Theming is a systematic way of customizing the outlook of pages in a Web application. By applying a new theme, the overall appearance of a Web application can be changed instantly and dramatically.
In Yii, each theme is represented as a directory consisting of view files,
layout files, and relevant resource files such as images, CSS files,
themes reside under the same directory
WebRoot/themes. At any time, only
one theme can be active.
Tip: The default theme root directory
WebRoot/themescan be configured to be a different one. Simply configure the basePath and the baseUrl properties of the themeManager application component to be the desired ones.
To activate a theme, set the theme property of the Web application to be the name of the desired theme. This can be done either in the application configuration or during runtime in controller actions.
Note: Theme name is case-sensitive. If you attempt to activate a theme that does not exist,
Contents under a theme directory should be organized in the same way as
those under the application base
path. For example, all view files
must be located under
views, layout view files under
system view files under
views/system. For example, if we want to replace
create view of
PostController with a view in the
we should save the new view file as
For views belonging to controllers in a module,
the corresponding themed view files should also be placed under the
directory. For example, if the aforementioned
PostController is in a module
forum, we should save the
create view file as
WebRoot/themes/classic/views/forum/post/create.php. If the
is nested in another module named
support, then the view file should be
Note: Because the
viewsdirectory may contain security-sensitive data, it should be configured to prevent from being accessed by Web users.
When we call render or renderPartial to display a view, the corresponding view file as well as the layout file will be looked for in the currently active theme. And if found, those files will be rendered. Otherwise, it falls back to the default location as specified by viewPath and layoutPath.
Tip: Inside a theme view, we often need to link other theme resource files. For example, we may want to show an image file under the theme's
imagesdirectory. Using the baseUrl property of the currently active theme, we can generate the URL for the image as follows,
Yii::app()->theme->baseUrl . '/images/FileName.gif'
Below is an example of directory organization for an application with two themes
WebRoot/ assets protected/ .htaccess components/ controllers/ models/ views/ layouts/ main.php site/ index.php themes/ basic/ views/ .htaccess layouts/ main.php site/ index.php fancy/ views/ .htaccess layouts/ main.php site/ index.php
In the application configuration, if we configure
basic theme will be in effect, which means the application's layout will use
the one under the directory
themes/basic/views/layouts, and the site's index view will
use the one under
themes/basic/views/site. In case a view file is not found in the theme,
it will fall back to the one under the