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BlogEngine 2.8 Theme Structure

Looking for improvements to layout and theme structure in the next BlogEngine, I went through existing code analyzing how these things work now. Its not very straightforward, so I decided to put together a quick overview that might help someone maintaining and modifying blog built with BlogEngine.NET. More...

Customizing Post Navigation

Post navigation in BlogEngine is a little hard to customize. By default it looks like picture below and that works fine with standard theme. Small problem is that those angle brackets and "|" in the middle not that easy to get rid of without some nasty CSS tricks because they baked into the core code that nobody likes to touch (or you'll have to remember to carry it over during upgrade). Good news is that you don't have to touch it and still modify navigation any way you like pretty easily if you follow this little guide. More...

Heart Beat the New Theme for BlogEngine

HeartBeatI was looking for a warm colorful theme for my kids/family site and this one from ezwpthemes.com looked like a good fit (leaving aside it is in the dating category…). Anyways, I did little experiment and slightly changed my routine converting Wordpress themes by going straight to “view page source” and working with raw HTML instead of dealing with server-side code. This time I actually got down and dirty to all those PHP files and built theme by merging templates and replacing PHP code with ASP.NET equivalents when possible. It wasn’t hard at all, which proved a point I had in mind going to PHP files in the first place. I think it is relatively easy to build a converter that will take Wordpress theme and spit out theme for BlogEngine. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Ok, it won’t get 100% result, some things will need to be worked out after post-conversion process by hand. But even if it will get 80% of the job done, I’d take it. I just might try it some day!

Meanwhile, give a try this new theme. It looks best in BE 2.5, but also works fine with version 2.0. If you find any problems, drop a line here.

Theme can be downloaded from the dnbegallery and you can preview it here.

Comment Form Templates


When I visit someone's blog for the first time and want to check quickly if it runs BlogEngine, I usually go straight to comment form and if it looks like a variation of the picture below I can sure tell it is running BE. Few reasons for that, first of, if you look at code BlogEngine generates for comment form you’ll agree with me that this is not exactly a designer’s dream. It’s a little hard to modify for a different look. Secondly, most of the themes you’ll find for BlogEngine were created by developers converting existing templates, and we usually not very concerned with details when functionality is working perfectly well. So most time instead of modifying comment form to look naturally as theme itself, we simply copy-paste CSS from standard theme and wash our hands. Good enough, right? And it works just fine, too. More...

How to convert theme to BlogEngine.NET part 4

menu- 1

In this part we'll get menu working. BlogEngine supports “pages” – pages are different in that they don’t belong to post list, don’t support comments and can have parent/child relationship. In short, this is a way to turn your blog into CMS (content management system) or combine blog and CMS on the same site. BlogEngine has page list widget that shows list of all pages on the site. It is a simple flat list and does not support nesting, that is why a while back I wrote this control to extend standard list to hierarchical unsorted HTML list that can be styled with CSS to look as horizontal or vertical menu usually used in CMS-style websites. More...

How to convert theme to BlogEngine.NET part 3


This is part 3 of converting theme to BlogEngine tutorial. In the first part we created a new theme and added HTML/CSS/JavaScript from chosen design template. Second part mostly dealt with customizing search. Today is going to be a widgets day.

Widgets are parts of the site that can be dynamically configured and updated by admin, usually you can see them in the side bar, like list of categories, tags etc. It is one of the main extensibility points in BlogEngine and can be very powerful, although you should not overuse it as having too many widgets can slow site down. More...

How to convert theme to BlogEngine.NET part 2

Search Magnifier This is a second in the series of tutorials on theme building with BlogEngine (go to part one). This time I’ll get search functionality up and running. BlogEngine has search widget and server-side control to add search really easy to the blog, but for some themes it does not fit well with design and you want to go manual. Fortunately, it is not hard. More...

How to convert theme to BlogEngine.NET

boldy With summer behind us, you might want to change things a little bit to celebrate a new season. Like buy a new shoes or, may be, change a theme on the blog. I decided to do the later. My schedule is quiet busy, so I’ll do it in several steps and will share tips, tricks and findings with anybody interested.
I’m running relatively recent build of BlogEngine from source, but new theme should work fine with 1.6.x.x. Let me know if it doesn’t for you and I’ll do adjustments as needed. To start, I went looking for catchy free theme, no kind in particular - any design can be adopted to BlogEngine pretty easily. This WP theme looked pretty good to me. Below I’ll try to document adoption process step by step. More...

In the search of mobile theme

mobile Largely as a result of iPhone revolution, mobile devices today more wide spread and connected to the web than ever. It is increasingly important for web sites to look good on the small screen to attract mobile users. BlogEngine.Net has mobile theme that looks ok, but we need more and better. I’ve been looking for options and played a little with some of the frameworks available for other platforms. There are some interesting development, and I’m interested in doing more here. As first experiment, I updated my previous iPhone admin add-on and combined it with simple but fully functional mobile theme. It got a list of categories on front page, from where you navigate to the posts. You can also login and publish posts using admin add-on that became part of the theme. Take a look at screen shots, they are pretty self-explanatory. More...

DarkBlog theme refreshed for BE 1.5

db-15Just finished refreshing my old DarkBlog theme to run under newest BlogEngine 1.5 release. It has been neglected for quiet some time now, I had to add widgets support, nested comments and few tweaks here and there to play nice with new features added to BlogEngine since version 1.3 when this theme was introduces. It looks pretty good with standard “welcome” post, but when tested with my own blog content, some things do not look right. Nothing is wrong with theme though, the problem is content itself - which prompted me to write a note to myself: More...