Two thirds of the most popular WordPress themes are sold on ThemeForest. Less than half of the rest are available for free on WordPress.org, and what’s left are sold standalone without a major marketplace. Why?
WordPress has a strict standard what should go into a theme — too strict — so theme designers who want to add more functionality to WordPress has to go with an external marketplace like ThemeForest.
That split is a double-edged sword. ThemeForest themes made WordPress popular by adding multipurpose functionality to a simple blog, and, made WordPress famous for it’s current visual and code mess.
Now WordPress takes back the control with Gutenberg — a thing enabling heavy customizations like the ThemeForest themes offers today. In other words WordPress is switching to be a multipurpose platform from the current simple blog.
And my speculations on this upcoming change are:
- WordPress.com/.org themes will have much higher quality than on ThemeForest, offering the same rich functionality
- WordPress code quality and designer / developer experience will rise so many new designers and developers will join the market
- All these new joins will choose probably WordPress since ThemeForest has a 70% cut from theme sales
In other words ThemeForest will fall from benefactor to black sheep.