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Finessing theme design

From: Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Video: Finessing theme design

Now is that magical moment when we bring together all that we learned to make our site truly complete. We have all the pieces here, and normally you'd be perfecting more as you went. But in my rush to demonstrate how things worked, I have left some pretty ragged edges. Let's be honest, the site is not really functional right now. This video cleans up all those edges, and gives us a site that we can truly be proud of. Now, I'm going to do all of this very quickly, both to save time and to give you an idea of what working with Drupal Gardens is really like in a production environment.

Finessing theme design

Now is that magical moment when we bring together all that we learned to make our site truly complete. We have all the pieces here, and normally you'd be perfecting more as you went. But in my rush to demonstrate how things worked, I have left some pretty ragged edges. Let's be honest, the site is not really functional right now. This video cleans up all those edges, and gives us a site that we can truly be proud of. Now, I'm going to do all of this very quickly, both to save time and to give you an idea of what working with Drupal Gardens is really like in a production environment.

I've already done a little bit of it. For example, I removed some blocks that are here in the left-hand column. We're going to keep this Need guidance, and Newest tours block, but we'll get rid of the rest of the stuff. What I really want in the middle of the page is just this one bit of information here, Explore our world your way. So first we'll get rid of this bit of text up here by editing it and removing it from the front page. Of course, you could also un- publish it or delete it, but this is how I'll handle it here.

I don't think that I want to have anything in the right column. I'm going to really open this up. So I'll take this block and Configure block, and move that out of Sidebar B. Now I want to mention another way of doing this would be to go up to Structure and then to Blocks, and then you can move a whole bunch of blocks around all at once. But I've already done most of that work. I'll refresh the screen. Great! It's already looking a little better. Now one other thing I noticed when I went back to Google Chrome, as I'll do right now, is that because it doesn't have that information up here that shows up when you're logged in, this guy's head turned into a little like mushroom head, instead of being like this.

So I'm actually going to remove this user menu from here. Of course, as we were creating this site, what we should be doing is looking at it in a variety of browsers while logged in, while not logged in, and so on. But for now, I'm just going to remove it. Go down and save. Now every time I come back to this page, I have this little help message. That's something that's not normally going to be showing to people, so I always reload after I see that so I can see the page more the way people will actually see it.

Now let's take care of some things that have been bothering us for a while. For one thing, the sidebar should really end with this graphic line here. So I'll click Appearance and change some of the borders and spacing. I'm going to do that in a few different phases. This is where I start playing around with the way that the page is actually laid out. I actually find it a lot of fun, but it can be frustrating because you'll change one thing, you'll go back, you'll change it again, and you'll see that it changed more than you expected, as you'll see in a moment. I click Styles > Borders & Spacing, and then again, I have to find the correct area to do.

I happened to know that it's the content area. And let's play with the padding a little bit. Nope, that's the whole thing. So let's try the margin. Aha! I have the wrong part. So what I need to do is look in here. Yup! That's what I want: main, not content. Maybe it's the margin. Is that what I want? No, maybe it's the padding. Yup! That's what I want. As long as I'm doing that, I'll add a little bit of padding on the right-hand side. That makes the text rewrap, and gives us this nice little bit of white space over here.

I'll publish that, and then before continuing on, I'll do something that I always like to do once in a while. I'll save it under a different name. This will be called exp_cal_final_01. Of course, the way things work out there'll probably be final_02, final_03, and then final_final. You know how this goes. You know, now that this site is more together, I think that I would rather not have that logo in the side.

I want to have it back in its original position. Now you remember, we moved it down there for design reasons, but designs change. So the first thing I'll do is I'll close out of my Theme Builder, go back to my page and remove that block, scroll down, and move it out of Sidebar A. Reload the page again. Already it's looking a lot better, but I still do need that back up here in the corner. I click Appearance, and I'll put it back to its traditional location-- that is to say the natural location that you get by clicking Appearance and then Brand and then Logo.

Now, I cheated here a little bit as well. The original logo was actually taller than these people's heads at the top, and so we ended up with a big gap underneath it. So what I did was I went into an image-processing program and I made a slightly smaller version. And that's going to be our final logo, and publish it. Now let's see how that looks. Close out the Theme Builder and then reload the page. Aha! Now we're getting somewhere, but in doing so, we exposed the little bit of a flaw with this header graphic.

You see we have it on repeat, and furthermore we have a little bit of space down here we don't want. We also have a gap here that really shouldn't be there. So what we have to do is pull all of this stuff together, and then I think we're pretty much done. Let's go back into Appearance, and once again we're going to be playing with the borders and spacing. We click Styles > Borders & Spacing, and then we have to play around again, as usual. Let's see. We don't see any padding here in this header-inner, so we will remove a little bit of the styling.

