In August 2021, Hubspot announced it had partnered with Envato, the “world-leading online community for creative assets, tools and talents”, to provide more than 250 website themes. These themes are all made specifically for the Hubspot CMS hub, and are available on Envato Market.
The two companies suggested that this was a natural partnership between two companies that were both committed to helping their customers to create an engaging web presence quickly and easily. It has brought Envato’s creatives (known as ‘Authors’) into contact with Hubspot customers seeking to create websites to engage their own customers. However, that is by no means all that Envato can offer to its customers and community.
A creative hub
When it started, Envato operated out of a garage in Sydney, Australia. It now has offices in Melbourne, Los Angeles and Guadalajara, while remaining fully owned by its founders. It claims to have more than 2 million customers per year, more than 600 employees worldwide, and to have generated more than $1 billion in total community earnings.
Envato’s website sets out a three-step process for its community to connect. Authors upload their work, customers browse products and buy, and the money is passed onto the authors. In practice, of course, it isn’t quite that simple. Envato offers several different products—or rather, marketplaces for its community. These include:
- Envato Elements, which is a subscription service offering customers access to unlimited downloads of creative ‘assets’, including templates for videos, presentations, and graphics, fonts, audio files, photos and more.
- Envato Market allows customers access to a wide range of assets, including the Hubspot CMS templates, but on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, rather than a subscription service.
- Envato Studio enables customers to connect directly with freelance designers and developers to work on custom projects.
- Envato Tuts+ offers lessons in all kinds of creative activities, from coding, through photos and video to website design.
Envato also offers a range of other services such as PlaceIt, a DIY ‘maker’ tool. This allows customers to create professional-looking mock-ups, logos, videos and posts for social media via smart templates. Other services provide photos, videos, or audio files.
Checking out reality
Naturally, Envato has glowing reviews on its own website, from both customers and authors. However, how does the reality match up to Envato’s hype? Sadly, not so well, if the reviews on g2 are anything to go by. Several Envato products are listed separately on g2, including Envato Elements, Studio and Tuts+—and none of them really match up to either their billing or their competitors.
Envato Elements is listed under ‘Web Font Marketplaces’, meaning that it is competing with Google Fonts and Adobe Fonts. This is perhaps not the ideal place—and g2 reviewers may therefore not be best placed to evaluate Elements’ best points. Despite that, the platform has a solid 3.8 stars out of 5, on a relatively small number of reviews (47, of which 29 are five-star—clearly plenty of happy customers.
The one-star reviews, however, are illuminating. All, without fail, describe poor customer service. It seems, therefore, that when things go right, everything is good with Envato. Even dissatisfied customers like the products. However, when things go wrong, Envato is slow to sort things out.
There are even fewer reviews for Envato Studio, so perhaps it is unfair to judge. The poor reviews (just four, but that is one-fifth of the total) all seem to relate to the same problem: installing themes on WordPress, compounded by the poor customer service. However, the comparisons with other freelance sites suggest that if you wish to hire someone to work on a custom project, you might be better off going to one of the bigger but more general freelance site such as Upwork or Fiverr. Only Envato Tuts+ seems to meet its billing, with high user satisfaction on g2.
The bottom line
Envato offers access to a very strong community of creatives, and high quality products, including website themes, audio, video and photos. However, there is a question mark over its customer service that may cast a long shadow.