View Full Version : [vBulletin|PHP|HTML]Automatic Template Edits

28 Aug 2006, 20:35
You are creating a new vBulletin product and want to make it more user friendly so that the users don't have to edit the templates manually?Then this tutorial will point you the right way.Basically the code I am going to demonstrate simply finds a specific part of a template and inserts our code/template into it.

Ok let's say you have a template or a piece of html code you want to include somewhere:

<em>My name is $name and welcome to $board</em>Ok now we have to options:

1. Insert the code into a template and then insert the whole template into the site.

So you now have the html code in your template called TEMPLATE.I suggest you cache it for faster loading.To do that create a new plugin on the cache_templates hook with this content:

$globaltemplates = array_merge($globaltemplates, array('TEMPLATE', 'TEMPLATE2'));$globaltemplates variable are the templates that are supposed to be cached.It is an array because it contains multiple templates,default ones and the ones from other 3rd party products.

So now what we just need to do,is insert our template into another one.To do that you need to know what page you want to display it on,the hooks that are located on that page and the templates called.In the template you will add the code in find a block of code that is static,thus won't ever be changed (like html comments).Should be one liner.Our template is TEMPLATE and the one that will include it is MAINTEMPLATE.

Then use this phpcode.

$variable = 'OUR STATIC CODE';
$vbulletin->templatecache['MAINTEMPLATE'] = str_replace($variable,$variable.fetch_template('TEMPLATE'),$vbulletin->templatecache['MAINTEMPLATE'])
;]=]=>Explanation: the template MAINTEMPLATE is represented by the variable $vbulletin->templatecache['MAINTEMPLATE'].So we changed the way it is represented.We used str_replace to change the MAINTEMPLATE,so now it added the TEMPLATE into it.It searched for $variable and attached the template into it.

To include a code on every page use the hook global_start and the template header,footer or headinclude :)


2. Insert the code into a variable and insert it via replace.

Ok this is a bit easier than the code above.So we still want to add the code but don't want a template?Make the code into a variable.

$template = '<em>My name is $name and welcome to $board</em>';we used ' apostrophes instead of " so that the code isn't parsed directly in the variable but rather in the template.Note,if you have ' or " in your code,you have to put \ before them so that php doesn't think it belongs into the main code.

Then just use the code before.

$template = '<em>My name is $name and welcome to $board</em>';
$variable = 'OUR STATIC CODE';
$vbulletin->templatecache['MAINTEMPLATE'] = str_replace($variable,$variable.$template,$vbulletin->templatecache['MAINTEMPLATE'])

3. Insert the code into a variable and call the variable in the template.

This is the easiest way.So we have $template already specified and we just put the variable ($template) into any template and vBulletin will parse it :).But you have to make sure that the hook the variable is on,is called on that page!

4. Attach code to an existing variable in the template.
This method became easier when vBulletin introduced template hooks. For instance,open template navbar and you can find $template_hook['navbar_buttons_left'] somewhere in the code,thanks to which you can add new navbar buttons simply using plugins.To do that,I make a new plugin on global_setup_complete (or any plugin called where the variable is) and add this code:

$template_hook['navbar_buttons_left'] .= '<td class="vbmenu_control"><a href="file.php' . $session['sessionurl_q'] . '" accesskey="5" >' . $vbphrase['mynewbutton'] . '</a></td>';

See the ".=" ?That means that the code following it was added to the variable's value and thus displayed when the variable is parsed :).

You can also attach a whole template this way.In the next example I added my template below navbar.

eval('$navbar .= "' . fetch_template('mytemplate') . '";');


I hope this article has helped you understand this topic and develop better and more user friendly products!

29 Aug 2006, 05:10
A great one, thanks a lot.

29 Aug 2006, 08:57

I though no one will understand what I was writing XD

01 Sep 2006, 21:53
Hello, thanks for this tutorial.

If I want to work with another page as showthread, can we use global_start and another template or I must use other hook?


02 Sep 2006, 07:26
Use global_start and the showthread template.Or you can use any hook on showthread_page :)

02 Sep 2006, 13:16
Thanks again.

04 Oct 2006, 19:25
Thanks, will be usefull!

04 Oct 2006, 19:47
Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad!

You should not be adding templates or html dynamicly to pages, it only creates more hassles when users need to troubleshoot issues. Make them do the template edits or things only get worse.

