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Lessons:33Length:3.7 hours
Drupal 8 1
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4.3 Changing Your Site Appearance via Themes

You have really come a long way. But if you are following along step by step with the other thousands of people, then you have all created a site that looks pretty much the same. That is a problem. Luckily for us, there is a simple way around this, and you don't have to be a web designer to fix it. This is where themes come into play. With themes, you can take advantage of someone else's hard work for free. Themes let you change the entire appearance of your site with only a few clicks.

4.3 Changing Your Site Appearance via Themes

The final piece of the puzzle that I want to jump into when it comes to the basics of creating a Drupal site and the administration there of, is I want to talk a little bit about the appearance of our site. Now I'm not saying that the site doesn't look good because it's pretty decent looking but it out of the box it looks like every other Drupal site out there. And there's a few different ways that you can go ahead in tweak this, obviously we've talked about a little bit of this. We can go into structure and we can start playing around with blocks and regions and restructuring things and put things in a different location. But that's only going to get you so far the other thing that we can do is we can start working with themes. And a theme is, an overall look and feel of your website that you can change at absolutely any point in time over its lifespan, lithout losing or changing any of your content, which is incredibly nice when it comes to modifying websites. Because a lot of times, you have to keep in mind, what type of content do I have, what type of stylings am I using and if I introduce other themes or stallions within my site, am I going to break things and things of that nature? Well in this case, it's actually well taken care of. So the way that we deal with the themes is through the appearance toolbar. We come into the appearance section here and you can see that there are two installed themes by default. We have the Bartik and we have seven, now these are just out of the box installed themes that we can switch back and forth between at any point that we want. Now the actual default one right now is Bartik talked about that a couple of times but let's say for some reason You wanted to switch over to seven. How do you do that? Well it's actually incredibly easy, all we do is set as default so I can click this and seven is now our default theme. And now if I were to go back to our site, you're gonna see that the look and feel has changed a little bit. Now if we don't have the same layout that we did before we don't have that big giant header across the top and things are a little. Well they're a little dull, but it's that easy to change the look and feel of our website based on a theme. All we have to do is set the default theme from one thing to another, so let's go back to appearance. And let's go ahead and set Bartik back as our default, because though you know to be honest with you, I think that looks a little bit better even though out of the box it looks just like every other Drupal website out there, but we can get a little bit more fancy. So, let's go back to Appearance, and we don't have to deal with only the ones that are installed here, we can install a new theme, should we want. So, let's go ahead and click Install New Theme. Now once again, just like the modules and things that we've seen in the past you can do it in a very similar fashion. You can install from a URL or you can actually download and install one here. So let's go ahead and right-click on themes and let's open in a new tab. And this is gonna take us over to once again Drupal.org, but this time it's gonna take us to where we can download and extend themes. Now, there are currently 2,410 themes there's quite a few of them here and it's going to take you a long time to sift through all of these. So one thing you can do, is you can kind of filter these a little bit. Now you can absolutely choose any one of these that support Drupal eight out of the box but I'm going to give you a couple recommendations. When it comes to maintenance status I tend to lean towards the ones that are actively maintained because, a lot of times if you start to play around and look at things you're going to find that maybe you picked one for Drupal seven. And with the well maintained ones, those people are going to maintain their themes and a lot of times upgrade them to support Drupal 8, but in a lot of cases if they're not well maintained or if they're kind of falling behind. Then it may never upgrade and you may just be stuck on Drupal 7, so I tend to stick with the actively maintained. Now, I also like to come down to core compatibility and make sure that my version of Drupal is the base one, or at least it has support for it. So in this case, I'm using Drupal eight, so I wanna make sure that, there is support for Drupal Core eight dot X and pretty much after that, you can change these as you will sort by most installed, create a date relevancy, whatever you have, and you can even search themes if you want. So at this point I'll hit Search and it's gonna give me the results of my tweaking here, so I can see there's bootstrap there's a number of different ones in here, and it's quite easy to install them. I'm just gonna pick one here, let's say Zircon because it sounds kinda cool, so I can come in here and I can read a little bit about it. I can see its features, I can come down and see some other recommended modules, details and demos should I want to look at those. Information about the contributor, the project information and then of course the downloads, and just as I had mentioned before there's a couple different ways you can download things. You can download them to your local machine, or I could just come over here, I could right click, and I could say copy link address, come back over to my site, and I could just pace that URL in here, and go ahead and click Install. Now generally speaking the themes are usually a little bit larger than some of the other modules that you might download and install. So I would once again highly recommend you use the URL route as opposed to downloading and uploading a downloaded zip file. So now I can go in and I can install the newly added themes, because it's not enough to just download it and put it in there. You have to make sure that they are installed and configured, so it exists now but it's not currently installed. So I can come down to the bottom to Zircon here and I can either install it and just leave it as is or I can install it and set it as default. So let's go ahead and install it and set it as default and so now it has been installed and set as the default theme, I can come back to my site. And you're gonna see that my site is gonna look almost, well indeed completely different, but it's still maintained all of my content, and a lot of the structure that I've created so far. So we have my newest articles over here on the left, we have my search over here on the right, and then we have my cool site name in the best site name ever. But this is definitely one thing to keep in mind in that, when you start to play around with themes and you start to mix things up a little bit. You might have to go back and make some changes while your content is still there and while lot of the changes that you have made are still there, a lot of things that you put in there that were specific to one thing might not look so good with another. And for instance my cool site name and the best site ever probably doesn't look very good in there anymore. I might wanna tweak the way that that looks now on this particular theme, but that's how easy it is to go back and forth between different themes to kind of update your appearance, and make it a little bit more your speed in your taste when it comes to Drupal websites.

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