• Nodes are XenForo's equivalent of forums and categories in other forum software packages. A node can be one of several types, including a forum, and is organized into a tree structure. This allows you to define the structure of the site.
  • Nodes are more general in concept than forums, allowing you to include things in your "forum list" that normally wouldn't be possible.
  • Nodes are configured in the "applications" tab of the control panel.

Node Types

By default, XenForo includes four different node types. Each type has a different behavior, type of functionality, options, and appearance. Add-ons can extend the node type system to add additional types. The four node types included with XenForo are:


A category is simply a container for other nodes. They provide no functionality on their own. If you click to enter a category, your page will either move down to the category or go into a list showing its children (depends on structure and configuration).


Forums contain threads and posts, your standard kind of content. These track information about numbers of posts, who made the last post, and other details. These are likely to be what you're most interested in.

Link Forums / Redirects

These nodes simply redirect people that click on them to the specified URL. They have no content. Redirects are useful if you want to link to another part of your site, a sister site, or any other non-node URL.


Pages are a simple way to bring structured static content into your node tree. You can create arbitrary HTML to display in a page. If you wish, a navigation system can automatically be added to your pages, allowing you to create something like a manual or knowledge base within your nodes.

The Node Tree

All nodes are organized into a single tree. Each node has a single parent and can have any number of children. Nodes can be nested to whatever level you wish.

The order of nodes within the node tree is controlled by a "display order" value. Lower numbers are displayed first. To setup display orders, you must edit each node that you want to change.

Most Common Structure

You do not have to follow this structure, but it is the most common.

  • Category
    • Forum, Link Forum, or Page
    • Forum, Link Forum, or Page
    • ...
  • Category
    • Forum, Link Forum, or Page
    • Forum, Link Forum, or Page
    • ...
  • ...

Node Moderators

Individual users may be set as moderators for a specific node. They will automatically be given moderator permissions for any child nodes as well. Moderators have more privileges than regular users, allowing them to manage messages posted and deal with undesirable content.

To set up a user as a moderator for a node, open the "moderators" menu for that node and select "add moderator". Enter the name of the user and submit. Finally, you will have to choose the permissions you want to give them.

For more details on moderator permissions, see the moderators section.

Node Permissions

Permissions may be set up on nodes on a per-user or per-group level. Permissions are an intricate subject. For more information, please see the permissions section.