322 posts Design Innovation
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designova says

^ well, you are forgetting about items with less than 50 purchases (which are huge majority) and less than 5 ratings.

We guess ratings info should be logical only when themes get a significant number of sales and ratings, say around 50 sales which produce 10 ratings means the theme is popular than lesser sold themes.

And of course ‘new’ and / or ‘lesser sold’ themes wont have any problem since rating info won’t be visible for them, then literally there will be only one measure to calculate their popularity, it is the number of ‘sales’

If new themes are good they will get sales. More sales get more rating. Then 10 ratings will reveal somewhat better info about that theme. :)

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bitfade says

When the average is made from big numbers, only then it starts displaying close-to-real picture. (atleast this is possible with star rating (breakdown display etc) while the like system requires few times higher number of data to reach same level of clarity)
Most buyers will just skip items rated anything below 4*, this makes 1-3 = bad , 4 = almost good, 5 = good so bad ratings weight more than good ones (especially 1 stars). No matter the number, the system is biased towards low ratings and prone to abuses.
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familychoice says

That’s just too bad because I shall champion the likes system every chance I get. I am saddened that this might stop you from buying themes from here. In the event a miracle occurs and this gets implemented, I hope for your sake you reconsider your stance, because the themes here are quite nice and well supported :P

Nope, it’s hard enough already for customers to make an informed purchase, simplifying the ratings system even further turns it into a joke. There are plenty of other places to buy themes after all.


a star rating is just a number which includes author self 5 , competitor 1 and several x given for reasons totally unrelated to item quality (as in: author did/didn’t offer free customizations). It conveys no more information than a like system, is just more prone to abuse. Whatever the reason behind your rating, it will be lost in that number and give other buyers no useful information unless you post a comment, in which case, the star rating itself becomes completely irrelevant.

I don’t understand the logic that a ‘like’ system is less prone to abuse, or will provide more information to customers than a more graded system.


Noob ratings

I make a mental note never to buy from authors who use that word to describe their customers. There’s another one for the list.

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designova says

Noob ratings
Familychoice said:
I make a mental note never to buy from authors who use that word to describe their customers. There’s another one for the list.

We make a mental note never to have a customer who purchases our theme without loving our work, without reading our docs, without even visiting our support forum, but just rating it 1 star after screaming like this:

“I don’t like you providing the support via your support forum, but you must provide the support via Themeforest only where I purchased your item. Why should I use a third party site to get support?”

It was a Wordpress theme and we do have a separate support forum for our WordPress themes. But this buyer don’t like to visit it for getting support!! We got a 1 star rating for the same theme after this comment.

Now you guys say, doesnt this sound like a noob rating? This incident was just happened to us last day. Ridiculous but true. We mean it, no offense.

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AlexFjord says

Just read this comment and I can’t believe it:
If it had pager number system functionality, I’d give it 5 stars. It currently doesn’t have pager number system so 1 star only. Without pager number system it’s useless. But other than that it’s perfect.

Ofc. pager was not advertised in the demo/description.

P.S This is coming from experoienced buyer (100+ purchases).

Sorry this happened to you and I truly hope it gets resolved. I guess there is an ironic side and if nothing else it sums up the purpose of the thread and its title.

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designova says

If even experienced buyers here buys items just by counting the ratings info, then there is a tricky loophole such as authors repeatedly purchase their own themes via other profiles and give it 5 stars twice or thrice to get it ‘popular’.

What’s the logic in having such a rating system then??

That’s why we said rating system should be visible only if an item gets a minimum of 10 ratings instead of current 3. This will better reduce self ratings. It can also give a better picture about the item since there are 10 ratings produced, more chance to have sincere ratings depending on real quality of the item whether it is good or bad.

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VF says


When the average is made from big numbers, only then it starts displaying close-to-real picture. (atleast this is possible with star rating (breakdown display etc) while the like system requires few times higher number of data to reach same level of clarity)
Most buyers will just skip items rated anything below 4*, this makes 1-3 = bad , 4 = almost good, 5 = good so bad ratings weight more than good ones (especially 1 stars). No matter the number, the system is biased towards low ratings and prone to abuses.

hmm… Just browsed through TF’s all files page and sorted by ratings. Out of ~9900 items, around 2000 items have low sales and so awaiting 3 ratings before display. Around 200 items are 3.0 and below. From 3.1 to 3.9 star region counts around just 700. Remaining 7000 items having 4.0+ which means fairness is dominating (in theory).

I believe 4.5 is the crowded area which displays wide variety of characteristics through breakdown display – this can’t be precisely achieved by like system.

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familychoice says

We make a mental note never to have a customer who purchases our theme without loving our work

Interesting, and how do you ensure this is the case – is there a confirmation checkbox customers have to tick before purchase?


this buyer don’t like to visit it for getting support!! We got a 1 star rating for the same theme after this comment.

