WordPress Product Owners Look Beyond CodeCanyon for Success: Where Are They Getting It? Freemius?

Envato Marketplaces used to be an excellent platform for selling digital products. Now it’s just a marketplace where you may get started quickly, but you can’t rely on it to develop a long-lasting business. Over time, Envato marketplace authors grew frustrated of seeing little to no innovation, yet the commission rate remained unchanged.

Advantages of selling on CodeCanyon:

  1. A sizable audience.
  2. Envato takes care of payments, downloads, and licenses on your behalf.
  3. Trusted by clients.

Disadvantages of selling on CodeCanyon:

  1. High commission. They take 30-70% cut of your revenue
  2. There is no method to charge for a license.
  3. No recurring revenue.
  4. More emphasis is placed on promoting Envato Elements (subscription-based).
  5. Crowded market
  6. Poor search and discoverability, making it difficult for people to locate your product 
  7. It is difficult to gain product visibility in the midst of a sea of possibilities and established products.
  8. Unable to provide Coupon codes
  9. No method to incorporate analytics to calculate ROI.
  10. Clunky upload/update experience
  11. The affiliate system is inefficient.
  12. Being unable to identify who your customers are.

List of WordPress Companies that left CodeCanyon

Established WordPress plugin and theme developers began leaving Envato and selling on their own websites to build a sustainable company over time. Here are a few of the firms that have left CodeCanyon:

CompanyPopular PluginCurently UsingFounderLeft CodeCanyonReason
AnalytifyAnalytifyEDDMuhammad Adnan2020Subscription model and addon model
Array ThemesN/AMike McAlister2014Competition with bloated themes
FooPluginsFooBarFreemiusBrad Vincent
IconicFlux Checkout for WooCommerceFreemiusJames Kemp2017Subscription model
Layer SliderLayer SliderFastSpring2019Subscription model
Orion OriginWooCommerce Product DesignerWooCommerce2019
Pippins PluginsEasy Digital DownloadsPippin WilliamsonSubscription model, Tiered Pricing
StylemixThemesMasterStudyFreemiusIgor Ligay2019Subscription model
ThemekraftBuddyFormsFreemiusSven Lehnert
Unlimited ElementsUnlimited Elements For ElementorFreemiusAmit Keren, Maxim Vendrov, & Irit Mejibovsky2021Recurring revenue
Wiz PluginsScheduled Notification Bar Plugin for WordPressFreemiusJohnSubscription model, Marketplace commision
WP SMSWP SMSWooCommerceVeronaLabs2018
WP UltimoWP UltimoFreemius2019Subscription model
XplodedthemesFloating Cart for WooCommerceFreemiusGeorges Haddad2021
YayCommerceYayMailEDDSubscription model
  1. Pippins Plugins
    Pippin Williamson, the developer of the popular WordPress plugin Easy Digital Downloads, got his start on CodeCanyon. He identified there was no way to create a tiered price system while also managing licenses, upgrades, and support. They eventually decided to quit CodeCanyon in order to develop a more sustainable business.
  2. Unlimited Elements
    Unlimited Elements is the developer of the plugin Unlimited Elements For Elementor. Founded by Amit Keren, Maxim Vendrov, and Irit Mejibovsky. In 2021, they quit CodeCanyon and began selling on their own website through Freemius. Their path from CodeCanyon to Freemius is documented here, as well as the pain points or frustrations that drove them to leave the marketplace.
  3. Analytify
    Muhammad Adnan, the founder of Analytify, is the developer of one of the best Google Analytics Plugins for WordPress. They left CodeCanyon in 2020 and began selling on their own website through Easy Digital Downloads. The reasons they quit CodeCanyon are detailed here, with recurrent revenue and greater control over their business fueling this move.
  4. IconicWP
    IconicWP, founded by James Kemp, is the creator of numerous unique WooCommerce plugins. They left CodeCanyon in 2017 to create more sustainable solutions and better user experiences. They currently use Freemius to offer WooCommerce plugins on their own website.
  5. WP Ultimo
    WPUltimo left the marketplace in 2019 and now sells independently through Freemius.
  6. Layer Slider
    Layer Slider left CodeCanyon in 2019 and began selling only on their own website through FastSpring. Layer Slider was sold under a different brand name on CodeCanyon. Where it was marketed as the Kreatura Slider Plugin.
  7. FooPlugins
    FooPlugins is the developer of the popular plugin FooBar. They left the marketplace to sell on their own.
  8. Themekraft
    Themekraft’s Sven Lehnert switched to selling on their own website. And now utilizing Freemius to deal with the recurring payment and EU VAT issues.
  9. StylemixThemes
    StylemixThemes, the developer of the MasterStudy Wordpress plugin, quit the marketplace in 2019 and now sells on their own website through Freemius.
  10. Orion Origin
    In 2019, Orion Origin pulled the WooCommerce Product Designer plugin from CodeCanyon and began selling on their own website.
  11. Xploded Themes
    Georges Haddad’s Xploded Themes withdrew their CodeCanyon plugins and began selling on their own website in 2021. They are now collecting recurring revenue through Freemius.
  12. Wiz Plugins
    Wiz plugin left the marketplace in search of introducing a subscription model. They wrote a detailed article about why they left Envato and they are currently selling Wordpress plugins on their own website using Freemius.
  13. WP SMS
    VeronaLabs’ WP SMS began selling on their own website in 2018. They removed their products from Envato and began selling them through WooCommerce.

Why do Plugin Developers prefer Freemius?

After leaving Marketplace, Unlimited Element's revenue skyrocketed.
  1. Software Licensing
    Freemius makes it simple to introduce licensing and manage activations. When a consumer purchases your premium WordPress plugin or theme, Freemius instantly generates and securely sends them a unique software license key. As the product owner, you may manage all of your client licenses in one place.

  2. Recurring payments and subscriptions
    It costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. By running automated renewals on existing customers’ payments, you may generate a consistent recurring revenue stream using Freemius.
  3. Automatic Updates
    From the Freemius interface, you can easily submit a new version of your WordPress theme or plugin.
  4. Coupons and discounts
    You can simply offer discounts and coupons without using any additional code.

  5. Multi-currency
    The infrastructure of Freemius fully enables multi-currency transactions. Currently, it accepts three currencies: US dollars, Euros, and British pounds.
  6. Staged Rollouts
    It’s one of my favorite Freemius features. If you’re making significant changes to your product, you can release the theme or plugin update in stages. Then you have to patiently wait for feedback. If everything is in order, the update can be fully released.

  7. Access to Customer Data
    When you sell on a marketplace, you have no idea who purchased your product. For example, suppose you released another product and know your existing users will enjoy it, but there is no method to interact with them. Freemius overcomes this problem by allowing you to keep all of your clients’ data and utilize it to your benefit.
  8. Cart Abandonment Recovery
    Cart Abandonment Recovery is a feature built into Freemius. It sends a series of emails to customers who added your product to their shopping basket but did not purchase.


Sell independently and build your brand if you want to build a long-term business. If it’s a side project to test the market, go for the marketplace.

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