Easy Theme setup?

I setup one web site with Getgrav, and am very pleased with the maintenance of it thus far. You can see it here: www.biblia.reinavaleragomez.com I’m super impressed with the speed of it. I don’t update the website content, so basically, it sets there and works like a charm. I did stumble a little through the upgrade 1.6 → 1.7 process.

With other web page content management systems (read Wordpress), I can easily swap themes on the fly with minimal effort. Many times the content rolls with the change (though not always). I don’t see the same simplicity (point and click) theme customizations with Grav. Am I missing something? I’m running a test install to find a theme to work with, and just switching themes between 2 of them, I hopelessly broke my site. I get a “this page doesn’t exist” where the home page should be. I don’t have any posts, just the test data installed by the theme. Can someone point me to simple directions for swapping themes out? I have been over this page: Theme Basics | Grav Documentation and it seems more for those who want to code a theme. That isn’t me. I appreciate any help with this.

Hi @shane , this article might be a helpful resource for some of what you bring up in your post: Traditional CMS Platforms and Grav | Grav CMS Please feel free to then post any follow-up questions.

Re: switching themes, the key is looking for a theme that uses the same (or at least similar) templates as your existing one etc.

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@paulhibbitts Thank you for that link! That was a very helpful article. I’m still shopping for a theme to use. Instead of just looking at a screenshot of one page, I like to run a test demo of the theme. This allows me to see what things I can modify, and use to get the look and feel I want. That is what I was trying to do with an empty install of Grav. I guess to do this, I need to download the Skeleton packages. Skeletons | Grav CMS .

I don’t change themes often, matter of fact, in WP, I generally do it because something no longer works right because a theme is no longer maintained. - This brings up a very important question. Let’s say I select a theme, and in a year, it is no longer maintained. Grav continues to update, and something in the theme breaks. Can someone who is not a developer, who doesn’t know twig, php, or css actually change themes? This scenario becomes a legitimate concern. Just looking down the road a little.

If something breaks, usually it’s in a changelog. I don’t think I saw any complaints about themes breaking on 1.6 to 1.7 update except one, which was actually related to a security and Grav changed default parsing and HTML code was outputted to front-end. But it was also easy to fix by checking one checkbox in Admin I believe.

If there would be bigger issues, at least for now, this community is here to help :slight_smile: The more I dig in, the more I understand how flexible Grav is and relatively easy to work with. I also saw here some folks fixing/updating their installations without much (if any) knowledge of developing back/front-end.

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Once in a while questions are being asked about the ease of use of Grav for non-developers.

Target audience:
IMHO, Grav has been designed with the developer in mind. A developer who knows his/her way in the terminal to manage Grav, knows CSS/SCSS, Twig and perhaps PHP for edge cases.

Sure, if a user finds a Prêt-à-Porter theme that fulfills the needs, Grav can be a good fit. And many themes offer some tweaking by changing configuration settings of the theme.

But as soon as changes need to be made in styling, knowledge of css/scss is required. If the layout of the page needs to change, knowledge of Twig is required.

For non-developers, there are other tools available which are easier to use and maintain…

Unfortunately, the migration to Grav 1.7 did come with breaking changes. They have been well documented in the upgrade docs and the changelog of Grav. I’m afraid however, that these docs are not on top of the mind of non-developers and if they do, they are probably not fully understood.

Most issues are caused by outdated themes/plugins of which quite a few have already been abandoned. The devs of these did not upgrade and test for breaking changes. For a non-developer it is not easy-peasy to fix a broken theme/plugin.

Just my 2 cents…

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I would said not to upgrade to 1.7 yet. I installed theme Mache and upgraded to 1.7 and the admin module loads pretty slow compared with admin 1.6 with X-Corp theme, same for the web site, Mache theme loads very slow on 1.7.

To customize a theme is necessary to know css and also twig templates, the documentation is very good and helpful, it requires time and dedication for a non technical person.