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Theme overrides


Theme overrides

This functionality is only intended for experienced web designers
Please read this page before you proceed: Advanced customization warning
This is only intended for people with advanced web design skills. Incorrect use will result in malfunctioning of your website.
NOTE: Our technical support team does not provide support related to Theme Overrides.

Using theme overrides, experienced web developers can customize existing Wild Apricot themes or create new ones. Theme overrides involve replacing or overriding theme files – the files that control the appearance and behavior of your current theme. Typically, your override files will include code to customize a feature or element of your theme.

You can also customize the appearance and behavior of your Wild Apricot site in other ways:

Activating theme overrides

To activate theme overrides:

  1. Go to Settings and click Theme Overrides under Site look and feel.
  2. From the Theme overrides screen, click the Activate theme overrides button.

    Activating theme overrides

  3. Click the link to download the theme files.

     Downloading theme files

    You can download the theme files (stored in a zip file) to any location you choose.

  4. Unzip the theme files to a location of your choice on your computer or network.

Now that you have downloaded and unzipped the theme files, you can modify them and upload your changes to customize an existing theme, or make a copy of them to create a new theme.

Customizing theme files

Once theme overrides are enabled, a Theme_Overrides folder will be added to your Resources folder on your site. The Theme_Overrides folder contains the same folder structure as the downloaded theme files, but the folders themselves are initially empty.

To customize your theme, follow these steps:

  1. Modify the downloaded theme files on your computer.
  2. Upload the customized files to the appropriate Theme_Overrides folder on your site via File management or WebDAV. Your copied files will be loaded in place of the original theme files, thereby overriding the default theme appearance or behavior.
  3. Click the Rebuild theme button on the Theme overrides screen.

Theme files for all themes use the following folder structure. For information on how you can customize the theme files stored in these folder, click one of the links under For more information below.

Folder/File Description For more information, see...
ArtTextTemplates Folder containing ArtText style files. Customizing ArtText styles in themes
Gadgets Folder containing files defining the appearance and behavior of gadgets. Customizing system gadgets
HeaderBackgroundImages Folder containing image and configuration files for page header backgrounds. Customizing header background settings for themes
Images Folder containing images for the theme.  
Folder reserved future planned enhancements involving customizable page layouts. We recommend moving all main HTML layouts of your pages into this file, and then include them in MainTemplate.tpl via a <$LAYOUT$> directive.  
Folder containing files defining the options and default values appearing on the Colors and Styles screen. Customizing Colors and Styles options for themes
Scripts Folder containing JavaScript files that are added to the PageModel.Scripts collection, which is referenced in Head.tpl and iterated in Links.tpl. CSS, LESS, and JavaScript processing
Styles Folder containing CSS files defining the theme's HTML styles. CSS, LESS, and JavaScript processing
SystemContentTemplates Folder storing templates for system pages. The templates consist of calls to gadgets.  
DefaultLogo.png Default logo file for the page header. Its name can be changed in MainConfig.cfg.  
Gadgets.cfg Lists all the system gadgets used in the current theme.  
Head.tpl Common template called by MainTemplate.tpl.  
Links.tpl Iterator template called from Head.tpl to process a collection of elements (e.g. a list of menu items).  
MainConfig.cfg Main configuration file. MainConfig.cfg parameters
MainTemplate.tpl Main theme template, and your site page's main entry point.  
Offline.cfg Controls whether theme is excluded from theme building process. 1=excluded, 0=included Theme and page generation process
preview.jpg Theme preview image (348 x 312 pixels) appearing on theme selection screen. Its name can be changed in MainConfig.cfg.  
preview_thumb.jpg Theme preview thumbnail (103 x 92 pixels) appearing on theme selection screen. Its name can be changed in MainConfig.cfg.

Theme override examples


If your override files contain errors, your theme could malfunction. In public view, a yellow message box will be displayed.

Site malfunction

There are two types of errors that could occur:

  • Page requested errors. These are string template parsing errors. To correct these, check your code.
  • Theme related errors. In the case of theme errors, Wild Apricot will attempt to use the parent theme of the current theme. If Wild Apricot is unable to load the parent theme, the error message in the public view will display only "Site malfunction error".

When a site malfunction occurs, you can correct the problem by logging in as an administrator and going to the Theme overrides screen.

If the login box isn't available because of the site malfunction, you can login by adding /sys/safelogin to the end of your domain name. For example:

The Theme overrides screen will list all override files currently in use on your site.

Theme overrides in use

From here, you can correct problems by deactivating theme overrides entirely, disabling individual overrides, or rebuilding the theme files.

Deactivating theme overrides

To deactivate theme overrides, click Disable theme overrides. The original theme settings will be restored.

Disabling individual overrides

To disable an individual theme overrides, click the Delete button to the right of the override file name. This will delete the override file from your site, but not from the downloaded theme files on your computer or network.

Rebuilding theme files

Sometimes a theme file isn't compiled correctly, leading to a site malfunction. Clicking the Rebuild theme button will re-compile the override files. You should also rebuild the theme after uploading a theme override file.

See also

Wild Apricot Inc. 144 Front Street West, Suite 725, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2L7, Canada
Sales & Support: (Toll-free) +1 (877) 493-6090
All other inquiries: +1 (416) 410-4059
Copyright © 2012.
Wild Apricot™ by Wild Apricot Inc.