Why I’m addicted to the Envato Marketplaces

For a guy who normally hates shopping, Envato must have worked some voodoo magic on me.

The Envato Marketplaces are a paradise for a nerd like me, jam-packed with digital assets that can be plugged into a website quickly and easily. The opportunities for improving a drab site with new functionality or features are endless and suprisingly inexpensive too. There’s something for the nerd in everyone! Whether you’re after a sparkly new WordPress theme, a nifty plugin, new graphics, flash animations, or just want to checkout what some of the best in class developers and designers are up to.

What sites comprise the Envato Marketplaces?

Each marketplace has its own authors, staff, items for sale, forums and community. This means the focus on each site is slightly different, but all housed within a familiar, intuitive interface and accessible with your one account. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to stick my favourite Envato sites: CodeCanyon, GraphicRiver and ThemeForest – and touch on these objectives:

  • To highlight what each offers to you
  • To provide ideas for practical application, or ways to solve common problems
  • How else you can use the Envato Marketplace to your advantage

Envato site number one: CodeCanyon

What it is: At CodeCanyon, you can purchase and sell scripts and components for a variety of languages and frameworks, currently including JavaScript, PHP, ASP.NET, and Java. Items are priced between $3 and $25. The CodeCanyon team will review complexity, quality, and overall appeal when determining the specific value to assign to an item.

Ideas for practical application:

  • Problem: the maps on my site aren’t very helpful
  • Solution: Google Maps Module with Geolocation
  • Outcome: $6 later and visitors to your website now can print a travel itinerary for getting to your business doorstep
  • Problem: my contact form is old, ugly, and gets spammed
  • Solution: iPhorm – an AJAX powered contact form
  • Outcome: for a little over a fiver, visitors can interact with your contact form and be impressed by its professional look and feel. And if they’re like me, they’ll get a kick out of the tooltips that appear for each field, nifty for increasing engagement and injecting personality into your site
  • Problem: my WordPress site doesn’t have shortcodes, and I don’t want to upgrade to a newer theme with shortcode functionality (for whatever reason)
  • Solution: Styles with Shortcodes for WordPress
  • Outcome: $25 and your old theme is now whizzbang. Golly! This plugin has more functionality than some of the best themes around.

Envato site number two: GraphicRiver

What it is: At GraphicRiver you can buy and sell royalty-free, layered Photoshop files, vectors, icon packs, Adobe add-ons and design templates for just a few dollars. Items are priced on the complexity, quality and use of the file. The site is home to a bustling community of graphic designers and illustrators.
Ideas for practical application:

  • Problem: my site has a lot of photography, but it doesn’t pop. I need something to make my work stand-out.
  • Solution: Photo templates
  • Outcome: beautiful pictures
  • Problem: my resume is missing something, and I need a job to pay dem bills!
  • Solution: Resume templates
  • Outcome: job interview, employment, promotion, long-hours but big bonuses
  • Problem: I want to improve the look and feel of my website, but don’t exactly know what I want yet
  • Solution: Popular Web Elements
  • Outcome: inspiration!

Envato site number three: ThemeForest

What is it: At ThemeForest you can buy and sell HTML templates as well as themes for popular CMS products like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal with prices ranging from just $5 up to $40. Items are priced on the complexity, quality and use of the file. The site is home to a bustling community of web designers and developers and is the biggest marketplace of its kind.
Ideas for practical application:

  • Problem: I need a new theme for my WordPress website
  • Solution: browse the Most Popular WordPress theme files, ’nuff said.
  • Outcome: dazzling site
  • Problem: I need premade landing page templates for split testing
  • Solution: check these landing page templates out
  • Outcome: multiple designs enable more robust testing, increasing online marketing effectiveness

How else can you use the Envato Marketplace to your advantage?

One other popular way of using the Envato Marketplaces is to find and hire new talent, perfect for one-off projects. Here we have individuals with portfolios you can browse, who are easy to contact and likely to be open for new business. You can also sort by Top Author if you’re after a safe bet or Top New Authors where you can grab a star on the rise.

Hope you enjoyed this fanboy post! Please do share any sites you like to use with similar value propositions.

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