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How to Customize Interspire Website Publisher Templates

NOTICE: As of July 1, 2012, Interspire no longer sells Website Publisher licenses. However, if you are interested in an alternative CMS, or you need help with your current installation of Interspire Website Publisher, please use the contact form below.

While you can easily start creating your website immediately after installing Interspire Website Publisher by adding pages with text, you may want to first begin with first customizing your website design or at least selecting from one of the many templates which are included with this powerful content management system.

The instructions below are designed to give you some pointers and a starting point for customizing Interspire Website Publisher. Adding your branding to the website template and fine-tuning one of the many available templates can take your website from being mediocre to dynamic.

Selecting an Interspire Website Publisher template

Interspire Website Publisher has a number of design templates which can be used for your website, available through the administration login. Though many of the templates seem at first glance to be designed for different industries, keep in mind it is relatively easy to change any of the template graphics and make any template unique and incorporate your branding.

While there are many Interspire templates to choose from, consideration should be given to working with a template that is flexible, appropriate for your website audience, which can be customized easily.

To get started, first log in as the administrator and go to the Design tab, and then select Website Design from the drop-down menu.

Interspire Website Publisher TemplatesUnder this tab you can see the current template, and below that a number of other designs, under the Choose a Template section of the page.

When looking at different designs, keep in mind that the overall color and graphics of the template design can be changed.

Next, preview Interspire templates. Interspire has small images below which is a link that you can click on to preview a larger image of the template. After reviewing several, choose one by first mousing over the template, which will change to an image with a border. Simply click on the highlighted image select the template, then look at the actual website to see how the navigation buttons work and to see the overall website design in its entirety.

TIP: Make sure to click around on the website after selecting a template and see how the navigaton buttons work and how the overall page looks "live" on the web. You may need to add some text to a few pages to get a better feel for how the template will display the pages, and for how the template handles sub-pages.

Customizing an Interspire template design

With Website Publisher, you can work within the template structure to make changes to the template’s design by making changes to the template’s CSS (stylesheets) and by changing graphics which are used within the the template structure.

Use your FTP program to first go to the templates directory of your Website Publisher installation on your web server, then find the template name you have selected. Next, go into the template directory and then go to the images directory for that template.

TIP: It is a good idea to back up the template directory and/or to work offline with images to make changes in case you need to revert back to the original files.

You can use PhotoShop or other image editing programs to work with template images to make color changes, then to save the images with the same file name, in the same file format. Some images may be a .gif or a .jpg, depending on the template.

TIP: Always use the same naming and file format for the images you change or the updated files will not work.

Use your FTP program to copy your revised image files into the images directory for the template you are modifying, and then view the website to see how your website has changed. You may need to refresh your browser for the new images to appear.

Some templates just need a few color changes, and other templates will need more extensive work. If you do not know how to manipulate images using PhotoShop or other editing tools, a website designer can assist you.

Adding a logo to your Interspire Website Publisher design

Interspire makes it easy to add your logo to a template design. In the Interspire Website Publisher admin, go to the Design tab, then click on the drop-down named Logo Settings. When the page refreshes, you can upload your logo by using the Browse button to locate your logo on your computer, then follow the prompts to upload and save.

The uploaded logo will drop into place in the website template's header area. The uploaded logo will appear on top of the header image.

TIP: Not all logo designs will look right when uploaded. In some cases it may be necessary to remove background layers so the logo will look more integrated with the background.

Changing the header image in Website Publisher

Website Support for Interspire Website PublisherIf you are adept with PhotoShop, you can download the template header graphic (in the Header Image sub-tab area in the Website Publisher administration system) and use the downloaded header image as the basis for your own header design. By using PhotoShop or another image editing application, you can incorporate your logo and other masthead elements together and manipulate them as needed, then save the header file. 

Once you have completed your header graphic work, save your work, then create .jpg of the header and upload the image in the Header Image area under the Design tab in the admin area. Use the Browse button to located the image on your computer. Be sure to view the website to see how the new graphic fits into the design.

TIP: When saving header images as .jpg files, use a medium quality level or a numeric level of 60-70 to keep the file size optimized for faster downloads without sacrificing too much quality.

Changing Interspire stylesheets

Stylesheets are used to make the template display different sizes of type for headlines, body text, lists and is also used to control the background colors of boxes and other page elements.

Stylesheets are located in the template file you are using, in a directory called styles. If you have not worked with stylesheets or basic HTML coding, you may find working with stylesheets intimidating.

TIP: Always make one change at a time to the stylesheet then view the website to see how your change impacts the template design.

While going back and forth will take some time, you can check your work as you go along, especially if you are not familiar with CSS code.

TIP: Always make a backup before starting any stylesheet work so you can revert back to an old version if needed.

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