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Using Templates Effectively PDF Print E-mail
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Nov 19, 2005 at 07:34 AM

Your Mambo installation comes bundled with a default template and CSS. The template that displays when you first install the site is optimized for screen displays of 1024 x 768 and higher. In addition, we have included a second version of this template optimized for 800 x 600 displays.

Mambo supports a number of options which allow you to change the display of the content on your site, enabling you to achieve a personalized look and feel without having to modify the template file.

The default installation with the sample data is designed to demonstrate a variety of different techniques for formatting information and displaying content. It is a virtual sampler of some of the different tools and techniques made possible by the Mambo system. We have included at the top of most pages ::Explanatory Text:: which helps you understand how that particular page, section or category was created.

Since our goal is to show you ways to use the system, we have not optimized the settings for the most attractive appearance. Moreover, not every site will need the same options we have selected to show you in this sampler.

As a means of extending the examples we have given, here are some changes you might want to consider to help make your site more attractive:

  • The "Top Menu" can be hidden (it's a bit redundant at present, given the choices included and how close they are to the Main Menu)
  • The "Latest News"and "Popular" modules can be hidden to give the Home Page a cleaner, simpler look.
  • Experiment with the Parameters controlling the Front Page Component to change the number of articles, columns or links that appear on the Home Page.
  • Vary the number and types of modules included in the left and right columns and make the selections relevant to the content of the pages on which they appear.
  • If you use the 800 x 600 version of the template, you may not want to use the "Table - Content Category" or "Table - Content Section" layout options, as the center column becomes very crowded.

If you wish to change the company logo space ("Water & Stone" - at the top of the template), it is very simple. The present header is an image. The easiest way to replace it is to overwrite the image file via FTP or by using the Media Manager (that is, upload a new file with the same name). If you do not wish to use an image for the company logo, then you will need to edit the template file directly. Changing the image at the top of the template (the wide picture) can be achieved in the same manner.

If you wish to change the colors of the template you will have to be able to use an image editing program to create new background images (which are tiled to give many of the effects on this template). Changing fonts and font colors is easier as they are all controlled by the CSS.

Note that the template files and the CSS include numerous comment tags that are intended to help make modifying the files faster and easier. The best way to learn how to create or edit Mambo templates is to open one up and experiment. Make copies of the original before you start and you won't have any serious problems.

Good Luck and Welcome to Mambo!

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Last Updated ( Nov 29, 2005 at 09:46 PM )
Mambo is OSI certified Open Source software. It is free of charge and is governed by the General Public License (GPL). Learn more about Open Source and the OSI at the Open Source Initiative (OSI) website.