Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Professional XOOPS theme design - What to look for

In general, prices for theme design work will range depending on a number of factors. If you don't mind the designer releasing the theme on their site for others to purchase, then you can expect anywhere from $20US to $50US for your theme. If the theme must be a one of a kind theme that only you use, you could expect to multipy the fee by at least 10x.

Also, there is the option of finding a PSD based webiste design that you can get permission to "port" to XOOPS. Essentially, just look for a free website template that has the design you want and write the author asking if you are allowed to modify the template for use on your site. You may even want to inquire as to whether or not you can re-release it to the community. Make sure you get written permission to do this as the original designer has full copy rights to all images in the design, even if it is a "free" template.

If you don't feel confident "porting" a static website template to XOOPS, there are some who specialize in this an would do it for a nominal fee, usually $50-$75US depending on the complexity of the template. Some have to be completely rewritten at the code level. Of course, those cost more because of the labor hours.

It should be stated that the prices listed above are a general starting point. Depending on the experience of the designer, the quality of their work and inflation, these prices may vary quite a bit. But having a good baseline to start from never hurts when stepping up to the barganing table. ;-)

An important thing to note is that you want to verify the work of the designer. Ambitious new designers may promise to deliver, but may find they are over their heads once the project begins. Ask for a list of active sites the designer has worked on. Nothing speaks louder about the quality of a designer's work than a real live site.