CTA Featured Threads & Portal

CTA Featured Threads & Portal 2.17.0

No permission to buy (£40.00)
Compatible XF 1.x versions
  1. 1.4
  2. 1.5
Single use. The license is granted to you alone. You may not redistribute the files in whole or in part. You may not rent, lease, loan, sub-license, sell, assign, pledge, transfer or otherwise dispose of the files in any form without prior consent.
Updates duration
12 Months, Renewal Cost £15
Visible branding
This add-on is not affiliated with XenForo Ltd.

The XF2 version of this add-on can be found here:

Feature Summary

Ever wanted to feature threads above the forum list, thread list, or on the new/recent posts pages like this?



Well now you can!

What's more, you can also display all currently featured threads on a dedicated page.
An additional option allows you to enable a [Home] tab and set the Index Page Route in the ACP to threads/featured (without a trailing slash), creating a portal or home page.




When the home page is set in this way, the forum index appears like so.


Optionally, an archive page can be enabled, allowing the home/portal page to remain a true portal as a single landing page for your site.


The archive page lists all currently and previously featured threads, with tabs for date, replies, likes, and views, making it quick and easy to browse through them. Soft deleted threads are visible to those with the permission to view them.

Featured threads can be promoted to a slider which can be displayed on each of the pages.



It is even possible to just show the slider on the dedicated page, by setting featured threads to only show as blocks or not at all.


If a featured thread has a poll, there is the option to display it with the thread.


Further options allow just the thread to be displayed, or even the poll on its own.


As it is a per featured thread setting, you can have any combination.


Style properties control whether the poll block is shown on the various pages.

There is also the ability to individually customise the background of each featured thread.



Not only can you individually style each featured thread with a custom icon, background and even use a different image for the slider, but coupled with the comprehensive CSS classes utilising the thread and node IDs, the customisation possibilities are limitless.

A live demo is available here: http://support.cliptheapex.com/

In addition to the following, please read the FAQ: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/cta-featured-threads.2599/field?field=faq

This add-on allows those with the relevant permissions to view, feature, update, and unfeature threads.
Featured threads will be displayed on the forum list, above the thread list in their respective forums, on the new/recent posts pages and also on a dedicated page, depending on the options selected.
It is even possible to not display them as a block at all and just show the poll or promote them to the slider.

Threads can also be featured automatically, based on selected forums and criteria.

Titles and content are passed through the censor and there is an option to enable all BB Code including images, videos, quotes, spoilers, etc.
The title and content can be edited without affecting the original thread.

If a thread has an attached poll, it can optionally be displayed either with the thread or on its own.

The thread author's avatar can be displayed along with the content if desired.
Alternatively, custom icons can be uploaded for each featured thread.
The avatar and icon can be displayed on the left, right, or not at all, on a per featured thread basis.

Furthermore, individual backgrounds can also be applied to each featured thread.

Featured threads can also be promoted to a slider which can be displayed in all of the same locations.

If a thread has an attached image, it can be used for the icon, background, and slider images, making it much simpler to apply custom images and promote entries to the slider.

Any threads which are currently featured will be highlighted in the thread list with a [Featured] badge. The [Featured] badge links to the Featured Threads page, if enabled.

When viewing a featured thread, a [Featured] badge is also displayed to the right hand side of the title, which links to the page, if enabled.


Previously featured threads will be indicated as such with an [Expired] badge, in the same locations as the [Featured] badge.

Thread authors will be alerted when their thread has been featured.
The expiry date can be enabled or disabled in the options.

alert-expiry.png alert-no-expiry.png

Members can individually set their preference for Featured Threads alerts via the Alert Preferences page in their account.


Featured threads can only be seen by those with the permission to do so.
That includes the general view permission for the add-on and also any node specific permissions (the View Thread content must be set to Allow), as well as whether the thread author is ignored or not.
So, for example, featured threads from private forums can only be seen by those with access to the forum.

Each page load of the forum list, forum view, new and recent posts pages will either display a random thread from the list of available threads or the latest thread to be featured, if the option has been selected.
If there are no threads available to view, the block won't display.

The dedicated page shows all currently featured threads, in order of featured date or thread date, ascending or descending, depending on the options selected, unless they have been prevented from being displayed on the page.

The maximum number of threads which can be featured at any one time can be set in the options.


Once the limit has been reached, the next thread to be featured will result in the oldest featured thread being automatically unfeatured.
If the maximum limit value is reduced, the oldest threads over that new limit will also be automatically unfeatured.

The custom icon width, height, and quality can also be set here, in addition to completely disabling them.

All of the settings and options for custom backgrounds and the slider are also here.
The slider entries can be sorted on various criteria, independent of the sort order for the featured threads on the page.

Manual featuring can be pre-configured to set the options related to: thread prefixes, BB Code, the amount of content, default duration, where the featured thread will be displayed, whether to display polls or not and optionally to automatically expire the featured thread when the poll closes where to display the avatar or icon, whether to use the default icon or not, automatically apply the first attached image to the icon, background, or slider image, and the dismiss status.


