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How Do I Add CSS/LESS/HTML Correctly?

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Question: Is there a BEGINNERS walkthrough/post/page/site to put this all together???  I'm familiar with basic CSS/HTML. Just starting to grasp LESS. I know how WordPress (loop) functions, but couldn't begin to make changes. But it seems that the documentation for DMS is for the 'intermediate'. While I can grasp most of it, I am very unsure as to where and how to make the proper changes? I know best practice is to have a child theme, then make edits to the code, and upload via FTP. I can look up the code for these things, but do I do it with LESS? CSS? HTML? Change style.css? Use 'custom' tab in DMS? Define a property in 'custom', then use it on case by case basis? Do I need to add HTML and CSS in the 'custom' tab for everything I change, or can I just add CSS/LESS?


(I am providing ALL information I can to avoid multiple topics and to get ANY help I can.)



  • Hosting - Synthesis
  • FTP - Cyberduck
  • Text Editor - CoffeCup
  • Theme - DMS Pro w/Viewer free theme
  • Plugins 
  1. DMS Professional Tools
  2. W3 Total Cache
  3. WordPress SEO by Yoast
  4. Coming Soon
  5. Symposium Forums
  6. Custom Sidebars


  • Screenshot of my site. As of yesterday, highlighted in red, you can see that something is not right. No idea why, how come, or what to do (site is in maintenance mode, but if need be, I can put it live for help purposes). I uninstalled DMS and Viewer, then tried with just base DMS, and same thing is happening. [attachment=1969:screenshot-pagelines.png]
  • At this moment I'm most interested in formatting Text, i.e., H1-H6, body text, etc.
  1. Color
  2. Font
  3. Drop shadow
  4. Box shadow
  • I googled LESS, and found ways to compile it to CSS, but not a way to open/get at the actual LESS files in my themes. Do I need to? Should I just compile to CSS, and put that in the style.css file?
  • Do I need to make Viewer its own child theme? Or do I just take my Viewer theme and make THAT a child for DMS? Or take a copy of DMS, add the Viewer sections I want, then call the whole thing a child? (I only want the additional sections from the Viewer theme, not anything else, and I know I can just add those to the sections folder in DMS.)
  • How do I switch out, or add the files properly, to FTP once I do customize them? Add the whole theme, then activate via WordPress? Just change out the folders I need?

As you can see, I have many questions that come down to this: Where is the BASIC information??? lol (DMS docs will show what you CAN do with bits of code for illustrative purposes, but not exactly HOW or WHERE to put it. examp: if I use the 'custom/css' tab in DMS, do I just keep adding code snippets as I need to? Or should there be a hierarchy as if it was the actual style or html sheets?)


Thank you ANYONE who can point me in the right direction. I am even willing to pay if I can find someone/someplace that will get me started!

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The issue in your image is likely caused by either a plugin or your own custom CSS. I recommend you disable all active plugins and see if this resolves your issue.


Regarding your question about how to begin and what to use, be it HTML, CSS or LESS. Well that isn't something we can actually answer, as the answer is different depending on what it is you're trying to do and without telling what it is you're trying to do, we can't really point you in the right direction.


There is no reason to compile your LESS, DMS does it for you. So all you need to do is add your LESS CSS to a style.less file in your child theme and thats it. DMS will do the rest.


Our documentation has a guide on how to customize DMS, which goes through all the basics, you should read this, as it will certainly help you - http://docs.pagelines.com/customize/how-to-customize

Please search our forums, before posting!

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