I've been evaluating drupal and I'm at a point where I have my header, footer, and sidebar set up properly. I have a basic page node type and I've created a few test pages. My test pages have been very simple, just headers and paragraph tags. What do I do when I want something more complicated?

If my client wants a certain page to have text and images split into multiple columns at different points in the page instead of just one how can I accomplish this when the only input the end user has is a wysiwyg form?

Is there a module for this type of thing or does it require knowing in advance how the client will want to layout each of the different pages and make templates for them all?


2 Answers 2


If the end user is good at layout, they can use the WYSIWYG form to do pretty much any kind of layout there. Otherwise, you will probably want to have different inputs for the different areas of the page (which would require a different template, and probably content type, for each layout). For example, I have a site set up which has a home page that is different from all of the subpages, and also has section pages for secondary-level pages. The home page is its own content type, and the section pages are their own content type. That way, I can attach different fields to each of these, for example, making them refer to a separate node which is a slide show.

  • if the end user is good enough to write valid html and css from scratch can they just write code in the WYSIWYG or will the code be stripped out? May 13, 2013 at 21:32

What you're asking about is usually referred to as "theming", and it is a huge subject.

I suggest you read up on "starter themes", which are Drupal theme projects that are specifically designed for the type of flexibility you want.

As you can see, there are several of these. One that is both popular, well-documented and well-supported is Zen. Getting a grip on Zen takes some effort (it seems both useless and bone-ugly out of the box). But Zen, together with one of the avialable grid frameworks (Zen Grids, 960.gs, Gridset App) gives tremendous flexibility. It is well worth the effort to get to grips with.

  • I actually have created my own subtheme of zen. I see a lot of talk about zen being well-documented but all I can find is the information at drupal.org/documentation/theme/zen which I wouldn't call excellent documentation. Can you recommend some good resources on theming with Zen? May 13, 2013 at 22:56
  • First, if you've experiemented with Zen, why didn't you disclose it in your question? (No point for people answering to suggest that you try that if you've done so already.) Second, I happen to think the many pages of Drupal community documentation of Zen that you've already found the root of, makes Zen well-documented. (I now understand that you disagree, but I had way no way of knowing that before typing up my answer.) May 13, 2013 at 23:45

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