Blog 4 umbraco 2.0.17 – Picking the right theme for the skinners

Thursday, December 17, 2009 by Administrator

It's never easy to lock down a feature, getting the final touches juuust right and then move on. When working with a feature that will be let loose into a community and get a life of it's own it's even harder. Then it's unchangeable and locked down forever, in the sense that if you change it later on, it will affect alot of people.

That is the situation with the Blog 4 Umbraco Html structure and the skinners that hopefully will use this. We needed to get it right before shipping it, too many people will depend on it. So we tried out some different options to figure out which ones was most flexible, viable and not too heavy to work with.

So we worked through:

  1. The Kubrick theme, easy to work with, included by default on wordpress accounts and known by many. The html is clean but not that flexible incase you wanted something else then a 2 column simple blog.
  2. The K2 theme, tons of features, tons of html, after working with the html, deemed too heavy to set up without cutting off too much of the included functionality
  3. K2 Lite, much better, cleaner html, simple to work with

So we had actually settled on the k2 lite theme to be included on the blog. But then, deep inside the wordpress skinning world, we encountered the Sandbox theme. Now as you can see, sandbox is very very basic, even more basic then Runway - our simple website starterkit, but that is the great thing about it, and also why it seems wordpress is about to include it by default

And there was already ported a css version of k2 for it, perfect! It looks clean, the html is built with css skinning in mind, and everything is pretty clean - wonderfull.

So after the many considerations on how to pick a theme that skinners will be able to use, we ended up using an established standard which already has a community around it. That is indeed truly wonderfull, and really in the spirit of umbraco. Don't try to reinvent the wheel, pick somehting works already if it solves your problem.

So for anyone who wants to build a skin for the blog package, this is a preview of the finished html. It includes a html page with the markup and a sample css file. So to start skinning, simply exchange the css file reference with your own stylesheet.

Download the theme html

We will post the details on how to get the skin into repository, later today.

UPDATE: The blog is now on as an installable package:

5 comment(s) for “Blog 4 umbraco 2.0.17 – Picking the right theme for the skinners”

  1. Gravatar ImageTim Says:

    thanks guys!

  2. Gravatar ImageKenneth Solberg Says:

    Great research and decision on using K2!

  3. Gravatar ImageWarren Buckley Says:

    This is great stuff. I can work on this on the flight home if I am not too hungover from the Xmas party tonight.


  4. Gravatar ImageWarren Buckley Says:

    Hiya Guys,
    Just unzipped the theme XHTML zip file.

    Which is great however, it doesnt contain the XHTML for listing comments out and the comment form.

    Is this in the main blog package instead?

    Warren :)

  5. Gravatar ImageMorten Bock Says:

    Just tried out the package. Good job so far.

    One minor thing I noticed is that on the textpages there are two div's with id=content inside eachother. Messes up the layout :-)

    Other than that, I think this will be the base for the blog I am going to build soon.

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