Jul 4, 2023
Jul 4, 2023
Selling website templates is a popular route for designers to make extra income.
Designers have been doing it for decades. It’s a tried and tested income stream.
Why’s it desirable? High-profit margins, low ongoing maintenance, and the skills required are pretty accessible.
The platform of choice changes over time as the design industry changes.
Here’s how each platform compares for selling templates.
Pros of selling Framer templates
Framer don’t take a cut
100% of the sales you make are yours. For comparison, Webflow takes a fixed 20% of sales on their marketplace.
Obviously, this one difference can have a sizeable impact on your template revenue.
You can also make affiliate revenue
If you’re a Framer partner you can make additional affiliate revenue on your templates. This means you can add your unique referral link to your Framer remix link.
So if someone buys your template, and then buys a paid Framer plan you’ll get the price of your template plus 50% of the plan cost for a year.
This means you can also make money from free Framer templates. On a free template, you’ll get more downloads, but a lower conversion to a paid plan.
Comparing my template sales to the total number of referrals — it looks like 25% or less of my template sales have resulted in some commission from a paid plan.
More ownership of your templates
No exclusivity is required for Framer’s marketplace. Once you’ve created the template it’s yours to do what you want with. You can sell it on other platforms or marketplaces as well as Framer’s.
It also means you could experiment with paid ads for your Framer templates.
This isn’t possible with Webflow’s template marketplace. If you submit a template there, you can only submit it there.
Cons of selling Framer templates
Feels more reliant on your own marketing
I think the people that do well from Framer templates do a lot of their own marketing, are active in the design community, or have big followings.
Webflow’s template marketplace feels more passive. I have more confidence that each template I submit will get fairly consistent sales without my own marketing.
You might need a paid plan for your Framer template
If you want to use more than 1 CMS collection in your template you’ll need a paid plan.
Which is surprisingly common — for example, a portfolio template with a blog would need at least 2 CMS collections. Or a well-setup blog template would need a few CMS collections (posts, categories, authors etc).
For either of those examples, you’d need to pay $25/mo for the pro plan. Feels strange to commit to the monthly subscription before you’ve made any money from the template.
I think it just means fewer people will sell comprehensive templates to avoid that cost.
Webflow’s approach works much better — the free plan has the same CMS features as their $23/mo CMS plan. Just without the option to have a custom domain name. So no negative effects on selling templates.
More niche audience
At the moment Framer is marketed towards designers. Webflow is marketed towards designers plus developers, marketers and founders.
Framer doesn’t have an editor interface for non-designers yet.
So I think this limits the appetite for templates outside of the usual portfolio, blog, or startup site.
Pros of selling Webflow templates
Similar Web estimates Webflow gets 6× more traffic a month (10.4m vs 1.7m). So that’s a lot more eyeballs on your templates.
Webflow has a steeper learning curve — it can be seen as a more specialised skillset. Therefore more likely someone would pay to save time over learning themselves.
Your template will definitely get published
The first step to selling Webflow templates is to be accepted as a template designer. So once you’re accepted — you can be sure that your template will be published if you follow the guidelines.
I have more confidence that my Webflow templates will be accepted than my Framer templates.
In Framer template designers aren’t verified, so it feels more subjective. On a case-by-case basis.
Obviously, putting time and effort into a template to not get accepted would suck.
Cons of selling Webflow templates
Quantity over quality
Webflow’s old commission structure incentivised designers to post a template regularly more than posting the highest-quality template.
Webflow used to take 20% commission if you submit a template that month, and 40% if you don’t submit a template that month.
Which has pushed the focus on quantity over quality.
So overall, I’d say the template quality on Webflow is quite a bit lower than Framer.
Exclusivity for Webflow’s marketplace
If you use Webflow’s template marketplace you're not allowed to sell your template anywhere else.
You could always choose to not use Webflow’s marketplace but then it’s on you to generate traffic. Very challenging unless you have a big audience with a lot of regular traffic to your site.
In my eyes, a 20% cut for the traffic and sales Webflow’s marketplace brings is a good deal
It’s a long process
Having your first template published can take a long time.
The process is as follows: Apply to be a template designer → Submit template → QA process → Template approved → Template published
The average time for my 17 templates from submitted to published is 37.5 days. As low as 20 days, and as high as 51 days.
For comparison in Framer, it’s been less than a week for me.
So which platform is the best to sell templates?
I have more proven success and have earned much more through Webflow templates. But I’m earlier on in my journey to sell Framer templates.
I think Framer shows more potential, given the speed the product is growing. Plus it’s a faster process to try out, you get 100% of your sales, and have the flexibility to sell your templates in other places.
This article may contain affiliate links — I only ever recommend things that I love and use myself.
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