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Improve / Modernize Website Themes

Websites look a little awkward and aren't particularly easy to design, so this could be improved.

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    rfh1957 shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    41 comments

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      • AD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Almost all websites have a more modern view with mobile screens etc. Wordpress templates employ these types of features; parts of the view appear to move as you scroll down the page. Also, when viewing on a desktop or laptop the theme fills the screen from left to right, whereas the WA themes do not.

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A few more comments on customizing themes. Did you know that when you use Colors & Styles and make one change a special file gets created called customStyles in the Theme folder of your Files system. This file is actually the CSS of all customizable elements on your site. Making changes in some ways is EASIER on this file rather than the UI because now you know exactly which CSS class or ID is being modified. Now if you make a change in the UI it may overwrite this document. But once you know the class or ID you can search that on your page and know exactly what is being changed rather than guessing. Analyzing this customStyles.css document gives you a ton of ideas for customization the look and feel and is a great place to understand the CSS structure of a Wild Apricot theme. Here for example is what changes when you change the background image of the Site:

        body
        {background-image: url('https://sf.wildapricot.org/ThemeSharedRes/HeaderBackgroundImages/Bg-pattern-15.png');}

        Learning about CSS is the key to making WIld Apricot themes sing with delight!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It would be nice to be able to make the gadgets work with the theme. We've customized our theme a lot but we frequently run into trouble where colors for the website are unreadable within the gadgets.

      • Randall Rensch commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Carla Houston commented June 20, 2017 02:53:

        >... I found some of the listed website which provides themes according to my criteria , I am sharing with you few of them.
        The top best free templates is:<

        I don't understand the point of listing those sites. All or some of the three appear to require hosting by their service, one is free only if you let them run ads, and one didn't even display its own home page (etc.) properly on my computer monitor.

      • Jennifer Marx commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Even when I go to events through macros in the emails I've sent out, when it routes me to the event page, if I press the Back button, it takes me to an event template from 5 years ago. I have no idea how to tell a web developer how to fix this. I have been told that WA is very hard to integrate with my website. I'm afraid of what I will have to go through to change anything...

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sarah,

        You can use CSS to modify a lot of the Wild Apricot website without changing the underlying template. Do you know how to do that?

        We've changed the profile pages dramatically without theme overrides over at accountantscentral.com

        Check out one of the profiles there:

        http://accountantscentral.com/Sys/PublicProfile/41069757/3917912

        We used CSS to reposition some elements and even introduce some graphics under certain pieces of text. It's a bit cumbersome but it is possible WITHOUT THEME OVERRIDES!

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sarah,

        You can use CSS to modify a lot of the Wild Apricot website without changing the underlying template. Do you know how to do that?

      • Sarah Weir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It'd be great to be able to edit the main Wild Apricot function pages. Like deleting the "Forum Subscriptions" information when we're not using Forums, edit the profile page buttons to make the page easier to read etc. I have found that not being able to edit the WA set pages really annoying!

      • Chris C commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please make it easier for non-web designers to customize, change things and add templates and widgets for easier page creation

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have now had some experience building out equivalent functionality to Wild Apricot in WordPress. We built a membership site for an alumni club using several plugins and I must say the design capabilities in WordPress are superior to Wild Apricot. In most part this is because you are inheriting an existing template that looks good from the start. Is the functionality 100% equivalent? I don't think so, especially in the area of membership management, renewals. The plugin we used Ultimate Membership has some great capabilities that overlap with Wild Apricot but not quite as mature. There are others of course too that probably mirror. It took us 4 major plugins -- Mail Poet for email marketing, Ultimate Member for memberships/directories, WooCommerce for donations+ecommerce, The Event Calendar for event management. We also have Ninja Forms to create sign up forms to collect data through custom forms.

        On the plus site the integration with a single sign on for membership + ecommerce is much superior to Wild Apricot.

        On the minus side the event calendar solution does not have built in ecommerce and you'd need to use a form coordinated with ecommerce to build out custom registration forms.

        In the end, the capabilities are much more flexible in WordPress, but you need to know what you're doing.

        Wild Apricot is a perfect fit for new clubs/associations that don't have extensive design needs and ecommerce.

        WordPress is a perfect fit for those that need a nearly unlimited design capability and ecommerce flexibility.

        Of course with WordPress you own the code and need to maintain it, but there is no monthly increase in cost when you get to 1000 users. You just may need a better host to manage thousands of users at probably max of $50 per month in hosting fees.

        Wild Apricot is really aimed at a special kind of association and club -- one without an internal Marketing/IT department or staff.

      • Kopernicus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Design vs Functionality should not be a "struggle." Furthermore, both your design and functionality are mediocre at best. The software feels like I am working in Win95

      • Carla Houston commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes I agreed, many templates available when we search in google "Free theme or free website theme" but those themes are uselless, I wasted much time when I was started to begin website making journey, so now finally I found some of the listed website which provides themes according to my criteria , I am sharing with you few of them.

        The top best free templates is:

        https://www.webgen.com/templates
        http://www.wix.com/website/templates
        https://www.weebly.com/themes

        Hope this would be useful for you as well

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree this is a must. It really really irritates me how narrow the page is. Especially now a days with everyone having wide screen monitors.

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I wish we were able to adjust the background images and colors directly from the template. Allow for it to be more drag/drop/ user friendly. Some pages you have different templates and might want a different background. Or you may want to have your events page look one way and forms another. Right now all changes apply to everything.

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree I really need the ability to widen my site. It drives me nuts that it is so narrow.

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