If you’ve ever purchased files from Envato, chances are that you have them backed up locally or sent to a cloud storage service like Dropbox. Upvato is a new alternative that specializes in Envato Market files. The free service allows Envato customers to back up their purchased files. Upvato takes a complete backup of the screenshots, descriptions, titles, and author information. In the event that an item is removed from Envato, customers who have uploaded their files to Upvato have a complete backup.
Freddy Lundekvam, owner of Norway-based Logik Web Studios, said that he was inspired to create Upvato after losing purchased files due to the fact that Envato “does not guarantee ongoing availability of items after the initial download.”
“I’m a heavy user of Themeforest,” Lundekvam said. “I’m a full time programmer who doesn’t know much about design, and I’m especially a huge fan of the admin templates and own 15+ of them. In total, amongst all the marketplaces I’ve bought quite a few items. Having purchased many files, I quickly learned about Envato’s right to take down and remove any file at their or the author’s sole discretion without any warning. I personally have lost 10 files because of this policy, and I find it quite annoying to lose files.”
Lundekvam used to back up his files to Dropbox but found it frustrating to sort through his library without much information and no way to look them up after they disappeared from Envato. He teamed up with a colleague who is a designer and created Upvato as a solution to this problem. In addition to storing the file you purchased, Upvato also stores the screenshots, file descriptions, comments, and includes versioning – allowing you access to any version that has been uploaded.
Users can back up an unlimited number of files and there’s no limit on the file size. Upvato creators are also committed to keeping the service free, according to the statement on their website:
Upvato is and will always be a completely free service. We strongly believe that this is something that should be a part of Envato from day one and don’t agree with their policies.
The service uses the Envato API to allow users to back up all of their files automatically. Files can also be uploaded manually into your Upvato account.
Envato’s Response to the New Upvato Backup Service
While Envato does not officially endorse Upvato, the company encourages users to find a backup solution. Venessa Paech, Envato PR Manager, gave WP Tavern the following statement:
Envato buyers use a variety of methods for managing their purchases. Whatever service they use, whether Dropbox or a service like Upvato, we always encourage people to back up their digital assets.
Envato Market is an active marketplace with thousands of sellers and millions of items. While we offer a downloads section on every account, our focus is less on post-purchase asset management, and more on discovering and purchasing wonderful digital goods that solve creative challenges.
Essentially, after the purchase has been made, Envato doesn’t find any conflict in users choosing Upvato as a backup solution. The company is unlikely to change its policy about not guaranteeing files indefinitely, as it needs to account for all kinds of circumstances including copyright complaints and technical problems. Upvato’s free backup solution may reduce the number of Envato customers who are negatively impacted when files are removed without notice.
“Storage Space is Cheap” and Upvato Doesn’t Plan to Monetize
I asked Lundekvam how he’s funding the enormous amount of space required to store files for Envato customers. “Storage space is cheap these days – hosting 10 TB of data in an Amazon Glacier is merely $7 a month,” he said. “But I also take benefit from the automated uploads.
“If you connect your Envato account and back up the item, then only one file for that item will be used for all users who have the same file (Verified purchased with Envato). Every time you try to download a backup of the file from Envato, we check if the exact same file already exists amongst the items available files. If it does, it’s not stored. Instead, you use the same file that already exist in the system,” Lundekvam said.
Despite having created a service that solves a real problem for potentially thousands of customers, Lundekvam said he’s not seeking a revenue model to fund his efforts. For now, the site exists to solve a problem he encountered that also affects many other Envato customers. Monetization isn’t a priority for him at this time.
“Currently that’s not the plan,” he said. “Running such a site isn’t all that expensive. For now, we just wanted to make something cool and useful that people might want and need.”