Walkthrough video of the Design Studio
Use the Design Studio to customize your site appearance. Select a theme, insert your header or background image, have two columns instead of three — plus lots more if you know some CSS.
The Themes panel includes a growing collection of themes that can be applied to your network. Clicking on a theme will give you a live preview of what it would look like on your network. This panel also includes up to 50 of your last published themes in the My Themes section. You should also have a “Classic” theme available if you want to revert to the Classic Appearance Editor.
The Layout panel provides you with eight different arrangements to apply to your network. You can choose 2 or 3 columns, sidebar positioning, and even where the navigation shows up — above or below the header. [Note: The Layout panel in the Design Studio controls the layout of your entire site. The Features Layout controls the content on the Main Page.]
The Customize panel is where you can tweak details like header images, module background colors and font styles. If you need to change a color of something, this is the place to look. Most people start here when they want to create a custom header or change the background image for their entire site.
Available for Ning Plus and Pro, the Advanced panel has two tricks up its sleeve: a place to Add Custom CSS, as well as an option to go into Developer Mode, where you can completely rework the theme you’ve selected. You can even create your own theme if you have the skills. Warning! If you don’t have advanced CSS skills, you could find yourself Getting stuck when using CSS!
Always use your test network when experimenting with custom code or adding third-party widgets that were not made by Ning! It also never hurts to back up your custom code in a text file — whether you’re a pro or a beginner.
Before the Design Studio existed…
If you’ve been with Ning for a long time, you may remember the Classic Appearance Editor. We don’t offer the Classic Appearance editor for new Ning Networks anymore (frankly, we don’t think it’s nearly as good as the Design Studio!), but if you’re looking for information about it, you can read about it here.