I am seriously going crazy trying to figure out how to change the theme of my site.

Does ExpressionEngine support pre-built themes? If so, how do I switch between them?

If not, how do I change the front-end design of my site?

  • Hi Zorro, welcome to Stack Exchange. While this wasn't a very well written question, it's a valid one. I've edited your question to make it more constructive. In future please try to write your question in a way that will help other visitors, rather than just announcing you have a problem. Thanks :) – Adrian Macneil Feb 15 '13 at 10:13

While what @Adrian Macnell states is primarily true. It's primarily true, because most people choosing ExpressionEngine for their websites are web developers. EE CMS isn't like Drupal or WordPress, where tons of people offer free or for a price themes.

That said, ExpressionEngine makes it fairly to easy to use other themes. If you don't know much about HTML and CSS, then EE2 allows you to use the HTML from any rendered Drupal or WordPress theme or you could find a site that just specializes in basic HTML themes to use. Additionally, as @BKY has mentioned, there are a few EE theme vendors such as ThemeForest, AddOnBakery, WooThemes, and ThemeSquirrel.

The themes/site_themes/ folder is for importing themes that were made available pre-installation. I believe it stores information that will automate creating templates, template groups, field groups and other information to set-up a basic site. But then, as @Adrian mention, you would actually edit and modify your new them via the Template Manager in the Control Panel.

The fact is, with ExpressionEngine swapping out themes will never be as easy as WordPress or Drupal, because that's not the type of Content Management System (CMS) EE is. ExpressionEngine is mostly used by people who want powerful control over designing their websites, which general means, in the control of the look and feel of the site as well. That's why you won't find too many themes for it.

But when you do find a theme. Please take care to read the theme installation instructions. I know the AddOnBakery provides directions and I'd assume this is true for other vendors. Though if the theme is basic HTML, it would need to be added directly in the template manager.

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  • so how to install new theme in expression engine – LAv RAi Feb 15 '13 at 13:42
  • You need to follow the directions provided by the theme site. I provided a link: addonbakery.com/blog/quick-installation-guide-troubleshooting in the answer. These are the most common instructions, but you should check to see if your theme has specific instructions. Go back to the website you purchased from, and find instructions. – nonprofit_tech Feb 15 '13 at 13:58

ExpressionEngine doesn't have support for multiple themes, and so far no-one has been successful in launching any sort of "theme shop" for ExpressionEngine. ExpressionEngine is more of a framework to build a site than a ready-to-go CMS solution, and you need to hand craft the front end of your site by writing HTML and CSS code. This is seen as one of the main advantages to using ExpressionEngine by most EE developers.

In most cases you will be able to edit the design templates for your site by logging in to the control panel, and visiting Design > Templates > Template Manager. For help getting started theming ExpressionEngine, you should start by reading the User Guide. If you don't see the Design menu in your ExpressionEngine CP, you will need to ask the person who set up the site to give your account permission.

If the idea of writing HTML and CSS code scares you, you should either hire a professional web developer, or try starting with a more "drag & drop" CMS.

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  • i have new theme and put this theme into site_theme folder.. now i can not see .how to change theme. and where i put css and image folder in EE – LAv RAi Feb 15 '13 at 10:55
  • yes i working on drupal.here very simple way to change the site theme.. we put it on sites/all/themes folder .then admin section to choose as default theme .. – LAv RAi Feb 15 '13 at 11:02
  • Actually I have no idea what the site_themes folder is for but it's misleadingly named. By default all your templates are stored in the database. If you want to keep them on the filesystem, check out saving templates as text files. – Adrian Macneil Feb 15 '13 at 11:09

Let's put this another way - with EE you don't just "change the site theme". Instead you "re-implement the site using different front-end code".

There is no easy way, EE just doesn't work that way.

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Themeforest is now providing ExpressionEngine build-in theme also. Check out from here: http://themeforest.net/category/cms-themes/expressionengine

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  • Its not right answer..i need how to change the theme of site in EE – LAv RAi Feb 15 '13 at 11:53
  • i have new theme and how to install it.. – LAv RAi Feb 15 '13 at 11:57

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