DRUPAL: Advice for Themers

In this article

Everyone has to start somewhere.This section is for you, if you have some experience website building and website development. We recommend starting with an existing site before migrating into DIT Drupal Hosting environment. If you have any questions on how to get started, please contact us at drupal@umd.edu.

Background and prerequisites

Themers are expected to be masters of HTML and CSS. Experience with JavaScript is often important. To fully understand and edit template files, the foundation of a Drupal theme, you'll also need to know some basic PHP, and concepts in programming such as variables and conditional statements.



In Drupal, the layout of a site is a shared responsibility between a site builder and a themer. The following tutorials, while created for site builders, will also be useful to you as a themer. These lessons cover the layout of content (using Display Suite or Panels), and also site-wide layout (Panels). Themers are often forced to decide between hard-coding a layout into a template file, or using configuration to achieve the results instead. Understanding what modules are available and what they are capable of helps when it comes time to make these decisions.


Front-end technologies

A number of our tutorials assume you have done some prerequisite learning on a non-Drupal specific topic. Perhaps you're a designer who's learning front-end development. We help bring you up to speed with related technologies with the following learning series.