I was intrigued by this (Windows) software that can create Drupal themes for you. Tried it out and just posted a review, in case anyone else is interested, and posted some sample themes I created with it.

Of course I'm a bit biased (er, knowledgeable, I mean!) since we make themes, but I think it's actually not bad for simple blog-style themes! Tons of options and fun to play with too. I think it could help a lot of people struggling with trying to get the look they want, although the Drupal theme generation is only in the $130 version of the software.

Anyone else tried it?

Comments

WorldFallz’s picture

Wow-- this could be a boon for those of us drupalers that don't have an artistic bone in their body! Yes it generates a bland cookie cutter style, but for me it looks worth it for the graphic / css elements alone-- i can jazz it up with different regions and tpl files and extend it for other modules myself.

I'm downloading it now-- i'll post back after i take it for a spin.

EDIT: i just took it for a test drive - O...M...G! This thing is amazing for the graphically challenged. To me the fact that it can generate a drupal theme is the least of it's capabilities. I'm used to turning oswd designs into themes. It's nice that it can save me some time doing that, but it's the fact that I can easily play with things like tabs, buttons, block designs, even drop down menu styles, as easily as i can edit a word document that's the TRUE value. If i had to try and do this in photoshop (i'm an excellent photo retoucher & restorer, but my graphic design skills are pathetic) it would take me DAYS to try the different things i just ran through with that tool. IMO it's easily worth the cost-- the time savings for me will be huge. Ive played around with other 'template generators' but none ive seen have the wysiwyg, quality, and options of this one.

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Steve Hanson’s picture

Yes - it has some nice points for generating simple blog-style templates. But it also seems to have some serious issues, at least in the current release. Some things it doesn't seem to do at all, or well -

a. The themes aren't real drupal-y. That is, it does some really odd things re: assigning menus, how blocks are built, etc. So the themes end up not acting like real normally-healthy Drupal themes. And once you start trying to use panels, etc . it gets really gamey.

b. No liquid designs

c. Only the most simple regions are built in the theme. If you ever wanted to have, oh, say, ads on your site, or any sort of customized block structure besides sidebars, you're going to have to put that in by hand.

On the other hand, it really lets you build themes that are nice-looking with very minimal effort - but they're not really well-built themes yet, and are missing some of the flexibility you'd really like to have. Brief review is at http://drupalforusers.com/content/quick-look-artisteer - a more thorough review in the next few days after I've used it some more.

Steve Hanson
Principal Consultant Cruiskeen Consulting LLC
http://www.cruiskeenconsulting.com
http://www.cms-farm.com

giorgio79’s picture

I just tried it and I have been really happy with its suggest feature and prebuilt menus and layouts that one can easily modify, apply shadows etc etc. It really saves a lot of time I may be spending on tweaking css to make it cross browser compatible. :)
I found a few videos on youtube plus one more review here http://www.reviewcritical.com/reviews/artisteer

I did notice the license is a bit restrictive but overall this may be the way forware for exoert css editing :)

mboy’s picture

Once you load theme in drupal, you will see it created 15 regions.

Chad_Dupuis’s picture

I've tried out the Artisteer demo and really liked what I saw. It is very simple to play around with the look and feel of the site and will save hours of design time.

The exported themes, however, do not appear to work except in very strict circumstances. The most significant problem is that the designs are very fixed. If you build the theme with two sidebars and you only have one on some pages - you get an empty section instead of the main body content moving over to utilize the free space. I'm sure this will get worked out, but right now it makes the themes useless for any dynamic content/layout site.

Also any page with a table in it appears to dump the right menu bar(s) off to the bottom of the content. Still cannot figure this out, but it has to be something in the css of the tables.

My panels pages appear really mangled and I haven't looked into that yet, and may not depending on what I find in the other issues.

I really hope they can get some of the drupal issues worked out, as I see this as an amazing tool. Was sort of upset by all the failures as I built a pretty nice theme in about 2 hours that I wanted to put on a site. When I put it on a local dev version of the site I saw all the problems....