Automatic featuring allows any number of forums to be selected and either have all threads or those meeting specific criteria featured automatically.
The default settings for automatic featuring are extensive and cover all of the options available available when manually featuring.

options-03.png options-04.png

One additional options allows for the thread to be featured by the author or a named member account.

Featured threads can be shown on the forum list, forum view and new / recent posts pages.


Up to 20 featured threads can be displayed on the forum index.
With yet more options to show featured threads globally, in their own forum or also the parent forum.

If the 'Latest' option is checked, that will prevent random threads being shown on each page load and only show the latest one.
It is configurable per page.

The dedicated page can also be enabled or disabled from here, along with all of the page related options.
The featured threads can be sorted on various criteria, independent of the sort order for the slider entries.


Finally, there are the options related to the archive page.


Home Page
To set the home page, do the following:
ACP -> Options -> CTA Featured Threads: Featured Threads Page

ACP -> Options -> Basic Board Information: Index Page Route

The page titles, descriptions, share URLs and meta data are all updated accordingly for both pages when the home tab function is enabled.

Note: Be aware that if you prevent any groups (e.g. Unregistered) from viewing Featured Threads then they will receive the standard error informing them they must be logged in when they access the page.

In addition to the general view permission, there are also permissions for featuring, updating, and unfeaturing, own threads and all threads.
As well as a separate permission for dismissing featured threads.
The permissions can also be set per node, where applicable.


Featuring, Updating & Unfeaturing
The tools for featuring, updating and unfeaturing are in the thread tools dropdown (and also on the thread list items adjacent to the Edit link).

thread-tools-feature.png thread-tools-update-unfeature.png

The update and unfeature links also appear on the blocks.

block-update-unfeature.png page-update-unfeature.png

Clicking the links loads the dedicated page for each one.

When featuring, the original thread title and content can be edited for editorial purposes using the rich text editor, making it quick and easy to compose the content.
Note that this does not have any effect on the actual thread as the title and content are stored in a separate table in the database.

If BB Code is enabled in the options, the BB Code tags are preserved in the overlay content area.


If BB Code is disabled, all of the BB Code tags (and some content within the tags) are stripped.


There are options related to the duration it will remain featured, to choose where and how to display the thread, poll, and avatar, to use the default icon, and to upload a custom image for the icon or background. Custom icons will replace the thread author's avatar or the default icon.

Threads can be featured indefinitely or for a specified time.


There are also options to promote the featured thread to the slider and allow it to be dismissed.

When updating existing featured threads, any BB Code is preserved, unless the option has been disabled, and icons, background images, or slider images can be uploaded, updated, or deleted, if applicable.


It is also possible to change the feature duration, where the block will be displayed, how to show the thread and poll, where to display the avatar or icon, whether to use the default icon or not, update any images, promote to or demote from the slider and change the dismiss status.
The featured thread date can also be updated, which will make it the latest featured thread and push it back to the top of the page.

Checking the update image checkbox will result in the edit images overlay, with the various tabs being available depending on the options selected and whether the thread has already been promoted to the slider.

edit-image-01.png edit-image-02.png edit-image-03.png edit-image-04.png

Non-square images will retain the correct ratio.

Unfeaturing a thread is handled via a simple overlay.


If a featured thread is set as dismissible, members can dismiss it from the forum list, forum view and new / recent posts pages. Note that the link does not appear on the blocks on the dedicated page, as featured threads can't be dismissed from that page.


Any dismissed threads can be restored from the Acccount Preferences page.
Note that the option will only be available if there are dismissed featured threads to restore.


If a featured thread is updated and it is made non-dismissible, it will be restored for all members.

RSS Feeds
There are RSS feeds for both pages.

rss-feed-page.png rss-feed-archive.png

The relevant icon for each page appears in the footer adjacent to the default feed icon.

rss-icon-page.png rss-icon-archive.png

Each feed can be independently disabled and also respects permissions, presenting the following views accordingly.

rss-feed-disabled.png rss-feed-no-permission.png

Style Properties
It has been designed using the default classes and is fully responsive.
There are extensive Style Properties allowing for complete customisation.

style-properties-groups.png style-properties-settings.png style-properties-blocks.png style-properties-blocks-footer-sharing.png style-properties-page-01.png style-properties-page-02.png style-properties-page-footer-sharing.png style-properties-slider.png style-properties-archive.png style-properties-archive-footer.png

Note that avatars and icons are not displayed in the narrow responsive view.

Threads by guests and deleted members can be featured.

Threads can not be featured if they are soft deleted or unapproved (moderated).

An existing featured thread will be automatically unfeatured if it is deleted, unapproved, or merged, unless it is the destination thread.

An hourly cron task will unfeature any threads for which the feature duration has expired.
Any custom icons, backgrounds and slider backgrounds will be automatically deleted when a thread is unfeatured.

