Drupal is considered as one of the most important CMS in the market. With the platform, we are able to build highly functional websites will all the necessary bells and whistles. It can also be integrated with popular social networking services, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It means that we can encourage social networking users to visit our website or the opposite. Unfortunately, the basic template of Drupal leaves a lot to be desired and it simply doesn’t look great.
For this reason, Drupal should get the proper theme, as well as the right look and feel. One of the biggest challenges is that Drupal doesn’t have very large collection of themes, especially compared to WordPress and Joomla.
First of all we should look for free themes in online sources. This shouldn’t be too difficult to do. Although there are too many Drupal themes in the market, we should still be able to find dozens of themes that may suit our primary topics. If we can’t find one, we could still choose the one that most likely match our topic and modify it.
This could be where many people get a bit nervous, because modifying a Drupal theme could sound a bit challenging to do. However, we could still hire professional PHP developers and ask them to perform some changes. After the modified theme is completed, we need to test it thoroughly, because changes could introduce new glitches and visual imperfections.
Drupal is designed to allow web developers change everything, not only themes, but also modules, extensions and the core system of Drupal itself. However, before messing with any core file, it is important to know what we are doing. Small changes could cause significant errors. Developers should know how PHP works in Drupal and they need to perform evaluations to make sure that any change won’t cause far-reaching effects on other areas of Drupal. If we are proficient enough, it is easy to add our own code and we can overwrite any code that’s written by original theme developer.
Before choosing or modifying a theme, we should understand what a theme is. In essence, themes are a set of PHP, HTML, CSS and graphics files that will determine the overall layout of our design. We could begin by choosing a theme that we like most and consider whether there are changes that we should implement. We could review its codes and graphics.
However, it is clear that we may need to change some of the text and images to better suit our requirements. As an example, themes may use images of flowers or people as placeholder images, but we could replace them with pictures of our products and office building.
We may also locate page.tpl.php among theme files with simple text editor. We should find HTML lines and some PHP snippets. The file determines the layout of our webpages and it’s the basic idea behind our selected theme. We should look at these lines and understand what’s going on. We should better understand Drupal themes after doing this.