Default vs. Third Party Style

kk405

Member
Before I go down the rabbit hole, I have been getting a few hints that perhaps it may be best to use the Default Xenforo Style and modify it heavily as needed, instead of using a third party Style, due to issues that may come up a few years down the road, including support, updates, etc.

I would highly appreciate any input from experienced users on pros and cons and the ultimate route you chose and why. Many thanks in advance...
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
Pros - some third party styles have a lot of extra features and functionality, which is outside the skill set of a lot of site owners.

Cons - you are totally dependent on the style author keeping it up to date, ensuring it works with every add-on you have installed, and fixing bugs.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
If you do this, you might consider modifying it as a duplicate, by creating a new style with no parent. And leaving the default style itself, as is.
There's no need to do that - the default style inherits from the master style.

If you ever need a default style in the future, create a new one with no parent, or just revert all of the customisation.
 

trapped_soul

Well-known member
Styling issue can be a major issue. I had a custom one built from @Russ for XF1, when I moved to XF2.. I switched authors, but the coding was massively different and not the way XF handles things.
Now back with PE and Russ. It's seamless and they're on top of the game tbh. Template edits can be really difficult on some themes if they don't follow the XF route.
 

Mouth

Well-known member
If there are no more updates or support from XF then the style is the least of the problems.
xF 1.5 has had no support or updates for 8+ months, and I've been fine. More problems (effort/issues) now that I'm trying to upgrade, than if I just currently leave it as is. Problems may occur the longer I leave it, but no problems currently. Unless of course xF is aware of undisclosed security issues in xF 1.5 that are being exploited?
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
xF 1.5 has had no support or updates for 8+ months, and I've been fine. More problems (effort/issues) now that I'm trying to upgrade, than if I just currently leave it as is.
Clearly there aren't going to be style issues for a release which is no longer being updated so I don't really understand your argument.

The issues arise when a new release of XF is made and the style author doesn't update the style.

Unless of course xF is aware of undisclosed security issues in xF 1.5 that are being exploited?
Huh?
What is that supposed to mean?
 

Chromaniac

Well-known member
I went back to default style few months ago. Every upgrade was a headache till that time. First you wait for the theme to update and then you hoped that theme update went well. Something or the other got messed up every single time. With default theme, I just have to take care of template merges and it's done. I was able to upgrade my board to 2.2b4 in less than 15 minutes. I still have to get back some template edits from before (new thread button in thread view for instance) but it has been rather painless. Third party addons do not have compatibility issues. It just works well.

TBH, it works for me because my forum is content focused. There are no fancy features or customized branding. Theme is just the CMS UI to access and post content. I do have color variants of the default theme (dark and amoled) and getting them perfect has been a hassle. But still much simpler than dealing with third party styles.

I do wish that XenForo bundled a dark style (along with support for auto switch based on OS theme as option) so I did not have to custom create for myself. Getting color coordination right is a big hassle. You spend 15 minutes to location the setting where you can change color of a specific component and then you struggle to find the right color (I am not good at this). You change one thing and it might mess up contrast at somewhere else. It has been quite an experience fixing color updates in 2.2.
 

frm

Well-known member
I like tweaking the default style so that I'm not dependent on any 3rd party (even for add ons), but, I also like that Pixel Exit has a good reputation and history that I wouldn't mind using their theme on 2.2 when it's out (as I previously bought one for 2.1, but it wasn't supported as I went live on 2.1B3-6[?] and they didn't support it until RC2 or 3[?]) if they have a version for 2.2 Beta X as I am going live on that fairly soon.
 
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