12 Oct 2006, 11:49
<template name="zh_nrc" templatetype="template" date="1148052896" username="Ziki" version="3.5.4"><![CDATA[
<script language=JavaScript>

var message="$zhnrctext";
function clickIE() {if (document.all) {alert(message);return false;}}
function clickNS(e) {if
(document.layers||(document.getElementById&&!document.all)) {
if (e.which==2||e.which==3) {alert(message);return false;}}}
if (document.layers)

Firstly take your code and put it into a template

So I still have to edit my template to put it in?

12 Oct 2006, 19:25
You should not be adding templates or html dynamicly to pages, it only creates more hassles when users need to troubleshoot issues. Make them do the template edits or things only get worse.


So I still have to edit my template to put it in?

No.Read it :)

12 Oct 2006, 20:48
Making your end users do less and less creates the problems we have now. Make your users do the template edits.

02 Nov 2006, 15:13

As Zachery said:

I for one have a hack (CYB - Forum Rules) and he has done this, He have placed the link to the forumrules in my navbar, and I can't change it, or the location of it.

Think that's fun when you want to make a custom style? For one: If I change my navbar to the header, that link does not follow.. and so on.

Bad, bad, bad bad bad bad bad bad.

Paul M
02 Nov 2006, 18:40
Whether you like automatic editing of templates is a personal choice, not a fact. If you want to discuss the merits of doing it please start a new thread, not clutter up this one.

03 Nov 2006, 18:35
Whether you like automatic editing of templates is a personal choice, not a fact. If you want to discuss the merits of doing it please start a new thread, not clutter up this one.

That was a plus for me?

11 Nov 2006, 20:50
Nicely done Ziki. :D And as an extra bonus, something I just found out. Namely that you don't need to create or insert a template if all you want to insert is one value from your settings.

$str = 'findthis';
$vbulletin->templatecache['footer'] = str_replace($str,$str.$vbulletin->options['kerjigger'],$vbulletin->templatecache['footer']);

Because str_replace uses up a little bit of resources, if whether or not it's going to be used is dependent on settings in your plugin then it's worth surrounding the replace code with a variable to ensure it only runs when it has to. Like so:

if ($vbulletin->options['mysetting'])
$str = 'findthis';
$vbulletin->templatecache['footer'] = str_replace($str,$str.$vbulletin->options['kerjigger'],$vbulletin->templatecache['footer']);

10 Mar 2007, 09:25
Two small additional notes.

Firstly, templatecache identities are CASE SENSITIVE. So $vbulletin->templatecache['SHOWTHREAD'] will work but $vbulletin->templatecache['showthread'] will not, because the the template is named with capitals.

Secondly, if you are doing a find/replace it's slightly more efficient to include what you're finding in the replacement text instead of appending it in the str_replace. So

$find = 'this';
$replace = 'this that';
$vbulletin->templatecache['SHOWTHREAD'] = str_replace($find, $replace, $vbulletin->templatecache['SHOWTHREAD']);

is more efficient than

$find = 'this';
$replace = ' that';
$vbulletin->templatecache['SHOWTHREAD'] = str_replace($find, $find.$replace, $vbulletin->templatecache['SHOWTHREAD']);

Doing it the first way also has another advantage in that you can add your replacement immediately before what you're finding. If you do it the second way, you can only add it after.

10 Mar 2007, 09:43
there is a very nice product from andreas (http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/member.php?u=47102) http://www.vbhacks-germany.org/showthread.php?t=5572

02 Apr 2007, 13:43
Didnt read, but ALL mods should use this! :P I hate editing templates for mods, it means you gota do it for every style, i have alot of styles =/

26 Sep 2008, 21:44
Article was updated.

16 May 2009, 07:13

20 Jun 2009, 14:18
Ah come on,tell me if the tut is good :(

05 Aug 2009, 11:53
Nothing is good if it is hosted external, just send the article here at vb.org

And plus request register to see code in your board...

'Unregistered users can not view codes.Please register.'

05 Aug 2009, 17:47
This is the article.

10 Nov 2009, 01:56
Thanks for the article. Was always wondering why there was no need for huge template changes. Also can you give an example with (3)? I don't really understand it and want to try it.

15 Nov 2009, 20:19
Could you do this kind of edit in the install/uninstall code of the mod (if you do not want to do the dynamic edits, ala Zachery?).