Jake Caputo started up quite a discussion this week centered on his being prohibited from speaking at WordCamps due to listing split licensed themes on the ThemeForest marketplace. Jake was kind enough to join me on The WPCandy Podcast to chat about his editorial and the state of the community on this divisive issue.
He also stuck around to discuss other WordPress news this week, and offer a couple of WordPress tips. It’s a fun episode, have a listen below!
You can follow Jake on Twitter, see his work and read his blog at Design Crumbs, and listen to his podcast Please Advise.
This morning Collis Ta’eed announced on the Envato Notes blog that their price adjustment tool, previously available to Envato Elite authors on their marketplaces that reached $75,000 in sales, is no longer available. Normally prices on the Envato marketplaces are set by Envato during the product review process, and not by the author of the product. The price adjustment tool, announced last year, allowed certain authors to test out different prices for their products beyond what the marketplace would set for them.
The change, Ta’eed said, comes to prepare for the next major change to Envato’s pricing strategy. The introduction of variable pricing for certain elite authors was Envato’s first step toward dynamic pricing. “While it has had some success,” he said, “it’s become clear to us that it’s not the long-term solution.” The updated pricing solution — while what it is isn’t exactly clear yet — is slated for release “later this year”.
With the pricing tool removed, any marketplace products with modified prices will be left at the last price their author left them at. This affects 160 current authors who have already reached the $75,000 Elite level.
E-commerce is becoming more of a hot topic within the WordPress community. Given this realization, we’ve seen plugins like WooCommerce be released free of charge, among other great e-commerce plugins.
Envato, the company behind ThemeForest and CodeCanyon (just to name of a few of their properties), put up a bounty to plugin developers. They see a need for more e-commerce plugins to be available in their marketplace and they’re willing to pay to get those plugins up there.
Carmen Angerer of Envato shared this morning that Kriesi, one of their authors, has accumulated over one million dollars in sales on their various marketplaces. In the last three years, Angerer said, Kriesi has complete almost 32,000 sales and amassed a following of 4,088 community members. And after today I think those numbers might be a bit larger.
Remember when Envato launched their Envato Elite program to reward authors selling large amounts on their marketplaces? (If it helps jog your memory, it came not long after Mike McAlister shared his thoughts on theme marketplace pricing.) This is now the first time anyone has received the Power Elite status, granting Kriesi a number of prizes:
- A day in the author’s honor with celebratory banners along the top of all marketplaces.
- An “Envato Elite” ring.
- Power Elite badge on marketplaces and special customized Envato Power Elite author profile page template.
- A $5,000 ad campaign for the author’s files.
- Power Elite care package with business cards and a t-shirt.
ThemeForest is the marketplace from the folks at Envato which caters to HTML templates, PSD files, email templates, and of course what we tend to care a bunch about around here: WordPress themes. Word on the street, where the street is Twitter and the word is the tweet from Collis Ta’eed you see above, is that ThemeForest approximately doubled in size this year. To get a bit hyperbolic, that’s like stacking a ThemeForest on top of another ThemeForest.
With reports of Orman Clark bringing in over $40,000 of sales in a single month and another author besting that record the next month, it’s really not a surprise that ThemeForest has grown as much as it has.
There are few businesses where year over year growth like this can be expected. Do you think 2012 will see ThemeForest (and other Envato marketplaces) still growing at this rate, or will it slow down at all?
Envato is looking for some help. They’re looking for writers to help them add more tutorials and articles to their somewhat recently launched Wptuts+ site. If you’re interested, you need to meet a few criteria: you need a solid knowledge of WordPress, excellent writing skills, and a level of consistency in your work.
If you meet those requirements, you might have a chance to be an author for Envato. You’ll get a little more consideration if you’re able to focus on PSD to WordPress development, plugin development, and WordPress best practices. For each accepted article an author is paid:
- $150 per tutorial for the first month,
- $175 per tutorial for the second and after, with a pay review after 6 months, and
- $60 per Quick Tip.
There will be an option to submit to their Premium Plus program with higher pay rates, if/when Wptuts+ goes premium. If you want more information, or want to give it a shot, check out their post on the topic.
Have you read or used anything from Wptuts+ yet? Do you use the sites in the Tuts+ Network? Tell us why you do or don’t use it in the comments.
Envato is the company behind a number of impressive WordPress-related projects: ThemeForest carries a number of themes, CodeCanyon is a plugin marketplace, they’ve released ebooks about WordPress, and most recently they launched a tutorial blog focused on WordPress. They’ve also turned five years old recently, and did a bit of reflecting in this video.
Siddharth, a member of the Envato team, shared on their Notes blog that stricter policies are on the way for authors submitting WordPress themes to their ThemeForest marketplace, specifically regarding deprecated functions.
Deprecated functions, if you’ll allow the quick explanation, are those functions that the WordPress core developers send to the proverbial graveyard with each major release. These functions are no longer recommended, and are usually replaced by something more useful and more future-proof.
Siddharth said that while their policy toward deprecated functions is “a bit lenient at the moment”, this will change. He said that “[they] only dock an author if the tag being used is too old and has a completely better alternative,” but that in the future authors will be required to use only current functions within their submitted themes.
For the developers reading: do you find yourselves using deprecated functions often, or do you police yourselves well? For those out there regularly purchasing themes: how important is the use of current functions to your buying decisions?
David Appleyard, manager of the Tuts+ and AppStorm community blogs for Envato, has announced a new blog on their network that might just interest you WordPress fanatics: Wptuts+. This site will join Envato’s growing Tuts+ family of over a dozen training sites.
In the announcement Appleyard mentioned that Wptuts+ will be a lot like the other sites on their network, but will focus on the caveats specific to WordPress development:
Focusing on everything WordPress, the site will be bringing you top-notch tutorials on developing WordPress themes, plugins and widgets, scaling your site, the business of selling WordPress themes, and general advice on how to become an expert at using the platform!
The announcement also comes with a bit of a giveaway, which you can read more about on their freshly pressed blog where Brandon Jones is the new editor. Jones is a WordPress developer, author, and previously the editor at Webdesigntuts+, another Envato blog.
How can you go wrong with a new source of WordPress tutorials? I mean, with new WordPress-centric sites announced every week it seems and long-standing blogs selling, I’m beginning to think I should jump in and start a WordPress-centric blog of my own.
The folks at Envato have launched a new initiative called Envato Elite, with the purpose of rewarding and recognizing Envato’s most elite authors across all of their marketplaces. Envato marketplaces already have a commission ladder based on sales numbers, but as the new Elite page says, “this commission ladder simply isn’t enough to contain them.”
The new ladder starts at $75,000 and goes up to $10,000,000 in sales. At the highest level an author will be flown out to Melbourne, greeted by the CEO of Envato, and invited to work at a desk with their team for a week at their headquarters. The pitch above the new Elite ladder explains the proposed benefit the new system has in the Envato community:
The Program is structured to reward and recognize Envato’s most elite authors. We want to say thank you to these authors who lead the way for our community, who stand as beacons of talent and skill, and who make the rest of us normal folk feel warm basking in their glow.
This move was encouraged, Collis Ta’eed said, by a recent editorial from Mike McAlister right here on WPCandy. What do you think of these steps? Will they encourage sellers on these marketplaces in a positive way?