Thinking of customizing your community's design? When mapping out a CSS strategy, you want to make choices that are broadly appealing and welcome the largest possible range of editors and readers. Here are a few best practices that will help.
Start with the theme designer
The simplest way to customize your community is to use FANDOM's theme designer. It lets you easily change your site's base color palette, wordmark, favicon and background. Anything that can be changed with theme designer should be changed with it. So start there before moving on to CSS.
Be careful with colors
- Not everyone's eyesight works the same as yours. A significant number of people have issues with degraded eyesight and color blindness.
- Different devices behave differently. The colors you see on your own display might not work quite as well on another.
- Have good contrast between text and the background.
- Background images are cool, but not if you can't read the text on top of them. So don't go crazy with theme designer's transparency slider if you have a busy background.
- Try not to make font sizes too small, especially in the main text area.
Keep it simple
There may be a temptation to cover your community with icons, animations, and other decorative elements — but these can be very distracting for someone visiting the community. Remember, the goal of CSS is to make the community broadly appealing, and your flashy custom cursor may be turning off new readers.
FANDOM pages have fluid widths. That means they change a bit according to the size of the browser window. Make sure your design fully works by varying the width of your browser during testing. If you can, test your design on an actual tablet, as well.
Write readable code
Write code that can be read and understood easily. Since your CSS will almost certainly be read by others at some point:
- annotate it with comments like
/* This code does x, y and z */
- give your custom classes and IDs understandable names. If it makes a box around something, consider calling it
- add in spacing and indentation to your community's tastes — but pick one format and stick with it
- organize the code logically, keeping code that affects the same part of the wiki together
- Help:Customization policy - FANDOM's policy on allowed customizations
- W3Schools - an online guide to CSS
- Mozilla Developer Network - an online CSS documentation
- CSS-Tricks - an online CSS code library of supported codes
- CanIuse - tables for support of front-end web technologies on desktop and mobile web browsers.
- The W3C CSS Validation Service - this helps check for code errors, similar to Special:CSS itself.
Further help and feedback
- Browse and search other help pages at Help:Contents
- Check Fandom Community Central for sources of further help and support
- Check Contacting Fandom for how to report any errors or unclear steps in this article
- Learn how to use Fandom in Fandom University: short how-to videos for all levels of experience