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DotClear themes

February 11th, 2007

[DotClear]

DotClear offers a very convenient way to quickly change the design and layout of your site. New themes can be installed and activated from the Administration panel, so you don’t have to manually download an archive, unzip it, and upload the theme files to your site.

To install a new DotClear theme:

1. from the Administration panel, select Tools – Themes manager;
2. enter the URL, http or ftp, of the theme package file (theme package files have the extension .pkg.gz);
3. click the install button: the new theme will appear in the List of installed themes.

To activate an installed theme:

1. click “use this theme” for the theme you wish to activate.

Many DotClear themes are freely available over the Internet. A nice DotClear theme gallery is at Camping Clair de Lune, where you can find hundreds of themes, both for DotClear 1.2.x and DotClear 2.

A DotClear theme is essentially a small PHP application, named template.php, complemented by a CSS file. The task of template.php is to output the XHTML code for a specific page type (DotClear page types are the home page, the single post page, the category archive page, the monthly archive page, the search results page).

The DotClear core in turn provides the theme API, which allows template.php to perform basic functions like accessing posts and comments, building navigation, and determining the current page type.

In conclusion the DotClear theme system allows users to quickly change their site design and layout; and, being based on PHP, doesn’t require designers to learn a special templating language while allowing them great flexibility in building custom themes.

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