Styles after significant updates


We are considering switching from vB 5 (going back to 4 is obviously not an option, neither is keeping the mess they made when releasing 5), and I've been going through the usual pre-sales questions to see if our needs are covered by XF.

One answer I could not yet find; my apologies if I overlooked the answer: will it be necessary to touch the custom style (CSS and native code, if there are style variables like vB has, possibly graphic assets) each time there is a major update of XF? For vBulletin, it became necessary if updates led to style variables being deprecated, and so forth. Of course, we'd like to be able to update and keep the necessary maintenance and adjustments in terms of the style to an absolute minimum. We're usually outsourcing the creation of the style, so becoming dependent on someone external to touch the style again after a new version of XF has been released is something we would like to avoid if possible.

Thanks in advance!


XenForo moderator
Staff member
It depends on the style and the extent of the changes.

If it's just Style Property and EXTRA.css changes, then in most cases you will be fine.

If the templates are edited then it will generally require some updating to become compatible with new releases.
Unless the templates you have edited aren't changed in the new release.


Well-known member
After installing style created by someone else always create a child style and apply your customizations to it.

Styles list should look like this:
Third Party Style (style you've downloaded from somewhere)
- Your Child Style (empty child style you've created)
Disable third party style so users won't be able to select it. Apply your custom changes only to child style. Then when updating third party style your custom changes won't be lost. Otherwise style update might overwrite some customized properties.


Well-known member
Some things can change between styles that require updates. These are far more minor than with vBulletin, though - vBulletin was horrendous when upgrading versions and trying to maintain styles.

A good style framework like UI.X (available in the resource manager) gives you a huge amount of flexibility in customizing the style to look like you want it, but they're very good about keeping it up to date, and without rolling your own custom skin from scratch.
Thanks guys, we will keep that in mind. I am aware that there may be adjustments that just cannot be avoided if the update is substantial, but we'd of course like to take precautions to limit the need for adjustments as much as possible.