We have a margin up here at the top. That's probably the margin above here. Let's see. It starts out as 9. Yeah, oh I think I'll leave it at 9. That doesn't look so bad. Let's try the header itself. Now we have some extra padding down here at the bottom. Let's see what happens when we change that. Yup! That helped a bit. Of course, we added some margin over here, that 32 margin, in order to fix the graphic. If we take that out, you'll remember. So we'll leave that as it is. So we keep clicking around. Sometimes if you have extra space and you don't see it in the part that's above, sometimes you'll find it in parts that are below, like this navigation bar, or even down here.

There could be some extra padding in there. So let's take a look all around there. The navigation Bar, well, there is nothing around the navigation region. Let's take away this content and ul, nothing there, and maybe navigation. Aha! We have an extra 54 pixels there, so I'll bring that up. Now, we're in business. We still have this thing below. So once again, I click below, and indeed we have additional margin there, and a border we don't need. At this point, I'll publish it again, just to see what it looks like, and close it out.

We actually look pretty good at this point it. Now let's be honest, the site still isn't perfect. It's clear that we could go on like this for quite a while, honing the site's edge until it's razor-sharp. For example, we didn't really go in very deep with the content, and the menu system could really use an overhaul. But I meant to make this video just as something of an inspiration. You now have all the skills you need to make a truly professional-quality web site with Drupal Gardens, or to convert a comp design, or a wireframe into something that really works.

There are still some important maintenance skills to learn, but if you've watched this entire course from the beginning, you should feel really good about what you've done so far. The sites you'll soon create for yourself are proof of your accomplishments.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal Gardens Essential Training
Drupal Gardens Essential Training

65 video lessons · 11850 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 29m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Previewing the finished project
      1m 29s
    3. What's new in the late 2011 update?
      5m 28s
    4. What is Drupal?
      5m 8s
    5. What is Drupal Gardens?
      5m 57s
    6. Getting started with Drupal Gardens
      5m 35s
    7. Getting help
      4m 1s
    8. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 17m 40s
    1. Using the administrative overlay
      2m 54s
    2. Using the dashboard, toolbar, and shortcut bar
      5m 36s
    3. Touring the newly created site
      3m 55s
    4. Configuring the site
      5m 15s
  3. 59m 47s
    1. Creating and managing content
      11m 11s
    2. Creating and managing content types
      10m 35s
    3. Embedding YouTube videos and other media
      4m 5s
    4. Subscribing to RSS feeds
      4m 49s
    5. Categorizing RSS feeds
      5m 1s
    6. Managing tags and taxonomies
      5m 50s
    7. Creating dynamic pages with simple views
      4m 29s
    8. Creating complex information collections with Views
      8m 59s
    9. Creating image galleries
      4m 48s
  4. 37m 50s
    1. Working with blocks
      10m 26s
    2. Setting up rotating banners
      7m 45s
    3. Understanding menus
      7m 27s
    4. Setting up contact forms
      7m 7s
    5. Adding and removing functionality
      5m 5s
  5. 54m 54s
    1. Managing users
      6m 28s
    2. Adjusting user permissions
      6m 35s
    3. Managing comments
      7m 7s
    4. Slowing spam
      5m 20s
    5. Starting discussion forums
      9m 3s
    6. Creating blogs
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up mailing lists
      4m 50s
    8. Allowing users to rate content
      4m 21s
    9. Using best practices for online clubs
      6m 29s
  6. 44m 35s
    1. Getting feedback with webforms
      6m 14s
    2. Publishing RSS feeds
      6m 40s
    3. Taking advantage of social media
      9m 33s
    4. Emphasizing external links
      2m 44s
    5. Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
      7m 30s
    6. Internationalizing sites
      8m 6s
    7. Tracking site usage with Google Analytics
      3m 48s
  7. 34m 40s
    1. Understanding Drupal themes
      5m 44s
    2. Understanding the Theme Builder
      5m 25s
    3. Switching, saving, and copying themes
      7m 13s
    4. Introducing custom CSS
      6m 51s
    5. Refining selections in the Theme Builder
      5m 48s
    6. Exporting themes
      3m 39s
  8. 48m 31s
    1. Changing the site's color palette
      2m 32s
    2. Changing the site's main logo and favicon
      5m 22s
    3. Changing the column number and arrangement
      5m 7s
    4. Adding background colors and images
      6m 29s
    5. Changing element spacing and borders
      6m 11s
    6. Adjusting typography
      4m 24s
    7. Using fonts from outside sources
      5m 7s
    8. Inserting raw CSS code into themes
      6m 57s
    9. Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
      6m 22s
  9. 14m 18s
    1. Finessing theme design
      7m 51s
    2. Eight ideas for modifying themes
      6m 27s
  10. 23m 38s
    1. Monitoring sites
      4m 11s
    2. Duplicating and deleting sites
      4m 23s
    3. Adding custom domains
      3m 48s
    4. Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens
      3m 46s
    5. Hosting exported Drupal Gardens sites
      7m 30s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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