That is why we made designing a Sitefinity website a task you already know how to do quickly, as it is based on familiar concepts. A few examples:
This blog post will give you a few tips for best practices when creating a Sitefinity template and quick and powerful ways to control the appearance of page elements.
- The page template.
Sitefinity Designer’s guide gives a detailed walk-through on how to create a new template based on a Master page and CSS themes. What I want to emphasize on is the number of content placeholders you include in there:
Sitefinity 3.x’s legacy was to create as many of the above <asp:contentplaceholder /> ‘s as you need to have editable regions in your page. This approach is obsolete as of Sitefinity 4.0 + because of the Layout Builder, which you can use to drag and drop layout widgets throughout your page.
Our recommendation when building a new page template using a Master page is – keep the number of hardcoded content placeholders to as few as possible; using layout blocks on top of these to create new regions where you can drag and drop widgets has a number of benefits:
Sitefinity’s responsive mobile support serves to rearrange the content blocks, so that they fit on the screens of various devices;
If you have the Responsive & Mobile design feature enabled, Sitefinity generates CSS3 media queries, which, according to your preferences in the Responsive Design settings screen, rearrange the layout blocks on your page:
The content blocks are actually being controlled by these rules via the class names that are automatically applied to them:
- The layout blocks
Controlling the appearance of layout blocks is easy and quick; that gives you the ability to apply advanced styling with no effort.
As you have probably guessed by now, the Layout blocks mentioned above, according to best design practices, are nothing but <div> elements. The class names are applied to them through the interface above, furthermore you can add your own class names, create CSS rules in your theme CSS files or through the CSS widget:
- The Widget Templates
You can use that pattern to style not only plain text, but contents of various widgets. An important thing to remember is that all widgets in Sitefinity are .NET controls, which can be set to use customized templates:
As can be seen here, the templates of the widgets within Sitefinity can be completely customized and your preferred CSS classes can be added to the markup.
Some widgets don’t have their templates exposed like this, but it’s possible to create custom ones as .ascx files and map them where needed. A complete set of .ascx templates that can be modified and mapped to the respective Sitefinity widgets can be found in the Sitefinity SDK.
An alternative for that is to simply inspect the markup that the widgets generate and apply CSS rules to restyle them, as explained by the end of this blog post.
- Sitefinity Thunder
And, at the end, a word of advice – if you aren’t using Sitefinity Thunder yet – hurry up and change that! Among all other great features, it allows you to edit page and widget templates on-the-fly, benefiting from Visual Studio’s IntelliSense and error highlighting:
Most of the above concepts are perfectly visualized in Gabe's video, called "Introduction to Sitefinity Design". I encourage you to take 10 minutes to check it out, as it will help you hit the ground running with styling your Sitefinity website.