Your Moodle version

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 for all available third party themes.

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 [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.


Please see the 'Support' section in 'README.txt' file that comes with the theme.

Video Promo:


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
Current version
3.0 version
3.1 candidate

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

Comments RSS

Show comments
  • Picture of Barbara Taylor
    Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 11:02 AM
    Hi Gareth,

    We are using your theme this fall and are having a slow loading page that is point at

    Do you know why it is slow and what we can do to fix it?

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 8:24 PM
    Hi Barbara,

    No I don't know why it is slow. That file is a core file and not to do with Essential. Raise a Moodle Tracker issue with evidence if not one already - ask on an appropriate forum.

  • Picture of Carly Born
    Fri, Aug 19, 2016, 11:45 PM
    Is it possible to remove the Change Password link from the user menu in the upper right? We are using Shib authentication for most of our active users and so clicking that link just takes you to a Moodle page that says you can't change your password here. I put our password changing URL into the correct field in Manage Authentication page settings, but the Change password link in this theme seems to be hard coded to use the Moodle page only.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Sat, Aug 20, 2016, 12:08 AM
    Hi Carly,

    Technically this is a Moodle core bug as navigating to /login/change_password.php should take into account that the user is using Shib authentication and use the change URL instead. Otherwise, it is possible to remove the link by editing the theme code.

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Carly Born
    Sat, Aug 20, 2016, 1:08 AM
    I wondered. Thank you for confirming!
  • Picture of Peter Diedrichs
    Sat, Aug 20, 2016, 10:35 PM
    We are using this css code to hide Change password.

    /*Dölj ändra lösenord i menyn*/
    .dropdown-submenu.preferences .dropdown-menu li:nth-child(3) {
    display: none !important;;
  • Picture of Carly Born
    Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 7:32 AM
    Peter, that's brilliant!! Thank you for sharing!!
  • Picture of Peter Diedrichs
    Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 8:38 PM
    Happy to share, Carly!
  • Picture of Sya Rahim
    Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 5:06 PM
    I love this theme...Thanks for creating it, Gareth...The only difficulty I have is to positioned my block on the left side. I've already configured to be positioned on the left but for my course, the blocks is still on right..How do I change this small problem?
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 4:45 AM
    Hi Sya,

    Have you looked at the 'layout' setting?

  • Picture of Peter Diedrichs
    Fri, Aug 26, 2016, 6:20 PM
    Does anyone know how to de-activate the Top Block container (in (Build: 2016010213)) ?
  • Picture of Plínio Felipe
    Fri, Sep 2, 2016, 10:21 PM
    I would like to thank immensely, your work is wonderful! It is quite a spectacle. Success!
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Sep 2, 2016, 11:05 PM
    Thank you Plínio smile
  • Picture of Nelson C
    Sat, Sep 10, 2016, 1:39 AM
    How to lock or disable a block region?
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Sun, Sep 11, 2016, 12:54 AM
    Dear Nelson,

    Please read the 'Support' section of the readme file distributed with the theme.

    Kind regards,

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