[PAID] Expert Wanted for Forum Redesign

What would you like done?
Basically want a theme that looks the same as https://community.wemod.com

When do you need it done?
7-10 days

What is your budget, in $ USD that you can offer for this task?
$100-150 (negotiable within reason)

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Budget can be a little more flexible if that is what is holding people off/.

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Just chiming in with some feedback because there’s been a few posts recently looking for an expert with a budget of a few hundred dollars…

$100-150 is a medior hourly rate for a developer. It will be below for junior developers and above for senior experts.

The theme you linked to as an example is not doing anything super fancy, but it’s carefully crafted. Also, the host company has a fully defined design language in place, so the theme developer didn’t have to come up with style definitions themselves.

I’d probably estimate around 10-15 hrs to build such a theme giving an example template. If you don’t have a design language defined this adds at least another couple hours for very basic definitions of colors, fonts, borders… When done for a client, you also have to add in time for project management, communication and deployment of the theme, let’s say just 5 hrs. So as a ballpark I’d be looking at a project range of 20-25 hrs. Multiply this by $150 and you get a rough scope where I for example would start budgeting such a project.


Hey bud,

I don’t see why the cost of something like a theme, that is not incredibly taxing for someone rehearsed in Ruby to make with Discourse, especially when I’m requesting a carbon copy, any style/colours etc would be just copied from wemod and I can always customise/change it at a later date, what I’m majorly interested in is the layout of that forum, how the categories are like boxes, etc, would cost anymore than my budgeted price, I’m not asking for a re-design/brand new concept, I’m literally asking for a copy and paste.

I have development experience, I’ll be it with PHP, I’m moving from years of using Xenforo and top level developers in that community don’t charge $150 per hour for their design work…

A competent developer would be able to complete my request within 5-8 hours, $150-200 for a days work is a fantastic rate.

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That’s your assumption, that’s not how things work in theme development for discourse.

Which is technically speaking, more work than


Themes are made in Javascript / Ember and CSS, not in Ruby…

I guess that depends on where they live, but even then :rofl: .
Good luck finding someone!


So what I’m hearing from the community is that I’m better off using a competitors product unless im willing to pay someone thousands of dollars for copying another already exsiting theme

Maybe you should reconsider the “copying another already exsiting theme” part as well.

You make it sound like someone is holding a knife to your throat. Fact is that there are not many good developers for Discourse so the rates are not as low as for the average PHP job.

If things are so easy as you say you might as well want to try it yourself ? And you can always use an existing open-source theme and work from there.


Discourse is free and open source. Just like the other solution that you used in past. Every platform has its nuances and you can’t compare them apples to apples.

Nobody is forcing discourse on you, You have all the rights to choose a platform that fits your usecase.

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Other than the complete lack of design concepts and how difficult it is to create your own design when having to move html elements around, etc for someone new to the software it does fit my use case. Ah well, back to the drawing board.

If it fits your use case, it might be worth investing in a design that fits your requirements.

We don’t have the budget to be spending $1000+ on a site design that’s intended userbase isn’t expected to exceed 100-200 users.

Then it might be worth reading the materials available here about theme development and giving it a shot. Since you have an understanding of programming in PHP, the same concepts do apply here as well. It might be worth learning a new skill and getting the desired results.


For what it’s worth, I updated a site I’m working on from this:

to this:

Just by installing the Air theme and making minor updates to settings. It’s an improvement, but I expect I’ll be doing a lot of tinkering with it as I develop the site. I’m not happy with the colors and fonts just yet, for example.

When I read “a theme that looks the same as” some other site, all I can think of is scope creep. What elements do you want to copy? Colors and fonts are easy enough. (Though I would say dark gray text on a black background is a violation of my personal code of ethics and I wouldn’t do that. :wink: ) I know how to use the Custom Header Links theme component to add those. Rounded corners isn’t that hard if you know about border-radius. I could see making those changes for $100-150. (Step one could very well be to find a theme that gets close and fork it.)

Trouble is the target theme probably has elements that I’m not seeing right now that might be important to a client. The logo with the gradient (AKA ombré, I think?) looks cool. I can’t help with that. Some users have “PRO” avatar flair. I can help set that up if I’m provided the desired icon, but my graphic design skills are next to non-existent. You get the idea: “looks the same as” isn’t a useful specification (either functional or technical).

From hard experience I can also tell you that there are shortcuts to make a Discourse theme that “looks like” another site. Trouble is, the result is unlikely to be maintainable as Discourse (and the design esthetic of the internet) changes. Creating a theme isn’t something you’d want to pay $100 for. If that’s your budget, you’re better off learning how to do it yourself. As I suggested when you PMed me, you might benefit from just paying for someone to walk you through the process. I strongly suspect it’s the cheapest and fastest way to get what you really want.


The original post was more just a conversation opener rather than a full on specification.

But what I want essentially is the bare minimum, I don’t want all the same functionality etc as the other site, just how it looks and feels, so eg forum categories in seperate boxes that are styled the same way as on the site i showed, colour wise id prefer something that matched the default discourse light theme if im honest as again colours, etc is all stuff ive got the ability to change and play with myself, its the core ‘look’ of the theme id struggle with myself which is the layout elements compared to vanilla discourse

That’s totally fine, in my book. There’s always going to be a push and pull as people learn what’s possible. For whatever reason, I read the initial post as asking for a bunch of work that probably would blast through your budget. It was such a mismatch between what I read as your expectation and what I could provide[1] that I skipped over it until you PMed me. Why risk disappointment and frustration?

I’d strongly suggest finding a theme that has the important elements and playing around with that. If you run into problems down the line, maybe use your budget to get some help.

This morning I had a conversation with the contractor who is remodeling our garage. We’ve been working with him for nearly a year and I swear I’ve contradicted myself a hundred times. Things that made sense in the abstract suddenly look wrong when I see them in real life. Today we noticed a funky gap between the stairwell and a wall. It was in the plan and we could have done something about it then. It just wasn’t obvious that there would be a problem until there was a problem.

Part of why we hired a general contractor (and an architect and a structural engineer) is to avoid some of these problems. But they can’t catch everything. Since we are paying them a ton of money to get things right, they fix these little things so that we are happy with the result. I have a friend who owns rental units and he just hires work crews. He’s his own general contractor. It saves him money and he still gets something he’s satisfied with. If something isn’t right, he takes responsibility for it.

Given your budget, your best bet is to hire people for very specific things you can’t do yourself. For instance, if you try the Air theme and want to adjust the way the category boxes are styled and you have specific changes, I’ll bet you can find someone to help.

  1. I’m not a designer, so I’m not going to be much help in any case. But suppose I were an expert. ↩︎

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