Drupal 8 Themes for Beginners

Drupal 8 Themes for Beginners
A couple of years ago, we realized that a lot of Drupal beginners were asking us for simple, good-looking Drupal themes.

These beginners didn’t want sub-themes, base themes, frameworks or complicated installs. So that meant no Omega, Zen, Fusion or Bootstrap. These beginners just wanted a theme that could be installed easily and didn’t look embarrassing. That lead to “Recommended Themes for Drupal Beginners“, one of the most popular posts on this blog.

Now that Drupal 8 is here, we’ve started to hear the same question: “What theme should beginners use to create their first site?”

Only 86 themes are ready for Drupal 8 currently, so we will make sure to update this list as time goes on. If you know of any more, please let us know in the comments.

Theme #1. Zircon

By a large distance, Zircon is the most complete and professional-looking beginner theme. The details of theme are nicely done and there are no areas that obviously need more work. For this reason, Zircon is the theme we chose to use in our Drupal 8 Beginner class.

Here’s the block region layout for Zircon:

Theme #2. Integrity

Integrity is a solid theme that uses Bootstrap 3 and has a reasonable design. However, there are some flaws in the design, including the main menu which looks incomplete. It would need some work to make it ready for use on a real site.

Here’s the block region layout for Integrity:

Theme #3. Paxton

Paxton is from the same designers as Integrity. Again, it’s a reasonably designed Bootstrap 3 theme that needs some tidying-up, especially with the main menu. I can imagine using this for a test site, but not a real project.

Here’s the block region layout for Paxton:

If you know of any more, please let us know in the comments.

Author

  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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daniel-pickering
8 years ago

Yeah for me one of the issues is the number of response you get from the search clearly not all 86 are ready to be used either. I demoed as many as I could back in December but when one broke my site I stopped. I fixed it with drush but that is beside the point. I settled on bootstrap 3 beta it might say beta but I’ve found it to be more stable than some others. [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/bootstrap]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url]

steve
steve
8 years ago

Thanks Daniel. I’m pleasantly surprised to see the Bootstrap is the most popular Drupal 8 theme right now.

leo pathu
leo pathu
8 years ago

The integrity Main menu issue has fixed Now, You could try latest version of the theme.

steve
steve
8 years ago
Reply to  leo pathu

Thanks Leo. It’s a good theme, thanks for creating it.

Darryl Norris
Darryl Norris
8 years ago

Light Skeleton is another theme that is D8 ready – [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/light_skeleton]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url]

steve
steve
8 years ago
Reply to  Darryl Norris

@darol100 Thanks. I gave it a test. Perhaps a little too plain for beginners?

cferthorney
8 years ago

Interesting article Steve, thanks. I’ve been looking for some good D8 ready base themes as my usual goto theme (Zen) isn’t ready yet. Although I have been playing with Bootstrap, which at beta2 at least wasn’t liking my subtheme, and I’m waiting for Bootstrap 4 too. Thinking about it though, a beginner’s theme may be a good way of learning Twig.

steve
steve
8 years ago
Reply to  David Thorne

David Thorne Yes, those basic themes are great for people to get a foothold in Drupal.
Looks like another Bootstrap user … it is is the most popular Drupal 8 theme currently.

mtt
mtt
8 years ago

Hi Steve and everyone,
Thanks for the nice discussion and summary.
We just released the beta-1 of our News+ Lite theme for Drupal 8, in case you want to take a look and give it a try [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/newsplus_lite]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url].
Questions, issues, comments more than welcome. Hope you enjoy it 🙂
The team at More than Themes

steve
steve
8 years ago
Reply to  morethanthemes

That’s good to hear 🙂 We always liked and used your Drupal 7 themes.

Tina
Tina
8 years ago

I started my first D8 website a few days ago – and stopped after a few hours. Nothing or everything, depending on the view, I was looking for was (not) available, even themes. So I gave up – for the time being and let’s say the next three months at least. I did not expect it to be the same situation as from D6 to D7.
Thanks for this news, now I know this was not my fault.

steve
steve
8 years ago
Reply to  Tina

You’re welcome, Tina. After a lot of testing over the last few days, I’d still say that D8 is still mainly for experts.

Israel Morales
Israel Morales
8 years ago

you should try my theme is basic but at least works with D8, is currently on development soon is going to be in [url=http://drupal.org]drupal.org[/url].
Was created for simple websites, you can change the color of the theme in settings.
[url=https://github.com/isramv/d8_materialize]https://github.com/isramv/d…[/url]

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
8 years ago

Dear Steve!I have installed Zircon Theme for Drupal 8 in order to study it,following all the Installation guide´s steps but I cannot access at the administration area.During the installation I didnt have the option to write the user name or the password´s site.What can I do to get the right user name and password?What am I doing wrong?

steve
steve
8 years ago

@agustnjosjimnezchacn
You installed this via the Drupal 8 admin interface?

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
8 years ago
Reply to  steve

Dear Steve! I installed XAMPP,then I copied the zircon directory at C:\xampp\htdocs…and I created the database and imported the zircon.sql.I went to the browser through XAMPP interface and wrote localhost/zircon/core/install.php…and the installation process began as the pictures of the Installation Guide shows.It asked for Choose Language,Select an installation profile,Database Configuration,and finally…Drupal already Installed…but no step for the Site Info.

steve
steve
8 years ago

Sorry, I haven’t tested any total install package, just the theme itself

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
8 years ago
Reply to  steve

Thanks anyhow!I sent the same question to the WeebPal people.While I am waiting I will keep looking for answers at Google.Take care!

Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
Agustín José Jiménez Chacón
8 years ago
Reply to  steve

I used this guide: [url=http://www.weebpal.com/guides/step-step-guide-install-drupal-8-theme]http://www.weebpal.com/guid…[/url]

boblucore
8 years ago

Just looking at this post now. Last December, when I was first playing around with D8, I had trouble with most of the themes. However, I did have good luck with Waterloo, which I liked because it gave me some color and style options, without having to get into serious theming. Recently, I have found that Mayo is working well, which has lots of appearance options and yet isn’t too complicated for beginners.

steve
steve
8 years ago

@robertlucore Great, thanks!

Zhilevan Ibra
Zhilevan Ibra
7 years ago

Good article, Do you Know any RTL support base theme?

Adal Arasu
Adal Arasu
7 years ago

Steve, i am the author of mbase base theme, [url=https://www.drupal.org/project/mbase]https://www.drupal.org/proj…[/url], You can create sub themes online with quick drag and drop here [url=http://cmsbots.com]http://cmsbots.com[/url], so for 2000 custom drupal 7 and 8 themes delivered. And per days average 10-15 themes generated by users. Its free.

Eric Terkpertey
Eric Terkpertey
7 years ago

how can i change the css color of the sidebar in integrity theme. I have done that severally but I can not still change it

Eric Terkpertey
Eric Terkpertey
7 years ago

I really need a help

steve
steve
7 years ago

Hi Eric,
You can do it with your CSS if you need more advise I would recommend you take our theming course.

[url=https://www.ostraining.com/class/d8-themes/]https://www.ostraining.com/…[/url]

Bruce
Bruce
5 years ago

Shame the first theme does not have security approval, and that other themes have a preview on dropthemes.in which no longer exists.

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