Drupal Commons is an awesome new Drupal install profile from Acquia that combines the core functionality of Organic Groups with additional modules such as shoutbox, heartbeat, user points and custom functionality into a package that allows users to quickly and easily launch a robust website geared towards growing a community. Commons is a fantastic install profile for use as a company intranet, community forum or any other situation where users rally around common interests to share information, documents and experiences.
Drupal Commons comes packaged with a theme specially built for use with the install profile, Acquia Commons, design by Acquia and built by TopNotchThemes. Since Acquia Commons is based on TopNotchThemes’ robust theming framework, Fusion, there are many different styling options that can be easily configured through the Drupal UI, without any knowledge of CSS or theming. Also, since Commons uses Panels for page layouts, customizing the presentation of your content is as easy as a few click-and-drags.
In this blog post, I’m going to go over the UI configurations available in the Acquia Commons theme, as well as show some tips and tricks for customizing the theme if you do know how to use CSS. Part 2 of this blog series will cover creating a completely custom theme using the Fusion Commons Starterkit and Part 3 will cover adapting an existing theme to work with Drupal Commons.
Featues of Fusion
A lot of the flexibility of customizing Drupal Commons comes from features of our theming framework, Fusion, and is universal to all the themes we make here at TopNotchThemes. A lot of the information I have for you in this post is a re-telling of our Fusion Documentation. If you need more info, be sure to take a look at http://fusiondrupalthemes.com/support/documentation
One of the best features of Fusion is the integration with the Skinr module. Skinr allows you to easily change some design aspects of a theme through the user interface. First, we’ll go over some of the changes you can easily make to your Drupal Commons site.
First, let’s take a look at a Commons group homepage as it looks when we first install the site.