Personalization

With your blog configured, you can now begin to take over the look and feel. Nickel's front end consists of two files: a small HTML template and a weightier CSS file. The bulk of the site's text for things from links and form element titles to form instructions and responses can all be updated through classes of static constants just like in "Settings.cs".

HTML

Nickel renders dynamic data by populating some special strings the file "template.html". You can actually visit the template directly, or edit it in a WYSIWYG editor, to change your layout. Check out http://nickel.bantherewind.com/template.html for an example.

The template has two required blocks of HTML. Each one is wrapped in the comments "Do not edit BEGIN" and "Do not edit END". As the warning implies, do not alter the contents between those lines.

It is recommended that you leave the elements of the template intact, but feel free to do a little rearranging. If you do not have multiple authors on your site, you should delete the text "###authors###". If you aren't using tags to categorize your articles, then you'll probably want to delete the word "###tags###" from the template.

CSS

The default style for Nickel is drab and grey. This is intentional to hint at a suggested contrast for your site while not giving bias to a particular color scheme. Nickel's appearance is more or less dictated by CSS. If you open the "css/default.css" file, you'll notice that every style has a comment to help you decide what to edit. The styles are listed alphabetically. Most of the styles are marked "DO NOT CHANGE" meaning, you guessed it, you should leave them alone. Even so, they each have a description as to what their functionality is and sometimes include exceptions for when it's OK to make an edit.

When you are finished stylizing your blog, you should remove all the comments to reduce file size.

AddThis

Nickel uses a little sharing bar from AddThis by default. All the code is contained in a few lines inside of "template.html". If you'd like to remove it or replace it with a different sharing bar, simply find the comments "AddThis button BEGIN" and "AddThis button END", then edit or delete what is in between.

Customizing Messages

Most of Nickel's messages, labels, errors, etc, may be updated to suit your taste. All settings files are stored in the "AppCode" directory (remember, do not alter the contents of "AppCode/core"). You are already familiar with the "Settings.cs" class, but the other files in the folder house Nickel's strings. The default values are fairly sensible and don't really require an update. But if you want to customize some of the site's text, here's a quick guide.

Please note that updates to these files should only be made if you know what you're doing in C#.NET. These files do not contain comments like "Settings.cs" does, though the constants are aptly named. A small number of messages cannot be changed because they contain dynamic data and therefore are not located in these files.

Errors.cs

This file contains text for error messages. These are the little bits of text that appear near buttons when something goes wrong.

Instructions.cs

These are the instructions that appear above forms like registration, forgot password, new article, etc.

Labels.cs

These are labels that appear on links, form items, buttons, etc.

Responses.cs

This file contains responses from form submissions. Because most responses require dynamic feedback, only a small selection is available here.

Titles.cs

There are the titles of form pages.

"One sec..."

If you want to swap out Nickel's trademark loading message, which reads "One sec...", you have to make the update in JavaScript. Please do not attempt this change unless you are familiar with JavaScript. Do not make any other changes to the JavaScript file or you may affect the stability of the site.

To change the loading message, open "js/ajax.js" and search for the following code:
var LOADING = "One sec...";


You may replace the value "One sec..." with "Loading" or anything else you'd like.

Favicon

Nickel ships with Ban the Rewind's favicon.png file. You may want to replace it.

Last edited Dec 14, 2010 at 8:25 PM by BanTheRewind, version 13

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