Chad_Dupuis’s picture

Just an update on my previous post. After trying the new version (2.1), it now produces very usable themes. They still need some tinkering (which all themes do), but the output is quite good and seems to work more or less out of the box...

They now have all the aspects of good, usable themes like those from rooplethemes - suckerfish menus, many new regions that can be customized, etc. All in all, worlds away from what the product was just a month or so ago. It seems like they have been listening to the drupal community and have made great strides, quickly. They should be commended for that.

hammiesink’s picture

This is one of the extremely rare examples of a time when I actually a) clicked on a banner ad (saw the Drupal logo), and b) bought the product within days of discovering it.

Yes, it has it's limitations.

Yes, the Drupal themes it exports are not perfect flexible themes with lots of features

Sadly, it doesn't offer the ability to change and add regions.

But to click a button, get a random design a few times until you find one you like, tweak the header, buttons, layout etc, and hit Export to Drupal to me is WELL WORTH the $130 they are asking. While I know how to do this from scratch in Photoshop, and then on to Notepad, HTML, CSS and finally Drupal, it takes hours, if not days. This is literally 5 minutes and I can have a client's site up and running.

I even re-created a current client's site in Artisteer because the original didn't have drop-down menus and I was dreading having to manually tweak the designer's CSS to make it work right.

I would highly recommend as long as you are at least intermediate in CSS and Drupal theming, so you can tweak things when you need to. And also if you're artistically challenged. Randomly generated themes are a boon to sparking the creative drive.

urbanseed’s picture

Hello,
Can you share with me exactly how to determin what version of drupal is support by the Aristeer Template? My undersatding, according to the drupal how to video, I will need to upload the proper version of drupal to my webserver first befor uploading a template. Does this apply to Aristeer?

seanreiser’s picture

Don't get me wrong, this isn't going to replace a designer on any large projects, but for those small projects where a developer can't afford a designer, this is a good jumping off point. It's rather easy to create a simple serviceable theme which is all you need sometimes. I, also wrote up my thoughts on the product.

cloxzime’s picture

I am using version 2.

For the first time using the software, i feel very lucky to have the software in my pc BUT after applied it for my website then I got problem arose. Suddenly the problem is related to very important module which Nice Menus module.

The submenus cannot appear as normal because it is hiding behind the content layer. So, the theme will able to show the menu (parent) only, and if you're are lucky you will able to see only 10% of the submenus (if you resize or modify its margin)

Is anyone know how to fix this? I am very frustrated now because Artisteer's Forum wont help me nothing about this. :(

hammiesink’s picture

You may have to try hacking the CSS.

If you can find the CSS that styles the drop down menus, add z-index:1000; to it which brings it the top layer. Also play around with the CSS for the content area and set it to z-index:-1000; or any negative number, to put it as the bottom layer.

mhenman’s picture

A friend recommended I check out Artisteer and I tried it just because he recommended it. I have to admit that my expectations were pretty low, so I may have been over impressed because I thought it was going to be horrible.

Basic thoughts:

  • Yes, the designs it creates are pretty cookie cutter.
  • No, it doesn't produce really Drupal oriented themes, to me they look more like wordpress themes.
  • The themes are a little buggy with certain other drupal modules.
  • Some of the "suggested" (read: random) settings are downright bad.
  • Using some large JPGs can cause it to hang or crash.
  • No liquid layout support.
  • Rounded corners on blocks or menus make very bloated page layouts.
  • Multi-column layouts are not search engine optimized.
  • Generated layouts seem to always need hand tweaking.

But what I've also discovered is that 90% of my clients really like what it produces. I like that I can produce several different layout quickly and export as HTML/CSS that I can put up for my clients to see.

