Drupal themes

The design (or "look and feel") of our site is controlled by the theme. Drupal provides us with a number of themes out of the box. Initially, one theme, which is the default, is enabled. So all users of our site experience the same look and feel. If we wish so, we can enable more than one theme, so that our users may choose the look and feel of the web site.

Themes are administered via Administer | Site building | Themes.

Themes and our users

The themes administration page lists all the themes available to us in our Drupal installation. To enable more than one theme for our users, we simply need to check the Enabled box next to the themes we wish to enable, and select the Default button if we wish this theme to be the default look and feel for the site.



Version Enabled Default Operations



Table-based multi-column theme with 6.4 a marine arid ash color scheme.


Table-based multi-column theme with 6.4 a marine arid ash color scheme.


Minimalist tabled theme with light

configure configure


Minimalist tabled theme with light


1 Garland

Tableless, recolorable, multi-column, 6.4 fluid width theme (default).

m @


If they have permissions to do so, users can change the theme they use by editing their accounts. Grouped under Theme configuration is a list of the installed themes allowing the user to select the one they wish to use.

The list of themes displays a thumbnail of the theme, so that the user can see at a glance and select the layout of the theme.

Pre-installed themes

By default, Drupal has the following themes installed (although all but one is disabled):

• Bluemarine

• Pushbutton

Many of these themes are old and out-of-date, particularly with regards to the way they have been created. But there may be one which is a good starting point for a theme we wish to create. Let's have a brief look at these themes.


Quite a corporate theme, this is a block-based theme with a very rigid menu and header. The layout is fluid, so the design adapts to the width of the user's web browser.

Although a corporate theme, it has a less corporate feel than the Marvin theme, and is naturally less vibrant than themes such as Minnelli and Garland.


This is a very simplistic theme, making use of the whitespace and a white background. Older computers with poor color schemes may be better suited to use this theme, due to the lack of colors or dependence on images to achieve the design. Mobile devices too may work well with this theme.

^^ Dino Space!



Welcome to Dino Space!

d My account

► Create content


► Administer

o Log out


This is the theme which is set to default on new Drupal installations.

This is a fluid width theme (unlike Minnelli, which is a fixed-width version of this theme).


Dino Space!



s My account

Welcome to Dino Space!

o Create content

t> Administer

0 Log out


The use of gradient color schemes in the header and menu, a fresh color scheme and the glassy effect logo is a style commonly used in web site design at the moment. Overall, it gives a modern, friendly, and welcoming feel to the site.


A very corporate and simplistic design, it is useful as a starting point for a business web site.

Further customization would make this theme look much better.


This is identical to the Garland theme, but with a fixed-width.




This theme maintains a clean, professional look, and its use of typography seems to be designed with the visually impaired in mind.

Contributed themes

There are vast numbers of themes created by Drupal enthusiasts available on the Drupal web site, http://drupal.org/project/Themes. This web site lists available themes, as well as the Drupal version they were designed for. Screenshots of most of the themes are available, so we can see what the theme would look like.

Don't forget

When downloading themes from the Drupal web site, or elsewhere, ensure that they are compatible with the version of Drupal you have installed.

Installing contributed themes

To install a contributed theme (that is, a theme from the Drupal web site), we simply need to extract the contents of the downloaded file into the /sites/default/themes folder, so we can enable, and configure them from the administration area. The Zen theme is an excellent starting point for creating a different look from the typical Garland look.

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