Styling is one aspect of this customisability. Being able to manage the styles your board uses is important in keeping an interesting board. Your board's style may even reflect the purpose of your board. Styles allows you to manage all the styles available on your board.

Figure 3.8. Styles overview

Styles overview

This is a list of the styles that are installed on the board. You can see the number of users using the style and you can follow the links to change the style's details.

Creating a style is not an easy task and it takes quite a lot of time. Skilled designers from the phpBB community create styles that are available publicly and anyone can download them. This is a good place to start if you want to download and install a new style and you cannot afford to create your own, for any possible reason. The first place where you should stop is the Styles section on, you will find a list of useful links for places like the:

Styles Demo

The styles demo allows you to display each style on a live forum and see how each part of the board looks like using the specified style. You can browse through the styles until you find one that suits you and/or your board. The styles demo provides links to download the style and see its entry in the styles database.

Styles Database

The Style Database contains all the styles that were validated by the Styles Team. All styles are validated to ensure they are safe to use, work correctly and do not have any other caveats. You can filter styles by parameters like version, color or category to easily find a style that you would like. Each style entry in the database contains a link to the Style Demo, to show a live example of the style in use. Installing and managing styles


After you choose a style and you are ready to install it, unpack it on your PC and upload the directory with the style to your board's server. Make sure that the directory you upload to the server's styles contains the template and theme directories, as well as a style.cfg file. The only exception is when a style has its template or theme based on another one, you will however be informed of that when you download the style. Having the dependent style component installed is required to install such a style.

Since you have uploaded all the necessary files, you can continue to install your style. Go to the Customise tab in the ACP and click the Install Styles link. You should see a table containing a list of your uploaded styles. If you want to install your downloaded style, click the Install style link next to its title.

At this moment, you should know how to install a new style. However, there are some links and features on the Styles overview page that we have missed. They are:

  • Details: This link will take you to the details of style, where you can change its name, set if the style is active or not, as well as if it should be the board's default style.

  • Activate/Deactivate: Pretty clear without an explanation, this link allows you to switch the style on and off very quickly and easily.

  • Uninstall: If you or your users do not like the style anymore, use this link. When you uninstall a style, the users of that style will be switched to the board's default style. You also have the option of completely deleting the style as well if you check the Delete from filesystem box. This will uninstall the style and delete its files, this cannot be undone.

  • Preview: This is a very useful and powerful feature for administrators. If you click this link, you will be taken to the board and the style you have selected will be applied - this is great when you want to see if the style looks good on your board and you want to make sure you should activate it. This feature can be used even with deactivated styles. The style ID is passed through the URL, so you can browse through the board and see any page you need.