Question about tags and templates


I'm currently using vBulletin4 and I'm heavily dependent on the tags system. Does Xenforo have a robust tag system? My site is here:

It is modified to present a tag search as a series of forums. Could that be duplicated in Xenforo?

I'm also a user of self-hosted Wordpress and I really like the ease with which updates are accomplished, plus the ease of styling. Part of the difficulty with updating and styling vBulletin lies in the fact that all the templates are IN the database. That comingles presentation and data.

Does Xenforo follow the same structure as vBulletin by including the presentation templates in the database, or is it more like Wordpress where the presentation templates are separate?



XenForo moderator
Staff member
There is no tag system, only prefixes.

All of the templates are stored in the database.
Most seem to agree however that styling and upgrading are relatively easy compared to other software.
I did try the demo, and I didn't see tags, so I asked.

I guess it's common for forum programs to include the templates in the database, but it sure seems counter-intuitive from a non-coder like myself to see presentation and data comingled like that. The whole point of CSS is to separate the two. I jumped into this interwebs thing at about the time CSS was taking off, so that concept always stuck with me.

Anyway, thanks Brogan, I appreciate the info!

Edit: I didn't see prefixes in the demo either.


Well-known member
Separating the two (data and presentation) doesn't force their storage mechanism. You have a nice editor to modify the template in your browser under admin control panel. One is going to use some sort of text editor to modify file based templates as well. So, where is the difference? :)
In Wordpress, the database contains only the content - the posts and comments. A style (theme) selects and arranges the content without changing it. I can try any number of styles, completely wreck them through my edits, and return to a working style without ever touching the database. And, when Wordpress issues an update, that update mostly touches the PHP files and not the database or the style. The content in the database is untouched and available for any valid manipulation/presentation. That just seems 'safer' and more straightforward to me.

When vBulletin recently issued their upgrade that included the new CK Editor, it broke a lot of sites. Once upgraded, it was nearly impossible to downgrade, so a lot of people were stuck waiting for the eventual fix. I don't think that inability to downgrade would happen with a Wordpress type structure, but I could be wrong. And, like I said, I'm not a coder. :D


Well-known member
You can play with as many styles as you like no matter it is WP or XF. Storing templates in database does not affect that power at all. XF upgrade do not change your content stored in the databse. But it does change your templates (if required). What if you have a WP 1.x installation and try to upgrade it to 3.x, you will realize that those styles are no more usable. WP is a blogging engine and view structure of a blog is relatively simpler than any forum platform. Forum software seem to change their view more rapidly than blogs.
Yup, I know there are probably valid reasons to do it the forum way, I was just curious, having gotten used to the one-button upgrades in Wordpress. I have about 60 template edits and 10 edits to the PHP scripts in my vBulletin implementation. I have to hand code each of those nearly every time I upgrade because the upgrades sometimes over-write my edits. Upgrade the test site, hand code the edits, export the style, import the style to the live site, cross fingers and hope it works...:eek:


Well-known member
People here in XF community usually enjoy upgrades. They say it is fun and it is done lot more quicker than their past experiences. But, template edits are something that you can't avoid, no matter it is stored in relational database, schema less database or file system. I hope, you will find XF upgrade experience as easy as next to WP upgrade. :)