Themes: Essential

Maintained by Gareth J Barnard Gareth J Barnard
Essential is a clean and customizable theme. Essential is tested and tried by thousands of users, and ranks number one by site usage for all available third party themes.
10236 sites
346 fans

The "Essential" Moodle Theme

With 2.5 now released Julian thought it time to take the opportunity to build a new theme that would push the new theme engine to it's limits a bit.  With that in mind he introduced the new "Essential" theme.  Now Julian has left us for Canvassian adventures, David and Gareth took over development and maintenance.  And now David has left for pastures new, Gareth continues to maintain and make improvements.

The idea of this theme is to make the site look as little like Moodle as possible. In this specific instance, it would be used on sites where Moodle would potentially serve as a company homepage rather than just a course list.

Cool things to know about the theme.

  • It attempts to load as many as possible icons from a font.
  • Most of what you think are "graphics" are actually the Font Awesome font (
  • The slider on the front page is completely customisable through theme settings.
  • I am really trying to push what Bootstrap ( Grids can do.  As such the theme is fully responsive.
  • The footer is all custom Moodle regions.  This means blocks can be added.
  • The theme can use Google web fonts ( to give it that extra bit of shazam!
  • Social network icons appear at the top of the page dynamically based on theme settings.
  • The entire colour scheme can be modified with theme settings.


The theme comes with NO support.  Please see the 'Support' section in '' file that comes with the theme.

Reporting issues:

Please read the 'Reporting issues' section in '' file that comes with the theme before posting / contacting me.  If there is any missing information then I'll only ask for it which will delay you getting a solution to your problem.

Video Promo:


In versions,, and above.


Please note that previously the version for Moodle 2.6 was 2.7.x as well, but since these versions are now separated we also lowered the displayed version number.

Moodle Version

Essential Version


2.5 2.5.8Last release for M2.5
2.6 2.6.11Last release for M2.6
2.7 release for M2.7 Last release for M2.8
Last release for M2.9
3.0 release for M3.0
3.1 release for M3.1 release for M3.2 version version version

For more information visit the official Essential theme website at:


Screenshot #0
Screenshot #1


Gareth J Barnard
Gareth J Barnard (Lead maintainer)
Julian Ridden
Julian Ridden: Original author
David Bezemer: Contributor
Please login to view contributors details and/or to contact them

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  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, 18 Jun 2018, 2:35 AM
    Dear Cosimo,

    Thank you for your kind words. The theme comes with no support, please see the readme file for details.

    Kind regards,

  • cosimo
    Mon, 18 Jun 2018, 2:05 PM
    He Hareth, Thanks for the answer, unfortunately in the file read me I found no indication on how to move the block left in the center, a pity because it is really a fantastic theme but, the fact of having the central block on the left of even small size will not allow me to use it in courses.
    If someone of good will can give me some indication I thank him in advance, I am very keen to use this theme. Thanks and good day

    Translated with
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, 18 Jun 2018, 11:09 PM
    Hi Cosimo,

    The readme file details information about support and not how to move the block left in the center.

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Brian Pool
    Mon, 2 Jul 2018, 9:12 PM
    Is there a way to remove the available courses in the site page before logon? It make the landing page huge.
  • Picture of baraa abd el-hady
    Mon, 2 Jul 2018, 9:26 PM
    is it possible to add feature on table to change slide by touching it
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, 2 Jul 2018, 11:44 PM
    Dear Brian,

    The Essential theme comes with NO SUPPORT. Please see the Readme file for details. Your question is not a theme one but a Moodle one, please learn and read the core documentation.

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, 2 Jul 2018, 11:44 PM
    Dear Baraa,

    You probably can already as its the standard Bootstrap carousel.

  • Picture of baraa abd el-hady
    Tue, 3 Jul 2018, 3:24 PM
    can you lead me only to the files i need to modify to add this feature
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, 3 Jul 2018, 7:18 PM
    Dear Baraa,

    I can't as I've already stated that it should already work.

  • Picture of Andres Rodriguez
    Wed, 22 Aug 2018, 4:30 AM
    Hi, I'm trying to change the words "My Courses" in the dropdown menu in the frontpage but I don´t know where. Please help.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, 22 Aug 2018, 5:09 AM
    Dear Andres,

    The Essential theme comes with NO SUPPORT. Please see the Readme file for details.

  • Picture of Mike Finch
    Wed, 3 Oct 2018, 3:30 AM
    This theme may indeed be popular with the end users. But, as a site administrator, I dislike this theme. It hides many things from me that are easy to access in the default Clean theme. For example, my latest problem is that I cannot access the "Tags" page.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, 3 Oct 2018, 4:31 AM
    Dear Mike,

    ? Essential has all the functionality of the Clean theme and more. Which 'Tags' page do you mean? I can only find the 'Manage tags' page in the Clean theme in the same way as can be accessed in Essential. Please do explain with screen shots and version numbers on the Themes forum:

    What other of the 'many things' are hidden as I'm not aware of it hiding anything.

  • Picture of Raymond Frangie
    Mon, 19 Nov 2018, 8:40 AM
    Hi Gareth,

    Can you please advise when your theme will support the new Login Token feature as introduced in 3.5.3 (

    We've had to disable this feature to continue using your theme.

    Appreciate the update.

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, 19 Nov 2018, 6:44 PM
    Dear Ray,

    I don't know why you keep asking this ( as the theme ALREADY SUPPORTS THE LOGIN TOKEN!!!!!

    I've already checked the Moodle 3.5 version and have just double checked the versions for Moodle 3.3 and 3.4. Any version less than that is unsupported but I doubt that there would be a problem due to the nature of the issue.

    Please post on the issue clear evidence that it is actually the Essential theme with the issue.


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