The Drupal themes market is in the middle of a change. Clients are realizing a theme is only the beginning. More and more, premium theme makers are finding it an advantage to package the theme together in a form ready to be installed, with all modules needed for the theme's functinality installed. Citing Drupal.org:
There is sometimes confusion regarding the terms "distribution" and "installation profile" (also called "install profile"). Here are the definitions:
- Installation profiles are what a developer creates as the basis of distributions. They define installation steps (such as enabling modules, defining content types, etc.) that run after Drupal's base installation when you first install Drupal. It is not always easy to attempt to use an installation profile directly, if it requires non-core modules, themes, or libraries -- you would have to locate and download all the required components yourself before you could install Drupal. Instead, it's a lot easier to download a full distribution (if available).
- Distributions are full copies of Drupal that include Drupal Core, along with additional software such as themes, modules, libraries, and installation profiles.
The distinction is not always clear, but the important thing is that this kind of packaging saves the client time and makes it much more satisfied so this trend towards ready-made solutions is going to continue. So when shopping for your next Drupal theme, make sure it includes an installation profile. Sample theme makers who take this approach include SymphonyThemes and ThemeSnap.