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Themes Overview

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2015 06:10PM BST


The “theme” is everything on the page outside the wiki field—that is, all the stuff that stays the same when you’ve edited a page, and as you move from page to page within your wiki. If you know a little HTML and CSS, you can make a lot of small changes to your theme that will help you create your ideal wiki environment. If you know a lot of HTML and CSS, you can make even bigger changes.

The first thing you need to do is start a new theme. If you’re on a Private Label site, go to Site Administration > Settings > Look and Feel > Change Default Theme and Colors. If you are modifying a single wiki, you can go to Manage Wiki > Look and Feel > Themes and Colors > Make New Theme. If you really know what you’re doing you can start with an empty theme, but we recommend starting from one of our premade themes. You can always modify it more later — or create another new theme that starts out by building on your already modified theme.

Your theme has two basic parts: The CSS comes first, between the <style> and </style> tags, and it lets your browser know how to display everything that comes after. The HTML is all the rest of it, and it tells your browser what to display. You will need to know at least a little of both before you modify your theme.



  1. Theme modification is not a plug-and-play process. Even small modifications require some knowledge of CSS and HTML, so be prepared to tweak the instructions until they work for your theme.
  2. Some changes to your theme may affect the functionality of your site or wiki. Make liberal use of the Preview button, and double-check everything before you hit Save. Pay particular attention to the items that will let you get back to the place where you can change the theme again — you never want to make a change you can't undo.
  3. Once you’ve decided to use a custom theme, you’ll be responsible for maintaining it. We update our pre-made themes, but we won't be able to update your custom themes.

Theme Components

For the full list of Wikispaces components for your custom theme, visit our Theme Components page.


Sample Customizations

Our sample customization page has some examples of more popular Theme Customizations. Please note that these samples may or may not work with your specific theme. They should, however, help you get started.


External Resources

As you get more adventurous, you might want to build your HTML and CSS skills. Here are some of our favorite external HTML and CSS resources to get you started. The more familiar you are with CSS and HTML, the more options you'll have with your theme.

Introduction to HTML:
Intro to CSS:
W3's tutorial:

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