Front page customization.

My Problem:

I'm running Elgg 1.6 and the Theme/Plugin BuddyTalk.  Visitors land on a main page -- the page contains the following widgets: Login & Register block (of course), Latest Groups, Newest Members, Latest Bookmarks and Latest Blog Posts.  Now I'm sure there is a way to control WHAT widgets appear on the main page, but that's not my interest.  I would like to clear the space completely (with the exception of the Login/Register block, so that I can add a welcome letter (a graphic) in the space where widgets ordinarily appear so what you would have is something like this:

I apologize for the crude illustration, I was going for simple :) I can handle this, I'm a pretty crafty fellow -- but I can't seem to find WHERE this area is controlled!  I can edit the Elgg Toolbar, easy to find.  I can change the footer.php and header.php EASY to find.  I can't find the .php file that deals with this main area content.  Is it a css.php file?  Could someone help me out a little?


Tanner Campbell


  • Copy the custom_index plugin and then made modifications on this directory



    Oh, and you might wanna remove this 'canvas' directory from the template.


    Personally, I haven't used the BuddyTalk template. So, can't you specific instructions about that. But, playing a bit with it would be a little fun for you, I think. ☺

  • Shouvik,

    Thanks for the quick response buddy.

    Are you telling me to edit the new_index.php file located in: 

    MOD\custom_index\views\default\canvas\layouts\new_index.php directory 

    and doing so will allow me to control the content of the main area on my front page?  I'm sorry if this seems like a repetition of EXACTLY what you just said, I just want to make sure I understand you completely, this is an important personal project to me and I don't want to make a mistake and be forced to start all over.


    Thanks so much,


  • Yes, it will allow you to do so. But, I prefer making changes with a copy of the plugin. First, copy the custom_index plugin and place it under the same directory, i.e. the 'mod' directory of your elgg installation, and then make changes on the new_index.php file.

  • Tanner, I've been trying to do the same thing but I have been unsuccessful. Did you get yours to work?

  • Yes. It does work very well.

    This is a site I had created. Not very serious about it, but still ...

    Also, here is one screenshot of a site, created for my client. Not yet launched. So, no demo link of live site, only screenshot



  • @Shouvik - I like your designs. Thanks for the tips; I'm trying something similar.

  • @floyd It always is delightful to find somone on the same path ... :-)

  • @Shouvik Mukherjee - the design you showed above is exactly what I am looking for. Can you be contacted directly for professional help? thanks



  • @Shouvik ... the page at is partially exactly what i'm looking to do. I only want the top part. In other words, I want to remove everything from the front page except my own graphic and the login box. How in the heck can I do that? (I've tried almost everything!)


  • HAHA I think I figured it all out!

    I just went to


    and added

    <style type="text/css">

    #layout_header {




    at the top of the page. That way it doesn't apply to any other file ... only the one it exists in. LOL

    I feel like an idiot now, tho, cause I should've remembered that from the days that I played with pure CSS as site design.

    Silly me.


Beginning Developers

Beginning Developers

This space is for newcomers, who wish to build a new plugin or to customize an existing one to their liking