A few tips:

  • If you select Menu -> Subitem -> Levels -> Multilevel, then you don't need nice_menus for a drop-down top menu, but you should make all primary-links expanded or it won't work like you'd expect.
  • To make nice_menus work for right/left menus, remove some of the extra "overflow: hidden" style attributes from the style sheet.
  • Artisteer doesn't support a logo the way most drupal themes do, but if you don't need it to be clickable, then just add your logo as the "Foreground Photo" and position it on the left.
  • Expect to spend some time tweaking it to be the way you want it. Think of this as a 90% solution. (But we all know that that last 10% is the hardest and takes the most time.)
    • Also, it is better to create a supplemental style sheet by hand and add it to the .info file than to modify the style.css that is generated. That way if you have to re-generate the theme, you only have to make a single change to the info file.

      All in all, I think this tool was well worth the price. Especially when I'm asked to make a web site for a friend or family member. Paying clients get a hand-built theme.

      Good luck and enjoy.

mhenman’s picture

Artisteer has a new pre-release version advertised on their news site: http://www.artisteer.com/?p=news

I downloaded it and it looks like they've been listening to user comments. This new version is a little more drupal friendly in that it supports a much better set of page regions, empty columns collapse completely instead of being whitespace on the page, and logo support.

The generated template and CSS are still bloated, but not as bad as before.

I haven't run into any new bugs yet, but since it's still pre-release I've got my fingers crossed.

Steve Hanson’s picture

Yes, we've been playing with the new 2.1 version (which is now out) and it is in fact much better. Still some gripes about it, but we're finding it a LOT more useful than 2.0 was - and this is a pretty quick update, so I'm looking forward to what gets better in Drupal as this program improves.

Steve Hanson
Principal Consultant Cruiskeen Consulting LLC
http://www.cruiskeenconsulting.com
http://www.cms-farm.com

Summit’s picture

Hi,
Artisteer is absolutely great. A little bit tweeking, while there is now a menu-block, instead of using the standard menu settings.
But it looks great. It would be even better if drupal community and themers would build database with examples for artisteer, so every possible theming could be integrated!
greetings, Martijn

Jeff Burnz’s picture

You seriously think we should help this company? Well I don't recall seeing where they say how much money they are donating back to this project or their level of sponsorship for the next Drupalcon.

I don't see anything in it for me to help this company make more money. AFAICT the only thing this company is giving back to Drupal are disgruntled users with support requests for their low quality themes, since they offer virtually zero support themselves.

Summit’s picture

Hi,
Off course helping the community is the biggest thing..sorry if my words gave you that reaction.
And of course a quality theme and what comes out of Artisteer is not to compare I think. So may be for both businesses there is space in theming.

But drupal and theming are not that easy partners. Although people like you build great themes, Joomla has loads of themes and while I am a very big drupal fan, I understand friends using Joomla because of the beauty and amount of the themes.

So my view is that programs which build easier themes for Drupal, could also give the drupal community benefits for more users and may be in the end better themes. Also because their interest in drupal is triggered.

I do not know about the support and am not involved in artisteer, but they just released artisteer 2.1 and the theme I constructed with it didn;t look that bad. The menu region is strange, but not so stupid thought and the theme itself looks ok.

It would be great if they would donate back to the drupal project and other projects they benefit from, may be the talks about that can be opened?

Greetings,
Martijn

Jeff Burnz’s picture

I don't want to steer this thread to far off track but, perhaps until quite recently, "selling" Drupal themes was considered heresy - worthy of hate-mail and derision (first hand experience). If we can't sell them (which is hard work) then its hard to support giving away free beautiful themes. That's why Joomla and WP have many themes, because there are many design studios making a living selling their themes (the market is just huge as well, compared to Drupal which has a tiny market by comparison).

That is changing, thank goodness, and now perhaps we will see more Top Notch Theme's type operators pumping out great themes. However, look at the price of their themes, this is not outrageous either, its a hell of a lot more work building a Drupal theme than Joomla or WP and the market is no-where near as big.

