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Styles Potential

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Digital Jedi, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    I don't doubt skinning for XenForo is that bad, though I was a little put off by what I saw in the demo ACP. And I realize I'm asking a biased question here, but if you can give me an idea, it would help. What's the market for professional XenForo skins look like? Is there currently a demand for it and it would it be worth my while to start designing skins for it. I'm going to start with vB 3 and 4 skins, and I want to add a second forum to the list, but I don't really have a good idea of the market for other forum software styles. I thought about SMF (which doesn't actually look like they have a major market for prepaid styles) and IPB, the ladder of which seems to be a rather common secondary design source for style designers. That said, I probably have a ever so slighter opportunity to market for XF based on the handful of folks who might know me from vB.org. But, like I said, is there a sense that a market for buying XF skins is growing? Or are thing still to new to be certain?
    ArnyVee likes this.
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member


    The Style Properties system and the ability to customise the design has been very well received by most designers and owners.
  3. bambua

    bambua Well-Known Member

    I've made themes for both VB and Xenforo and I actually think the XF way of doing things is a bit more flexible, because you can setup the html in the termplates and then either use the style properties or go directly to the css and make changes. Leaves room for complete rewrites or just tweaking a few things.
  4. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    I only looked briefly before bed last night, but I didn't care for the color palette. I've never liked those menu thingys, whatever they're called. Like I said, only looked briefly.
  5. kkm323

    kkm323 Well-Known Member

  6. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I don't think the slider thing would put me off completely. What I'm mainly wondering is how big the market is for people purchasing XF skins. I realize there's no exact number, but, let's say compared to vB, would you guestimate it's about on the same scale, per size of customer base?
  7. John

    John Well-Known Member

    There are lots of top names making skins already...don't think any of them are making a killing at it right now however.
  8. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    The few I've looked at were a bit more expensive than vB skins, so I've been assuming that had more to do with their market size, and not because it's especially harder to make skins in XF. I'm mainly looking for a second forum to add on to the vB skins I'll be developing. I know whatever I chose probably wouldn't be as big an audience to tap in to, but I figured I'd better weigh my options.
  9. Erik

    Erik Well-Known Member

    Probably much smaller than vB, even today.
  10. Reeve of Shinra

    Reeve of Shinra Well-Known Member

    Something to be said however about being in at the start of a new venture and becoming the authority.
  11. Vicros

    Vicros Active Member

    There is actually a very high demand for XF skins. The thing is, you have to make it different than just a basic recolor of the default skin if you want to sell your skins. Like some have already mentioned there are quite a few big names in the XF skin design community right now and i only see it getting bigger. I too started with vB but it appears that vB is failing and is falling far behind IPB and even XF is making ground on what was once the most popular forum software. If you have a look around you might see a "few" names that might look familiar to you lol, if your coming from vB.

    Honestly i don't see too many companies surviving on just vB alone for the next year or more. As you said most designers are beginning to outsource to other forum solutions. If you ask me and i have used vB for around 6 years, i think vB is coming to a dead end.
    Shelley likes this.
  12. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I think there is a market for it which is growing. Is it worth your while? That all depends on your talent/expertise. If your on par with the other stylers with regards to their designing abilities then it's a hit and miss whether customers will buy or happen to bump onto your services and think "can they get it cheaper" etc. I haven't yet seen a style that is extraordinary (not knocking stylers) but if your producing styles with that wow factor you'll get customers thus there is a market for it, a market for you.

    I guess it all depends, I can make a killing on selling one off custom jobs rather than re-occurring sales but whether there is a market for it, for you personally really depends on what you can offer, more importantly what you will offer, the quality of what your offering and whether it stands out from the crowd that warrants that customer to purchase without any hesitation whatsoever would be a key factor in a successful venture.

    There's so many factors to consider (more styling providers starting up) but more and more people are migrating so the potential for a company to capitalise on this is there since more and more people will be looking for something that stands out from the crowd.
  13. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    Let's just assume that's true. :p

    Right, right. I should have added the caveat of all things being equal. I'm actual proceeding on the assumption that my skins will be unique enough that some people will consider them over the standard design, and that others will reject them as being too off the wall. Hopefully, balancing any disadvantages out.

    Of course, I'll have to start out with some free stuff first. :cry:
  14. Vicros

    Vicros Active Member

    It seems to me like you have the right idea and i would like to see what you can offer. If you make a military based style, ill be your first and best customer for sure. Im in the US Army lol..
  15. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    I should add that I have noticed that with the vast majority of forums. Hopefully, that's something I can do differently.
  16. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    The way I see it, it doesn't hurt to try. The worst that can happen is that you don't succeed though on the other hand, your works/designs are on par with others but offer something unique enough in your design abilities that people will see that and purchase your works. If that is the case luck comes into play but then don't we all need that?

    BTW welcome I remember your nickname if your the same Digital Jedi at vb.org.
  17. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    I'll be sure to add that to my list of potential theming ideas. :) One of the things I'm in the process of doing right now is getting a feel for common themes, and seeing where I can find a good middle ground. Something people can build on and customize without having to do it all, like in say, a skin that's just a change of colors. But I'm also looking for the most popular forum thematics, so I can have a few specialized skins. I don't want to do too many styles right out the gate, before I get a sense of how I can handle the workload, but I want a good selection.
    Shelley likes this.
  18. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    Yup, that's me. I signed up with Facebook and didn't switch over to my obligatory Solar Flare Dragon avatar. But my wife looked pretty there, so...Yeah, I'm weak.

    But your right. I've been doing a lot of non-profit work over the years, so I have nothing to loose trying my hand at a kind of business model, except maybe a little start up money that I would have mostly frittered away anyway. (And by "frittered", I mean "eaten".)
    EQnoble and Shelley like this.
  19. Xarcell

    Xarcell Well-Known Member

    There is a high demand for xF skins, but at the moment they all pretty much look the same, even the premium ones, so no one is buying much. Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of very nice skins, but because of xF's menu system, it limits a designer a bit more unless he is more of a coder than a designer.

    I used to love xF's default theme when I first saw it, but now I hate it. Most themes are designed around the default. I think flexile is more along the lines of how the default skin should have been. More browns and less blues with a larger breadcrumb. Right the default is a blue haze and I hate the menu with a passion.

    All of this just my opinion however, so don't flame me for it.
    John likes this.
  20. Tempest

    Tempest Active Member

    I can tell you my perspective as both an IPB customer and xF customer. On the IPB forum I've seen a lot of people complaining about the lack of "amazing" skins and even some designers complaining that it's frustrating to design and code for IPB. There's one group that has a decent selection of skins for IPB, skinbox. Although they've been really slow to update and respond to customers. Another thing to keep in mind is that IPB has a larger "market share" than xF does right now. Also, I haven't seen as many complain about the lack of skins for xF. This might be due to the ability to easily customize xF skins. I'm on the market for a simple but flashy, customizable skin and I haven't found that much on xenForo so my team and I are designed our own but I have bought from themesinc before, they have some very nice ones that I consider to be some of the best forum skins on xF. There are others that are very good and a lot of people eat those up but for me they don't offer enough bells and whistles. It's about finding balance I suppose. If xF is going to be your secondary option, it wouldn't be a bad one. Plus one advantage to keep in mind is that if you build reputation now in the early stage of xenForo, it will help you that much more in the future. Now, establishing a name for yourself is something no one can really guess on accurately. ;)

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