Themes

Themes create the visual experience for your Drupal site. The standard theme that you will see when you first install Drupal is called Garland. The Garland theme is unique because a user can easily change the color scheme of the entire theme via a color wheel. An example of the wheel can be seen in the image below.

Color Wheel Motifs

The Garland Theme and Color Wheel

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The Garland Theme and Color Wheel

Finding New Themes

Many people feel that the Garland theme is too pedestrian for their needs. Thankfully you have the option to very easily switch to another theme. You can make the Drupal Theme Repository your first stop when searching for a new theme for your site. Once there you will find a list of themes contributed by the community. One shortcoming of the Drupal Theme Repository is the fact that themes are listed in a way that is very similar to modules. The listings there are heavy on text and short on experiencing the themes.

The Drupal Theme Garden is an un-official site that allows you to experience many Drupal themes with a few clicks of the mouse. If you find a theme that you like on the Drupal Theme Garden you will need to go back to the Drupal Theme Repository in order to download that theme.

Theme Developers

As the Drupal community grows more independent theme developers are getting involved in the effort. A couple of theme developers of note are Roople Theme and Theme Artists. Both of these design firms offer free, configurable themes that stray a bit outside the normal level of control that the average user typically gets with most Drupal themes.

Installing Themes

The process of installing a theme is very similar to the process of installing a new module with two key differences. First, you upload the theme to the 'sites/all/themes' folder on your webserver. Second, in order to activate the new theme you need to click on the Themes link under the Site Building section. Once there you should see a list of all the available themes for your site.

Drupal allows you to have multiple themes enabled at any given time, but only one can be the default theme. Users that are not logged in will always see the default theme when they visit the site. So take a second after making theme changes to ensure you have the proper theme set as the default theme.

Like Drupal modules, the universe of themes is always changing. That's why I recommend that you follow the Drupal themes RSS feed.

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