Where To Sell HTML Templates For Passive Income

Creating HTML templates basically enables developers to get paid for learning advanced CSS and design. While making the templates can actually be a pleasurable task, selling them can become a daunting effort without knowing the best available options.

I’ve been making HTML templates for the last 6 years as a marketer who self learned design, HTML and CSS. On my journey I discovered the pros and cons of each selling medium. Here are the places worth considering to sell templates from my experience.

Creative Market

Probably the easiest marketplace to enter for beginners. It only requires a basic portfolio of a couple websites to grant you access for publishing. These websites can actually be the templates your are planning to upload or some nice concepts you’ve created.

The great part is you only get reviewed once for this portfolio. Then you can upload items whenever you want without individual item review. This is huge because on other marketplaces each uploaded item goes through a quite thorough review process.

Pros

  • Easy to get in based on few items portfolio
  • No individual item reviews, just one initial portfolio review
  • The most intuitive items Admin interface I’ve encountered
  • You get around 50% of the sale

Cons

  • Marketplace is more design oriented than coding
  • Average number of sales

TemplateMonster

TemplateMonster is the second largest marketplace in the world when it comes to digital products like HTML templates and WordPress themes. Harder to enter than Creative Market but a lot easier when compared to ThemeForest. It’s an acceptable challenge.

Pros

  • Robot reviewer which is permissive with designs
  • Easier to get in among top marketplaces
  • You get around 50% of the sale

Cons

  • Robot reviewer gets stuck on specifics and drives you mad
  • Average number of sales

ThemeForest

The undisputed industry leader ThemeForest is by far the biggest marketplace for HTML templates and quite frankly for any kind of dev related templates. It has the most stubborn review team in the world that only allows the best of the best to pass. No shortcuts here.

I used to be a ThemeForest author and can confirm that entering with my first items was the hardest challenge of my life. You need to be prepared for at least of couple of hard rejects until you get in. After that authors are rewarded with good sales.

Pros

  • Best exposure you can get for your items
  • Brings in the most sales among marketplaces
  • You learn a lot of best practices along the way
  • You get around 50% of the sale

Cons

  • Extremely hard to get in, reviews for each item
  • They’re asking authors to do more marketing
  • Contrary to the only reason why authors use them

WrapBootstrap

Great marketplace for Bootstrap dedicated HTML templates. It’s quite balanced in terms of how hard it is to get in and the offered exposure. One thing you need to be aware of for each submission is that it’s mandatory so send templates based on the latest Bootstrap version.

Pros

  • Good exposure for Bootstrap items
  • Not that difficult to get in

Cons

  • You get around 40% of the sale
  • Review times can be long in some cases

Mojo Marketplace

This marketplace has all the ingredients to become a popular resource but somehow it doesn’t get there. I think their marketing is more focused on WP themes and that area does better. For HTML templates it will not amaze you in terms of sales results.

Pros

  • Quite easy to get in
  • You get around 50% of the sale

Cons

  • Review times can be extremely long
  • Lower sales volume

Theme Planet

This marketplace has potential but it’s not that well advertised. It’s extremely easy to submit items but at the same time it doesn’t offer you the necessary exposure to get sales. Maybe you will have a more lucrative experience with it.

Pros

  • Very easy to get in, without individual item review

Cons

  • Not much action in terms of sales

Gumroad

Special mention because it’s not a fully fledged template marketplace. It’s more of a payment and delivery service provider. There is some exposure offered via Gumroad Discover but nothing exceptional. The best news is that you get to keep 93% !!! of the sale price. Nobody offers as much. Basically if you invest the time to build your exposure there is NO LIMIT to sales numbers.

Besides Gumroad which already offers the best part of the sale price, all marketplaces offer a slightly bigger cut if you create items in exclusivity. Which means you will not be selling them elsewhere. While for ThemeForest this could make sense for the rest it’s not really worth it.

Conclusion

If I were to start making HTML templates today I’d take the following route. Find a good niche by researching the demand on sites like Reddit, Twitter, Dev.to or by simply asking on socials. Start with raising the social audience and create traffic sources like blog posts, YouTube videos, newsletter and such. With a big enough following it makes sense to start production.

Build my first templates and the presentation website. Then easily integrate it with Gumroad via basic product links to have my own complete templates shop. With my own site in place I would go for marketplaces considering the pros and cons presented above.

I am sharing many more details about the creation process and the business side of template making from 5 years of experience in my ebook How To Create And Sell HTML Templates

See also