Ning Appearance Panel

The Appearance Panel is used to control everything that you see on your network. Network Creators generally use the Appearance Panel to make adjustments to existing themes. The Appearance Panel is designed for Network Creators who have little or no experience with CSS and HTML. It is broken up into four areas: Themes, Layout, Customize, and Advanced.


A theme represents a packaged set of CSS that can be customized through appearance settings. The themes section allows you to quickly choose one of the available themes in a couple of clicks. Themes are a great way for most Network Creators to get a nice looking site up and running quickly.



A layout represents a unique combination of column widths, column ordering, and navigation placement that can be applied to your site. In general, there will be a maximum of eight layouts to choose from, but certain themes may opt to only support a subset of the possible layouts.

Possible Column Widths

Option 1:230px, 502px, 230px (3-Columns)
Option 2:653px, 324px (2-Columns)

Possible Column Layouts

Option 1:3-Column Layouts
Option 2:2-Column Layouts


The Customize section of the Appearance Panel provides an interface to let you quickly customize the colors, fonts, images, and text attributes of a theme. This section is great for someone who isn’t familiar with CSS and HTML but wants to tweak certain parts of their theme.



The Advanced section of the Appearance Panel provides Network Creators with a textbox to enter CSS that will append to an existing theme. The CSS added to this box will be take priority over theme styles and Customize adjustments. This section is great for designers who want to make adjustments that aren’t available in the Customize section.