Upcoming HLV Connect Session: Theming 🎨

Kirstie Macfarlane
Kirstie Macfarlane HLV Staff
edited April 2023 in Talk Community #1

Hi everyone,

Please join us for a chat all about theming with Vanilla! @Shauna and I will be hosting two sessions in two weeks:

April 11th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST:

April 11th from 8:00 to 9:00 pm EST:

We'll look at the basics of foundation, layout editor, and our favourite widgets. We will examine four theme examples based on your community type (Support, Product, Advocate or Network) to give you some inspiration.

If you're planning to join us, I would recommend watching these videos to start:

Theme Editor [video]

Layout Editor [video]

Theming: Layouts and Categories [video]

If you already have a great theme we would love to have you join as well, we're always eager to hear more about your experience and how you achieved the look you wanted.

Whether you are a brand new customer looking to set up your theme, or a legacy customer looking to show off what you've done, upgrade to Foundation for the first time or make sure you're making the most of your look and feel, they'll be something in store for you!

Looking forward to seeing you there,



  • Kirstie Macfarlane

    Thank you to everyone who joined both of our sessions yesterday, we had some great conversations!

    πŸ“½ Recording


    Passcode: 8MS5iK#U

    πŸŽ‰ Shoutouts

    We had some great questions and conversations today:

    @fKoliPda asked a crucial question about whether upgrading your theming can affect your SSO settings. This was a great reminder that so many features on Vanilla are connected and we often forget to clarify! Additionally we talked about using Theme Variables instead of CSS to customize your site without adding technical debt, and customizing the header and footer of your community.

    @shorowitz asked us to clarify how widgets can be applied to multiple pages with the new Layout Editor tool, bringing up core questions about how our theming tools are evolving from older options like pockets to our new custom page layouts.

    @Ines Batata brought up a great question about how theming can affect SEO. Shauna and I agreed that the most important factor for SEO value will always be valuable content, so including these high impact discussions on your homepage (using widgets like the Featured Collections) will be of great benefit. Additionally making sure that your homepage is mobile friendly is key, so making sure to take advantage of the visibility condition options on the layout editor widgets is very important.

    @rlux mentioned how they want to leverage the RSS Feed widget to port multiple feeds they have over to their community and was excited to see that this widget can be added anywhere on the layout now.

    @HollyR asked a great question about how to leverage the Call to Action Widget to track user actions. Shauna suggested integrating HotJar or ClickJar to track these actions. Also is excited to be able to use the layout editor on their category page soon so they can leverage these widgets to create a blog look for their community.

    @stefanieb loved the example layouts we had built out as examples and wants to dig a little deeper into the available widgets and all of the options they provide. Also lots of excitement for these layouts and widgets to be available on more pages!

    @Rav Singh brought up some great ideas for new Theme Variables we could add to our product for extra customization options that would benefit many communities.

    Thanks again to everyone for their input and helping to make this a great Vanilla Connect Session!

  • Rav Singh
    Rav Singh Vanilla Sundae

    Hey @Shauna @Kirstie Macfarlane

    I just wanted to say a big thank you to you both! After our theming session, I've been building, testing, building some more and even more testing πŸ˜„.. and we've just gone live with the Layout Editor which we're really thrilled with 😊 I've probably missed a few things glad we made the jump!

    Definitely took inspiration from some of the ideas and concepts you discussed such as role-dependent widgets, category as links etc. Also had a rethink around some of the things we considered limitations and managed to turn those into something better than we had previously 😊

    Also, massive thank you to the support team for putting up with my constant stream of tickets πŸ˜„

  • Shauna
    Shauna HLV Staff

    Hey @Rav Singh ! I'm so glad you found the session useful! The site is looking AWESOME! ⭐️

  • Kirstie Macfarlane

    That's awesome @Rav Singh, I agree the site looks great! I love how you maintained the Reckon style in your new theme!