@marlnet Thank you very much for not only mentioning my name (I very appreciate it) but also for the fine long article you found time and were not lazy to write. And in all points I agree with your insight. All in all, we authors, are end users too. We browse various websites daily and we need them to be to the point, we do not look for just “awesomeness” of Font Awesome and animations causing just dizziness (but which are so “cool” though useless totally)!
At the moment I am in process of searching and buying new house. I am digging daily real estate websites. The best one is a board with daily updated announcements–done in ugliest and smartest way. The website is due to be sold at 200 millions euros ( site owner probably are waiting for the one who will give more). I repeat: it is the ugliest website and why would it be so expensive and successful if it was not done in smartest way in spite of its ugliness? This is the key. The end users find there exactly what they need. And absence of animations and ugly interface do not disturb them at all–users get what they need: in smart, fast and clear way.
My dream is to reach that very point in my work when combination of smart and beautiful will be achieved definitely. It is still long way to go, it is a mastership and it does not fall from Heaven. I am trying to achieve this and your article just proves that everything I am thinking of is just truth, your insight definitely responds my own thoughts which often, though, oscillate from doubts to confidence. And doubts are caused exactly by the things other authors mentioned above–it does not sell. “Do what was already done 3 thousand times and you will get sales”–I say myself. “But it is against common sense! In fact nobody needs animations and other coolness…”–I continue arguing.
Well, everything is not that simple. The subject of a talk about the template/theme as a starting point which should be customised further is not to be discussed. Clearly it should be so, clearly, template is just a starting point. But even starting point should be viable, what is the point of same cool animations, same sterile stock photos, same layouts, same niches (or even absence of them–like multipurpose templates) and so on? I think we need to produce more works for real people (end users). Not only for inexistent imaginary creative agencies… Well, at least try to… This is my point of view…
Virtuti .. was a long time Always have been fan of your work and your posts.
I do agree, this utopia would be perfect, why do i say utopia? Because that it is, sadly. The point is that people in most cases do not know what they want. In most cases people get a project for a “Ultimate Apple Cutter” and they go and look an out of the box product.
Now that would be great, but well no… even if there were 1000 people that need that eventually it stops, support on the other hand does not.
Once themeforest for example becomes your full time bread, you have to calculate the risk, and i can guarantee that there is something similar for your niche on the market but you cannot find it, can you honestly tell me people go browsing trough the whole market, i don’t think so.
This has become the ultimate fight for exposure and fight to get on most popular and among all those niche themes how many got on the top? If people are so sick and tired of those multi-purpose themes why are there the top ones like that?
This is a business so when Supply and demand takes effect and you buyers start buying actual niche themes we the authors will shift to them it is that simple.
But for that the market itself needs to evolve technically in current state it does not support it.
I constantly stated that envato should consider making an multi-purpose category separately with its own way bigger price range. Until this is done sorry to say people will rather buy a Swiss knife.
If you can get an car, motorbike and a bicycle for the $55 why would you want to buy just a bicycle for $45?
I would like to get your honest opinion on our items. We pay close attention to some of the things you mentioned.
Something has to change to the ThemeForest review process. Starting by rejecting all these swiss army knives themes. Then start instructing buyers those aren’t the themes they should be looking for. Most of the features included in those themes will never be used.
Obviously the above will never happen, until some famous people will start complaining about it. Just like what happened several months ago with the GPL licensing story http://www.designcrumbs.com/automatically-blackballed.
This is mainly because of one reason.
A message from TF reviewers
“Please consider taking some time to familiarise yourself with our current library and quality levels of popular items before resubmitting.”
Well I think everyone knows the big secret to selling here is to be “good value for money” – Bloated, feature packed items is a safe bet to make big profits. That’s what all the top authors who make millions are doing, so that’s proven to work.
Only solution to balance that effect out would be if Envato were more realistic with their pricing, and didn’t have price limits, because once the market becomes saturated, then being original or innovative isn’t always as competitive as being ridiculously good value for money.
At the end of the day, people like a good deal, so that’s going to be the over riding factor. But in the long term this will only chase away new authors and keep the older authors here with their mega themes. And then it will leave the door wide open for other marketplaces to pop up who focus more on original / quality items, than generic / quantity items. In my opinion Envato has peaked and it’s down hill from here unless they make a serious revamp to the marketplaces. Envato is still stuck in the small start mentality, and haven’t adapted fast enough. Instead they’ve pushed bundles and value for money over quality and creativity – which is exactly what competitive marketplaces will be focusing on.
Thanks all for the constructive responses – I’d like to respond more fully tomorrow to individual points – but it’s really encouraging that theme designers are engaged enough to debate an issue that obviously isn’t just in my troubled head alone…
With regards to these mega-themes – honestly most of the time I don’t see 101 ways to create an original site using the same theme, I see 101 way to present exactly the same site with different layouts.
And adding WooCommerce? That doesn’t make it an eCommerce site…
I would say one thing about pricing – I think there is a validity, and as such an easy tendency to want to say, “it’s only $50 what do you expect?”
But you’re not selling your theme to me for $50. You’re hoping that 100’s if not 1000’s of people all pay $50. So if you side step and revisit that original point of view – you get a different perspective…
Actually no, even if you get a 1000 sales the support requests and the updating to keep it functional and keep in mind that only once you get to elite you can get 70% so 700×50 is 35000 USD divide that wih 12 and its 2916 USD a month, now not many items get to 1000 a year, now keep in mind that there arent a lot of items that get there. But for the sake of the argument lets say it does, to keep your clients and not get bad ratings negative comments etc. You have to offer support and offering quality support takes away your time to make more themes so you need more devs and so on.
Now you can imagine a frustration when you invest 2 month in development of something big and it doesn’t go as you planed and then you get a support ticket like “i payed good money for this theme and it doesn’t work stylsheet something, i want support right now!!!! otherwise i will rate it 1 start an annoy the crap out of you in comments”
So when you bottom line it you say why would i bother to create something else when this is gonna happen lets go to something more sure.
And as new markets go, i don’t see envato reaching that peek yet, critical mass is something that is very hard to go over, it is still number one marketplace to earn a decent living.
But its getting harder and harder and i do agree, first authors that earn here secondary income will go away, once big guys start to migrate then it is going to be to late.
All authors are here to make money, some of us make our entire incomes here, if buyers want to see diversity in design, then start buying the more creative designs out there and stop buying the same old themes again and again.
The ThemeFusion guys know I love them, and this isn’t a slight on Avada, but if you want diversity in design then buyers need stop buying 1000 copies a week of Avada. At the moment (most of) the weekly top 8 selling themes are very similar, huge amounts of content, works with every major extension etc.
Knowing that those can sell well, why wouldn’t other authors try to emulate this success? Hell I know I’d like to.
In short, authors will go where the sales are, if buyers want diversity in design then there needs to be diversity in sales also.
That being said, original themes & design can still do well, see Lobo for an example of this, it’s awesome.
TL:DR – I love ThemeFusion, ThemeCo. etc, but if you want diversity in design, there needs to be diversity in sales, as long as Avada keeps selling 1k copies a month then it’s harder for authors to see the potential elsewhere.