Customizing Your Forum’s Appearance

Your community should have a unique look and feel to match your website, app or product. The appearance section of your Dashboard lets you control how your community forum will look.

In your Dashboard under Appearance > Banner you can set the following:

  • Home page title
  • Site description
  • Banner title (what is displayed in the browser title bar)
  • Banner logo
  • Mobile banner logo
  • Favicon (the small logo that appears on the browser tab)
  • Share image (an image that is sometimes displayed when someone posts a link to your community to a social media site)


In your Dashboard under Appearance > Homepage you can set the following:

  • The default homepage view. Typically, the Discussions view is the best choice. If your community is very large, the Categories view might make more sense.
  • Modern vs table layout. A table layout looks more like traditional forums.

Base Theme

Under Appearance > Themes you can select a base theme for both desktop and mobile devices. All base themes can be further customized by modifying the HTML and overriding the CSS.


The Appearance > Avatars page lets you set a default avatar (profile picture). You can also enable the Vanillicon plugin to create a unique avatar for each member or the Gravatar plugin to use members’ Gravatars.


Pockets are placeholders where you can add snippets of HTML or Javascript. They are useful for placing ads or widgets throughout your community.

Customizing Theme HTML and CSS

Vanilla’s base themes can be customized to match your website. More information can be found here.

Professional Services

If you don’t have the time or resorces, Vanilla’s PS team can customize a theme to your specifications. Pls contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.

Cloud Hosting

We believe that online communities should be intuitive, engaging and true to your brand. Vanilla allows you to create a customized community that rewards positive participation, automatically curates content and lets members drive moderation.

Learn More …