Applying the Bridge Theme to your site

Bridge theme

An example of a site using the Bridge Theme.

What is the Bridge Theme?

When the UC Davis home site launched its latest look, understandably many of you approached me to ask if Cascade would be adopting the new theme. After some discussion, it was decided that a hybrid theme would be created, a bridge if you will, between the Cascade look and feel and the new look promoted by the official UC Davis site.

What will the Bridge Theme do for my site in Cascade?

When enabled, the theme will update the overall look of your site, including:

  • a color background in the campus identification bar at the very top of each page
  • increase the size and spacing of the primary navigation bar and its links
  • change the location of the page title from just over the content to up above the breadcrumbs
  • increase the overall font size of content and increase “white space” on pages
  • the requirement of the mobile-friendly setting in order to function
  • a dark blue footer background

Do I have to use the Bridge Theme?

Absolutely not. This is a new theme you can adopt or not based on your own department’s needs.

Anything I should know before I try this?

Yes. If you’re using ANY custom CSS style sheets in your site, chances are you’ll see some style conflicts. If this occurs, try removing your CSS and seeing if that fixes the problem. If you still want to incorporate your CSS, you will need to update your code.

Also, apart from the primary navigation bar (desktop and mobile views), this is a style update only. No new functionality has been added, nor have any of the blocks been given anything other than a palette update.

How do I enable the Bridge Theme?

A person with the role of Site Manager will be able to enable the Bridge Theme in Cascade using the following steps:

  1. Navigate to _Site configuration and click its Edit tab.
  2. Go to Site settings > Site information > Use CMS bridge theme? and check the box.
  3. Go to Responsive Design > Active? and check the box.
  4. Click Submit to save.
  5. Review your site inside of Cascade. The changes are significant enough that you will want to review your pages to see if any adjustments need to be made, especially with regards to your primary navigation as the new design will further limit the space available for text.
  6. If you’re happy with how the site looks with the new theme and you want to apply it to your live site, then click on Base Folder so you can see your full site in the right-hand preview pane.
  7. Select either the box next to the Name column or Select: All at the bottom.
  8. With select: use the dropdown to select the Publish option.
  9. When asked to confirm, click the Submit button.

Dang, this looks great!

I know! We have Craig Farris to thank for his many, many hours of hard work to make this happen.

Oh, no! This doesn’t look good on my live site at all! How do I change it back?

You can easily reverse the process. Uncheck the box in your _Site configuration file, and then republish your entire site and it will change it back to your preferred theme. Whew, right?

Is it supposed to look like that?

It’s entirely possible we missed a spot when working on the code and styles. We did our best to account for the most common, standard use cases for the blocks included in Cascade, but it’s possible you might detect something we overlooked. If this happens, please let me know at and include a link to a page where you see the problem and a description of what you expected to see. I’ll review the style issue and get back to you.