How are themes are stored?


Active member

I just found out about XF (I was seriously wondering where Kier went, now I know!) and I'm really excited about it. I read the two sticky threads in this forum and got a whole bunch of questions answered, but I still have another.

As the thread title suggests, I'm wondering how the themes are stored.

Filesystem (phpbb style) or database (vbulletin style)?

I'm hoping you'll say filesystem because that means I can use my favorite editor to make a theme (which will save me SO much time).

Thanks in advance.


XenForo developer
Staff member
Database, though we have some tools to make editing easier when possible. Check out the Have You Seen forum for a few examples (though we haven't shown off the template stuff yet).


Active member
Aw, bummer. Would you ever consider a filesystem storage method in the future? Personally I think the templates being stored in the db is one of the biggest drawbacks of current bulletin board systems (one of the main things I can't stand in vB).

If I didn't already loathe phpBB, I'd praise it for having a FS based template system (not sure on v3, but v2 did). I can't really understand the rationale for wanting to store in the database. It's slower than FS storage unless you cache it to the FS... but if you have to cache it, why not just have FS storage in the first place?

I think for smaller BBs or people who like doing all their edits via the admin interface, DB template storage is perfect, but it really is a hindrance on developing a theme, especially if you're planning drastic changes. It completely interrupts the workflow, having to scroll down in an editor with limited/no syntax highlighting, make your edit, click save, view your change, and have to go back and repeat the process all over again if you need to fuss with it again.

You guys don't store all your code in the DB and run eval() on it, so why make the templates that way?

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be on the offense... just want to get the wheels turning and see if there's a possible alternative. You'll probably have me as a customer anyway because at this point it's clear XF is better (for what I need) than what I'm using (vB), but it would be nice to be able to edit the front-end code without having deal with a crappy browser editor.


Active member
Fair enough :) I'll wait and see.

Personally I don't see what could be better than using my favorite editor to do my changes, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt!