Why I personally stay away from themeforest

Many people would say they prefer themeforest themes & plugins, for reasons like “it’s easy”, “it’s cheap”, and last but not least “user friendly”
Read on while i debunk those myths.

I tend to advise people against buying themes and plugins from themeforst and any other envato market in general, as you’d often end up spending more time debugging and attempting to scale your solution. 

But but. It’s easy!

I admit, most themes of themeforest is good looking, right of the box, and grabbing a good looking theme for $49 is easy, installing it goes smooth, 1. 2. and 3.. Poof you’re all set and ready to go, you got what was promised.. And that’s it.

Trust me on this one, speaking of experience, there will come a time where you want something that the theme you just bought doesn’t support.

My best guess is when that time comes, you will probably hire a freelance expert or another full time web developer like myself, and this is where the trouble starts, because most themes & plugins are “multipurpose” they have a lot of function definitions, files, and are every so often cumbersome structured or poorly written.

This will in time just end up costing you more than what you paid for the theme. In the long term that’s not going to change.
I’ve seen more than one themeforest theme-developer deciding to implement their own libraries and classes, the developer you just hired will now have to use additional time in learning those, while reading the documentation (or lack thereof.)

Not to mention poorly written code will and has always been a nightmare for developers to maintain, as you have to try really hard to acquire the mindset of the original developer, and I got to tell you that it is next to impossible to do such thing.

Multipurpose, alias bloatware.

If your theme is labeled “Multipurpose” it’s most likely that you’ve been asking yourself, or someone else, where was that place where i edited the contact information to the right?

Usually it would be in the widgets section of the appearence tab, which is a part of the wordpress core.
But, it’s not. it’s hidden somewhere in the actual page you now have to find.

And again, this is where i must ask, what was wrong with having a theme that used the right tools for the right job? I mean used the core features before implementing them.

Being a multipurpose theme, it’s also likely that the above is not a standalone case, you could end up having +3 or +5 backend menu items, just for your theme.

All those extra features  slows down your website performance, which kills site traffic  (and ultimately a good user experience). I for one for sure does not desire to wait 10+ seconds for a pag eload.

Visual composer page builder.The Visual Composer Plugin

What happened to only giving the author or daily administrator the tools and settings he actually needs?
This plugin has so many settings that i can barely remember even 5 of them. Everytime i stumble upon a site with visual composer installed I end up finding myself spending more time looking for the right setting than doing any actual progress, and guess who’s going to pay the extra man-hours here.

Why would i want another button to insert a single image? I already have an “Add Media” button, provided by wordpress core, right above the area where i’m writing this.

10 years ago when wysiwyg editors what hot and you could find 3 different colors in the same article.
It’s no different now that you can find 2 columns section above a 3 columns sections, except that most page builders are bloated and slows your website down by a huge performance reduction.

No one needs an advanced visual editor for blog posts, especially not if they’re serious about blogging. If you’re not comfortable with code, the WordPress visual editor is more than adequate. Pinky promise.

I have yet to discover a plugin performing as badly as visual composer, quite frankly and to be honest, it sucks for the above reasons.

One size does not fit all.

Everytime i see a wordpress with a premade template i find one or more of the above statements being true, without failure.
It’s for the very same reason you’ve been considering whether to use wordpress, drupal or joomla as your platform in the first place. You have to use the right tool for the right job.
WordPress is not my de-facto go to CMS either.

I agree with those of you that say the customer should to be able to customize their website, of course, who wouldn’t?
But customization costs! and i’d recommend you hired that developer before buying a themeforest theme, when a theme is tailor, not only is it going to be easier for the next developer to maintain, but you don’t have +5  seconds pageloads slowing down his debugging and reasearch. Granted you didn’t hire a rookie in the first place.

With proper planing & timeline it should be possible to find the budget for that tailor made solution that fits you.

Think twice, code once.

If every developer would take their time to read the documentation and find out what tools is available before writing another hack-job, the web would be a better place.
And it’s never too late to start optimizing what you already have.

No one needs 3 built-in sliders for a single wordpress site. and logging in to 3 different tooltips from plugins and theme features, license, updates, tutorials just to name a few. If you really need all this, consider a custom CMS.
Reminds me of  those times in windows vista when we had 2-3 popups just from starting our computer.

I know, I seem super biased, and I am. I’ll always be biased toward good code and cost-effective, long-term solutions, which knocks Envato products off of my list. #sorrynotsorry. But I also know that what works for me isn’t what works for everyone else.