My opinion is this, if you use Joomla because of the themes, good on you, go for it;)

i-sibbot’s picture

I've only just come back to this forum due to a leave of absense. I got to bored and frustrated with people who have no idea, or wish to learn anything about the basics of web design. CSS, XHTML, JS. Or accessibility or compliance. To say Drupal and theme arent that easy partners just shows your naivety. I've designed and developed for a fare few cms systems and frameworks over the years and beleive me. Drupal is a breeze in the right direction.

PS: Theres not such thing as a free lunch..... thats worth eathing! Artiseer and its themes will just generate more paid work for knowledgable designer around the world in the end.

goufix’s picture

I am not good for programming, and Artisteer 2 is a very good way for:
- people like me who want a fast and easy way to create a good looking website
- creating a working base to show to a client to explore in which direction the development should go. (mostly for graphic identity and stuff like that)
- making a simple website in case of emergency

Either way, I would find strange to use it to make “final products” for clients, and unless you have someone buying it for you, it seems expensive for a sandbox. I personally use it a lot for a personal website, but the trial version is enough. Once I’m happy with the layout, I simply get rid of the “trial” watermarks by replacing the exported image files with my own graphic elements.

In conclusion, I highly recommend using it as long as you don’t pay for it. In my opinion it’s only worth buying if you have to create a lot of simple-but-nice-looking websites within a short period of time for people (or even clients, why not) who are not too demanding.

Steady’s picture

Don't try to rip these guys off if that is what you are suggesting.

That is totally out of order. Pay your dues.

frednwright’s picture

Here's my review of Artisteer:

1. I'll start with the price first. It's $129 (USD) for the Standard Version which allows you to make Drupal themes. Is it worth it? I think so. I think that's cheap for what it does.

2. The amount of control that Artisteer gives you over styling menus, buttons, blocks, borders, headers, backgrounds, etc. is very impressive. It's an intuitive layout of the control panel as well - it takes less than 30 minutes to get it.

3. It saves you time. You can hack on a theme - load it up on a production site and test it out, then jump back into Artisteer and make changes and load it up again in no time.

4. For a LOT of applications the themes that Artisteer produces will be great. I know every designer cringes at using a program like this, and wants to say they produce "hand crafted themes" but give me a break. We all know lots and lots of clients that just need something original and simple and Artisteer can produce that for you. You can produce very novel themes with Artisteer especially if you load up your own design elements like pics and backgrounds, etc.

5. That being said, is there an 'Artisteer' look to the themes it produces? Yeah, there probably is. You will have to do some hacking on css to make it your own theme, but you have to do that anyway.

My recommendation: I would get it. It's gonna save you time on those projects that need an attractive, simple, theme fast. It will probably save you time on some higher level projects too.

p.s. Don't rip them off. If you use Artisteer for production sites pay them what they are asking for their product. From what I can see, they are trying to be responsive to the Drupal community's suggestions and gripes - let's return the favor by not stealing from them. We wouldn't like it if someone used our "hand crafted" themes without paying for them.

Jeff Burnz’s picture

We wouldn't like it if someone used our "hand crafted" themes without paying for them.

Thousands are every day, its called Open Source Software.

Sigh...

frednwright’s picture

Artisteer is not Open Source, And neither are a lot of the themes that Top Notch and others of us make for sale to clients.

Steady’s picture

Well said Fred!!!

I completely agree with you.

frednwright’s picture

For those of you who sigh a lot over software like Artisteer, and others interested in learning how to do Drupal themeing the Drupal way - check out:

http://geeksandgod.connectedgeek.net/content/free-drupal-theme-workshop-...

A Video Tutorial on themeing by Bob Christenson of Mustard Seed Media.

Jeff Burnz’s picture

I'm not sighing directly at Artiseer. What I am sighing about is your endorsement of this product as useful tool for delivering themes to clients.

For the right use case this software may be just the ticket. For example, you have a personal blog, hobby or family website that you'd like to be able to change the theme for every so often. You're never going to get serious about learning the technology (and why should you), so this software is probably going to be very helpful.

