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Designer / Developer for Custom Theme

I am interested in finding a designer to help me create a custom theme to my new forum. I want to make the theme modern but still has the classic forum feel similar to http://bit.ly/4fiI7

I posted a couple of post on freelance websites and have been receiving crazy quotes ranging from $200 - $2500 and workload ranging from 15 hours - 120 hours.

My question is, do I need to find a developer to create a similar forum or is a web designer adequate? Secondly, what would be a decent price and turnaround for this project?

Thanks!

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    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    $200 is crazy low for a one-off theme. The amount of experience required to make a complete theme in 10 hours is certainly worth more than $20 an hour, no?

    @phreak makes themes, perhaps he could give you a better idea.

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    businessdadbusinessdad Stealth contributor MVP

    @hgtonight said:
    $200 is crazy low for a one-off theme. The amount of experience required to make a complete theme in 10 hours is certainly worth more than $20 an hour, no?

    I second that. Even matching the higher end, $2500 for 120 hours of work is extremely cheap. $20 an hour is a very low rate, just a bit more than what a cleaning lady gets paid around here (with all due respect to cleaners, who take care of a very important job).> @rocksalt13 said:

    My question is, do I need to find a developer to create a similar forum or is a web designer adequate? Secondly, what would be a decent price and turnaround for this project?

    You need to find someone who knows how to create a Vanilla theme. If you think of starting from scratch, a designer would be useful for the first part, with, perhaps, a developer to help with possible technical issues here and there.

    Regarding the estimate, I'm not a theme developer and I didn't inspect the site in detail, but I would reckon about three to four days of work, with price depending on consultant's location and average market rates (for reference, here we would be talking about $2000 to $2800).

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    TamaTama United Kingdom ✭✭✭

    Heres a cutdown off how I would do this

    1. Discuss and decide on a theme, by extension we are talking about fonts, colour swatches, and image resources. Target browsers also need to be identified for sake of cross browser methods. Is there going to be any extended functionality in this theme ( that isn't already out there ).
    2. Start by splitting different areas into preprosessor partials, we'd also need to look at what areas of vanilla need to be changed.
    3. Now basic page elements begin, styling the basic building blocks of vanilla and deciding on the layout of the forum ( position of search, sidebar or no sidebar? etc ) -> Check back with the client periodically for this .

    // This could be the end of day one, depending on the scale

    1. Work begins on the theme, this will take a while; as the client will need to review changes every so often.

    // 2 - 3 Days

    1. Bug fixing and testing

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

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    vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP
    edited September 2013

    @hgtonight said: The amount of experience required to make a complete theme in 10 hours is certainly worth more than $20 an hour, no?

    I don't think anyone ,even someone with experience could make a one of a kind theme in 10 hours. There is a lot of testing that need to be done and that is time consuming....

    I can change the looks of an existing theme like the default in 20 minutes. But that is only changing the basic things like font color and background color and all flat.

    For a more dedicated look it can take more than a week. Plus the bugs that may happen by using plugins and having to adapt the theme to those. It can easily take a month to finish.

    For people who want someone to create a new theme for them and to make it so it only costs $20 dollars , I suggest you buy a premium theme for $5 or $15 and edit that to your liking .

    Or better yet learn how to do it yourselves. Only then can you really know what it involves and the time it takes .

    A design developer is different from a function developer. Few can do both well.

    designer=about looks

    developer=about function

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    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    @vrijvlinder said:
    I don't think anyone ,even someone with experience could make a one of a kind theme in 10 hours.

    That is more of my point. IF someone could do it in 10 hours, their experience would be worth way more than $20/hr.

    That said, 10 hours from mockup to minimal viable product seems feasible.

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    peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited September 2013

    My question is, do I need to find a developer to create a similar forum or is a web designer adequate?

    I still think this question is semantics. No matter what the title - someone who creates your theme must know the basics of changing custom.css, and depending on what you want perhaps using themehooks. And the obvious eye for design.

    Equating cost with value is nonsense in non-tangible products, in my opinion and arguing the point might good after 20 beers (but without the beers my mind has better things to banter about). A hobbyist who is a great designer and knows how to code may want to give you a break and may not charge you a high fee.

    Instead of trying to determine title or self-imported value of a theme creator, look at their samples of work and decide for yourself. If someone charges $200 for a theme and you like their sample themes, hire them.

    The question is, do you want to hire somebody because you want a theme

    but don't have the technical skill
    or
    you don't have the time and would rather pay.?

    From what I've seen - @kasperisager is fantastic.

    And if you want to do it yourself. @vrijvlinder and @tama seem to have the willingness and knowhow to help.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

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    SrggamerSrggamer HardCore Gamer ✭✭✭
    edited September 2013

    To make a them, you sketch on paper. Make it in photoshop, hand craft the CSS, PHP more like 5+ days for a quality job. I once ordered a custom them took 3 weeks and I payed more then $8000, Prices are high for custom work.

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    TamaTama United Kingdom ✭✭✭
    edited September 2013

    @rocksalt13 echoing what @peregrine said, maybe you could treat this as a learning curve; learning how to use css as a markup can be enjoyable; as you discover the possibilities that it can offer: especially with the arrival of css3 ( warning cross browser hacks galore, as you need to use various methods to achieve an equal style across all browsers ).

