I am a Designer

If you are the person that is designing your site, then you are what we call a designer. In this section you will read about how you can create or customize a template and styling it with stylesheets.

Separating structure and presentation

The template is where you define the structure of a page (= what will be in a page). The stylesheets, on the other hand, is where you define how the elements of that structure are presented. The stylesheets that you want to use are then attached to the templates.

The markup language for templates is good old HTML. The stylesheets are using CSS for styling and formatting the HTML elements, instead of doing this directly in the HTML code. This way the structure and the presentation of your pages are separated, the HTML is kept clean and you get many benefits such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and accessibility benefits.

The cool thing is that you can actually use one and the same template and get pages that look completely different, only by changing the CSS.((See CSS Zen-Garden CSS Zen-Garden for the ultimate example of how the same HTML can be made to look completely different by changing only the CSS.)) That is how the default templates that come with the default installation of CMS Made Simple work.

Well, for practical reasons the templates are only almost the same. But to each template there are five stylesheets attached that are the same for all templates. Then there is one stylesheet specific to each template and one or two stylesheets depending on what menu that a template is using.

But let's take one step at a time. First, let's see how you can make or customize a template.

Note: There is a wonderful Flash video of how to convert a template to a CMSMS template here: http://cmsmadesimple.org/uploads/media/mint_chocolate.htm

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User Handbook/Getting Started/Designer


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