The ThemeVan Story With Themeforest



Since 2009, I’ve been heared Themeforest, a growing fast marketplace can buy and sell many web products like HTML templates, WordPress themes and the other CMS themes. Many early authors got big sales with their WordPress themes, looks so admirable! So I was always thought about a question day and night: “Can I quit my day job and sell my WordPress Theme?” becaues I’m not sure whether it’s worth to be a fulltime job or not, I asked some authors. Fortunately, I received a reply from a kind author, she said “Don’t spend too much time to mulling things over.Just roll your sleeves up. ” You can’t think how I appreciate her words! finally, I get started, because of her encouragement.

The First Step is the only difficulty

I created an account on Themeforest in 2010 and tried to submit my first WordPress theme, but it was relentlessly rejected. I received the reviewer’s feedback is that my item can’t meet their requirement. You can imagine that how I was disappoint and sad! After a week, I was ready to give up to submit any items to Themeforest and continue to provide the wordpress customization service to the clients in my country, that’s the incredibly boring job, but I have learnt much from the different projects.

After a year, I tried to submit my second theme to Themeforest, but still no luck. Good God! I have to say that the first step is the only difficulty! I was give up again.


Fortune May Smile Upon You, Sometimes

At the end of 2012, I was decide to go down with the ship. I stopped my customization service and make up my mind to create a new WordPress theme for my next submission. In these days, I don’t have any income, thanks for my wife’s understand and support.

No doubt that sometimes people can release the potential in difficulty. I luckily seized a chance, maybe you know that one page website was more and more popular, but there were few one page WordPress themes on Themeforest in that year, so I developed a one page WordPress theme which is called ‘SimpleKey‘ and finally it was approved in January 2013! Even now when I think about it I feel so lucky!

‘SimpleKey‘ theme gave me a big surprise. After it was available to buy on Themeforest, I got average 10 sales every day and after a week, my SimpleKey theme went to the Weekly Top Sellers board! It’s still my main daily income and there are more than 3000+ sales up till now.

Afterwards, more and more one page themes were came out since 2013, so it now seems that the design of ‘SimpleKey’ is not quite unique any more, but I promise it’s still a classic one page theme that is easy to use, and I’m keeping to improve it, make it better and better in the future.

Seeking Cooperation

After I got aconsiderable profit, I was seeking cooperation with the other developers, ’cause I was eager to build my own brand and make it bigger. My plan has ran smoothly, I’ve met two reliable partners, we worked together and released new themes, OldCar and MagicBook.

Everything went off according to plan and all going well. I became the Elite Author on Themeforest in 2014, after that I changed my themeforest username from personal nick name to our brand name, ThemeVan and our website launched!


The Second Difficulty, Technique Support

Get big sales means we will also spend more times to reply the buyer’s questions. I’m highly value the support service, it’s closely related with our public praise, however, that got us into all kinds of difficulties with the number of theme increase.

Many buyers are developer and they purchased our theme to secondary customize for their own clients, but the question is that we can’t provide the support for the custom issues, because we have to reply 10+ questions everyday at least so that we don’t have enough times to help every buyer to finish their custom issues, that’s really difficult. So, I wrote a support policy to explain that our support service is only include trouble using and bugs fixing, but obviously, not everyone can understand, they often complain about our theme can’t meet their client’s custom needs… No matter how we explain the support policy and the reason, no help, but we do need enough times to upgrade all the themes and try our best to share the times to every buyer. Hum, what shall we do?

Perhaps the only option is that provide general train of thought for their custom issue, they should do it by themslves, if they still has any questions, we can just remind them the next step or help them to googling some useful informations. Anyway, we can’t refused to do anything for the custom issues.

I feel it is quite effective. I often receive some appreciate words from those lovely buyers. Thanks for understand!


Multiple Purpose & demo Themes or Keep Simple?

After 2014, more and more multiple purpose themes are sure to occupy the first place in the Envato Market, it seems they can do everything just like a transformers toy, sounds magic! But the question is that unfortunately we don’t have permission to set a price for our theme, so if the price of our single purpose theme is same as a top sellers’ multiple purpose theme, let’s say $58, which theme the buyers want to purchase? Obviously, the multiple purpose theme has high performance price ratio and the top sellers are trusted.

We were dubious about follow the trend or keep simple. In my personal opinion, I prefer to spend times on create the single purpose theme for the niche fields, there are many undeveloped ideas are contained in the niche fields, be immersed in the brainstorming is a interest thing. In the other hand, simplify the product and make it highly friendly is more challenging than always add, add and add. The constant repetitive task is bad for work I think, we hope we can do something different for each theme, so keep simple, keep unique idea is an attractive choice for us.

It’s our next line in the future.



This is the themevan story with Themeforest and WordPress, I hope it can inspire the new Themeforest authors. In a word, facing such a rat race in the WordPress industry or Envato Market, I don’t think the market has already saturated, if you focus on the niche field and keep your enthusiasm, I insure that you will succeed sooner or later.

Welcome to share your story and discuss this topic below.


8 thoughts on “The ThemeVan Story With Themeforest

  1. Very interesting. I had a look at your themes and they look good. Multipurpose themes which are now very popular these days have some seriously bad coding and secondly they rely too much on third-party plugins like visual composer, flex-sliders etc. Migration can be a potential problem with these themes.

    Are you still developing themes?

    1. Thanks for your reply. Yes, I still develop theme. I also don’t like multiple purpose theme, especially integrate those third-party plugins into the theme, because every time when the plugins updated, I will also test the theme with it for the compatibilty issue. I want to make the theme easy to use, but I still haven’t found any good solution to instead of those plugin, especially Visual Composer.

      Are you also develop theme?

        1. The competition is more and more cruel, I think you should just diving into this field as early as possible.
          Are you a developer? Or designer?

          1. I am on the development side. Will you be able to discuss business issues relating to theme development. Thanks.

  2. Nice info.
    I left my full time job and developing wp theme for 4 months to submit in tf,
    I hope it work as i have no income source. what you would advise me to this situation as you had faced it already.


    1. Hi, was your theme approved in TF?
      My advise is do your best to make the excellent product and support service, especially support is very important for the customers.

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