Yeh I think this is the result of both a lack of understanding about what leads to good SEO, and some dubious descriptions in themes pushing that they are ‘great for SEO’, when ultimately its still almost all about inbound links, and will be for a while. It is just a dubious selling point which will convince some people.
Interesting that at least one of the top themes that pushes the whole ‘marketing and SEO’ thing actually don’t use things like resized thumbnails which will, for a novice user, almost always end up with vast images sizes and a possible SEO problem as they will just upload vast images.
My opinions, its pretty good, you should get there in the end – specifically some improvements:
1)The second image in the slider is weaker than the other two, esp the hand looks kinda weird
2)Tone down the shadows a bit on the thumbs (keep them, but make them only just noticeable)
3)Consider adding another hover effect on those thumbs (can’t harm)
4)It seems the further down you go the less beautiful it is. I think the top part is pretty nice, below ‘our recent projects’ needs work (esp footer).
5)You could ultimately still have a problem getting it in based on ‘lack of uniqueness’ (even if the bottom part is brought up to the standards of the top). You may (or may not) need to make it ‘different’ somehow (I think quality wise once you work on the bottom its there good enough though).
I cannot see how an author can possibly get enough sales in this period for the entire week to stand a chance of getting on the weekly top seller list.
It seems to be fairly pointless to bother releasing a WordPress item any more on TF. The situation currently is:
1)Items have become so bloated, to compete you now must bundle at least the value of the theme with premium plugins. Add to this the insane amount of functionality you now need (themes are now appearing that are actually genuinely multiple themes in one), and you are looking at months and months and months of work, or a team of people to even stand a chance. And that chance is now ridiculously slim because..
2)Insanely short window of time with exposure. Somehow you have to make something like >40 or 50 sales in the first few hours in order to stand a chance to recoup your time investment.
How can anyone possibly take on the risk to do 1) with the situation in 2)? – its insane, even for established top sellers. Feature bloat is inevitable, and understandable, but TF must provide authors with a reasonable chance to recoup their time.
I know there was a thread a while back saying that ThemeForest was going to stop authors buying their own items, but did this really happen? (a system implemented to make sure they aren’t being bought using proxies, checking different accounts for the same payment details, looking for unusually clustered buying timings etc?). Certain authors seem to be able to magically generate the necessary sales consistently (as well as prevent their items dropping from the top seller list).
For the thread to have been made by TF, presumably a number of authors were found to be doing this? out of interest could Envato confirm any authors were actually caught and punished? (because if they were, the punishments for blatantly gaming the system were pretty weak if no items were even removed)
I wouldn’t even blame an author for doing this with the current situation (and perhaps I am entirely wrong, I just expect the worst in people when vast sums of time and money are at stake ;))
Regardless of this, it is obvious that this amount of exposure on the homepage will put authors off trying if they even remotely value their own time. The risk / reward chance is now too absurd.
Can Envato confirm they will be (at least) looking at:
1)Buying patterns in relation to IP address 2)Buying patterns in relation to Credit card / paypal details
Specifically without doing 2), you can probably still self purchase undetected and abuse referral for free sale (cheap proxies are easy to get in significant numbers, so IP monitoring wouldn’t be enough. Account monitoring alone obviously wouldn’t be sufficient).
I hope Envato does crack down on this. My suspicions of this (combined with the emphasis on getting on the top seller list to actually make decent sales) have personally put me off making more items.
I also think that as well as looking at this issue Envato needs to address the lop sided dependence on the top seller list for long term sales. It wouldn’t surprise me now if you actually have to self buy to get enough sales to get on the top sellers list. It is hardly surprising (imo) sellers are doing this with the tiny amount of homepage exposure and huge sales needed to get long lasting sales (onto the top seller list or nothing and waste a month + of you time).
For example, just paginate the top seller list. Allow for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th page etc. A solid item that gets 30+ (honest) sales in the first week deserves more exposure.
Only because it is easy to link to in replies – I get the feeling buyers rarely look though.
Goodlayers, yes, currently if you have permission of the CC author, and have extended license (if this is what that CC author wants) you can include.
CC authors can of course demand more now if they want, say 2x extended, or whatever, as it is now down to private agreement. Note also, they could easily change their minds at some point down the road and ask Envato to remove the plugin, and presumably Envato would have to comply and soft disable the theme until you removed it. Not ideal, but this kind of uncertainty is going to exist until (hopefully) a license makes it more formal.
This is my interpretation from reading all the threads and everything posted so far
RelStudios, it is now TF author beware, and will be down to the CC author to decide how much they want to police it. They will have to power to decide who uses their items in themes. If they give you a no, or give you a yes (and later change their minds to a no) you can’t do anything about it other than remove the plugin from the theme if requested. I don’t think many CC authors would do this, and I would imagine by and large this will all run smoothly.
One question tho (forgive me if this is something obvious and I am stupid ;)), how exactly are CC authors going to police this? – afaik there is no simple way to click on an author to tell if they have purchased one of your files. You can see if they mail via your profile, and you can see if they post on your comments, but if for example, you see one of your plugins included in a TF item on the homepage – how can you tell if they have purchased a license other than checking through your own emails to see if you have granted permission? (as presumably reviewers will no longer check for extended license)
The authors of Layer slider and Revolution slider are going to be in for a lot of extra work if they want to police this aren’t they?
You don’t necessarily want a more expensive theme – lower price = more sales (assuming demand is fairly elastic. Top author items will probably be less elastic esp those authors that bring their own traffic and have a better brand, so they can probably get away with higher prices.)
As a new TF author I would assume elasticity, i.e. because you wont have a loyal following yet, lower prices might get you many more sales.. it is more of a ‘guess’ in the buyers eyes.
Anyway, ‘base’ price seems to be $45 for a theme with a decent amount of pages, shortcodes and features.
You wont get below $40 without the theme missing something (vcard / blog only / no blog, that kind of thing)
You wont get $55+ without ecommerce / buddypress.
$40 is mainly single page scrollers.
Wiggle room between 40 / 45 / 50.
Things like multiple color schemes, options, html5, option panels blah seem to make no difference.
tl;dr $45 is standard, ecommerce will raise the price.
Leaving CC use in TF items to private agreements is a bit of a minefield. With no rules in place what happens if a CC author withdraws their permission after agreeing initially? How will Envato react? (take down the item? ignore it as they originally agreed?) – also presumably reviewers are going to require some kind of evidence the CC author agrees? – what is acceptable?
I suspect this might have some impact on exclusivity as well.
‘You may elect to become an Exclusive Seller which means that you agree only to sell your Products through the Sites and not through other web sites or other medium’
This looks pretty muddy to me re the new rules.. allowing another author to incorporate an item looks a lot to me like selling (i.e. the author will be selling a non envato license to use the item) privately (other medium).
Very confusing as it currently stands.