Do I need to know CSS or PHP to run a Xenforo forum?

RallyFan

New member
Hi all,

Got some great advice on my last question, and am sold on Xenforo being the right choice should I push on with things.

One other question I do have, is do I need to know CSS/PHP in order to get the best out of Xenforo?

I know a little bit of it, but not really much (I come from the HTML web publishing days).

For themes I was looking at going with a purchased add-on, likewise for any forum functionality. From what I can tell there shouldn't be a problem getting it running on defaults without any coding experience.

Thanks for any comments!
 

frm

Well-known member
PHP, definitely no.

CSS would be helpful, but a lot of edits here are copy/paste and you can learn from those edits to make your own colors.
 

RallyFan

New member
Thanks frm, sounds like I should be okay then.

Colour coding I understand that side of things (and most would be themes anyway).

I have done a little bit of CSS work in the past, but mostly minor changes to existing code for Wordpress sites, htaccess coding or minor php changes.

With webpages a coding mishap is normally easy to spot, but my concern was with Xenforo if PHP experience was required, a coding mishap may not easily be spotted!

Sounds like I'll be sweet though.
 

frm

Well-known member
Colour coding I understand that side of things (and most would be themes anyway).
This should be the only thing that you do end up touching (besides other CSS edits to do other effects, such as sizes, etc.).

You can extend XenForo's core or an add on that doesn't quite do what you want, but I've never gotten to the need or point to do that yet. That is the only way you'd need to know PHP, and to do that, development is quite cheap all things said.
 

RallyFan

New member
This should be the only thing that you do end up touching (besides other CSS edits to do other effects, such as sizes, etc.).

You can extend XenForo's core or an add on that doesn't quite do what you want, but I've never gotten to the need or point to do that yet. That is the only way you'd need to know PHP, and to do that, development is quite cheap all things said.
Thanks frm.

That's exactly what I thought the case might be (i.e that PHP skills aren't required unless you want to do specifics not offered by any existing plugin).

For the most I think I'll just keep it simple and straightforwards.

...

Something else you might be able to answer... I know many users prefer Light and Dark Themes.

In Xenforo if I bought a light and a dark theme, and I able to install both of them (so users can choose between them), or can you only use a single theme (like Wordpress) and have to customise it for dark settings?
 

frm

Well-known member
Something else you might be able to answer... I know many users prefer Light and Dark Themes.
At this time, they are only user-selectable.

I think I've seen a dark mode/light mode button that'd go in the top toolbar, which essentially just changes on user selection easier with a sun/moon, as opposed to the bottom left in most themes for selection. If the user prefers dark, they can use it at any time; alternatively, if they choose to switch to light, they can, vice-versa.

I've been contemplating running a SQL query (highly not recommended) to force users to switch, dependent on their preferences in settings, from light to dark at specific times and running it on the server as a cron (not a XenForo cron), if no add on is developed for the light/dark button switcher (i.e., located next to the name that also has a cron to switch at specific times). ...the former park of this you looking into as I think it might've been free, but places the accessibility in a better in my opinion.
 

RallyFan

New member
Ahh sweet. So you can install multiple themes for users to select?

So if I want to offer light and dark options, I'd just buy both the light and dark versions of the theme and install them ?
 

CarpCharacin

Well-known member
So you can install multiple themes for users to select?
Yes.
So if I want to offer light and dark options, I'd just buy both the light and dark versions of the theme and install them ?
Yeah, or see if the dark version is included with the light version for free. Some designers include the dark version for free, as long as it is used on the same site as the light version.
 

ShikiSuen

Member
For PHP, you only need to know how to install and configure it. No requirements of expertise in PHP develoment (unless you want to develop your own plugins for XenForo).

For CSS and LESS, you only need it if you want to configure your own theme styles.
 

frm

Well-known member
For PHP, you only need to know how to install and configure it. No requirements of expertise in PHP develoment (unless you want to develop your own plugins for XenForo).
I forgot about this, @RallyFan . There is a config.php file which is well documented in the link below and is way simpler for a newbie to understand over WordPress' wp-config.php file.

I want to say that the installer of XenForo also sets the config options, however, there are others that you may want to setup as well such as caching and, in my opinion, definitely the 503->200 option to get those social accounts first as you build your categories, nodes, etc.

Documentation for other features:

PS: @Chris D - It's missing the newer option (2.1.3) to return a 200 as opposed to a 503 when the board is active $config['serviceUnavailableCode'] = 200; for the reason a newer board can set up connected accounts under Google and Facebook while returning a 200, but it will be denied with a 503 (unsure what the OP is referring to, but new boards might want to get a Facebook/Google connected account prior to launching so that members can join the same day a lot easier as opposed to waiting out the social media sites to scan your privacy policy, etc., which can take up to 3 days in some cases, but, automatically denied with a 503 even all of those exist).
 

beerForo

Well-known member
You should get along fine with the help from others here. A lot of people will offer code you can cut and paste. And once you get the hang of that, you start to learn on your own.
 

RallyFan

New member
Thanks all ... wp_config and stuff like that I'm fine with (just had my head buried in headers and functions.php files today actually.

Just waiting for host to get back to me now, and should be plain sailing from there onwards. Host actually runs some really big Xenforo forums already off their infrastructure, so excited to see how it goes once up and running. :)
 
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