We love Moodle themes – they are the backbone of shaping the Moodle user experience and, as such, come in a fairly wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Like essentially everything related to Moodle technology, themes can be downloaded free from the Moodle plugin directory.
There are many people (and organizations) out there who have devoted countless hours of time and energy to creating themes that we all use. While this is wonderful, these people also need to make a living (assumedly) and/or would like to realize some commercial gain from their hard work – even if that is just to ensure consistent support, maintenance and evolution of the products they put out there.
To be sure, there are outlets for commercializing themes, plugins and other Moodle-related technology and services. LMSMarketplace.com, Themeforest.com – the list is long. However, if you publish a theme on both the Moodle directory and in a commercial marketplace, you need to add extra value for the commercial version of the theme to justify the fee you will charge.
We’ve recently talked about the Roshni theme from DealCube theme, and there is both a free Moodle version and a fee-based version available. As an example of how to commercialize, I’ve laid out the difference between these two versions below:
Commercial Version (Roshni):
- Three types of settings available for logo selection A) logo B) sitename and C) both icon and site name
- Settings to choose between 3 header types
- Five types of hover effect
- Two types of home page sliders: A) Open source bx-slider and B) Paid royal slider (full page slider) and you can add unlimited slides using tinymce editor and image url
- Customization options available for page background: A) Background color settings and B) Background image/pattern
- Option to choose the color for page content background
- Ability to select the color of buttons on the site from an infinite color picker
- Ability to create dynamic header Menu Pages and add a Home Page Header Menu.
- Inbuilt support for google map and related input options
- Support for dynamic font, awesome icon picker for Icon + Content Blurb and Contact Details section
- 11 sections to play with
- Sections can be shuffled
- Unlimited image and content addition options in the Icon + Content Blurb section
- Infinite image and content addition options in the masonry section
- Settings to add infinite thin stripe slides
- Text + Image Slider customization options with support for infinite slides
- Text Bubble section with slider customization settings
- Tabbed Doc section settings to add customize content
In contrast, in the free Moodle Version (RoshniLite):
- Only one type of logo setting
- Only 1 type of header available
- No Hover effect available
- Two types of home page sliders: A) open source bx-slider and B) 6 slides add using tinymce editor and image
- No options to customize the page background
- No option to choose the background color for the page content
- Button color is not customizable
- No dynamic menu creation
- Google map not supported
- Option to enter static <i></i> tags for Contact Details section and upload images.
- 6 sections
- Sections are fixed
- Icon + Content Blurb section displays the courses in Moodle and is not customizable from the backend
- A maximum of 8 masonry blocks are supported
- No stripe slides
- No Text + Image sliders
- No Text bubble sections
- No tabbed doc section
As is quickly apparent, there is quite a bit more functionality in the “full” Roshni version than the lite version. This added value more than justifies the price tag for the full version.
Are you using a commercial theme? Which one and what value do you receive beyond what is available for free in Moodle? Tell us in the comments below!