Why I Don’t Recommend Envato Market

I’ve used Envato Market in many occasions for projects when first starting out on Wordpress, and there are plenty of reasons why this would be a good option for someone first starting out on wordpress. Unfortunately for me at least personally the reasons NOT to use Envato Market for Wordpress projects outnumber the reasons to.

Misleading Titles

There simply just isn’t enough control from Envato themselves over claims made my individual developers and their themes/plugins. Easily looking through listings on Envato, you’ll almost 80% of them having written in their product graphic their theme is the best selling, or simply sometimes they’ll even list their product as the “Best (Insert General Category) theme for Wordpress. 

Sorry byse. The best Wordpress theme probably doesn’t have to sell on Envato. They probably have their own domain and sell their product with a Payment provider because they have great reviews and rep for their products.

Not to say you can’t find actual legit, good working themes that aren’t crap code on Envato tho, WWS has used Jnews since starting and I would totally recommend this theme, as it’s fast and the developer provides support on their dedicated domain, and that support is included with the theme.

But Envato doesn’t seem to exercise any control over wild claims made by developers, if they did every second developer wouldn’t be claiming their theme is the fastest or the best. And if a theme falls short of those claims good luck actually getting a actual refund, which leads me into the next reason I don’t recommend Envato Market.

Refund Policy

This is going to sound stupid as hell, but during my teen years before moving to Japan for school, prior to that I worked at McDonald’s. McDonald’s is actually pretty simple in their policies with refunds, at least my store, and if we fucked up, we would then honor a refund. You want to get what you paid for with your money right?

Recently, I stupidly purchased Slider Revolution for a project. I say stupid because the plugin is notoriously confusing, the support seems to be complete shit, and if your trying to get your page loading in prime time, you don’t slam sliders everywhere. 

I was looking at the demo and clicked the buy now hyperlink on that demo which didn’t say it was for Joomla, they make the plugin for Wordpress, Joomla and some other platforms, which I at the time didn’t realize and I take responsibility for that. However upon clicking that link, your directed to Envato and at that time I had enabled quick checkout option. Your brought to the pay screen to approve the payment, your payment method already being saved. The only product detail on that page was Slider Revolution. It wasn’t till the purchase was complete that I realized it was for Joomla.

I contacted the plugin developer, who then redirected me to Envato to process the refund. I submitted the refund request with Envato and was contacted maybe 4-5 days later. To be clear, I wasn’t looking for a refund. I wanted to actually changed the plugin version from Joomla to Wordpress. Of course these are two different plugins and sets of files. But you’re essentially paying for that license key. The plugin you could download anywhere nulled. But obviously using nulled plugins is a bad idea.

In their response they requested that I purchase the Wordpress plugin before they process a refund for the Joomla plugin. I actually find that kind of annoying because it’s just assuming that I’m dishonest, but whatever. I did as directed and then forwarded the purchase information to them. 

I thought initially that they would just blacklist that license key, and provide a new one for the Wordpress plugin.

But instead what happened was that I re-purchased the Wordpress plugin, and they “refunded” the Joomla plugin, but as Envato Market credit, WTF.

So I re-purchased the Wordpress plugin as directed and then I get a refund of Envato Credit? Bitch that’s an exchange not a refund, be clear in your policy. Annoying as fuck, if I’m going to follow your instructions and make two purchases, refund my money, if I want to make further purchases from you that’s my choice. I hate when some online companies will do this, like no, that’s sketchy as fuck.

So now I have to make a third purchase in order to add 20.00 because you can’t just subtract the amount of credit in my account for the “refund”?! Seriously? So now I have to spend the minimum 20 which is going to push my credit up to 47.00, and with the purchase I’m making you’ll just keep that leftover as credit? I despise companies that pull shit like this.

Product Assurance

Two days ago, I went into the downloads section of my account to find that one of the plugins I had just bought under a month ago had been removed and was no longer available.

They list these reasons why a plugin may not be available anymore:

The author may have decided to permanently delete the item from Envato Market.
The items on Envato Market are not created by Envato. They are created by designers, developers and creatives from all over the globe.

Oh okay. So basically what you’re essentially saying is that you have no control over the continued support of your products, because they aren’t your products. They are the work of independent developers. 

If you actually look over their policy, after a short time after the initial purchase, even tho Support is “Included in your purchase”, the support is through the developer. So If the developer decides just to ditch production of the plugin that you’re using, so you think they’re continuing support? So how can Envato Guarentee support of a plugin? They can’t.

Futher Down you’ll read as follows:
Once a file is permanently removed or deleted from our system, the item can no longer be offered for download. For these reasons, we can't guarantee the ongoing availability of items after your initial download.

So translation: Other then your first purchase, Envato can’t guarentee you shit. So if you buy a plugin that works now on your wordpress, and then when Wordpress updates weeks or months later and it somehow breaks, or conflicts with another plugin and you need support or a fix, and that plugin has been removed from Envato then that’s tough shit, because Envato doesn’t have to do anything about it.

If you click on why is my download no longer available they’ll give you some possible reasons. Are u serious? How about Envato provide the actual damn reason instead of you as the customer having to read some bullshit “it might have been because” reasons, like seriously? 

Scope of “Support”

Envato Market is a mess. They can’t guarantee your purchase and any purchase you are making is not guaranteed, not controlled, and ongoing support can not be guaranteed either.

 Honestly how much do you think Envato is paying these freelance developers to provide ongoing support anyways. Like there’s only so much a developer can do, and how much support they can process for plugins and randoms just asking questions about whatever. 

The actual scope of support is unspecified either. Whether that be a general request, someone who doesn’t understand Wordpress or conflicting plugins and needs someone to actually SFTP into their Wordpress install, like, those are two way different kinds of support.

Wrapping it up

All these ongoing issues amount to me just not being able to recommend Envato Market as a solution really for anyone who’s going with anything other then just like, some personal blog for laughs or something.  Yes it’s frustrating to find an alternative because if you search Wordpress themes or plugins, Themeforest or CodeCanyon are always the first results, just for the sheer amounts of results returned in Google searches, but remember quantity and quality are two different things. 

Save your money and go with a Theme or a plugin and support the developers directly rather then supporting Envato to continue with their shitty business practices.

王可森 (Kesen)

Canadian Born, Asia-Raised. Currently living in Taiwan. Interests include basically anything tech/web, music (Listen to my album on the left Menu!) Asian Politics and Policy, and Asian Boys lolol.