However, to endorse this as a capable tool for delivering clients themes is short sighted. The Drupal 6 theme layer is powerful, elegant and very extensible. The combined grunt of JavaScript, CSS and XHTML is amazing and allows us to build rich web2 interfaces. If you can throw a little PHP into the mix you are really signing. What you endorse is forgetting about all that and delivering something that leverage's an nth of that power.

By hiding your lack-of-knowledge behind a WYSIWYG sort-of-tool you short change yourself. This is the classic conundrum of WYSIWYG authoring tools, and text editors for that matter—you're never exposed to the raw code you so never learn it. Not only do you short change yourself, you short change your clients. You are selling a Mustang wrapped in Pinto clothing.

When I started in this game MS Frontpage was all the rage and Dreamweaver 2 had just come out. I avoided them both and spent hours every night after work reading books on HTML and studying this new fang-dangled thing called CSS and writing code in a text editor (emacs). BTW, we didn't have the internet in my city back then and I got my first web browser off a CD that came in magazine! My point is that if I hadn't done that, made the effort, then I would never have learnt what I know today.

So no, I am not sighing at this software, I am sighing because it makes me sad that the sheer elegance and power of Drupal goes untapped for want of a cookie cutter theme and a quick buck. Call me sentimental.

nevets’s picture

The are valid reasons to use Artiseer. Custom, hand build themes take time (even when you use a starter theme like Zen), and time for clients means money. Not everyone has the resources for custom themes, Artiseer provides one way of making nice looking theme with a minimum of effort. For clients with limited budgets I do not see this as short changing them but a way to help them strength their dollars. It does not even mean to provider is hiding a lack of knowledge or short changing themselves, it just means they are willing to look at a tool (and in the end thats what either Artiseer or Drupal is) to provide their clients with a website. In the end not every client needs all the power of Drupal what they need is a functional website.

tobiberlin’s picture

I just tried this programme and installed an Artisteer-made theme on one project. When I open it now with IE6 it is very slow. Did anyone find the same problem???

Drupal developer and project manager from Berlin, working now for https://www.kochan.de/berlin/

Chad_Dupuis’s picture

I've heard issues related to IE6. Try turning off css aggregation within the performance settings on drupal and see if that makes a difference. It's worked for others. There is also a module for IE css issues that may be helpful but I cannot remember the name of it right now...

WorldFallz’s picture

_
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gausarts’s picture

Let me add another in queue: )

ie6update.com

love, light n laughter

bserem’s picture

I tried 2.0.2 a few weeks ago, it was really good but it lacked the "blocks"
v2.1 has many areas to put blocks and customize the final look of the site

that said I have to address the best feature of artisteer: the color suggestions!!
these people have actually grouped colors that go well together, and I really like it

I am not a themer, and I'm no artist either. I was having a really hard time finding colors that match for my own site only to find out that I could not read my site on a different monitor!!!!

But well... thats me :)

--
http://srm.gr - Drupal Implementor

kevster111’s picture

Artisteer is a great product especially for the price. Yes it could use some more features and still needs some work but for what you can do in the time you can do it the product is great. If your a themer its easy to create a theme with artisteer and change it up enough your self to make it fit your needs.

The only real problem I have found is panels integration. It seems difficult to get it to work but I think its more of the way panels integrates with your css files than the artisteer program itself. Although Artisteer should be the one to make itself work with panels sincle panels was here first.

Theres a few other things that need work but the program is pretty new. They fixed a lot going from 2.0 to 2.1 so well see what happens.

http://www.drupalthemesonly.com has several artisteer generated themes along with some that were made with artisteer and then tweeked.

Again its not an endall solution but there isn't one when it comes to theming.

