This week's Weekly Drupal is about themes. We've been working with Drupal now for just under 3 months, migrating a flagship site plus 70 affiliate sites into the system as per this page. So, I'm a relative newbie to Drupal.
One of our big tasks in the next few months is to prepare some prototypes of possible new layouts for the homepage of our flagship site. We want to showcase them at our big annual meeting. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: "you're redesigning your site while migrating it to Drupal!" Not exactly. We have an information architecture re-design process running in parallel to our Drupal implementation and migration. Basically, we need to migrate our sites into the system as is and then we can begin to roll out design changes, new features, etc.
So, themes. Well, I'm surely not the only one that finds browsing for themes on drupal.org less than optimal. For instance, I would love to be able to browse by layout style (top tabbed navigation, etc.) and features (supports x or y, is x or y compliant, etc.). So, when I discovered the Theme Garden, I was ecstatic.
The Theme Garden is a site that lets you browse through Drupal themes based on version with the content staying the same - it's the same site - but you can see how the various elements are laid out and displayed. Brilliant. Especially as I'd imagine many folks "shopping" for a Drupal theme have already done wireframing exercises and mockups and pretty much know what they are looking for, the just need to "see" it.
So, for now, our plan is to create 4 different prototype homepages made by choosing 4 Drupal 6 themes and altering them for our purposes. In theory, if all goes well, one of these prototype sites/themes will later become our new site theme. Again, since we're re-building our current theme and site in Drupal already, we'll have to migrate one of these themes into our existing site when we're ready to go live with the changes. First, on our test site and then on the live site. But, we're a long way away from that move. First, we have to get Drupal managing our sites and their content.
The Weekly Drupal is a weekly column on mavergames.net about Drupal from the perspective of a new user. Use this feed to subscribe.