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New Theme - Essential

Julian Ridden's profile picture
Posts: 37

15 October 2013, 11:26

Those of you here who use Moodle are probably already aware of my popular "Essential" theme that rolled out a while ago. It is a "responsive" theme with a plethora of options.

Information on the Moodle "Essential" theme can be found here.

Lots of people kept emailing me asking if I would release a Mahara theme to compiment the Moodle one. I finally gave in and here it is. I present to you "Essential" for Mahara.

Mahara Essential Theme

Feature list

  • "Responsive" layout taht resizes the interface to work on any device
  • Use of FontAwesome to generate icons for headings
  • Clean look and feel
  • Companion to the Moodle "Essential" theme

Grab theme theme

Important note

To get the "responsive" design I wished to use I have had to built this for Mahara 1.8. THIS WIL NOT WORK on 1.7 or earlier


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4729

15 October 2013, 12:56

Hello Julian,

Awesome! Thank you for sharing.




anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 19

15 October 2013, 22:00

I installed it on Mahara1.8rc1 and it looks really great! :-D

Thanks for the cool theme

Chris Kenniburg's profile picture
Posts: 34

16 October 2013, 1:21

Thanks again Julian.  Incredible theme!

anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 2

23 October 2013, 6:55

Love the theme! Not very technical and have just integrated mahara with moodle today. Using the essential theme on both. Is there a way to have a link from moodle to mahara on the custom menu bar instead of using a network block?

Also is there any documentation available to change the colour of the menu bar and background image in mahara using CSS?

Any advice much appreciated.

anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 2

23 October 2013, 8:08

Figured out how to add a moodle link to the custom menu bar but any tips on changing the CSS for text, background image and menu bar would be great.Thanks
Robin Leung's profile picture
Posts: 12

18 November 2014, 8:42

Hi Jon,

Just wondering, did you ever figure out how to change the styling (colours and background image) in the theme? I would like to do the same.

Any help would be great. Thanks.

Emilie Lenel's profile picture
Posts: 112

26 November 2014, 0:02


We use the Essential theme for our Mahara (and we do use the Essential theme for our Moodle).

On the page listing the contributed themes for Mahara, we still see :

"Essential; This is a responsive theme for Mahara 1.8 by Julian (@moodleman) Ridden."

But I understood that Julian Ridden is no longer maintaining this theme.

Do you know if this theme is still maintained by someone else ?




Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4729

26 November 2014, 9:45

Hello Emilie,

The theme is not maintained to my knowledge. Julian does not maintain his themes anymore. The theme itself is heavily based on the default theme. Thus, if you take the customizations to display the FontAwesome icons and port that to a copy of the default theme, you should have an updated Essential theme (might have to do some adjusting if things changed).




Emilie Lenel's profile picture
Posts: 112

28 November 2014, 4:00

Hello Kristina

Thanks for answer

Ok we'll see how we can add the FontAwesome icons to the defaut theme... :-( Are you thinking about adding the FA into Mahara core defaut theme for future versions ?

We have the Essential theme on our Moodle, that's why we installed the Essential version for Mahara.  Our users switch from Moodle to Mahara and from Mahara to Moodle.  For a 'guidance' point of vue, we wanted to have the same icons on both platforms.



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