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Google Homepage Themes

Google Homepage Themes

A theme is basically something that changes the visual elements of a window in focus. Google homepage themes do the same thing to the Google's search engine page.
Shashank Nakate
iGoogle allows you to create your very own personalized homepage and add a bit of sparkle to it. It is a way to modify your homepage with the help of a custom design. Technically, it's a collection of 'cascading style sheet' files popularly known as CSS. This adds a versatile value, since it enables the users to create their own varied style sheets. It is mandatory for every theme to contain the 'iGoogle' logo. The power of customizing font styles, text and link colors, navigation bars, header and footer images, as well as gadget frames, lies with the user.

How to Apply
It's quite simple. Visit Google and search for 'Google homepage theme', select one of them, and add it to your page. You can change it anytime you want. If you want to revert to the old page style, simply click on the 'classic home' link.

History
Homepage themes were launched by the company on the 20th of March, 2007. They started off with six basic themes, which were primarily focused on landscapes. They were winter hills, bus stop, Japanese tea garden, city skyline, sweet dreams, and beach.

Dynamic Themes
An interesting feature about them is that they exhibit dynamic behavior, that is, the theme gets modified automatically in sync with the local time. Not just that, even the weather conditions are reflected in the themes, which give the user a personal and homely feeling.

Technically, it is a set of multiple designs which correspond to a particular local time. The successive designs may narrate a visual tale as the day progresses or simply reflect the atmospheric changes with sunrise and nightfall. Creating them is indeed a challenge for designers. A page mainly consists of various attributes like background color, font, text color, etc. Different attribute values give different results.

Creating a Theme
You can start by letting loose your creativity and coming up with great visual designs. Do make it a point to consult Google's program policy for specifications. Three major assets which come in handy while creating a theme are iGoogle Theme Tools, Theme XML template, and iGoogle sandbox. The sandbox helps you out with additional features for customizing chat options, updating gadgets, and also buttons when it comes to navigation. Finally, test it before you submit to the iGoogle directory. If approved, it can be applied by all the users worldwide. It can have a maximum of 48 individual designs. This implies that the page will display a new design every half an hour.

Google has made numerous additions and has extended the themes to a wide range of categories. The categories may be listed as follows:
  • Artists
  • Games
  • Travel
  • Comics
  • Soccer
  • Animals
  • Sports
  • Destinations
  • Abstract
  • Nature
  • Travel
  • Environment
  • Trends
  • Food
  • Fun
Google keeps adding categories occasionally, to suit the current events like festivals, sports, various days, etc. For example, it recently added 'Soccer' as a category on account of the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

The main reason for their popularity is that they allow the users to adorn their homepage with their favorite movie stars, scenic locales, cute little pets, or mind-blowing abstract pictures.