Start thinking outside of the box, Themeforest alternatives do exist, just not in the way you think.
If you’re constantly on the lookout for top quality WordPress themes and plugins scouring the internet in search of that next have WordPress theme or plugin. you will have more than likely come across the giant that is Themeforest. It will rear its head at pretty much every google search term you can think of. Whilst Themeforest can be an excellent source of themes and of course plugins, it can be fairly hit and miss on what you end up with.
For every one awesome theme or plugin, there are a load more that are junk.
It’s true, there are some fantastic WordPress products on Themeforest truly there are, however for every gem you do find chances are you will have bought a couple of duds, I am of course speaking from personal experience. Having spent a considerable amount on Themeforest & other sites part of the Envato network I can wholeheartedly make the statement that some are not fit for purpose.
Looking for an alternative to Themeforest?
Well, you obviously are as you wouldn’t be reading this blog post would you now? There are plenty of alternatives out there, in fact, you’ve probably seen them already. You need to get the marketplace mentality out of your mind. By this I mean choices, you’re more than likely looking for a marketplace similar to ThemeForest, this is wrong. Very wrong.
You need to take a step back, you need to reevaluate your priorities. Take a look at the below to see what I mean:
- What do you need the theme or plugin to do?
- How long do you think you will be using the theme or plugin if you find the right one?
- How much do you want to spend? (It’s an investment after all)
- How important is the support to you? (Can you muddle through? Are you an intermediate user or a total newb?)
- How important are new features to you?
OK, so that’s the priorities set out. Why in this order? Let’s do the math, shall we?
What do you need the theme or plugin to do?
This is a straightforward question and in fairness, with a clear outset, you should already be finding themes or plugins to fit your needs. Search properly, Themeforest is not the be all and end all. There are a shed load of niche plugin and theme developers out there that are selling a high-quality product that can meet your needs. Do a thorough search, take this for an example:
Looking to set up a website for your local Church? Why not take a look at a specific company that specializes purely in the creation of themes for churches. See Church Themes they specialize in them.
Do you see the logic? It’s not rocket science, is it? No. In fact pretty much whatever you are looking to do with WordPress there will more than likely be a professional company offering quality themes or plugins that will meet your needs. But why? Why not just get one from Themeforest?
The simple answer is you’re buying from someone who knows ‘s your industry, who know’s the niche you are choosing. Who better than a business who has researched their sector and knows it better than (perchance) even you?
How long do you think you will be using the theme or plugin if you find the right one?
This is a very important question. Do you want to buy a theme or plugin from Themeforest that could be pulled at a later date? (Happened to me) Or do business with a company that not only has invested time but money into the betterment of their product. One that has invested everything in providing a product that has longevity and not a fly by night.
Sounds unfair? Yeh sure it may well do, however as a consumer I have a right to state my case. I want something that will be around for a while for my coin, not something that a developer/designer gets bored off or disappears off of the grid because they didn’t generate enough revenue. Yes, it could happen with a specialist company sure I’d be a fool to say it wouldn’t. The most important fact is, it’s less likely.
How much do you want to spend? (It’s an investment after all)
No matter which way you spin it, your hard earned cash is going to have to leave your death like grip if you want something fit for purpose for your next website project. However buying themes and plugins can be a bit like a horse race, not everyone likes a gamble. So why take one with the future of your online presence? This really does go back to the priority or indeed question if you will of ‘how long do you think you will be using the theme or plugin’.
You could find a reputable theme or plugin developer on Themeforest, there are plenty on there that’s for sure. I do not mean this post as a slant against Themeforest authors I truly do not. However it needs to be said as a consumer, Themeforest is not the be all and end all of WordPress themes and plugins. There are tons of alternatives out there.
How important is the support to you?
It should be of paramount importance. Not all Themeforest authors offer support, some do, some do not. A quick flick through a comments section on a plugin or theme of interest often yields interesting results. Either the plugin/theme is supported, or you can hear church bells in the distance, you know where I am coming from.
How important are new features to you?
If you’re looking to grow your WordPress powered website new features should be important to you. There are plenty of authors on Themeforest who are constantly updating their themes with new functions and bundling them with new plugins and such. Don’t get me wrong, more power to them a theme or plugin that is being constantly updated with new features is a good thing. Unless of course, you purchase a theme or plugin which doesn’t generate enough revenue for the developer. Sure this can be said on both sides of the coin, marketplace V’s specialist. Again though, it’s less likely. Why is it less likely? I’ll tell you why…
Buying from WordPress Theme/plugin business Vs Themeforest
Setting up an online business selling specific themes/plugins is tough. In fact to say it’s beyond tough is an understatement. However it is achievable, I have read a boatload of articles all stating the same. That for every one that succeeds ten fails, it’s a competitive marketplace that’s for sure, be it as a theme designer or plugin developer it’s grim out there.
If you find a company that offers what you need and please, please research them properly. Simple things like: how long have they been in business? How many theme/plugin updates have their been, how good is the support and such? Use them. Why? Well for a start anyone who can drum up business and succeed in a landscape that is permeated with so many, finding a decent theme or plugin company is like finding gold dust, hang on to them. As opposed to what?
Well as opposed to Themeforest
Why? Well for one they have millions of customers all chomping at the bit for an awesome theme. As a developer, you already have a ready-made database of buyers ready to purchase your theme or plugin from you. All you have to do is meet the standards needed by Themeforest. Dev’s sell their theme or plugin make a boatload of cash and become very successful, awesome. Great for them, that money goes straight back into the theme or plugin and increase functionality and quality.
Or. Or it doesn’t quite hit the levels it needs to. It’s done OK, however, the dev’s got bored with supporting the product and it’s more of a chore. In fact, it’s actually a nuisance to support. Which means you’re up the creek without a paddle and no one want’s that.
Think outside of the box when searching for an alternative to Themeforest
People need to get out of the habit of thinking about finding an alternative marketplace. You need to sit down and have a good think about what YOU need. Chances are there are some fantastic plugin/theme businesses out there that will cater to your every need. Stop thinking eBay for themes/plugins and start thinking of businesses that specialize.
Those of you that came here ‘looking for a list of alternatives to Themeforest’ will no doubt be perturbed by the lack thereof. Quite frankly, if you have read down to this section you will already know what to do, don’t you?