Support » Themes and Templates » easy way to add column???

  • I started with the Blix theme and have changed lots of stuff so I really like it. I am finding a left hand column would be useful, so I’d like to add one. Is there any *easy* way to do that? I am not so good at writing code from scratch…better at editing, testing and eventually getting it by trial and error. No luck on this one though. Thanks.

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  • Well no, no *easy* way to do it. I’d suggest finding three column themes..

    ..and going through their code to find out how they do it. The main reason I say that is because there are many ways of adding the column in, some easier than others.

    Basically you need to do three things:

    1. Add something to your stylesheet to give the properties of the extra column and everything in it. The first time I did this, the way I did it was to take everything in the current stylesheet for the sidebar, copy it and change the dimensions, margin, padding, etc. so it was on the left side instead of the right. That way all the things like forms and link items matched in appearance to the original sidebar column. If you take your settings from a different theme, you could easily end up with your new column looking like the other theme instead of your current one.

    2. Add a file for the extra column (like sidebarleft.php or sidebarright.php) or add it into the existing sidebar.

    3. You may have to adjust the width, margin, padding, etc. on the main column (content, header, footer) so they don’t overlap.

    And actually after that, if you want it to look right for the biggest number of people, you need to do a 4th thing – validate it. has tools for validating the HTML and the CSS.

    Tom…thanks so much for the specific instructions. I’ll give it a shot on my own now and see what happens. I am usually able to get it after a few tries. If not, I may call on your expertise again 🙂

    You might take a look here at how I did it, since this theme validates and has already been tested by the 6000 or so members of css-discuss and found to work in almost all recent browsers, including the infamous IEMac:

    It happens to be the theme I have live at the moment. You don’t have to use my design, but you might want to have a really good look at my stylesheet as a basis for your own.



    Try this site for examples.

    Also, I successfully did a 3-column design at The Weekend Chef that works on both PCs and Macs.



    As Tom Hanna said, validate! Any site you use as a basis for a successful theme should validate before you use it.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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