If you’re a web designer, chances are you’ve heard of ThemeForest. One of eight websites dedicated to selling what it calls “complex content”, ThemeForest is one of Melbourne, Australia-based company Envato’s creations. Founded in 2006, Envato came up with and built ThemeForest two years later – and since, the company has shelled out as much as $180 million to its complex content creators.
So, what exactly is ThemeForest? Easy – it’s a marketplace. But the real question you’re wondering about is – is it a marketplace for you and your business?
One of the World’s Most Popular Websites — and a Favorite Among Designers
If anything can argue ThemeForest’s efficacy as a marketplace, it’s its popularity. The website itself is clean, easily navigated, possesses a well-built search function, and comes with the added bonus of a huge selection of themes to choose from. According to Amazon-based analytics website Alexa.com, ThemeForest is currently sitting at just over position 200 – and just over a year ago, it cracked the top 100.
The site boasts over 4 million users, so that’s nothing to cough at. But what are 4 million users to you, when you’re not even sure if you can utilize their services? Which brings us to the next question.
Is ThemeForest for the Beginner, or for the Everyday Enthusiast?
It’s an important distinction to make. Very few people have the time or the skill to learn enough about web development to simply purchase a template and… figure it out. They need guidance, instructions, and user-friendly advice to using ThemeForest for their own services, without having to hire a third-party to do the installation and building of the website.
Can that be done? Thankfully, yes. That’s what WordPress is there for – taking the guesswork out of the website creation portion of web design, and leaving just the content up to you.
Using ThemeForest to Turn Designers into Authors
But in the end, the one place ThemeForest really caters to is the designer end of the bargain. Yes, it’s a marketplace for people like you and me to come and browse for amazingly-crafted templates, and find that one design that we can fall in-love with – but it’s also the perfect opportunity for talented designers to make money in a way that no other service lets them.
To use an apt analogy, imagine a writer. Writers often make money through content writing, commissioned short stories, articles, blog posts, press releases, advertisements, scripts, transcripts, speeches – you name it. They get paid actively for producing fresh content – utilizing their skill to offer a service that can be hired on a freelance or contractual basis. But, writers also have the ability to produce a passive income – in the form of a book.
That’s what ThemeForest does for designers. Designers, just like writers, make money through offering their services on a for-hire basis. But they make the real moolah, the passive income for which they only have to work once, through websites that offer to host their templates.
It’s not a new idea – but ThemeForest does it better than any other provider on the market. And that’s something very special to every web developer.
Can ThemeForest Be the Tool You Need to Sell Your Skill?
This is the question artists, designers and developers have to ask themselves – do you have something new to offer to the market? Something interesting, something that works perfectly in a certain industry you can market it to? Are you an innovative designer with a plan of action, or even better, do you already have a template to sell? Then yes – if you can show that you’re a cut above the rest, ThemeForest is the best marketplace I would be able to come up with.