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Coming in from SMf

edited March 2013 in General Banter

Hey there,

I will be making a fresh start using Vanilla, most likely, for my website that is based on Alabama Crimson Tide football. I was wondering a couple of things.

1 - Does Vanilla Forums have easy customization when it comes to the theme? I am not talking about anything serious, just colors and images?
2 - Will I have a huge learning curve from SMF?
3 - When updates are released, is it a huge project updating? On SMF any time I would have to update the forums, I would have to reinstall all mods/plugins and every now and then I'd have to make all of my theme changes all over again.

Thanks, looks like a great product and I look forward to getting involved.




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    Hey, really appreciate such a great, in-depth, reply. I am looking forward to the swap.

    One more question: I will have certain things that I will want to place around my site as an "article" or "page" whatever, the term for Vanilla might be. Is that possible, or would it have to be a forum post?

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    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New MVP
    edited March 2013


    Are you looking for a mostly static page? Something you can slap php into? A blog type page?

    I have used the Custom Pages plugin for simple things I rarely update or need to execute php code. You can add some routes through the dashboard and links to the pages in your theme. For a blog, I started with Nilla Blog. It lets you transform a forum category into a blog. Very useful!

    If you want to have a more fully featured CMS, you could look at Vanilla CMS or Candy. I have more experience with Vanilla CMS, but it is no longer developed.

    In the end... you have options!

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    KasperKasper Scholar of the Bits Copenhagen Vanilla Staff

    Like @hgtonight mentioned, Custom Pages, Vanilla CMS or Candy are indeed plugins and applications you want to check out if you'd like to create static pages on your site. There's also a whole bunch of official plugins to be found here: https://github.com/vanillaforums/Addons/tree/master/plugins. One of these is Pockets - it allows you to place "pockets" of freeform HTML in various places around your site also comes with a Smarty function for putting custom pockets ({pocket name="foo"}) in your theme.

    If you'd like to get a bit more advanced (don't yet know where you stand when it comes to PHP), you can also do somewhat the same as I do: Whenever I'd like to include some custom stuff, whether it be widgets, modules or static content, I genrally use theme hooks to do this. Theme hooks allow you to interface with Garden so your theme can do exactly the same things as a plugin would allow you to do. This means that creating extra modules, view partials and the likes can be done directly in your theme instead of in a plugin, the latter which in many cases will disassociate your theme with its custom modules and content.

    Kasper Kronborg Isager (kasperisager) | Freelance Developer @Vanilla | Hit me up: Google Mail or Vanilla Mail | Find me on GitHub

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    Great, thank you for the reply.

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    You can also use the extrapage plugin for


    and building an app off of the skeleton - is actually easier than it looks.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

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    I did a search and didn't really find a picture gallery add-on. Is that the case or am I just missing it? This is an important feature for me.

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    search add-on section gallery


    don't know if that works for you - but that is the title for one.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

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