How to Create Customized Moodle Themes

Moodle themes define the way the Moodle engine displays all of your Moodle powered pages. You can easily create the themes and customize them according to your choice. They can be personalized for your class or school. It is really simple to create themes for Moodle. You simply need to work out with Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and some images that will be used for making the theme.

If you have a good understanding of how themes work within Moodle and you have good knowledge of CSS and HTML then you will be able to create and customize themes. The easiest way to create a customized Moodle theme is to modify the CSS file and change the images of the existing theme with your choice of images. You will get a theme that is totally personalized which will be able to speak your personality.

How to Create Customized Moodle Themes

In order to customize Moodle themes you need Moodle version 1.9 or higher in your system. You should also have access to the server where it is hosted. You need to contact your network administrator in order to get access to the host server. You might also need a transfer program if your access is over SSH or FTP. FileZilla is a great free program that will help you with this purpose. Finally, you need a text editor that will allow you to tweak the text. You can simply use Notepad that comes with Windows OS but in order to make the work easier you might consider using TextWrangler or Notepad++.

In order to get the new theme setup you have to login to your Moodle server and navigate to the “/theme” directory inside the main Moodle directory. Next you have to pick up a name for the theme folder which will also be the name of your customized theme. You have the copy the folder named “/standard” to a name of your choice for the new theme that you create. You should make sure to not use any capital letters or spaces in the name.

When you have copied a theme and appropriately renamed it then you will get an option to start altering its features. The theme that you choose will be the base of the customized theme that you create. You will have the option to start making changes to the main theme where you can work to make it as per your choice. You should be careful about not altering the original theme file as Moodle might update the theme in order to make it better. You should copy the theme and work on the copied theme file to ensure that your changes are saved.

Next you have to choose appropriate colors for your theme. The best bet is choosing a light background color and dark colors for the text. The colors should be complementary and should not hurt your eyes. You can also work on the logo by resizing, copying and adding logos to your theme. If you have completed working on the theme then you can save the customized theme file and use it as your new Moodle theme. You can create many Moodle themes by following the above method.

Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.