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Dresssed: Beautiful Themes built on bootstrap for your Rails App (dresssed.com)
76 points by mgrouchy 1742 days ago | hide | past | web | 41 comments | favorite

Definitely beautiful, but the price point seems a bit strange. It definitely surpasses ThemeForest territory, but it's still built on an existing framework and has that "cookie-cutter" vibe to it. Considering a few hundred more bucks will get you a completely custom Bootstrap theme on oDesk, I wonder about the target demographic for something like this.

I think the killer app for this will be a bootstrap theme where a few easy parameters (so easy your grandma can do it!) can dramatically change the look and feel to make something actually feel unique. If that is possible, I can really see this taking off.

Creator of Dresssed here.

You can get much cheaper themes specifically for Bootstrap here: https://wrapbootstrap.com/.

But what I've noticed is that every theme based on Bootstrap is incomplete. Focus of my themes is to provide everything you need to build an app. Re-branding every component was a lot of work and trying to make them not look like Bootstrap was even more work.

Please don't misunderstand my comment for a lack of excitement about this domain. I'm going to keep a close watch on this to see where it goes. Absolutely agree about the state of Bootstrap themes, which is why I tend to go pure custom with outsourcing. One suggestion I would have is to really hit hard about how yours stand out. Clearly, they are well designed, but someone who would be a buyer at that price point (doesn't need custom, but needs something nice and flexible) may not be educated enough to know why they should choose yours over the cookie-cutter $30 theme. The custom form and tables are particularly nice, but they are buried in the demo. I've spent a lot of time digging through bootstrap themes, and it took me awhile to figure out what made this one more compelling; less experienced users will surely have the same issue.

Good luck though; this is definitely an interesting space and I think you'll get some good results over time.

Very good point! You are totally right. I did hit hard about those points in the emails I sent before launch and they have been very successful. But not on the site yet. Will do that. Thanks for the suggestion.

I applaud your service, but as a potential customer, I need something easier to use to provide websites on demand. Just thought this could be interesting for you to know.

I have more than 500 hits per month, all small businesses who want to create a "website". For many a simple bootstrap theme would do... with very little parametrization.

Take a look at http://divshot.com/. Someone pointed me to this today.

"I think the killer app for this will be a bootstrap theme where a few easy parameters (so easy your grandma can do it!)"

Absolutely agree. I have customers but don't have the skills to automate website creations. We need this gap bridged.

Give me an API to build a website based on simple parameters: [ domain name, title, presentation text ]. (for example)

I'm surprised ThemeForrest hasn't done much yet around Bootstrap. Some of the designers have started using it but I would have expected a full-fledged category or section by now.

I am hoping that Bootstrap will become a standard base for most themes as well. Just makes sense.

I'd be very curious to see what kind of custom theme you can get for a couple dollars...

For a couple dollars? Probably nothing at all. I've been outsourcing custom bootstrap themes similar to this (perhaps slightly less polished, but completely custom to the product) for around $400-500 for 4-5 different page styles and all elements (tables, forms, jquery widgets). Some are even partially responsive.

Where do you find such cheap (around $500) Bootstrap designers/developers?

On ODesk, you can find decent designers willing to work for $15/hour on Bootstrap. It's cheap, and the really good ones can easily do up a custom site in a work week or less, provided you have some existing assets (logo, screenshots, boilerplate text). Some do better work than others, but surprisingly, it's no longer a "get what you pay for" thing when it comes to outsourcing. Some are college students building portfolios, others are outside the country and willing to work for less. My suggestion is to first hire someone to design a logo (even if it's typeface-only, and reject any Lobster submissions) and a color palette, usually less than $100. Given that, a bootstrap pro can have you a custom site in a few work days.

Is this sort of stuff turning application development into a commodity?

You can spin up a Rails app, Bootstrap it, and them theme it off the shelf with about 30 minutes work nowadays. 10 minutes later you can have it running on a PAAS such as Heroku.

