Buying Themes

If you do not find a theme that you can use with standard configurations, and if you do not want to build your own (or add code to an existing theme), you may be in the market for a theme. As with everything Drupal, this is an expanding and changing market, so you can get the best feel for it by starting from a search engine to find the latest information.

However, the outlines of the market are not likely to change much. There are three main sources for themes:

► Contributed (free) themes on the Drupal site—You can find these at Like all contributed modules, they are covered by the GPL license. The developer may offer customization and add-on advice and services for a fee. As with all software (not just open source software), price is only a rough indicator of quality.

► Theme developers and consultants—You can find developers and consultants to help you with your theme. As is always the case, the more you know about what you want, the easier it will be to make the best use of a developer or consultant. (That means the more thinking you do up front, the less thinking you will have to pay for.) Paradoxically, if you are starting out, you may want to plan for two sets of consultations. You may want a consultant to guide you through options and issues; this is a relatively short-term consultancy to get you up to speed if you need more background than this book provides. Then, you can do some more thinking and work with the same (or another) consultant on actual theme development.

► Commercially available themes—A number of people and companies have developed themes that they sell. One such company, Top Notch Themes (, has an interesting pricing model. It has a number of themes that you can download, and its prices are usually around $300. Each theme also has a buy-out price: If you pay that price, no further copies will be sold. Buy-out prices are from around $2,700 to $3,800. Several themes are shown on each page; click a theme and find a full page of details about that theme. At the bottom right of the details page, you can find the number of copies that have been sold. This means that if one of these themes interests you, and if you want to have a more-or-less unique theme, for somewhere in the vicinity of $3,000 or a little more, you can have a theme that is shared by no more than 5-20 other people in the world. (These numbers are based on randomly selected themes on the site.) And you may be able to buy out a theme that has no other users yet.

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