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Getting the look right

When starting a new community, one of the first questions that is often asked, is how to get the site to look the way you wish. Below we discuss the various tools you can use in order to achieve this.

It should be noted that this guide is intended as a brief overview. Links are provided to guides with further information. However you can find more in depth topics in the "Themes and Customizations" section, on the left menu.


First of all, we need to know what a theme is. A theme is a set of colors, fonts, layouts and more, that changes the overall design of your site. Changing theme can by uploading one created by a 3rd party, or creating one yourself in one of 2 'modes'.

3rd Party Themes

The easiest way in which to change the look of your site, is to pick a theme from a 3rd party author. Many 3rd party authors will offer themes within our marketplace, which you can find in the following location of our site


These may be free or paid solutions. Once you have found a 3rd party theme you wish to use, you would then upload this to your site within the AdminCP, at the following location

Customization -> Appearance -> Themes

Once in this location, click on "Add theme" to upload the theme you have downloaded from the market place


Add New Theme

Select the Upload tab on the popup. You will notice that when creating a theme yourself using easy mode or manual, you also do this from the same place


Select Upload Tab

Click to select the xml theme you downloaded, and click next to add the theme


Choose the Theme You Wish To Upload

Once the theme is uploaded, you can set this as the default by clicking the edit button (Pencil icon) at the side of your new theme 

Easy Mode

Easy Mode, is the simplest method in which to create your own theme. This allows for the changing of colors and settings, without the need for coding knowledge. You can then select colors for each element of the site, as you see in the screenshot below. 


Easy Mode Theme Creation

You can see more about how to do this, in our Easy mode guide

Design Your Own

For some, you will wish to create more complex themes using html/css/javascript. If you are looking to completely write your own themes in this matter, take a look at our guides on the left, under the "Themes and Customisations" section


Theme Guides


Within the IPS Community Suite, you are provided with the ability to add items to your pages by way of a 'Block Manager'. This drag/drop facility allows you to quickly add items to create a sidebar, or add items to the top and bottom of your page. This facility is also used within our pages application to facilitate the easy creation of new pages.

Adding Blocks

Adding blocks to your pages is a simple process. When logged in as a member of staff with the moderator permission "Can use sidebar", you will see a tab sticking out from the left of the site. Clicking on this will open the block manager, and reveal available areas of the site where you can place your blocks. This is shown in the gif image below


Block Manager Usage

Editing Blocks

Some blocks that you add to the page will have their own configuration to them. Where this is the case, you will see an edit button where you can add further configuration.


Clicking edit reveals setup options

In this example, we are using the topic feed. As you can see from the image below, you can configure many of these blocks to very specific needs. For example, you may want a block named "News" which is fed from your news forum. This would easily done with the topic feed block.


Topic Feed Config

You can see more about the block manager in the following guide


3rd Party Languages

For most people who require a language pack, outside of the default, the simplest method would be to obtain a 3rd party language pack. This is a pack which has already been created by someone else. You can find many 3rd party language packs, within the translations category of our marketplace

Once you have a language pack, you would then upload in the following location, by clicking on "Create New>Upload"

Customization -> Localization -> Languages


Visual Translation

Within the languages section of our suite, we provide a way of quick translation, through the front end of the site. Which allows you to see what you are editing. This can be handy if you are changing just a few select phrases, or need to quickly find where to edit a word or phrase. To see more about how to use these features, please see our guide in the following location


Full Translation

For some, only full manual translation will do. It may be that you are translating to a language that nobody has done before, or you wish to create one of your own to share within our marketplace. We provide a range of guides for this, which you can find in the menu, at the left of our guide area


Language Guides


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