Angular

Why I hate template markets

Apr 8, 2016

Intro

My team and I started working on admin template for themeforest 9 months ago. It was rocky path, but in the end we’ve got a lot of important experience. We didn’t manage to get there, but today we’re happy to share our work and our story with the community. It’s not that we gave up, it’s just we are tired of going back and forth without getting any information from review team.

For impatient ones, here’s links right away:
Preview: http://akveo.com/blur-admin/
Source code: https://github.com/akveo/blur-admin

Feel free to leave any comments. Because if it’s really not good enough, we would like to know that. But if you like it and it gets quite popular we will support it and implement new features.

Beginning

Let’s start from the beginning. In the July of 2015 we decided to create our own incredible admin template. We were a new but strong team. That’s why we wanted to spread out a word about ourselves. And the best option to achieve that is to create some good product. A product people would be happy to use.

So the plan was as simple as possible:

Naah, we didn’t expect a lot of sales in the marketplace itself, but we dreamed about it. In reality it’s certainly pretty hard to get to top sales, because there are plenty of Admin Templates out there. So our main goal was to somehow attract new customers via admin template and earn money on its customization. As well we wanted to improve team’s portfolio at the same time.

Version 1.0

So the first version was completed in 3 months instead of 1. Main reason for that was because we didn’t thought initially about the time you spend on investigations, adjustments of components to make it looks good, making it responsive etc. We were looking at similar templates and thought: “Okay, we need a week to create dashboard”. But you need a week to steal somebody’s dashboard or create similar one. We didn’t want to steal (at least that much :) ).

Right now, when we look at this dashboard, it makes us smile. So it was not a surprise it was hard rejected on themeforest. More of a surprise was the fact, that they did it without any comments. We knew, that marketplaces don’t provide them in such cases, but anyway it was very rough from our point of view. Another thing we were upset about is that we waited for 2 weeks for this hard reject. We didn’t gave up and submitted it to bootstrapbay and wrapbootstrap. Bootstrapbay rejected it right away as well. From Wrapbootstrap we have finally got an email that our template was accepted for further review:

You can’t imagine how happy we were. We waited for this “Further review” for 3 weeks, but no progress (BTW it remains in this state even now ). We started writing to support, tweeting the owner of that marketplace - still no response. It became absolutely clear that template needs some improvements and we started doing next version.

Next try

What we really didn’t like about previous version was dashboard. We believe, that when some customer opens your product he needs to experience that “Wow!”-effect to buy it. Another assumption was that nobody looks at other pages. That’s why idea for the second version was to improve the layout of the dashboard. First version of our Admin Dashboard was developed completely without designer. We were doing that design ourselves. Now we thought that for this task we need one.
We hired a junior but very promising designer to our team and started working again.

One more month and the new version was done:

Then it was just like the previous time, two weeks resulted in 2 hard rejects. This time it was 2 because we didn’t upload to WrapBootstrap.
It was very upsetting and at that time we even started thinking about stopping the development at all. But we’re not ones, who leave some stuff unfinished. That’s why we agreed on one final try.

The final one

This time we were very careful about what we submit. We finally started to think, that we need to innovate. Innovations came from two sides:

  • From the development side, we refactored code structure and applied most of best practices we were aware of. We were really thinking about people, who would be going to use our template. We tried to make it very easy to customize.
  • And from the design side, we added iOS-like background frosting glass (or blur) effect for desktops. Nobody out there had that

As well we:

  • added 12-15 new pages
  • tested, fixed and cleaned a lot of small issues and glitches

And below is the screenshot of what we created and how our template does look right now:

We’ve spent about 9 man/months and everyone in the team was happy and inspired about the result. One of us said that markets should fight for our template.
Fight, huh? Submissions… two weeks…

  • themeforest and bootstrapbay - hard-rejects
  • 3rd week… wrapbootstrap still no response

Conclusion

After our last submission we’ve found an interesting post about the team like ourselves which wanted to start selling on themeforest too. Long story short: 1,5 years, 2-3 developers, 15-20 hard-rejections, 25-30 soft-rejections, 1 approved theme and about 80 sales. That made us think: does it really worth it?

Well, I partly understand those marketplaces. I suspect that they have a lot of rubbish submissions, that’s why they are that rough with newest authors. But anyway they could’ve tried to help them providing some useful comments, if they really see that some author is trying to create something good. There should be ways to do this...

But anyway as author I started to hate those template markets.

Finally, as we truly believe in open-source, we’ve made a decision to share our admin template with the community. We will be happy if you take it as a basis and create your own admin dashboards, other templates or whatever you want. We hope that it would be good enough for you and you won’t need to spend money on those heartless markets!

Here’s a github repo once again.

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