Fusion a nifty Drupal starter theme

Especially since Drupal 6 arrived, the number of Drupal themes has grown substantially (I started with Drupal 5 - far fewer themes available). But, I've still not found it easy to discover a theme I like, especially for my budget - ie, free!

It's of course possible to create a theme, but doing so from scratch looks daunting to me. So, alternatively, can customise an existing theme. Again, not always too easy I've found - though there are several "starter" themes, which help get you started on the way to creating a theme.

I've looked through various starter themes; tried Zen, and seems they often require quite a bit of coding (notably with css) before you can create something that looks ok.

But also noticed AdaptiveTheme and Fusion, which are starter themes that enable quite a few changes to appearance via selectiong from menus. Looked promising. Both work with Skinr module.

I saw that while they appear similar, AdaptiveTheme has less redundant code. So, gave it a try - but found I couldn't see an option for fluid width. I prefer fluid widths, as figure my users may view on variety of monitors, and I hope my pages will look ok on narrow monitors, albeit better on those that are wider.

So, also tried Fusion - and after just a few selections from menu, I had fluid width design, with fonts and font sizes I'd selected, plus two columns for blocks on the right. (Till now, I'd long had navigation menus etc in one column on the left; but noticed lately that various newspapers have articles on the left, and navigation plus adverts etc on the right - thought newspaper design appropriate to my mainly informative sites, and figured it would have been well researched, plus looks fine to me.)

So if you're looking for a Drupal 6 theme you can customise, maybe give Fusion a try.
You don't even have to follow instructions on creating a sub-theme, when you just try it: instead, simpler and quicker to use the starter subtheme that's included. Then, if it looks promising, can create a sub-theme, and off you go.

Oh, yes - after you've changed the layout etc via theme menu, plus perhaps some of Block appearances via Block configurations (where Skinr module becomes active - adding lots of options that aren't there otherwise), you may want to change colours, spacing and so forth with css. This is more fiddly, but I believe the process is far easier if you use Firebug for FIrefox, or Dragonfly tool with Opera - helping you find what css code applies where, as well as experiment with making css changes without actually changing your theme.

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Martin Williams

Comments

i have also use fusion
a really nice theme based for even a non webdesigner
if you use ubercart
also available acquia prosper which is based on fusion theme
try this one with full drupal profile build in + acquia prosper, lightbox and imagecache
http://drupal.org/project/uberdrupal
highly recommended if you want to use drupal as e-commerce

I prefer Adaptivetheme, http://drupal.org/project/adaptivetheme, because it is focussed on accessibility and standards. Adaptivetheme for Drupal 7 is now HTML5 ! AT has many cool subthemes developed for it, one of them is the Mobile theme.

I find it easy to develop from “scratch” with Adaptivetheme. The biggest strength of AT is that it is easy to port your existing HTML / CSS to AT. If you have already designed a site, it is easy to map your design to AT and port it with little change.

Think I tried Adaptivetheme, but as you'd have seen had you read the article, I preferred Fusion - as Fusion allows fluid width.

Quick check of info, I see there's a need for some faffing about to use fluid Adaptivetheme. Mention that no plans for fluid version of Bartik, forthcoming standard Drupal theme (using AT) until possibly Drupal!!! - which is wild given Drupal 7 only just emerging.

It's one thing suiting various browsers etc, but I believe also important to suit the range of monitor sizes out there - or at least readily allow theme users to do so.

Actually, Adaptivetheme has built-in support for FLUID WIDTH. In theme settings, page layout, page width, scroll all the way down of the listbox, and you will 100% fuid width option. Very simple in AT.