    However if you are looking to work with vanilla I suggest you check out http://vanillaforums.org/categories/tutorials .

    If you are looking for tips on how to write css ( its easy, once you get the hang of it ) I suggest you check out https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

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    phreakphreak Vanilla*APP (White Label) & Vanilla*Skins Shop MVP
    edited September 2013

    $200 for theming is impossible. Chinese and Viernamese freelancer are no longer going for this rate. Themeing also complexified in recent years and Vanilla, let's say it friendly, is not perfectly thought in the construction of CSS classes. Nearly everything has a different class, which is good, but its not very stringent implemented.

    That makes it even more time consuming. Also a very user friendly theme needs more than just CSS to get hold of a great UI experience fundamental to start a new forum. Consider mobile a big part of that these days. Some communities range up to 60% mobile use (like in the case of one of my forums).

    It's important to have a good plan or a great designer to think a theme pixel perfect as someone who covers edges and parts you even didn't think of. Here lies the true quality of a designer.

    • VanillaAPP | iOS & Android App for Vanilla - White label app for Vanilla Forums OS
    • VanillaSkins | Plugins, Themes, Graphics and Custom Development for Vanilla
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    peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited September 2013

    $200 for theming is possible if someone wants to do it for $200.

    Drawing a conclusion on how good the product (no matter what the cost will be) without seeing it is IMPOSSIBLE and silly.

    By this deductive reasoning then all free open-source software is impossible (and by some posters deemed non-professional, and not good because it doesn't have a price tied to it).

    And a $15 theme wouldn't be worth it either - by the same reasoning.

    before I said:
    From what I've seen - @kasperisager is fantastic.

    apparently he changed his name to @Kasper (but still of isager Bootstrap fame). He will give you a good price for a great theme I am certain.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

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    vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    The way I see it is if they are using their forum to make income and the design enhances the income getting , I think that is worth something considering they will use it longer than it took to make.

    If someone uses my themes on a forum which makes money, I would hope they would at least give some feedback about how it enhanced their forum.

    Without seeing it the people have no idea what you can do, that is why it is important to have samples and screenshots.

    They will usually say you make it how you think is good, then I will create something awesome for them, and they will change everything once they realize what they really want . It helps to get a good idea before starting on something , exactly what they expect. And also that if they give you artistic freedom to do it, that they won't change their minds and want something totally different you have to start over.

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    phreakphreak Vanilla*APP (White Label) & Vanilla*Skins Shop MVP

    @peregrine: I didn't bash on OS. Please read my comment in the context of the initial posting. It's about custom, freelance, modern theme, quotes and the question "what would be a decent price?", so my response is not to be placed in context with OS themeing.

    • VanillaAPP | iOS & Android App for Vanilla - White label app for Vanilla Forums OS
    • VanillaSkins | Plugins, Themes, Graphics and Custom Development for Vanilla
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    vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    If every user of my themes donated $1 dollar , I would be over $6000 dollars better off.

    What are the odds one person will offer me $6000 ? which is still cheap considering the amount of time involved plus support etc.

    Everyone should donate a mandatory $1 per download :)

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    KasperKasper Scholar of the Bits Copenhagen Vanilla Staff

    @rocksalt13: Funny thing that you should mention Shoryuken, I actually wrote that theme :-) In any event, I'd be more than happy to make you a simple theme for a decent buck - on the condition that it be open sourced once completed. I'm not currently available for contracting (wouldn't want to essentially compete with myself) but think this would be a fair middle ground between a paid gig and an open source project for the benefit of the community.

    Kasper Kronborg Isager (kasperisager) | Freelance Developer @Vanilla | Hit me up: Google Mail or Vanilla Mail | Find me on GitHub

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    businessdadbusinessdad Stealth contributor MVP

    @Kasper said:
    wouldn't want to essentially compete with myself

    That would be interesting to see. Kasper bidding against himself, driving the price to zero and beyond. :D

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    @businessdad said:
    That would be interesting to see. Kasper bidding against himself, driving the price to zero and beyond. :D

    If theme / price = value

    than a theme by kasper driven to price of $0 would be of infinite value.

    @Kasper said: wouldn't want to essentially compete with myself

    I don't blame you Kasper, i wouldn't want to compete with you in theme design either, unless I was in the mood for losing a competition. :).

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

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    vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    You can create an alter ego Kasper, the Underlord , and create themes under that assumed name. Then you would not be competing against yourself . I have seen writers and artists do works under other assumed name for these reasons.

    That's if you have the time of course :)

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    peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited September 2013

    proposed pseudonyn for Kasper could be KasperMinion
    - KasperMinion could code and contract and to keep the other Kasper in the dark - so to speak. could include a Separate Bank account and vacation home in the Bahamas

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

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    vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    Yes "KM designs" !! It does not hurt to branch out ....

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    KasperKasper Scholar of the Bits Copenhagen Vanilla Staff

    Lol, I was actually speaking in terms of my job - wouldn't want to compete with myself as a web designer at Vanilla. Something about "Conflict of Interest" and all that stuff. Contributing some great themes to the open source community every now and then can't hurt though :-)

    Kasper Kronborg Isager (kasperisager) | Freelance Developer @Vanilla | Hit me up: Google Mail or Vanilla Mail | Find me on GitHub

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