Common concepts

Display order

Display order is a concept widely used in XenForo.

It allows items to be set in an order relative to one another that is quickly and easily changed.

The system is based on each item having a display order value, which is an arbitrary whole number. Items with higher numbers are displayed after items with lower numbers, as shown in this example, where the item's display order is shown in parentheses:

  • Blue (5)
  • Purple (7)
  • Red (29)
  • Green (1578)

Display order applies only to items with the same (or no) parent item. If an item is a child of another item, it will only be affected by the display order of its sibling children, and not by the display order values of its parent, or children of another parent.

Here's another example showing this, with a list of parent items, each of which have their own child items. Again, the display order value is shown in parentheses:

  • Colors (1000)
    • Blue (5)
    • Purple (7)
    • Red (29)
    • Green (1578)
  • Animals (2000)
    • Badger (100)
    • Hedgehog (101)
    • Otter (102)
  • Fast food (10000)
    • Hamburger (30)
    • Hot dog (50)
    • Fried chicken (75)

In this example, the top-level items (Colors, Animals and Fast food) are ordered by display order values of 1000, 2000 and 10000. These are entirely independent of the values of their child items, which relate only to their own siblings. The color codings help to illustrate the relative display order values.


Multiple systems in XenForo allow you to apply criteria to whether or not an item is visible or available.

These criteria can also be used to fine-tune searching processes.

The uses of criteria are many, but you will most likely use them when searching the control panel for users, or defining when Notices should be displayed.

User criteria

These criteria draw from information about a user, and include things like being a member of a certain user group, or having a user name containing specific text.

Many of these criteria are of the form 'User has something', and are frequently paired with the opposite 'User does not have something'.

User field criteria

Similar to user criteria, these options refer to custom user fields that have been defined by the site administrator.

The criteria options will be appropriate for each type of user field that has been defined, so for example, if the user field contains text, the criteria option will be Field contains text whereas in cases where a user field is a multiple-choice option, the criteria would allow you to specify one or more of the available options.

Page criteria

Page criteria are more about the current environment, such as the current time and date, or the area of the site within which a user is browsing.

It also contains a very useful criteria which can determine whether or not a user arrived at your site from a search engine.


Almost all data lists within the admin control panel include a Filter gadget.

Typing a text snippet into the filter box will instantly filter the list of items to show only those whose titles or descriptions contain the text in your filter.

You may additionally select the Prefix option, which will limit the results to those items whose titles or descriptions start with the text in the filter.

Finally, there is a cancel control, which will clear the filter text and reset the prefix option, returning your list to its unfiltered state.