Each of those jobs would have taken a number of different specialists many days in development, design, and sys admin work just a few years ago.

The average simple CRUD SAAS app that is presented here is such a low barrier to entry and becoming increasingly so.

Yes? This is good thing, right?

It depends. Is it good that I don't need to know how to get an Apache server on a *NIX box up and running just so I can play with Ruby? Absolutely.

Is it good that even though I suck as UI design & colors, I can see something I like, drop a little cash and deploy it? Again absolutely.

Is it good that it's now super easy to write a CRUD app that is nothing more than a digitized form? I'm not sold here.

I get the allure, and I take advantage of these options as much as possible. But what I want to see is software helping solve a problem. If all you're doing is digitizing a form, I'm not convinced you've really solved a problem.

The entire internet is a CRUD app filled with digitized forms. It is nice not to have to think about that, and instead think about workflows and affordances that help people get stuff done. Making this basic crud easier allows more brain space for the more interesting problems to solve.

True, my concern is more that people will just stop with the CRUD app.

Geocities did some good for letting people having their own page. But the HTML was horrendous, and left many thinking they're doing amazing stuff. I don't really want to see that repeated.

The problem, however, is at the developer level and not the tool level, I suppose.

I wouldn't worry about people "stopping". As long as companies have use-it-or-lose-it budgets, they'll find a way to spend the money somewhere.

And as for geocities, untrained people putting content out there for the rest of the world to see was pretty amazing stuff at the time, even without semantic web concepts in place.

Good to finally see a nice theme on top of Bootstrap that actually changes things to make it look individual, as expected from a quality site, while keeping the good parts that you initially picked Bootstrap for. Thumbs up for the theme and the business idea!

Not everyone is using Rails though and even the Rails coders might want to use other plugins, are you going to offer themes without all the Rails customization as well?

Yes! At some point I hope to offer non-Rails versions of the themes. But the focus now is to make more themes.

Have you considered integrating with the GitHub API, and adding customers details to the repo upon purchase? (if they want).

That way, it makes it easier for customers to submit bugs to you, talk about suggestions, and even provide their own improvements if necessary.

HackerEngine wrote about doing this here: http://blog.hackerengine.com/

Not the Creator of Dressed here.

The point of Bootstrap is to make it "so easy your grandmother can do it" so why would I pay $149 for your layouts when inevitably it's going to require some form of customization you haven't thought of. Great job at taking advantage of the internet sheep, I will give you that.

Your grandmother knows HTML & CSS?

Preview is broken (http://dresssed.com/themes/gimlet/preview)

  "The page you were looking for doesn't exist.
   You may have mistyped the address or the page may have moved."
And you're missing a Favicon.

Also experiencing this.

Ooops! It's back.

Very nice looking theme, and a good idea.

It makes me think though, so much effort lately is going into "dressing" UI and very little attention seems to be paid to improving UI structure. The old list - page hop - view pattern is feeling pretty out dated. Oh well.

I am looking for a way to sell ready-made websites to small businesses. Does anybody know of a solution that would take basic infos (company name, some presentation text) and produce a nicely designed (such as those themes) website ?

Webby or nanoc or some other static-site generator tool?

I'm honestly surprised we've not seen more of these. Bootstrap is great, it's a good set of nice tools to get you going and then a truly creative designer can take it where it needs to go.

Look forward to seeing more themes appear!

I think the reason there aren't more themes is the sheer quantity of work involved in styling all the bootstrap elements.

Here's another one with a similar price point: https://railsthemes.com/

These are not optimized for iPad3 (retina).

Love the idea.

Small issue - when I mouse over the Buy Now button, the popup/hover box shows up for about a second, then disappears.

Creator of the project here. Thx :) What browser are you on?

I’m having this issues too with the current Google Chrome Stable 19.0.1084.56

Should be fixed now, thx!

Great theme !

Please add support to django framework.


It's weird, I pressed the close on the preview video, but the audio keeps going...

Is it retina/high-resolution ready?

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