How To Customize Moodle

A lot of users wonder how to customize Moodle. It is worth mentioning that Moodle can be completely customized in terms of branding and layout. It is important to understand that certain aspects of changing the feel and look require specific design skills.

When you’re an administrator, you can make most relevant adjustments. However, it is still better to get a professional designer involved, especially when you consider styling. A professional will take you through the entire customization process without any problems.

How To Customize Moodle

The front page is one of the most important components for customization. Some users also prefer customizing Moddle themes. The front page of the website is pretty basic when you log in as an administrator.

In simple terms, the settings, especially front page settings and some other related parameters, indicate what content people see after and before they log on. The design scheme and branding depend on the theme you choose. These elements include header, footer, fonts, colors, icons and more.

How to Customize Moodle Front Page

The basic appearance on your Moodle’s front page will change after you have logged in. The layout and content of the page after and before login can be easily customized to represent the unique identity of your business. Here are some steps you can take to customize the Moodle front page.

Front Page Settings – In order to customize the Moodle front page, you either have to log in as an administrator or obtain Front Page related permissions in the website’s Front Page context. You need to click on the Site Administration Block > Front Page > Front Page Settings. You will be able to see different parameters on the screen. These parameters will display the current settings that may be changed.

Arranging Front Page Blocks – In order to configure the right and left column areas with specific blocks, you need to turn on Editing. This can be done from the Blocks Editing button. The menu will include blocks that are not visible in courses, like Main Menu and Course/Site Description.

It is worth mentioning that Blocks are added to the Moodle front page in the same manner as Courses. In order to change their current position, you should use standard arrows. In addition to this, Main Menu Block allows users to add any installed activity or resource inside the block. For instance, using links and labels to websites allows you to create a menu-like structure for the front page.

In case you can see Include A Topic parameter on the Front Page Settings, you need to edit this part, and any installed resource or activity. In most cases, this parameter is used by business organizations to add a standard welcome message for visitors. Most of the time, it is accompanied by an image or some other multimedia content.

Login in From a Different Website – The basic purpose of the Login block is to let users authenticate themselves. You just need to enter your username and password. You can log in to Moodle from a different website. It could be your business organization’s homepage. This can help users avoid the Login block. However, you will need a professional designer for these changes. He will have to enter some HTML code.

Other Front Page Items – When it comes to Moodle, the front page is considered a standalone component. Thus, it has a top level menu with many different features. These features can be easily access through the Front Page in the Site Admin Menu.

Front Page Roles

The front page context assigns different roles to users. Due to this, a separate user can maintain and develop the front page without access to other elements in Moodle. As mentioned earlier, the front page can be treated as a course. A Teacher Role may be sufficient to handle complex tasks.

Front Page Backup and Restore

The Moodle front page has its own restore and backup facilities. They allow you to restore and backpack all the elements of the Moodle front page. The mechanism is also quite simple and quick. All the front page backups are stored in a specific folder in the Site Files area – Backup data Folder. You just need to be aware of the specific URL to access this folder. It is better to move these ZIP files to a secure location.

Site Files

The Files areas are separate from each other. In other words, files in Moodle always belong to a particular course. They can be accessed by users with appropriate rights. There’s a basic difference between the Site Files, and the Files area of other courses. You don’t need to log in to access the Site Files.

Files saved in this particular location are meant for the Moodle front page. However, they can be accessed from anywhere in your system. If the user knows the location, he can even access files without visiting Moodle. You need to make sure that the Site Files area is used for placing files that are easily acceptable to be seen by different users who don’t have permission to access the Moodle system.

There are some typical files to be saved in this area. Some of these include images you want on the front page or documents that you want to be easily accessed. However, this space is also used for many different kinds of tiles that need to be accessed without access to a course. The Site Policy Agreement is a good example of such a file type,

Customization via My Moodle

It is important to understand that the same front page is displayed for all users on the Moodle system. In order to remove this restriction and allows users to customize their front page, you need to activate the My Moodle feature. Once this feature has been enabled, Moodle will create a new directory for every user at the first login. This will allow the users to customize the Moodle front page.

It is a flexible feature similar to a standard customizable dashboard. However, it require some more disk space on the server. Once users log in, they will be able to edit the page by adding specific blocks in the My Moodle area. When you consider how to customize Moodle, this will be your best choice.

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.