New Ning Design Studio, Coming - - Released in Beta on February 9, 2011

February 9, 2011 Update:

Ning just released the new Ning Design Studio in Beta.


  • How to Access new Design Studio
    • Access My Network/Settings/Ning Labs and enable the beta for the new Design Studio.
    • Click on Save.
  • Warnings:
    • Please choose moving to the beta for Ning's new Design Studio, wisely. I would rather see Ning Network Creators test this some more, and then make the move.
    • This is how I understand this. When/if you make this change, none of your original custom CSS tweaks will work. For the customization you would like to add back, you will need to start adding one at a time, and testing the results. Some examples would be: Overall site colors, backgrounds, the CSS tip for scrolling through Blogs-Videos-Photos-etc...on the home page, tip for removing right column, width of site, and any other customized CSS you have added to your site.


Well, it's exciting and pretty nerve-racking, all at the same time. Ning is introducing a new Ning Theming System. They're calling it the Ning Design Studio, and it's loaded with more themes, nicer features, and a lot more. 






More About the New Ning Design Studio - -

According to Ning: (Original Discussion)

"The Ning Design Studio gives you an incredibly intuitive way to customize and transform your social experience."

  • Choose from 70+ hot new themes at launch
  • See a live preview of changes as you make them
  • Set a 2- or 3-column layout and choose navigation and sidebar locations
  • Tweak 80 dials and controls for your site appearance
  • Access Developer Mode, where design gurus can access the Ning CSS and create their own themes

For more screenshots and information about the Ning Design Studio, check out this page.


For new Ning Network Creators, it'll be great. For existing Ning Networks with a lot of CSS customization, it could become a real challenge, and decision making time.


Let me explain. You'll have to choose one or the other: the old way (your current customization), or the new way (new Design Studio Theming System). Fortunately, it sounds like Ning will provide ongoing access to both Appearance Panels.

  • Old Appearance Panel
    • My Network/Settings/Appearance/Advanced
    • Current panel where you tweak and add CSS.
  • New Theming System
    • Developer Mode
    • New panel where you will tweak and add CSS.


If you choose the new, then you've got to start over as far as your overall theme. There really was no other way for Ning to handle this, but to make the 2, separate entities. For those of us who have worked on our custom CSS for years, and a lot have paid for customization; you cannot use the new theming system without giving up your current customization. But, don't panic. It'll just take time to decide which way to go, and I'll be offering all kinds of help once I get my feet good and wet in the new theming system.


And as Ning explains it: What if my Ning Network is already perfect?

When the Ning Design Studio rolls out, your current theme and customizations won't change. In order to take advantage of the new features, including 2-column layouts and Developer Mode, you'll need to select one of the 70 new themes.

However, you can always revert back to your old theme at any time — you can find it in the "My Themes" section. And if you want to edit your old theme, you can choose to do so in the old appearance editor as well. This ensures a great experience for every Ning Creator. If you have any questions about this, take a look at our FAQ on the Creators Network.


Well, February 9th is right around the corner. We'll see how it goes. Here's hoping it's a great addition for all Ning Network Creators!

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Actually Eric, I'm pleasantly surprised. I just tested this code and it works fine. I added it via:

Design Studio/Advanced/Add Custom CSS

Is that where you added it?

Yes that is where I added it. Did it work for you in the preview or just when published? I did not see it in the preview so I dared not to publish and see.

Gosh, I can't remember. Let me go test.



Sorry to report, I see it in preview too. Are you sure you don't have the boxes too tall?
It works fine on my current site so I don't see how height would be an issue - the boxes are only 380px high with the max amount of blogs and such visible. hmm... I will try to play around with it some more and see......

Let me know Eric.



It might be due to the theme I have chosen (chatterbox) - I will try several others and see....



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