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Possible to alter Navbar tab behavior?

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Dominion, May 9, 2011.

  1. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Hi, I'm new to XenForo. I happened across the site while looking around for forum options to build our social site around. Currently I've got my choices narrowed down to three:
    • IPB: Full of features, but achieving the required 128M memory limit seems problematic in a suEXEC environment.
    • MyBB: Has all the basic features I need, and it's FREE! But the theme customization UI could be better.
    • XenForo: Great customization UI; I just wish it included an events/calendar system as a core feature.
    Ultimately I'll be integrating my forums with a WordPress site, and perhaps some other PHP applications as well. Getting the menu/navbar to look and work consistently across all my applications will be a consideration. So I've been wondering how easy it would be to alter the look and behavior of Xenforo's navbar tabs and drop-down menus.

    1. The little triangle seems a hard target to hit. I'd rather the menu drop down as soon as I hover anywhere over the tab.
    2. The big "Members" in the menu doesn't seem necessary, as it's just repeating the tab name.
    3. The words "Quick Links" are also not adding any information, as menus usually contain links.
    I realize these comments may seem a bit picky, but they're the only things that really bothered me about Xenforo's UI. Everything else is exceptional (and believe me, I don't praise software lightly).

    My question is simply this: how easy would it be to alter these features so the menus look and feel a bit more like what we usually see in a WordPress navbar? Is there a setting in the Admin UI that I missed? Or would it involve editing the CSS?
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    For the dropdown you will probably need to edit the JavaScript to change the behaviour.

    The rest though should be fairly easy template edits (CSS or HTML).

    A few people have already integrated quite successfully with WordPress - here's one: http://audiera.com/
    Dominion likes this.
  3. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Thanks for responding, Brogan. The site you linked is a good example of what I have in mind, it's very nicely done.

    I've been thinking I'd like to have a pair of navbars, one up in the header to switch between applications (WordPress, forums, shop, whatever else I end up installing) and another at the bottom of the header that would change depending on the application selected. So it wouldn't be a matter of collating the navbar as was done in the example you linked, so much as (for example) replacing the XenForo navbar with the WordPress navbar. The content would be different, but the look & feel would need to be the same.

    Up till recently my only duties have been maintaining the computers for my wife's internet content creation business. Then we decided that we need a web presence, and I was put in charge of building it. I'm just starting to get a handle on the technologies involved (the last time I tried making a web page, HTML 4.0 was still the up-and-coming thing). It's hard to pick the right web apps for our site without really understanding the consequences of my choices; I just know something's going to come back to haunt me later.

    But I do have some good references on CSS and JavaScript, and I think I can handle edits of the sort you describe. Thanks to you, if I decide to go with XF, I'll know where to start.

  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    In case you're not already aware, the online demo will allow you to get your hands dirty Admin Demo
  5. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Thanks! I forgot to mention that I'd already tried the demo. I spent a bit of time poking around the UI customization tools, but at that point I was mostly concerned about localization.

    I'm really impressed with how easy it was to turn the UI into fairly good-looking Japanese. WordPress really needs this sort of functionality. It's much better than mucking around with gettext!
  6. Panupat

    Panupat Well-Known Member

    How is wordpress integration done? Is there already a plugin for it? How possible is it if I want to integrate with other CMS? I'm using Contao (former TypoLight) and would love to integrate Xenforo with it.
  7. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  8. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    I found the WordPress Bridge and WordPress Proxy threads particularly interesting. And the WordPress Dynamic Theme is extremely appealing. I don't know if I'll end up using any of them, but I plan to keep them in mind.

    To get back to my original post:

    It turns out that increasing the PHP memory limit for IPB isn't so difficult after all, although I had to consult with my provider to determine the right way to do it. Still, the UI of IPB leaves me unimpressed in many small ways. I really think I prefer the clean, efficient UI of XF.

    MyBB looks great for a free package, but again it seems like it would be so much more work to customize. So I'm really starting to thing XF will be the way to go. I'm going to sleep another night on it, just to make sure I'm not overlooking something. If I still feel this way in the morning, I'll make my purchase. :)
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  9. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

  10. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Thanks Doctor, I've already found that and do plan to use it (and probably one or two of Jaxel's other mods as well). But when I started comparing forum software packages, my initial impression was that XenForo really should have a calendar built in.

    I've seen the debate in these forums between the users who don't need a calendar and therefore feel XenForo is fine without one, and those who do and feel XenForo's missing something. (I suppose I'm in the latter camp; our site's going to make money in part by hosting offline events, so a calendar is something we must have.) But that debate aside, I think it makes sense that products being marketed at a similar price point should have similar capabilities out of the box.

    I'll grant that XenForo does many things better than its similarly priced competitors, and the price is reasonable given the amount of effort needed to achieve that superiority. (That's why I'm now a breakfast away from purchasing XenForo.) But I suspect many potential buyers won't see that far. They'll see similarly priced programs, and one lacking a feature the others have. My case is definitely in point: when I first started looking into forum software, I didn't give XenForo a second glance largely because it was missing a checkmark next to "calendar" in the comparison table at the Forum Software Reviews site.

    So it's good that there's a calendar mod available, but not so good that amounts to an added expense. If Jaxel's mods are as good as they look, then perhaps XenForo Ltd. should consider hiring him. In the meantime, someone should update the info at Forum Software Reviews so comparison shoppers will know that a calendar is available as a plugin.
  11. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  12. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    Thank you, Brogan, it does. Although Jaxel's calendar plugin looks very nice (it seems better than IPB's built-in calendar, in fact) and I do look forward to using it, I would really prefer a built-in solution over a third-party plugin maintained on a donation basis.

    By this I intend no disrespect to Jaxel. It's just that our forums are going to be a big part of our future business plans, and the calendar is going to be an important part of the forums. Under such conditions, one naturally looks for some assurance of stability.

    Okay, I've made up my mind. (And none too soon, seeing as we've wandered far from the original topic.) I'm about to make my XF purchase. Brogan and Digital Doctor, thank you for your kind assistance. I look forward to corresponding with you further in the support forums! (y)
    Digital Doctor likes this.
  13. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    +1 It does !
    Agreed ... but ...
    Jaxel really needs his Calendar / Events section.
    He is really dedicated to his site.
    It's about the surest bet you can get for a third party plugin !
  14. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    I'll be the first one to say straight up... My calendar SUCKS. Its essentially an afterthought. XenAtendo was never meant to be a calendar, it was meant to be an RSVP and stream embedding system for the tournaments that get run on my websites. Because of this, a lot of the code in my calendar isn't efficient, its designed to "just work" with terrible circular logic and runarounds, unlike the rest of my mods, which I would like to think are designed to "work well". The calendar was added to it by popular demand and I myself have never been happy with it.

    I myself am waiting for XenForo's built in calendar so I can dump mine and integrate XenAtendo into that.

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