Alongside these dedicated studios are thousands of independent designers developing themes for public release in WordPress theme marketplaces.
In this post we’ll be looking at three of the most popular marketplaces for selling themes. We’ll discover more about how each of them work and what’s offered for buyers and sellers.
From a buyer’s perspective, the choices of themes offered at ThemeForest are extensive. As of now, there are currently 4,399 WordPress themes to choose from. For perspective, this is twice the number of themes offered in the WordPress theme repository.
To help minimize your searching time, ThemeForest organizes the themes into logical categories like blog/magazine, e-commerce, entertainment, wedding, and so on. And, of course, these categories can easily be navigated through a simple search tool. This makes themes very easy to discover.
When you find a theme you like, simply click the Live Preview button to see how it looks.
The price of each theme is decided upon by the ThemeForest staff. I’ve seen themes go for as low as $25 and as high as $60+, but most themes seem to sell for a competitive $40-$45.
You have two options when buying a WordPress theme (and other goods) from ThemeForest. You deposit funds into your TF account and pay the on-screen price, or you can choose to pay directly via PayPal. The latter option adds a surcharge of $2.00 per theme.
As a buyer, you should be aware that authors are not required to provide after-sales support. If this is important to you, visit the author’s profile page or look at the comments section to check if it’s something they offer.
From an author’s perspective, the prospect of selling themes in such a vibrant and busy marketplace is highly attractive, with top authors making an excess of $20,000 every month.
The commission rates, however, aren’t that great:
- You earn 33% of the sale price if you sell your theme(s) in other places.
- You earn 50-70% of the sale price if you sell exclusively through ThemeForest.
To get started, complete the application form and submit your first theme for review. Once approved, your theme is made available to buy.
Next up is MojoThemes, which works pretty much the same way as ThemeForest.
The prices are relatively in the same ballpark, though the range is a bit wider. They start at $6 and go up to $59. The themes at the lower-end of the market typically perform a specific function, such as informing the visitor the site is under construction or grabbing an email address.
The number of themes offered at Mojo Themes is not as large as ThemeForest, but the quality of the best themes is certainly on par.
If you want to sell themes on Mojo Themes, you must follow the same submission and approval system as other marketplaces, supply documentation (using a custom file), and provide after-sales support.
Compensation rates for non-exclusive sellers are slightly better than ThemeForest, at 50%. If you sell exclusively through Mojo-Themes, you earn between 50-70% from each sale.
Whereas the previous two marketplaces also offer themes for platforms such as Joomla, Tumblr and others, WP Eden only supports the WordPress market.
There is another difference too: WP Eden runs a club system, much like dedicated studios, WPMU Dev, and ElegantThemes. You pay a monthly fee to gain access to all the themes available in the club for usage on multiple sites. Each month, WPEden developers add at least one new theme to the club collection.
Prices here start at $0 (free!). The most expensive theme I spotted is $90, but once again, the average price is around the $45 mark.
Sellers can upload their themes and, once approved, earn 50% commission for each sale of non-exclusive items.
All three marketplaces featured here are great places to buy and sell WordPress themes.
From a buyers perspective: I find ThemeForest easier to use. The filtering options work well compared to the struggles I’ve experienced with MojoThemes and WP Eden (the latter offering no filtering options at all).
Furthermore, even though ThemeForest doesn’t require authors to supply after-sales support, most developers are happy to do so.
From a sellers perspective: ThemeForest also gets a big thumbs up. Mostly because of its popularity—Alexa ranks it at 100 right now! Selling your products on the biggest marketplace makes a lot of sense, and at this time that’s definitely ThemeForest.
But even so, access to the wide audience ThemeForest commands can be offset by its measly commission rates. MojoThemes is probably your next-best choice.
Be sure to check out all three sites before making your final choice, as either a buyer or seller! Which site do you prefer?
Jonathan John is a WordPress enthusiast and freelance blogger. He loves comparing WordPress plugins and themes, sharing the latest Automattic news, and helping non-techies get the most out of the world’s favorite CMS.