I spent some time this weekend updating the theme for the Random Sparks blog. The blogging engine that I am using is dasBlog. The benefit of the dasBlog blogging engine is it is written entirely using the .NET framework and the code is open source. Therefore if a feature is missing or needs to be modified, I can pull out Visual Studio and go to work.
Modifying / Creating dasBlog Theme
Templates are used to define the layout in dasBlog. The templates will mostly be HTML with a few ‘macros’ inserted to provide access to dasBlog features. The macros are replaced when the template is parsed with HTML markup generated in code-behind. This allows dynamic / content relevant markup to be inserted into the page.
It is always a good idea to push the look and feel (styles) into a CSS file. Since the templates are just plain old HTML, you can add stylesheet reference.
The major changes to the Random Sparks blog are:
- Modified the header real estate. Previously, the header was taking up a lot of room and not providing much functionality. The header has been made smaller. A side benefit is the transport foot print is much smaller for the header.
- Replaced many of the hard corners with a rounded ones. This provides a softer look to the blog. The cost of doing this was an extra image.
- Styled the sidebar area a bit to highlight the different sections. Each section was modified to fit the new theme.
- The comment section was previously not styled and looked nasty. Now this section is more pleasant.
You can download the templates and style sheets for this theme.