I agree with you, I think the comments pages should be kept for pre-sales queries and updating notices. You’ve got a good forum, and it’s open to the public as well so potential purchasers can check for issues and the level of support provided. However I just had a look at your comments page and that’s not the only reason for bad ratings:

“I purchased this theme over a month ago and have been told that version 1.5 will be coming out, like many theme authors the promise to release something takes way longer then they say it will, I’m going to rate this theme accordingly as it still has numerous issues and version 1.5 has still not been released. :(“

You’re complaining about ratings on here and using the ‘noob’ word. This is not the sort of behaviour potential customers want to see from a professional design company, and singling one bad purchasers comments to use as a reason for your bad ratings is not really accurate when there are obviously other issues influencing your customer feedback.

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designova says

Interesting, and how do you ensure this is the case – is there a confirmation checkbox customers have to tick before purchase?

Nope, but there were 2 buyers who bought our HTML5 themes, then screamed like: “I dont like this THEME, I dont like that feature…I need refund…” etc. Now they bought it and don’t like it at all -> They may have given 1 stars. But they should have atleast checked live preview before they purchase, right? Or they can throw some pre-sales question so we can clarify their doubts if any?

We mean such customers as ‘noobs’, not everyone.

“I purchased this theme over a month ago and have been told that version 1.5 will be coming out, like many theme authors the promise to release something takes way longer then they say it will, I’m going to rate this theme accordingly as it still has numerous issues and version 1.5 has still not been released. :(“

When any technical obstacles happen (it happens to any professional developers or agency), and when such an issue is caused only by a third party jQuery plugin and we have to wait for the source-code to be fixed by the plugin authors. We have to wait for that in order to release an update for the same in our theme. That’s why it takes some delay on some case. We have already communicated on such themes that it will need some more update development time than usual – and yes ofcourse this will produce lower number of sales for that item – which is natural, we accept it. Now if they buy, provide feedback and rate 1 stars that is their freedom, no offense, but once the theme is updated they will come back to improve the ratings.

You’re complaining about ratings on here and using the ‘noob’ word. This is not the sort of behaviour potential customers want to see from a professional design company, and singling one bad purchasers comments to use as a reason for your bad ratings is not really accurate when there are obviously other issues influencing your customer feedback.

When saying ‘noob’ We didnt mean the buyer who waits for an update, and giving rating 1 stars until they get that update. They are not noobs as they are expecting to get a better update -> then they will improve the ratings once it is updated.

But Noob ratings are these:

1) Bought the theme and he says he dont like to even visit our support forum: 1 Stars, vanished.
2) Bought the theme and then say “I dont like this, I dont like that, I need refund”: 1 Stars, vanished.

‘noob ratings’ are produced by any amateur buyer who dont care about reading theme info page, reading theme docs, still requesting more features or free customization and etc. etc…there are lot of reasons behind such noob ratings. The worst part is that, some never produce any feedback – just rate 1 stars and vanish away, never come back.

That’s what we are discussing about. 10 minimum ratings should be there to show the ratings info. It will make everything better and stable information.

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familychoice says

Nope, but there were 2 buyers who bought our HTML5 themes, then screamed like: “I dont like this THEME, I dont like that feature…I need refund…” etc. Now they bought it and don’t like it at all -> They may have given 1 stars. But they should have atleast checked live preview before they purchase, right?

Customers can’t check everything before a purchase – we’ve bought several themes that don’t match the design, or functionality of demos. We’ve also discovered bad coding and disappointing implementation of back end admin – none of which can be checked before purchase.

Maybe you should have a calm discussion with the purchaser to find out exactly what they’re not happy with and use this information to ensure it doesn’t happen again?


When any technical obstacles happen (it happens to any professional developers or agency), and when such an issue is caused only by a third party jQuery plugin and we have to wait for the source-code to be fixed by the plugin authors. We have to wait for that in order to release an update for the same in our theme.

Again this is a communication issue – as long as you calmly explain to customers the reasons for the issue then they’ll understand why their theme isn’t working and know that at least you’re working on an update.

We’ve recently purchase a plugin that has a bug but we’ve still given it 5 stars as the author is providing excellent support and keeping us updated with the progress on this issue.


‘noob ratings’ are produced by any amateur buyer who dont care about reading theme info page, reading theme docs, still requesting more features or free customization and etc. etc…there are lot of reasons behind such noob ratings.

It seems that a ‘noob rating’ covers everything you don’t agree with, and most of these seem to arise from a conflict between what you’re providing as a seller, and what is being received by the customer.

Changing the ratings system isn’t going to fix this. Themeforest can’t fix this, your customers won’t stop being ‘noobs’. The only person that can make things better is you – better communication with your customers, better FAQ’s, product descriptions and documentation will help inexperienced buyers make an informed purchase.

You’re selling at the bottom end of the web design market. It’s a cheap fix and some of your customers either don’t have the budget, or don’t want to spend their money with a professional design company. Rather than complaining on forums about them don’t you think it’d be better for everyone if you learned how to deal with these issues in a positive and professional manner? Most of your customers will be very inexperienced but this is your market so you have no option but to learn how to keep them happy. If you can’t, or you don’t want to, then you’re in the wrong job.

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