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Home > Skinning > Varying the Skin within a Site

Varying the Skin within a Site

Store owners may want to use different skins on different areas of the site, rather than using the same skin throughout. This is often done for branding purposes, name recognition, etc. There are several ways to do this, outlined below:

Home Template

The first way to do this allows store admins to have the 'home page' look different than the rest of the site. Having a landing page that clearly identifies your brand or company without the extra menus is often desirable. Using this feature involves 2 Settings:

AppConfig Name Description
HomeTemplate This should be the name of the skin file which was created for the home page (ex: hometemplate.master). Be sure to include the .master extension.
HomeTemplateAsIs Setting this to true tells the software to ignore the standard content section that is usually generated by default.aspx. The custom skin file will be solely responsible for generating the content of the home page.

Template Switching

Template switching allows store admins to create a custom skin for every entity (category, department, etc) if desired. This can help with branding or dividing the shop into 'sections'. To enable this feature, follow these steps:
  1. Create additional .master pages for each entity that needs to have an individual look, saving them to the /App_Templates/Skin_# folder the site is using. These can be named whatever you like, as long as the .master extension is intact.

  2. Set the TemplateSwitching.Enabled Setting to true. Click Refresh Store in the top right of the admin console.

  3. Set the template to use for each entity/product group by navigating to the entity in Products > Product Groups, then click on the Custom Fields tab and enter the full template name (with extension) in the Use Skin Template field.
When browsing your store, any time you navigate to the entity that you have specified a skin template for in the Custom Fields tab, that entity, and any products that you view from that entity page will use the .master file that you have specified in the admin. Navigating away from that entity or product will revert the site to the original skin template that you use for your site, or if you've navigated to another entity for which you have specified a skin template the site will use the one that you have specified.

Individual Page Templates

It is also possible to vary the skin for non-entity pages, such as the sitemap page, affiliate pages, individual product pages, etc. 

 This is an advanced, unsupported feature. The  Help Desk  cannot assist with any problems encountered enabling this feature. 

To have individual pages have their own skins, follow these steps: 
  1. Create additional .master pages (in your App_Templates/Skin_# folder the site is using) for each page that needs to have an individual look. These can be named whatever you like, as long as the .master extension is intact, such as mypage123.master.

  2. Create a new Setting for each page that needs its own skin (Configuration > Settings, Add Setting in the admin console), in the format templatePAGENAME.aspx. For example, if you wanted the sitemap page to have its own skin, the Setting would be called templatesitemap2.aspx (be sure to include the .aspx). For the value, insert the name of the skin file created in step 1, such as mypage123.master.

The individual pages handled this way should now each use the skin file selected for them. Leaving those pages will return customers to the default skin.

Temporarily Forcing a Non-Default Skin

If you wish to preview a skin without changing the default skin id or set specific customers to view a skin other than the default, you can do so using a querystring parameter appended to your site's URL.  If (for example) your site is located at http://www.yourcompany.com and you wanted to preview skin 7, you could go to http://www.yourcompany.com/default.aspx?skinid=7

If you do this for any reason, be sure that the Signin.SkinMaster Setting is set the way you wish:

Session - If set to 'Session', the customer will retain the skin you forced them to view after logging in.
Default - If set to 'default', when logging in a customer's skin will be set to the default, regardless of the skin they were viewing the site in before.



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