lee koven Uncategorized Theming this site

Theming this site

My day job is as a web application developer, so I feel it’s only right to make my own website for my creative output. The tailor should wear half-decent clothes principle, I suppose.

I’m making this site in Drupal because it’s powerful and I know at least some of how to administer it, as my site is on a DIY server. I learned Drupal theming on the job and it’s quite idiosyncratic, and it’s a bear trying to remember where everything is. That said, it’s kept up-to-date and secure and I can even use a package manager to update it. I’ve used CMS Made Simple, but that, though easy to use for editing, was not the easiest to maintain. This is just the single-user-who’s-also the admin case. If you have multiple non-technical users, CMS Made Simple is less work for them to use and learn than Drupal.

Today I am trying to iron out templating and CSS. That’s always the hardest part for me, as I am not a designer. A web developer may be able to make you a website, but even a great one may have almost no design chops. Those are separate skills. At work I implement the themes given to me by our designer. If you’re looking to make a snazzy web site, I recommend hiring a designer along with a developer: I think everything looks fine in big black and white sans serif text without pictures, never mind transitions. I know this. If you give me the theme, I’ll do what you need me to. I take existing themes and play with them. Find why elements are jumbled, spaced oddly, why text may overlap, why everything might go berserk if I size my screen. As Mr. Saturn once said, “Got to take it apart. Got to figure out how it works.”

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