Trouble renaming a number of elements within Elgg (latest release 1.7)

Good evening all. I am new to Elgg, and in the process of testing the limits of the platform for a project my language school has in mind. We are testing out a few platforms in order to build a very basic LMS system (videos, audio, multiple choice quizzes, resources to print out etc, built in dictionary etc) - and so far we are happy with Elgg.

My first problem begins here. I need to rename a number of labels and elements within Elgg:

  • groups --> courses
  • users/members -->students and/or teachers (profile types)
  • files -->content
  • pages --> (still be to decided)
  • etc

And also we need to disable a few features while keeping others, such as invite friends and user-registration. As access will need to be office/admin granted and set-up.

Other than that I'll be tweaking the css at a later date.

I'm more a designer than a developer; but have looked at PHP before. How difficult would it be to rename the few elements, for a start. U have already used a find/replace program on the elgg directory, and did nothing but crash the system.

  • my friend, you will need to look into the languages files. the files in english are called en.php, you can find them in the language folder and mostly inside the mod folder in each plugin directory.

  • Thanks for the tip, I will have a good read of the documentation both tonight and tomorrow.

    I realise the system wasn't built as an LMS, but all of the tools exist or elsewhere and should be integrated easily.

    Also how would I go about disabling certain functions? Just take snippets of coding out where they appear, or would that lead to problems (with my level of PHP it wouldn't be unalike a mechanic attempting brain surgery :) )

  • which functions? some you can hide using css and some you can't comment out or just remove the code. if you remove a code, be sure to make a copy of the code in a notepad or something.

  • The rss feeds, registration and add/invite friends ... for a start. I need to strip the system down a good amount. I've installed Elgg onto my local server and making plenty of backups as we speak.

  • rss feeds and registration you can hide that using css for now, the friend's feature is built it into the core so that can't be disabled as it isn't built as a stand alone plugin. i'm not sure where the file is but i'm pretty sure you can remove the add friend link from a person's profile using css or commenting a line in a php file

  • Ok thanks for the help. One final question. Where in the elgg directory can I access the front page (index.html). I was thinking of designing a static html5/css3 page and pasting in the Elgg PHP as I go along. Or is it possible to integrate like this. Instead of being constrained by Elgg's design.

  • front page, meaning the page where you login and stuff?

  • Yes, I'd prefer to design a custom login screen in keeping with our main website. Actually I've already built one. The next step is to integrate the elgg login form PHP.

    There is a lot of work to do; but this is a beginning.

    I have downloaded a plugin to re-direct after login, so the student will go directly to his/her course and bypass the dashboard (which I also want to disable at a later date).

  • oh ok then go to and edit:

    but i would advise writing a custom plugin to overwrite the default custom index plugin so that when you upgrade, nothing gets messy.


  •  To get rid of "Dashboard" link in the topbar.

    In your theme folder (theme/views/default/page_elements) there is a file elgg_topbar.php.

    Find the code:

    <div class="toolbarlinks">
    <a href="<?php echo $vars['url']; ?>pg/dashboard/" class="pagelinks">

    <?php echo elgg_echo('dashboard'); ?></a>

    and remove it.