A Template Marketplace for Open Source Software

Hi everyone. Many of us love free and open-source software, try to use them as much as possible and want to support their adoption.

However, for creative tools that are open source, lack professional quality pre-made templates like those available for Photoshop, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, etc often hinders adoption among new users. Many times less powerful entry level proprietary software wins out because they are easier to use and have easily available templates.

As an example, although I use Gimp and Shotcut whenever possible, on occasions when I needed a really quick result, I’ve had to use the Windows 10 Video Editor with its built-in templates and Photopea for its ability to edit PSD templates.

What do you guys think of a template marketplace for open source programs? Live Envato’s Graphic River and Videohive but for FOSS. Template creators would get paid and a decent portion of the sales could go to the FOSS projects themselves.

Actually, on Envato’s Themeforest there are tons of themes for Wordpress which is open source. Look how, because of these themes, Wordpress has become so popular with normal people who are not coders. And themes require regular updates which graphic and video templates may not necessarily need as much of.

I teach at a school and also work for a media creation company and both of them would not hesitate to buy pre-made templates if it allowed them to continue using FOSS.

In fact, in moments of weakness, I have considered using DaVinci Resolve due to the nearly 500 templates for it on VideoHive/Envato Market.

Would be awesome if people in the community can create a marketplace or hub like that or even better. I’m not a coder or developer but I’m willing to help out any other way I can.

Please promote this idea all over the internet if you agree that it will drive adoption of Shotcut, Kdenlive, OpenShot, Natron, Blender, Gimp, Krita, Scribus and other amazing open-source software.

Please upvote this on Reddit also. Hopefully something good comes out of it that helps us all:


I cannot add more than one +1. I whis I could add 1000.
Absolutely very very good idea!!! :smiley:
Occasionally I would be buyer there too.

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Looks like not much interest from the community or perhaps it hasn’t reached the right people. Looks like easiest way for template creators right now is to just upload and sell professional pre-made templates on Envato if they allow it. I for one would be willing to pay for well designed templates for Shotcut and Scribus as it would make my work easier.

The reason for that is the typical circulus vitiosus in open source software.

  1. Proprietary software is easy to use i.e. user-friendly.
  2. People use these proprietary software.
  3. The big user-base for these proprietary software enables marketplace products to be a viable enough source of income or tips.
  4. Because it’s viable enough in terms of profit, it makes sense for even more people to invest in, for example, creating add-ons for these proprietary software.
  5. These proprietary software become even more user-friendly and popular.
  6. Repeat all steps, starting at Step 1.

In step 4 we are losing possible creators on each iteration. Almost all of them prefer to be on the proprietary software side, because it’s just “better”.
Additionally, it’s not only just “better”, but it also makes profit, because tons of people use these software.

Now, when you look at the open source counterparts, too often the opposite is the case.

  • Too little user-base → not enough popularity.
  • Too little popularity → doesn’t make sense to invest time and effort in an add-on that probably nobody will buy, anyway.

If that wasn’t enough, there are too often things, that you need a developer for in the world of FOSS, whereas the proprietary counterparts perhaps deliver such feature or add-on free of monetary cost. This again seems to people as if it were “free”, because it just is available, without you waiting for a random volunteer to do the job.

There are tons of examples of work not getting done in the open source world, because the right volunteers are simply not available.

One of the examples I shake my head most about:

This feature is pretty much basic stuff, you would expect from any remote desktop experience. It’s very normal.

However, in a VNC-based open source counterpart (that is not even bad and actually pretty popular!!)

there is a request for implementing this very basic feature and it has not been completed since 2014.

Since 2014

Things like this are the reason why too many people stay with proprietary software. It’s often just better, in terms of what it delivers at what cost, from the perspective of a user.

As follows, there is little interest in having a big enough marketplace in the open source world for a certain product, like one of those you mentioned.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to literally all FOSS, but I’m very sure it applies to most.

Last Example

Nextcloud is one of those 1% in the FOSS world, that actually can afford having a marketplace for add-ons, etc. However, even this pretty big marketplace, compared to other FOSS products, is still not very fleshed out or remotely as reliable as some closed source counterparts.

Could one solution be that we start differentiating open source software from gratis software? People automatically assume that since it’s open source, they shouldn’t have to pay for it. Maybe more developers should think long term about the sustainability of their projects and have some kind of economic model, whether a premium version for enterprise/large scale deployments, professional support, etc.

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