Founded in 2006 by Collis Ta’eed, Cyan Ta’eed, and Jun Rung, Themeforest.net has grown into one of the largest web development resources on the Internet in a matter of years. This success has not come cheaply since Themeforest entered the pre-packed website template marketplace facing established competitors such as Templatemonster.com.
Bloggers, marketers, and webmasters can take advantage of the sheer size of the Themeforest marketplace. Themeforest features over two million marketplace items in the Envato network, Themeforest’s parent company, which also includes sites such as Codecanyon, Graphicriver, and Audio Jungle. Themeforest customers can definitely take advantage of the massive size of Envato’s product line.
As touched upon above, the number of available templates on Themeforest is impressive, to say the least. The caveat with this facet of the website is functional organization. The novice blogger or website developer may be lost in the sea of options available on Themeforest.
Themeforest has accomplished this feat relatively well, but the organization of the products does leave room for improvement. For instance, Themeforest highlights 2,128 WordPress templates, but the website’s developers do not place all of the templates in one category exclusively. Customers can find the same template in different categories, which can be confusing at first glance.
The website provides a very brief list of each item’s key features, but Themeforest only provides minimal information. Advanced users surely require more details on each template’s functionality than browser compatibility and file types included in the product.
Customers have to be aware that a very large proportion of the website templates available through Themeforest are not customizable. The layouts of the products are fixed unless marked otherwise. Bloggers in particular should be wary of purchasing a fixed layout template. Themeforest leaves little room for tweaking a template’s sub-pages, for example.
Still, the large number of themes is impressive when comparing Themeforest to its competitors. The benefit of using the Envato network is taking advantage of the millions of products available. Themeforest customers have a world of web development options at their disposal.
Themeforest Customer Support
Finding a website with reliable customer support is a difficult task. Some might say that customer support services online always leave much to be desired. Themeforest is no different from this flaw of online shopping.
Reviews in the past have blasted Themeforest for its sub-par customer support services. During the nascent years of Themeforest, if customers had a legitimate question on a product, little recourse was available. Today, this drawback of Themeforest has been corrected to a certain degree.
Themeforest now features a large community forum geared towards loyal customers who need assistance navigating the shortcomings of the themes available. Themeforest still has no way for customers to contact template authors directly. If a popular WordPress plug-in does not function properly with a given theme, customers will have to try their luck with Themeforest’s author support forum, hoping for the best outcome.
Envato does provide a minimal amount of assistance for beginners, but unless customers already possess a decent knowledge base, this support is not very effective. If customers purchase a Themeforest template and have a very specific, defined problem, finding a specific, defined answer is next to impossible unless the theme’s author responds in a timely manner.
Also, Themeforest does not guarantee that the theme’s author will even be able to answer the question well. Essentially, customers are at the mercy of the competency of the theme’s author. Novice webmasters simply cannot afford to purchase a theme and find themselves lost in a broad sea of convoluted forum posts, scavenging for the best answer possible.
Themeforest has been rather beautifully designed. Specifically, the website features an impressive preview functionality that sets Themeforest apart from its competitors’ websites.
In fact, the best aspect of Themeforest’s functionality is the ability of customers to view live previews of the products before purchasing an item. This gives customers the opportunity to see the template’s layout in action. The problem is the final product may or may not work as well as the live preview, and customers should be aware of this caveat.
On the other side of the marketplace, theme authors benefit from the website’s smooth functionality as well. Themeforest gives authors room to manage their own social network strategy in addition to the ability to gain a loyal following of webmasters.
Surprisingly, the website’s site map is one of the best aspects of the website’s functionality. It presents the amount of products in a straightforward, organized fashion by category of product. The primary way to navigate through Themeforest looks phenomenal, but nonetheless, customers interested in the finer details of each theme must endure plenty of vanity marketing.
The final verdict of Themeforest is positive. The prices of the themes featured on Themeforest are reasonable, considering the amount of support services available through the website’s forum. Overall, the biggest benefit of purchasing templates from Themeforest is the sheer size of the Envato marketplace.