Easy Web Design, 3rd Edition
  EWD Projects :: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Posting a Web Site within an Hour (or so)

Chapter 7: Posting a Web Site within an Hour (or so)

Choosing a Theme and a Layout

MSN Spaces allows you to designate a theme and a layout. A theme consists of a collection of colors, fonts, and images used to display your space. Currently, you can choose from over 80 themes. In contrast, a layout simply indicates the number and size of columns and rows in your MSN Space. By default, your space uses three columns.

lingo In the context of MSN Spaces, a theme controls a space’s colors, fonts, and background, whereas a layout controls the number of columns and rows in the space’s content area.

To choose a theme, click the Theme menu, and then click a theme thumbnail image. (Notice that there are two pages of theme options.) When you click a theme option, your space displays the theme’s settings. You can change the theme as many times as you want. Your selection doesn’t become permanent until you save your changes (but even then, you can change your theme any time you’re in edit view).

For the Phat Tiger Says… space, we selected the second color on page two. The black-and-green theme reminded us of night vision imagery we’ve seen in news stories, and since the MSN Space is for a night watch crew, the association made sense. If possible, you should choose a theme that reflects the purpose or personality you want to convey with your space.

The Themes and Layout options for MSN Spaces


To choose a layout for your MSN Space, click the Layout button and select your column preference. For this project, we stuck with the default three-column approach (the third option on the Layout menu). A three-column layout with the center column representing the largest content area is a standard and useful layout employed by many bloggers and Web designers.

You can experiment with different layout options, but be prepared—when you change layout settings, your content modules are automatically resized and reorganized into the new layout selection. If you revert to the three-column layout after experimenting, you might need to reposition your content modules. Of course, repositioning modules isn’t a big deal, since you can drag modules around using your mouse.

After you’ve settled on theme and layout selections, click Save. None of your changes appear online until you save your work. If you don’t like the changes you’ve made, click Cancel instead of Save, and your MSN Space will revert to the last saved version.

The overall theme and the shape of your MSN Space should now be defined. Your next job is to begin narrowing your focus by adding and removing content modules in your MSN Space.

Next section

top of page