Online Batman fan site and Community http://www.batmantrailer.net

juan_g’s picture

The only real problem I have found is panels integration. It seems difficult to get it to work

Some threads with suggested solutions for Panels, from Artisteer's forums:

Can anyone tell me how to get Panels working?
Has anyone been able to make panels work well with artisteer
Artisteer Themes & Drupal Panels3/CTools Bug

According to a Panel's issue, at least a bug (when using Panels, Artisteer and Views) has been solved by recent fixes made in the new versions Panels 3.0 and Artisteer 2.2.

mountaingazer’s picture

Well after playing around with the demo version, I bit the bullet and purchased it. I'm really glad I did. If anything it gives me quick ideas wh I can tweak and customize through the program itself and then further tweak with CSS. Until I get a handle on themeing in Drupal, this is a godsend allowing me to get sites up and running quickly for impatient clients. 9 out 10 stars.

functions’s picture

I've used it for 5 or 6 sites so far. People with solid theming skills may find it annoying, but I think it's awesome.

A couple issues:

After generating a new theme, I always have to tweak the page template files a bit
The version I bought (2 months ago) has very few block regions. this can be limiting...
If you make any manual changes to the CSS file and then use the software to make more changes, you'll have to manually update CSS again after.
There are a couple other weird issues (I've had some flags from contributed modules not display in the node footer)

Overall, it's awesome and I hope the authors keep developing it.

It's VERY easy to quickly create a good looking theme, even if you don't know CSS, HTML or PHP.

I was so excited when I found it. I bought it immediately. For me, it was totally worth it.

Dan Silver’s picture

you can now use Artisteer, and make great themes without paying for Artisteer. Just go to my website at http://silverhosting.us/?q=node/187 and I will show you how.

Summit’s picture

Hi, But what is unique on your offer? 5 euro for a theme, while I think only changing the pictures is enough, and for this price buying Artisteer will help developing it.
And is your service legal?
gr, Martijn

Dan Silver’s picture

the idea from the Artisteers website, its in their FAQ! and its $5, not euro

Jeff Burnz’s picture

Its just a service fee, I can't see any difference between this and using any other software to deliver a service.

silverhosting’s picture

thank you jmburnz

giorgio79’s picture

Have you cleared it with the authors? I am tempted to use this service.

silverhosting’s picture

They say this is legal in their FAQ, so yes its legal.

Also, for members of Drupal.org, I might offer a discount on your second theme export. Please let me know if you are interested in this because I know most people own multiple websites and would love unique themes for them all of them.

silverhosting’s picture

I just made a new site powered by Artisteer. If you want an example of what it can do, just go to www.themesfor5.com

Summit’s picture

Artisteer 2.2 is out in beta. I think buying the program makes more sense, because they will then develop more.
greetings, Martijn

Wundar’s picture

Does anyone else have an example to show? this one has expired and I'm quite interested in artiseer.

E: Doesn't even seem like their customer testimonials are made from Artiseer either.

srinikasturi’s picture

We bought a license and tried it out. The theme breaks in IE6. It breaks to the extent that it freezes the browser and nothing works. PNGFix did not help either. Paul Hudson over at Artisteer has been less than eager to help, and belligerently points out that Drupal sucks for implementing the CSS and JS aggregation feature under 'Performance'. Rather than treat us like a proper paying customer, he's suggesting I prove to him that Artisteer themes are obliged to work with these performance features switched on. He thinks Drupal should fix the issue.

Bottomline is this: If you use modules such as ubercart that push the number of CSS over IE's limit, you need to have CSS aggregation turned on, and this means Artisteer will cause 20% of the world's browsers to freeze. Support at Artisteer will spend their time trying to prove you and Drupal wrong rather than fix the issue or treat you with any respect.

If you are a small time website, suggest you use themesfor5 - we got the first theme done through theme before buying the license. Buying a license was a total waste of money.

Chad_Dupuis’s picture

Haven't tried this myself, but it's a common problem that is not just an artisteer theme problem.... - There are two drupal modules that should alleviate this problem in 6.x (unlimited css loader, ie css optimizer) and the unlimited css loader is being backported it appears to 5.x - http://drupal.org/node/438180

srinikasturi’s picture

Thanks for this. Will try it out. It would be good for Artisteer to make the effort to understand the Drupal ecosystem a bit before they throw their customers out on their ear when they bring a problem in. Patches such as the one you suggest, if in Artisteer's arsenal, can help them resolve the most obvious customer issues without heartburn. However, I think they started off with Joomla templates and didn't really work too hard to understand all things Drupal.

