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You can customise your site's appearance to reflect the needs of your organisation by editing the theme, adding blocks, and customising the front page. 

Theme

By customising the theme you can determine the site's look and feel with a personalised colour scheme and your organisation's logo. A theme can be applied across the whole site, for a specific user or course, or at the category level.

You can also apply themes to different devices by navigating to Quick-access menu > Appearance > Themes > Theme selector.

If required, you can also allow users to set their own themes, or different themes on a course or category basis, by enabling the appropriate settings in Quick-access menu > Appearance > Themes > Theme settings.

As standard in Totara, you can change your site's logo, colours and icons by going to Quick-access menu > Appearance > Themes > Basis.

Alternatively, you may want to develop a custom theme for your site, in order to closely align your site's visuals with your brand. You can find out more about custom themes in Totara's developer documentation.

Blocks

It is now easier than ever to create a custom look and feel for your site using blocks. It is now easier than ever to create a custom look and feel for your site using blocks. Blocks can contain a range of useful information, from course progress to calendar information. Some blocks work with course activities to present information and others use either external information or can be fully customised (such as HTML blocks). 

Blocks are arranged in a series of columns, headers and footers. The header and footer areas (at the top and bottom of each page respectively) can house full-width blocks. You can use the central column for larger blocks, with additional information or navigation elements in the left- and right-hand columns. If you prefer, you can remove the left- and right-hand columns by deleting all blocks in each of those columns. 

You can also use the Featured links block to add dynamic, visually striking navigation between different parts of your site. For example, you can have rotating carousels of multiple hyperlinked images, or large, striking images. Additionally, you can add multimedia assets, text, graphics, and widgets using HTML blocks. You can use full-width HTML and featured links blocks in the header and footer areas to create eye-catching navigation, or promote other parts of your site.

You can configure each block by selecting the gear icon, then Configure (block name) block. For each block you can enable the Override default block title setting, then change the Block title. In the block configuration you can also enable or disable the block header and border as required.

Configuring a course overview block.

Totara's column layout.

Above you can see the different regions of a home page or dashboard to which you can add blocks. Below you can see how the homepage has been populated with content.

Example of a populated Totara homepage.

The column and block layout is also responsive, meaning the blocks will automatically rearrange to be displayed correctly on smaller screens, such as smartphone devices. Here you can see the layout of the Totara Academy's dashboard rearranging for different screen sizes.

An example of the Totara Academy theme.    The Totara Academy on a smartphone device.

Navigation

In addition to the different sections of your site, you can customise features such as the navigation bar and site administration menu, making it easier for your users to find what's important to them.

Site home page

When users log in to your site they will be taken to your site's home page. There are three options for your site's home page, which can be set by a Site Administrator.

These options are:

Note that the course catalogue is also referred to as the Find Learning page.

You can select your preferred option for the home page by accessing the quick-access menu then going to Navigation > Navigation settings. You can then select an option from the dropdown list for the Default home page for users setting. Note that the dashboard and course catalogue options can only be set as the home page if these features are enabled.

Both the front page and dashboards can be customised using blocks to display and arrange information how you want. 

Totara Academy

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Dashboards and basic theming in Totara. Here you can learn more on how to customise your site's appearance, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.


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 Still have questions? 

Why not post them in the forums on the Totara Community?



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