Please help me wrap my brain around configuring pages!

I have installed Elgg, played with it, read through much of the documentation, and installed a number of plugins. I also installed the LoreaHub theme, which I kind of like. But I would like to make some adjustments, and I just can't seem to quite wrap my head around what the documents are saying to do - ie they will say "edit the section where it says..." without saying the section of which file in which plugin.

So, I would appreciate any pointers as to which files to edit, and how, in order to accomplish the configuration I want.

1. Using the Elgg Community site as an example, there is the toolbar across the top for logged in users, then a text menu, and then three tabs for Home, Plugin, Discussion. How might I go about creating/displaying these additional menus?

2. How do I set up a frontpage like the Elgg community?

3. The actual Lorea Hub site ( has the tool bar active for guests, with Login as the only option. How does one do that?

4. If I want to set up a  separate page for register/login information so the login box does not take up real estate on the frontpage, how?




  • A general help page on finding the right file is here:

    You'll want to make your changes through plugins so upgrades can be easier.

    A lot of the changes you are looking for require knowledge of the views system (see Elgg Docs wiki).

    There is a plugin that comes with Elgg called custom_index. You could start with that to build a custom front page.

  • Thanks Cash - I have the custom_index module, and I get that I need to make the changes with the plugin. My question really is can anyone point me to a step-by-step for doing any of the things listed above? As a complete newbie to Elgg (but not to coding - I have been doing that for over thirty years), I need a few concrete examples to get a sense of what code to put where, and where I can find a list of specific commands, and how to call widgets etc.

    Throughout the docs I see the phrase "use a plugin" frequently - which may be clear to experienced developers, but to us noobs it's like giving directions by saying "use a car" :-)

    If I can get started, I am more than happy to document to process and add it to the tutorials.


  • Hello Ed, I will give a short guide,

    • The best practice to make modifications to elgg is writing them as a plugin. In oyour case you need to develop a theme. See the wiki for how to do this . For your question no 1 you need to modify header_contents.php. The wiki gives idea on how to extend spotlight, use the same method of spotlight for header_contents
    • As Cash said, use the custom_index plugin, the index page is drawn by the layout.php file
    • In the same way as #1, modify the pageelements/topbar.php file
    • If you need to make a new page for login, include a page in your theme and call it. The docs will help u in this.
    Regards, Team Webgalli


  • Thanks - I am using LoreaHub theme, which I could edit to suit my needs (when I can figure out how...). If I use  theme for the changes, do I still need the custom_index plugin? Can that functionality be built in to the theme, or would the theme be for tab/menus, and the custom_index just for the front page?


  • You need to enable the custom index, and override its view in your theme by creating a folder called mod/yourtheme/views/default/canvas/layout/new_index.php. Place your theme under the custom_index plugin then.

  • Okay, you lost me completely. But let me play a bit and I'll come back with more questions.

  • @Ed - try following this page in the Elgg documentation:

    Copy the view php file from your theme rather than from the core. Put the plugin after your theme. In the view file, add something like this:

    <div id="sub_toolbar">

            My new toolbar