When a thread is featured for the first time, the thread author's Featured Threads count is updated.
This count is displayed in the message user info block, on the member card, and on the profile page.

message-user-info.png member-card.png profile-page.png

Clicking the [Featured Threads] tab on the profile page lists all of that member's featured threads.


There is also a dedicated page, making it possible to link directly to it and share on social networks, etc.


Soft deleted threads are visible to those with the permission to view them.

There is also the option to enable a [Most Featured Threads] tab on the Notable Members page.


The count can be utilised in the criteria for notices, user group promotions, and trophies.

criteria.png trophy-alert.png

In the event that members are merged or the counts need to be recalculated, there is an option in the Tools -> Rebuild Caches menu to do so.


The quick navigation link reflects the setting for the dedicated page.

quick-navigation-01.png quick-navigation-02.png

There are templates on the featured and archive pages which can be used for advertisements or custom content.
Utilising the position counter allows content to be entered between, or even in, the blocks.

page-custom-templates-01.png page-custom-templates-02.pngarchive-custom-templates.png

It is also fully phrased.

2 new tables
  • cta_ft_featured_threads
  • cta_ft_featured_threads_dismissed
1 new column on the xf_thread table
  • cta_ft_featured
1 new column on the xf_user table
  • cta_ft_featured_count

Forum List - 1
Forum View - 2*
New Posts - 1
Recent Posts - 1

Zero additional queries for those with no permission to view.

*If the 'Display In All Forums' option is selected it reduces to 1, if 'Display In Own And Parent Forums' is selected it increases to 3.

Purchasing a license entitles you to use this add-on on a single XenForo installation. If you wish to install it on more than one installation then you must purchase additional licenses.
A license may not be given away, sold, leased, or redistributed in any form.

This add-on would not have been possible without the help of a few people.
Mike for pointing me in the right direction on more than one occasion and some tweaks and fixes.
Jeremy for his advice and input.
Mostly though, Chris Deeming for his constant help and support. This add-on is as much his as it is mine.
  • cta-ft-banner.webp
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Latest updates

  1. 2.17.0 Stacked!

    Another small update but it does add a feature which has been requested a few times, which is...
  2. 2.16.1 Halloween Bug Fix

    This is a very small release which just resolves a couple of bugs. Bugs Fixed Fixed censoring...
  3. 2.16.0 Small but perfectly formed

    This is a relatively small update (OK, I admit it, it's tiny) which fixes a few bugs but also...

Latest reviews

This add-on is most certainly one of my favorites by far. I cant see my self upgrading to XF2 without it tbh. I have a lot of fb members that don't know their way around the forum to well. This mod helps them find the most important threads for our online racing community. I don't use this as a front page, but just displaying a featured thread at the top of my forum is perfect for my needs. It sits well, it looks great and stands out. Thanks Brogan.
Paul B
Paul B
Thanks for the feedback and review.
This addon is excellent. It really helps drive engagement with content you want at the forefront of your forum.
Paul B
Paul B
Thanks for the review.
Awesome add-on. I feel like now I can be proud of my forum ;). Very nice and well composed. Thumbs up.
Paul B
Paul B
Thanks, glad you like it.
It is quite good but there may be additional features. Development must be continuous. Resources should be shown on main page.It might be the title for the blocks.News, like selected topics, can change.
Awesome add-on! extremely useful and works as expected, my member love it, highly recommended. Thank you very much Brogan :)
Paul B
Paul B
Thanks for taking the time to rate and review and glad to hear your members like it.
CTA Featured Threads & Portal is a solid and well thought-out add-on as well as very well supported. Very useful and highly recommended. Thank again Brogan for all your effort here. Please continue making great add-ons as your work is much appreciated.
Paul B
Paul B
Thanks for the review and glad you like the add-on.
License agreement changed without notice. Am unable to reacquire what I had purchased. Updates never seemed to make it to me since purchase. Used to be a great product with great support. Another example of a great idea making it big, but to keep using it, you have to continue to feed the pig.
Paul B
Paul B
Clearly you didn't read the notice and thread on the support site, nor bother trying to contact me in order to request help. I suppose you marking this add-on 1 star for your inability to perform simple tasks such as reading and writing is your way of getting some sort of revenge. Well done.
Greatest addon, incredible functions it takes weeks to understand all possible features. I was thinking log time to buy or not. I did it and regret only that i didn't already before. Thx Brogan, go on with that good work !
Paul B
Paul B
Thanks for the review and glad you find it useful.
well thought out and extgremely useful addon, allowing us to promote specific threads manually as well as automatically. The poll featuring is particularly useful to engage members at the thread list page.
Paul B
Paul B
Thanks for the feedback- I think the poll featuring is actually my favourite function, more so than the ability to feature/promote threads themselves.
this add-on is excellent! I have just used in my forum kebunpedia.com and I realized that this is a must have one. My forum looks great with the exclusive featured threads on top of forum list. Thanks so much @Brogan for such quality addon..
Paul B
Paul B
Thank you for the review.
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