.

Most of all, enjoy your time here. Thank you for being a valued Envato community member.

Post Reply

Format your entry with some basic HTML. Read the Full Details, or here is a refresher:

<strong></strong> to make things bold
<em></em> to emphasize
<ul><li> or <ol><li> to make lists
<h3> or <h4> to make headings
<pre></pre> for code blocks
<code></code> for a few words of code
<a></a> for links
<img> to paste in an image (it'll need to be hosted somewhere else though)
<blockquote></blockquote> to quote somebody

:grin: :shocked: :cry: Complete List of Smiley Codes

by
by
by
by
by
by