WPTavern reported this week that Envato have been experiencing a DDOS attack, they also said that a lot of theme authors have been experiencing a big drop ( 50-70% down) in sales with several forum threads dedicated to the subject. I have also seen a drop in affiliate referral income in the last couple of months with ThemeForest so that would match up with the sellers frustrations.

There is some speculation as to what the cause is, but checking their Alexa ranking you will see a big loss of traffic, now Alexa isn’t the most reliable source of measuring traffic but it can be helpful to compare sites in the same nice as the audience will be similar.

If you check any of the larger WordPress related websites you will see a similar pattern of traffic dropping, even WordPress.org has a near identical drop according to Alexa, the same with WPLift, WPTavern, WPExplorer, WPMayor and so on. I know traffic has dropped on WPLift the last few months as I have access to our Analytics reports. Some of this can be attributed to the summer slow-down which happens every year, less people online in the northern hemisphere always makes the summer periods slower.

As you can see from these, all WordPress related sites have similar traffic charts:

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You might think this is something Alexa have changed in the way they record traffic but if you step outside of WordPress related sites, you will see completely different patterns.

With WordPress growing larger than ever with a 7% market share increase from January to July it cant be that WordPress is losing popularity so maybe its an Alexa problem, maybe there are more sites related to WordPress so the traffic is being spread more thinly? There are certainly more options than ever for buying themes with new theme shops appearing daily so consumers have more avenues for buying which could explain the Themeforest drop.

If anyone has any insight into this, share your thoughts in the comments.

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Author:

Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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5 Comments

  1. Balu

    I might be completely wrong and I don’t have any data to support it, just speculating here. But, I think that all that is due to the popularity of facebook. It is easier and cheaper for small businesses and individuals to reach their audience on facebook than building website. Of course there are businesses and individuals who still need a website as well, but lots of them no longer.
    The 7% market share increase only explains that those who still need or prefer a website are more likely to use WordPress than other CMS.

  2. Tristan

    Well, Alexa stats are based on a toolbar install, this can be trusted but as you said there’s nothing else and you can at least compare some websites.

    I have experienced real opposite stats sometimes: analytics indicate a traffic increase by x2 and Alexa decrease by x2 :) It seams that sometimes Alexa have global statistics for similar websites and apply a single algorithm.

    @Balu this is more complex than that, this is not same people and not same content between FB & WP websites.

    • Balu

      @Tristan you’re right, not the same people and content. But, that’s the point, not everyone need it now. Just a couple of years ago WP, small websites, blogs in general had bigger role. Just as an example, a local running club or church, etc… used an easy to use CMS to keep in touch with members, share results, photos. But now, they do not necessarily need one, they just create a group or page on facebook (not all of them but a lot of them). I know it’s more complex and depending on what business and what purpose they might still go with a website as well and a majority of the users do so. Facebook can not replace a bunch of things, but there is a significant number of amateur users relying on facebook now and they were all potential theme buyers a few years back.

  3. I think what also may be missing is the impact of sites like squarespace and wix. At the low end these are big competitors to WordPress especially for the newest customers.

    Additionally, WordPress is not an easy system to install and modify truth be told. If you need something bespoke it’s great. And there is a great ecosystem. But there are a lot more options for folks today.

  4. when i was buying on themeforest, the site chashes.. and it was ofline about 3 hours.. i was angry becouse i couldnt buy pictures

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