Picture Perfect: The new Photo theme for Moodle 3.2

February 9, 2017 By

Since the arrival of the new Boost theme in Moodle 3.2, people who have long complained about Moodle’s interface being ‘clunky’ and 1990s no longer have any argument.

Moodle sites can be attractive, responsive, mobile-friendly and, importantly, easily customisable by a regular admin.

Boost was designed to not only be straightforward for administrators to adapt to their own needs but also to be themer-friendly. It’s a great starting point for anyone wanting to build a modern Moodle theme with all the latest features.

And to this end, Moodle HQ’s own Damyon Wiese has produced a beautiful Boost-based Photo theme, available for admins to download from the Plugins directory.

What’s so special about Photo?

OK, so having a photo as a background is nothing new – and the standard Boost theme does that already. There’s a handy upload box on the Boost settings page where an admin can add their own choice of background image, which can then be displayed across the site.

Our rather “fruity” Learning platform presents its learners with a lovely shade of lime upon login:

But here’s where the Photo theme gets really photogenic! The Photo theme settings page offers not only the possibility of having a single background image but several – according to where you are on the site!

So how does it work?

Here you see, along with a default background page, options for the login page and the front page. You can also upload a different image for the dashboard page and for course pages. (And this as well as the regular Boost customisation settings!)

Different photos in different areas help clarify where you are and bring variety to the learning journey. Here, fruit-conscious student Barbara  is certainly going to get her ‘five a day’ when she accesses her Dashboard:

And in this course, there’s no mistaking the subject of study!

Note that as admin you might need to hit the ‘clear theme caches’ button a couple of times for the photo displays to appear. Also, the same background photo is currently displayed for all courses, so it’s not yet possible to change the images on a per course basis.

But just think about what IS possible! Enhance the look of your site with your own photos or those of your learners, or make the most of what’s out there in the Public domain. Change them according to the semester – or the season!

Need more help?

The Photo theme is very quick for admins to install on any 3.2 site which allows additional plugins.

Because it was designed by a Moodle HQ core developer, you can be sure it’s stable, reliable and up to date.

Feel free to join the dedicated Themes forum on Moodle.org if you have questions about it. There are lots of enthusiastic themers ready to offer advice!

Alternatively, if you need more technical assistance, remember that support from our Moodle Partners is only an email or call away.