You might think you can’t fully customise iWeb’s themes, but it is possible. Having said that, it’s not easy, and your redesign may not translate in expected ways to all pages, or hold up if you later upgrade iWeb.
But if you can build the navigation bar described below, you’ll be able to easily change the standard iWeb pages into something uniquely expressive.
Select File > New Site and choose the White theme. Start with a blank page, then select File > New Page to add another. Next, add a Photos page, a Movie page and some additional pages. Double-click the two blank pages in the leftmost sidebar and rename them Welcome and About Me. Delete the black hairline rule at the top of each page but leave the placeholder headline.
Select View > Show Inspector. In the Page inspector, click the Page button and uncheck Display Navigation Menu, and repeat for all pages.
Create a navigation menu
Select your Welcome page, choose Insert > Text Box, and then resize this to a vertical rectangle. Drag the Welcome page icon from the sidebar into the text box: the word Welcome will appear at the top of the box and will automatically link to the Welcome page. Click the text box to make the cursor appear, and press the Return key to move the cursor to the line below Welcome.
Drag the next page’s icon from the sidebar into the text box and repeat until all the page names appear in the box.
To style the text, select it and choose options from the Format > Font > Show Fonts menu. Drag the text box to the upper left of the Welcome page when you’re done.
The key to building your own successful navigation bar is turning off iWeb’s default navigation menu in the Inspector
Add decoration and headlines
While still on the Welcome page, choose Insert > Shape > Oval. Change the oval’s colour by selecting it and clicking the Graphic inspector’s Fill swatch; then change its Stroke to None. Drag the shape’s handles until you have a tall, wide oval. Drag this over your menu (it will partially disappear off the page). Then, with the oval selected, choose Arrange > Send To Back and position it behind the text. Then simply adjust its colour for legibility.
Customise background colours
Using the Page inspector’s Layout button, select Color Fill for the Page and Browser Backgrounds and click their swatches to choose new colours. When selecting a new Browser Background colour, click the magnifying glass in the Colors window and then click the oval you created to match both colours and tie the page together. Next, type a greeting in the page’s placeholder headline and style the text.
Apply to all pages
Choose Edit > Select All to copy your custom Welcome page elements. Hold down the Shift key and click the placeholder headline to deselect it, and then choose Edit > Copy. Select your About Me page, and then choose Edit > Paste. Repeat this for all of the pages. Note: you’ll need to resize elements on the Photos, Movie and multimedia pages to accommodate your new menu bar. And the page and browser background colours may need to be adjusted.
Replacing iWeb’s navigation bar with your own design gives you the benefits of a new theme without a lot of the hard work.