Sell on ThemeForest exclusively or release theme for free on


Which do you think would offer better visibility and traffic?

Selling on themeforest as an exclusive author or releasing my theme(s) for free on (and earning income via support and upgrades to a more feature rich version of the the theme)?

With the option, I’d also be able to sell on creative market and from my own shop. The popular opinion seems to be that being exclusive on ThemeForest is worth the customers they provide, but I don’t really like the impression the design of their site gives and don’t like the idea of having to direct buyers I pull in on my own over to the ThemeForest site rather than providing a customer experience that’s consistent across the board.

Thanks in advance for any input.

(Leland Fiegel) #2

Only way to find out for sure is to test both, although I’d lean toward avoiding ThemeForest altogether. Look how dismal sales are of recent themes. And like you said, the customer experience would be fractured.

You might want to take a look at CodeInWP’s transparency reports. They do very well with the freemium model. Release a “lite” version on .org, then upsell to the Pro version sold on their own site.

(Kobe Ben Itamar) #3

Not sure if you’ve already come across this research about WordPress theme sales on ThemeForest.
If you haven’t read it yet I think it may provide some insights to help make your decision.

(Moeez) #4

The best way to go about this business is to release a free plugin first. Obviously you will have a bigger reach and a bigger pool of potential customer for a free product as compared to a premium one. Once you have enough installs and you have made a good customer base, introduce a pro version and release it on ThemeForest. You can expect your existing customer base to purchase your pro version.