For the last little while, I’ve been selling – or attempting to sell – website templates on Themeforest. I’m definitely not doing it for profit; in the last week, I’ve made a whopping $7.50. That’s barely even worth it if I was just using old designs. No, what I’m doing on Themeforest is attempting to improve my design skills.
You see, Themeforest isn’t just a regular consignment service. Well, it is, but their quality control is pretty good. The first template I submitted was rejected, and a third was returned for refinement. I spent a lot more time on the second before getting it in. They’re not shy about telling you, either. And I think all this has helped my ability by teaching me a few things:
- It pays to make a complete Photoshop mockup first
- It pays to have some default stylesheets lying around for typography, resets, ie bugs, and that sort of thing
- It really pays to sleep on a design and refine it in the morning. You see things you didn’t before after a day.
Don’t get me wrong, clients are a great filter too. But your clients (probably) don’t look at your work from a design point of view. They read the content, check the margins, maybe make suggestions, but (if you’re lucky) assume that the design decisions you’ve made are the right ones and leave it at that.
Besides helping my sense of design aesthetics, I’ve also produced a few nice-looking pieces to add to my portfolio, which is always good. It’s also a nice way to get some exposure.
I’m not saying you should use Themeforest as a cheap source of reviews. After all, getting one through feels good, and sites on Themeforest do tend to sell at least a few copies. Try your darndest to get something really nice together, and then see what the moderators have to say.