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Understanding the Theme Builder

Understanding the Theme Builder provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Tom Geller as … Show More

Drupal Gardens Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Understanding the Theme Builder

Understanding the Theme Builder provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Tom Geller as part of the Drupal Gardens Essential Training
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  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
  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

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Understanding the Theme Builder
Video Duration: 5m 25s 6h 6m Appropriate for all Updated Nov 10, 2011


Understanding the Theme Builder provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Tom Geller as part of the Drupal Gardens Essential Training

View Course Description

Author Tom Geller demonstrates how to create and publish a complete web site with the powerful tools in Acquia's hosted service, Drupal Gardens. The course shows how to leverage the pre-built page layouts and add custom styling using the ThemeBuilder tool; integrate rich site features, such as surveys, user ratings, and media galleries; and push content to Twitter and Facebook. The course also covers transitioning from a Drupal Gardens site to a self-hosted Drupal site. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating and managing content and content types
  • Embedding videos and other media
  • Publishing and subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Setting up blocks, banners, menus, and forms
  • Allowing users to rate content
  • Managing comments and spam
  • Tracking site usage
  • Collecting feedback with web forms
  • Duplicating and deleting sites
  • Adding custom domains
  • Changing the site's main logo and favicon
  • Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
Drupal Gardens

Understanding the Theme Builder

Before we start poking around in Drupal Gardens' Theme Builder, let's get a quick overview of its controls. To launch the Theme Builder, click Appearance. The Theme Builder has five tabs: Themes, Brand, Layout, Styles, and Advanced. The Themes one is the simplest one; it lets you just switch from one theme to another. So, for example, I'm going to change to the Broadway theme. I click it and the entire site changes. You see the same content; it just looks different.

You can hide the Theme Builder by clicking this little Minus sign. That keeps it active so that you can quickly go back and do other styling, but it lets you see more of the page, as you can see. Let's make it large again by clicking on the Plus sign and switch to another one--let's say Carbon. And once again, it's all of the same content, just in a different appearance, and we'll show it again. In addition to the themes that Drupal Gardens gives you, as you load and edit these themes you'll be creating your own versions of them, and so in addition to the Gardens theme tab here, there is also a My themes tab.

Right now, it's empty, because we haven't saved any of our own versions, but as we go through this course, you'll see this fill up more and more. Let's go on to the other tabs. The second one is the Brand tab, which has two subtabs here. It should be fairly obvious from the appearance what the Palettes tab does. You click on any one of these color combinations and it changes the entire color of that theme. Now notice it's not just the background-- although that's the most obvious thing, it also changes text color. These are very subtle changes, but they make a big difference.

The Logo subtab lets you upload your own logo that will up here near the top of the page right by the title. The Favicon lets you change this little thing that shows up. It's usually in the address bar and also sometimes in tabs and browsers. The Layout tab lets you change how many columns there are on the page. Let's take a look at our page here. I'm actually going to go back to the way that we have it. I'll discard our unsaved changes, and you'll see it switches right back to that Campaign theme.

Now in this one we have a left-hand column and a right-hand column around a central content area. I'm going to go back into the Appearance to launch the Theme Builder, go back to Layout, and let's change that so that both of these columns are on the right-hand side. There we are. It's actually quite a nice effect once you have your columns all set up. Sometimes you like to have your main content on the left or the right. You get all of those options here in this Layout tab.

Now, the Styles tab is the most flexible of all. This is the one that lets you style individual elements on the page. Once you've selected this tab, when you move your cursor over any elements on the page they become sort of highlighted. Let's say we want to change this title up here, the explorecalifornia title. I click it and then change its font to, let's say Lucida Sans. There, and you saw a subtle change there, change it to Monaco, and so forth. The Styles tab has to other subtabs-- Borders & Spacing--which lets you change, as you might guess, borders around things, and how they're based on the page.

Again, we'll talk more about this later on in the course. The Background lets you change what happens behind an element. So, for example, you could change it to a color, or you could even add a graphic. That's sort of what you see in this entire page; you have this big body graphic behind everything. Finally, in the Advanced tab, you can add your own CSS code, and again we'll be talking about this much later in the course. When you finish designing your theme, you can save it, which will allow you to hold onto it and make other changes without actually publishing it--that is, without making it live to everybody. Or you could go ahead and publish it.

Before you publish, it'll force you to save it, and then we'll publish it so that everybody sees the new theme that you've designed. Finally, there is an Undo and Redo button-- this works just the same as in many programs--and the Export button. You'll learn more about that in the video "Exporting Themes" These ones up here get a little bit complicated, and I'll show you how they work all together in switching, saving, and copying themes. Now when we close it out, we lose all of our changes unless we decide to save them.

I'm just going to go back to what we had. Yes, I want to discard them, and we're back as we were. So that's your brief introduction to theming in Drupal Gardens. If you're the sort of person who does well by poking around, this is a really good time to just stop and spend some time doing that. Create a new site, as you learned in the video about getting started with Drupal Gardens. Personally, I like to have what I call a throwaway site, so that I can experiment without worrying about what happens.

You can't hurt anything in Drupal Gardens; the only thing that you might hurt, so to speak, is a site that if you have a throwaway site you didn't mean to do anything with anyway. As you start mucking around with themes, I do want to recommend that you save copies as you go, using that Save as button. That way you can roll back to an earlier one if you make a mistake. I'll show you how to do that in the video about switching, saving, and copying themes.

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