Envato has added unlimited WordPress theme and plugin downloads to its Elements digital assets subscription service. The company is including a curated collection of 210 WordPress themes and 100 plugins along with 400,000 other design assets already offered through the service.
Envato is the largest WordPress theme marketplace on the web with 39,102 themes and website templates for sale. Last year the company celebrated 10 years in business and reported that the community earned more than $40 million, with a significant portion of that revenue coming from WordPress products.
The new “all you can eat” style package for WordPress themes on Envato Elements was introduced to boost the value of the service’s annual subscription plan and is not available to monthly subscribers. For $228/year, annual subscribers can change themes as often as they choose, which is the chief selling point of the new addition. However, the subscription service does not provide direct item support for the themes, as they are submitted by independent designers.
Current Elements subscribers have the option to change their payment plans from monthly to annual to gain access to the unlimited WordPress products. Several disgruntled customers have taken to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the WordPress additions being withheld from existing monthly subscribers and perceive it to be heavy-handed a tactic for locking in more annual subscribers before raising the price.
Not cheeky ask at all, your roadmap did not say anything about this price change, but got people signed up at $19 per month with the understanding this was going to be an added edition. Shocking way to treat loyal customers. #moneyhungry
— TVBanterUK (@TVBanterUK) November 15, 2017
Why hold monthly subscribers ransom by only allowing annual subscribers access? Feels somewhat unfair to long term subs!
— Paul Charlton (@ipixel_design) November 16, 2017
Yes we were on the understanding us early day loyal subscribers signed up would get what the roadmap said, it’s such a sneaky way to get people locked in to the annual plan which you will then increase in year 2, seen it all before.
— TVBanterUK (@TVBanterUK) November 16, 2017
An Envato support representative offered some background on the decision in response to monthly subscribers who do not appreciate being excluded from additions to the service.
“We chose this pricing model because we think it creates the fairest platform for both our subscribers and our authors,” the representative said. “A huge amount of time and dedication goes into creating and maintaining WordPress themes and plugin so this allows us to help protect the earnings of the authors who provide our community with premium assets.”