What we did do in the meantime, is to use the D5 browscap patch for switchtheme (we've attached a fixed patch on the message thread elsewhere on drupal.org) and configure it to use a legacy theme for IE6 and the Artisteer theme (which we got converted by themesfor5) for all other browsers. This sort of worked out OK because we could now use the same patch to direct mobile browsers to a different theme. Artisteer themes are fixed width and image intensive and are not designed for mobile (and I don't believe they claim to either).

If you are happy with different themes for different browsers (and IE6 users need to be punished - so we use the IE6 warning message module to tell them to upgrade), then any old set of themes with browscap and switchtheme is the way to go.

srinikasturi’s picture

Artisteer pleasantly surprised me by working on a patch to fix this issue. While this isn't sorted yet, I'm happy to be proved wrong on their attitude. Which shouldn't be a surprise, since I am sure they are also folks like you and me trying to make a living.

Will post any further updates here on the IE6 issue here as it gets resolved. The good thing is they've taken notice of it and are working to fix it.

Dave Reid’s picture

This is an FYI to everyone here: drupal.org is not a dumping ground for Point-and-click themes. We've already had problems from one user mass-creating 27+ themes that he obviously had no intent to support each and every one. Please see http://groups.drupal.org/node/24465 for the discussion on the policy.

Senior Drupal Developer for Lullabot | www.davereid.net | @davereid

bigbob446’s picture

There seems to be an issue when using the views module with artisteer themes. When overiding the setting of a page (making the page settings different than default) updating doesn't seem to work. This is an issue that apears to be unique to Artisteer themes and i don't know why or where it originates from. It is definiatly not a problem with the Views Module.

All in all I like artisteer to get a quick idea for what a page could look like. But I think it is better at that point to start from scratch, and reproduce what one wants. Although I am new to drupal and have no idea how to theme. And am not really looking forward to learning as I am trying to get this project completed. lol.

lostchord’s picture

I think Steph's assessment is still pretty much spot on.

I've just started looking at it and I'm a Drupal newb so I'm a bit unbiased (er, ignorant I mean!) since I haven't made any themes yet :-)

It certainly looks like it can produce Drupal themes very quickly although it does force it's own view of the world on you. Menus, for example, seem to be limited to dropdown if you want to use secondary links. There may be other quirks and I'll be going over this discussion again and trying a few things before I part with real money.

One thing I've discovered already is that there are quirks in the Drupal Theme system that can cause grief to many themes, not just Artisteer ones.

They give you a 30 day trial so that should be plenty of time to make a call on the functionality.

------------
We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.

SandStorm’s picture

I use Artisteer for creating mockups for clients. It is quick and you can edit a theme on the fly. Often, for small sites I just keep the themes as they are. For more complex site I tweak the theme. Not having fluid layouts is a bummer, though.

Apparently they are working on fluid layouts. No news about Drupal 7 theme generation yet ...

For simple sites this products is quite suitable, there are some quirks however. Especially for the non-CSS initiated. For a person who does not work with CSS it may be frustrating to puzzle out which parameters cascade and which do not. If you want to change features of a menu, for example, you need to go to different sections to change them. I still have not figured out why there is a 'page level' setting where you can scale text globally, and it does not apply to all text on the page ...

Are there any other Artisteer - like products out there? I would be very happy if you can get a wysiwig Drupal theme design tool.

standingtall’s picture

Extra price is a big let down. You need to have the Standard Edition for Drupal or Joomla theme generation which is more than twice the price of regular version. It is a big time saver though specially for quick projects.

mrlincoln’s picture

So I'm just getting started into website design and this software seems a relatively good choice for setting up my websites - are there any more customisable ones similar to this?

Thanks in advance!