Changing the look of your site

There are two ways to change the way your Reason site looks:

1. Change to a different preexisting theme

Carleton has a number of Reason themes available for sites to use. You can change the theme of your site to any one of them, and it's quick and easy. Here's how:

  1. Log in to Reason
  2. Go to the site whose theme you want to change
  3. Under "Site Tools" in the left column choose "Theme"
  4. You should see a screen that looks sort of like this:
    Choosing a theme
  5. You can get a preview of the themes by clicking on the thumbnail images. If you do not see a thumbnail image next to a theme, you'll have to…
  6. Click "Select this theme" to change your site's theme. You can then visit the public site and see how it looks.
  7. Repeat until you're happy with a theme.

2. Have the Web Services Group create a new theme for your site

If you are not happy with any of the preexisting themes that are available, you can ask us to create a new theme for your site. The drawback to this approach is that, since Carleton has over 500 sites, you may need to wait a while as we work on other site design projects that were requested before yours. You can use the Web Work Request Form to file a site design request.

Things to keep in mind

As a footnote, there are three things to keep in mind if you are thinking about changing your site's theme:

  1. Keep your site visitors' trust by changing themes infrequently.
    It can be disorienting for your site visitors if every time they visit your site it looks different. People use color and fonts as cues that they are in the same place as they remember. So it is not a good idea to change your site theme often – if you change your theme more than once a year you will probably confuse and frustrate your site visitors.
  2. A new theme won't fix issues related to the content of the site.
    If the site is hard to navigate or read, you will probably find it best to fix those issues before putting on a new theme. We are happy to help think through site reorganizations and rewriting with you – just contact us through the Web Work Request Form.
  3. We can change the layout and content of the home page.
    Since people use your home page to get to everything else on your site, if it is not easy to use it will color their whole experience of the site. Reason has a whole host of options for home page design that are not directly available to most site editors, but which we are happy to unlock for you. (This is distinct from changing your theme.) If you think that your home page could work better if it was changed around, please contact us and we'll be glad to help.