I am an experienced programmer in various languages, and also have experience with web development. I am new to Drupal, and as with any new platform there is sometimes a language barrier. I've read drupals small documentation on theming on their site, but I just want to make sure I'm wrapping my head around this correctly.

The way I understand it, a theme in Drupal is a site's skeleton, the basic HTML and CSS. If that's true then I at least have that part right. Where I'm losing it is where does the theme stop, and web design/content development start? For example, what exactly should I expect when I download a Drupal theme/template, should I be editing the theme directly to add my images and text, or is there specially created modules for that I'm just not seeing? Is it common practice to sub theme or just edit the theme directly?

  • 2
    Not sure this qualifies as "small" documentation: drupal.org/documentation/theme Apr 9, 2013 at 2:58
  • @patrickkenny that would be it.
    – MDMoore313
    Apr 9, 2013 at 9:43
  • 1
    In drupal.org documentation, most of the links are at the bottom. They can be easy to miss. In the case of the theming documentation, there are hundreds of web pages summarized into the few links at the bottom of the page. Apr 9, 2013 at 10:43

6 Answers 6


Just as structured programming revolutionized system building, modern web sites have strived for a conceptual structure. Today we try as far as possible to separate information, process and presentation. Think of the three as a venn diagram of overlapping circles: content, function, and theme.

Images and text are information, and the core and modules necessary to work with them are function.

The theme is the look and feel, the overlap is your information architecture. In Drupal, you can retain the same function and information, and completely change the presentation by changing the theme.

Think of it as structured programming taken to the next level.


Making a Drupal website look non Drupal is an overwhelming task. Themes help you to do exactly the same thing. Drupal provides more than 1600 themes with which you can play around and customize your site as per your requirements. Sticking to your questions:

1.The best practice is to decide your website's layout first and do primary theming.

2.This can be done better by creating a sub-theme out of an existing popular theme. Later you can start with the content addition and finally use some css to give it the perfect look.

Mostly content addition is done post theming to avoid designing issues.


Look at this template. This will explain how the theme doing in drupal. enter image description here


Themes allow you to change the look and feel of your Drupal site. You can use themes contributed by others or create your own to share with the community. Contributed themes are not part of any official release and may not have optimized code/functionality for your purposes. You can also create a sub-theme of an existing theme. A sub-theme inherits a parent theme's resources.

For more information about what theme is and how how to go around theming refer to http://api.drupal.org/api/drupal/includes!theme.inc/function/theme/7 and could read about different themes and what the features they provide you could refer to http://drupal.org/project/Themes......



theme is basically used in drupal to design the site layout . you can use the theme others have contributed or u can create your own theme .

for better theming experience i think u should go for "Omega theme" in drupal through this you can create your own theme in a much better way.

for more information regarding omega theme working you can also refer to free tutorial on drupalize.me .

also in theming basically we have block structure and those blocks are space where we place over node like articles views n all other stuffs

you can add your custom css in sites/all/theme/global.css file :)


1.Themes allow you to change the look and feel of your Drupal site. 2.you can create your own theme and can also download one. 3.there are built in themes which provide their own css. 4.you can modify the css provided as per your requirement. 5.there are 2 types of themes- a) responsive theme b) not responsive themes. 6.Responsive themes are the one which can have different layout of a single site according to the device..for eg:different layouts for tablet,mobile. 7.Unresponsive theme maintain the same layout throughout irrespective of any device used and any resolution used.. 8.for better understanding of themes-refer thos--http://drupal.org/node/1351116

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