Lightweight theme manager for CodeIgniter 4

v2.0.0-rc.2 2021-12-02 17:42 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2022-09-09 15:50:22 UTC


Lightweight theme manager for CodeIgniter 4

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Quick Start

  1. Install with Composer: > composer require tatter/themes
  2. Update the database: > php spark migrate -all
  3. Seed the database: > php spark db:seed "Tatter\Themes\Database\Seeds\ThemeSeeder"
  4. Place theme files in public/assets/themes/default
  5. Add theme files to your page, e.g.: echo view('\Tatter\Themes\Views\css)


Provides convenient theme file organization and display for CodeIgniter 4


Install easily via Composer to take advantage of CodeIgniter 4's autoloading capabilities and always be up-to-date:

  • > composer require tatter/themes

Or, install manually by downloading the source files and adding the directory to app/Config/Autoload.php.

Once the files are downloaded and included in the autoload, run any library migrations to ensure the database is setup correctly:

  • > php spark migrate -all

You will also need to seed the database with a default theme:

  • > php spark db:seed "Tatter\Themes\Database\Seeds\ThemeSeeder"


Themes relies heavily on these libraries; be sure you are familiar with their own requirements and installation process.

If you plan on allowing users to change their own themes then you will also need to include an authentication library the provides codeigniter4/authentication-implementation (no other configuration necessary).

Read more about CodeIgniter Authentication in the User Guide.


This library assumes you already have the asset files (CSS and JavaScript) used by your themes.

Themes are managed via the database and configured for your application using Filters.

Managing Themes

Theme files all go into a directory relative to the config property $directory from Tatter\Assets (default is public/assets/), as defined by a theme's path. E.g.

  • public/assets/themes/default/styles.css
  • public/assets/themes/default/script.js
  • public/assets/themes/dark/header.css
  • public/assets/themes/dark/fonts.css
  • public/assets/themes/perky/Perky.CSS

Each theme is an entry in the database themes table with the following properties:

  • name: A short, unique name used for theme lookup and display, e.g. "Aquatic Journey"
  • path: The path (relative to the Assets directory) to the publicly-available theme files, e.g. "themes/aquatic/"
  • description (optional): A brief description of this theme's features, mostly useful for allowing user selection, e.g. "A blue theme with deep hues and liquid borders"
  • dark: Whether this theme is dark (light text, dark backgrounds) or not, e.g. true

You may use the supplied model (Tatter\Themes\Models\ThemeModel) to create new themes or return entities (Tatter\Themes\Entities\Theme). The library comes with the ThemeSeeder which will create an initial "Default" theme for you at public/assets/themes/default/. There is also a themes:add Spark command to guide you through loading themes from CLI.

Selecting a Theme

The current theme is determined as follows:

  1. Is there an authenticated user? Check Preferences for that user's theme preference
  2. No authenticated user? Check the Session for a theme preference
  3. Neither of above? Check Settings for a stored persistent theme
  4. None of the above? Fall back on the config file: config('Preferences')->theme (default value "Default")

Likewise, you can set the current theme using the corresponding methods (in priority order):

  1. preference('theme', $themeName) (with authenticated user)
  2. preference('theme', $themeName) (without authenticated user)
  3. setting('Preferences.theme, $themeName)
  4. Create or edit app/Config/Preferences.php and add: public $theme = 'theme_name';

To assist with methods 1 & 2 this library comes with a tiny module to display a form and process user input. You can add the form to an existing page with the Form View:

<div class="form">
	<?= view('Tatter\Themes\Views\form') ?>

...or add the preconfigured <select> field to an existing form:

<form name="user-settings" action="<?= site_url('users/settings') ?>" method="post">
	Display name:
	<input type="text" name="name">

	Page theme:
	<?= view('Tatter\Themes\Views\select') ?>

	<input type="submit" value="submit">

You can pass these additional parameters to the view:

  • $class: A CSS class to apply to the <select> field. Default: none
  • $auto: Whether the form should submit as soon as the select field is changed. Default: true
  • $selected: The theme to show as currently chosen in the select field: Default: current theme

Applying Themes

Once your files are in place and your theme is defined in the database you need to apply the theme to your application routes using Filters. This library activates the ThemesFilter for you on installation (assuming module discovery is enabled, which is the default) under the alias themes. In simple cases you will want to apply the filter to your entire site via app/Config/Filters.php:

     * List of filter aliases that are always
     * applied before and after every request.
     * @var array
    public $globals = [
        'before' => [
            // 'honeypot',
            // 'csrf',
            // 'invalidchars',
        'after' => [

For more nuanced use, pass the filter to your route definitions in app/Config/Routes.php:

$routes->add('shop/(:segment)', 'ShopController::index', ['filter' => 'themes']);

ThemesFilter will apply the current theme by default, but you may specify a theme or themes by name to use those instead:

$routes->add('heroes/(:segment)', 'HeroController::$1', ['filter' => 'themes:Heroic']);

Additional Components


The library comes with two CLI commands, themes:list and themes:add to ease working with themes in the database.


The Theme Helper is loaded automatically when you apply ThemeFilter, but should you need to load it manually include it your controllers or boot config: helper('themes').

This provides a helper function to return the current theme as a Theme entity:

$theme = theme();
echo 'Current theme is ' . $theme->name . ': "' . $theme->description . '"';