General Question

bonus's avatar

What Software Do You Use To Create Your Sweetest Tumblr Themes?

Asked by bonus (538 points ) June 1st, 2009

I am not a web designer (which is why I love the simplicity of Tumblr) but I want to start a site for my work, an online portfolio, if you will. I am an architect (of buildings/space/furniture) with some very limited experience with code and scripting in modeling software and I set up this blog where I used to work (it hurts my eyes to look at it now!). So, I can sort of figure out how to tweak HTML and have done so with my own shits + giggles test Tumblr blog http://bonos.tumblr.com. I like the simplicity of that layout and would like to keep it generally the same (2 columns, white background, minimal) with some improvements as described below.

For my own work, I need to be able to control it more and have some navigation (tabs or links at the top or in the sidebar) to pages of significance (background, contact info, cv, projects, etc). I would also like the main content to be scrolling and transparent. The closest I have seen is this beauty Jam Factory.

Anyhow, I would like some help on this. How can I edit Tumblr HTML in a software package that makes sure my code is correct? Can show me WYSIWYG? Is Dreamweaver good for this? Which elements of the HTML do I need to keep/lose? Can I just cut + paste it into Dreamweaver (I have tried this and it seems not to work)?

Also, would like to add elements/widgets, whatever such as: calendar of entries, tags (or categories)...

Thanks so much in advance for any help.

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2 Answers

netspencer's avatar

The web today is designed using CSS. HTML itself just gets the content across. The CSS is what styles it into either something you love or some ugly website.

That being said, you will need to have some knowledge of CSS if you want to create a high quality site. WYSIWYG editors don’t really manage CSS.

Anyway, yes. Dreamweaver is a good option as a WYSIWYG editor for creating the theme. You can just copy the code out of the code editor in Tumblr and paste it into Dreamweaver.

Here it will tell you how to make custom themes. It basically talks about the tags you need to add to the HTML. Dreamweaver won’t know how to interoperate the tags because they are not standard HTML elements, so don’t get confused.

bonus's avatar

Oh, I am confused by the difference between HTML and CSS I guess. I was trying this over on wordpress.com where they described it a little differently. My take on it was that the HTML was the backbone or infrastructure of the layout and that CSS just changed colors and so forth but did not affect the formatting of columns and such. This is obviously wrong so I will research it more. I am able to figure out how to change some things in CSS but not at all sure on how to do the larger moves (2 columns and so forth).

Thanks. @netspencer

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