Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Template Monster vs ThemeForest

Previously I've compared Template Monster to various Open Source Web Design directories for out-of-the-box website templates.
Well I grew tired of those options a while ago due to a lack of depth and the frustration of their search interfaces.  Additionally many of the licences would require that you link to the designer's website, which isn't always idea.

One site I have been using recently is ThemeForest, part of the Envato network.  This site offers paid templates including HTML and Content Management System (CMS) ready templates for most of the popular systems including Joomla and Wordpress.  As a community based site they are much better value for what you get i.e. massively cheaper than Template Monster and unlike Template Monster the HTML, CSS and custom code is typically of a very high quality all zipped up with adequate documentation.  Additionally it is great that purchasers can post comments about what they like and don't like about each product on offer.

Some things that I don't like about ThemeForest that I truly wish they would fix for better customer satisfaction.

1) Search - the problem with all these services is how to find a template. While Themeforest supports tags and item attributes the thumbnails and lists used to showcase the templates just aren't adequate to sift through the pile

2) Searchable comments - again search.  The ability to search comments would solve major headaches. When you're using this as the primary support tool for their products, comments can span many pages and with no option to view all you sometimes have to skip through dozens of pages trying to solve a particular problem, sometimes simply to find whether a feature that is purported to be supported actually isn't.

These things aside, ThemeForest is so much better than Template Monster it really isn't funny.

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