Customizing the forum's appearance

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

Business Catalyst End of life announcement - find out more details.

What you see below is a simple breakdown oh the Business Catalyst forum structure.

At any given point, you can be working with one of the following views/layouts:

  • Forums Listing - a list of all forums on your site
  • The Topics Page - Once you access a forum, you'll see all the Topics/Threads on it
  • The Posts Page - Accessing a Topic (thread) will list all the posts inside it

All the above views (or layouts) can be customized - you can modify the way they look and the tags they will be using.
Every view listed above is controlled by a layout. These layouts are located at: Site Manager > Module Templates > Forum Layouts

Let's assume you have several forums active on your website, You will probably start with a page that displays all of them in one place, so the user can choose which to access (let's assume this page is forums.html). You can do this by placing the forms listing module: {module_forum,a,,} on the page. Now let's go through everything the visitor will see, in correlation with the associated layout:

Customize The Forums Listing

The forums listing on is rendered using the Individual Forum Layout . Customize the table/divs with simple html/css, and control exactly what information is displayed for the listed forums, such as total number of posts for each forum, total number of topics, release/expiry date, last update date, etc.

  • Step 1- edit the forum individual post layout 
  • Step 2 - edit the page the forum listing is placed on 
  • Step 3 - this is how the forum listing looks like 

Customize the Topics Page

Once a specific forum is accessed, the visitor sees its Topics Page. This is controlled through two layouts:

The way each topic in a topic list is rendered can be controlled through the individual topic layout:

The Topics Page layout provides access to exactly what information is contained in each post, and how it is rendered:

Customize the Posts Page

When accessing a topic/thread, the visitor will see all the posts inside it. This is controlled through two layouts:

The Individual Post Layout provides access to exactly what information is contained in each post, and how it is rendered:

The Posts Page layout controls how the container of the posts is displayed (table, divs), along with the other forum tools (action buttons: reply, new post, subscribe, bread-crumbs). Html/CSS gives you enough flexibility for esthetic details. You can choose exactly what information is displayed by selecting the tags that will be rendered in this layout.:

Enforced pagination on forums - The system will only display the first 100 posts in a topic. If a site has more than 100 posts, partners will need to update the forum layout to add pagination; for that, we've enabled the tag_previouspage and tag_nextpage in the forum posts layout as well

Customizing the Registration Page

As the site visitor, if you wish to post on the forum, you'll have to be logged in. When clicking "Reply", "New Post" or "New Topic", you'll be redirected to the registration page if you are not already logged in. You'll be able to login if you already have an account, recover your password or create a new account.

Now that the form is created and available for your site visitors let's see how to manage their posts .