Looking At Envato Elements – The Subscription Model
Envato Elements in the newest product from the folks over at Envato. These are the same people that run the popular marketplaces such as Themeforest, CodeCanyon, and more. What’s different about their Elements service? They are entering the monthly subscription arena.
The recurring model has been made hugely popular by the likes of Netflix and Adobe and it looks like Envato doesn’t want to be left out of the party. The platform is currently in beta and offering early subscribers a low cost $19/month rate. This is much lower than their advertised $49.99/month rate they plan to move this service to after the official launch. Is it worth it?
For somebody who primarily works on the backend architecture but is required to jump into the frontend and design, sites like these can be a savior. I have good design skill, but I often look for inspiration from resources such as Envato. The way I look at it, I have four options to get the work done:
1. Hire A Graphic Designer – This is what I prefer to do every time but budget can be a limiting factor. There’s nothing better than having a qualified individual working with you on design aspects, letting me do what I do best.
2. Purchase Individual Files – A nice and inexpensive alternative. Purchasing design files from Themeforest, GraphicRiver, etc. can provide excellent mockups and a starting point for development. Downside is depending on how many files I need, I could still be spending $100-$200.
3. Unlimited Graphic Design Services – There are businesses on the marketplace offering unlimited graphic design services for a monthly fee. These fees typically range between $300-$600/month. From my experiences, the end result work is pretty below average. If you have no graphic design skills and you just want some generic work done, these may work for you but the quality is way below what you would get at Envato or with hiring a graphic design.
4. Envato Elements – If you are pumping out a lot of work and need quality designs, this Envato Elements seems like a great player. Right now you could lock in your price at only $20/month which would pay for itself if you download two files per month. Their marketplace is still a little thin as far as content. I have no doubt they plan to increase the availability and variety of files prior to launch as it is still in beta. I haven’t taken the plunge yet as all of my current work for the foreseeable future is 95% backend development with little design requirements but I definitely may consider it if some design type works begins to come down the pipeline.