The flexibility of the layout and visual appearance of Tiki is another one of the strengths of the software.

The basic layout of a Tiki site . . .is a Table like this:

Site Header

Horizontal Menu (if active)
Left Modules

Main Content
Right Modules

Bottom Bar

Any of the sections (excluding the main content area) can be included or excluded according to what section of the site (wiki, articles, blogs, forums, html pages etc.) the user is visiting. In some cases the left column, right column or both are permanently "off".

Example: if you want to have a portal to the site without any boxes on the left or right side, you can remove these on the "html pages" section and then have the room and freedom to do anything you want (in html).


Within that basic architecture, smaller elements called Modules are inserted. Usually on a Tiki site you will see a stack of modules on the left or right hand side. These stacks are fully customizable by user group, and even by individual users - they can decide which of the allowed modules they want to see and where. For example, you can have a couple of modules that have some tips for newbies, and these will only appear for anonymous users. When someone logs in the anonymous menus go away and menus for registered users appear.

Modules are not menus, they are just boxes that menus or any other kind of content are dropped into. As always Tiki configuration allows for the maximum flexibility, so it does include an interface that will help you create a customized menu for the site, and then you have to insert it into a module, and then you can assign the module to the site.


Given the architecture above, a theme controls the look and feel of the site. Unfortunately for web designers familiar mainly with html, you will have a hard time piecing together where the code for elements actually come from, because it is an admixture of code drawn variously from the database, selected by IF statements and any of the hundreds of template files that drive the various elements of Tiki. Nevertheless, all that code is mainly driven by a (rather complex) Style Sheet, themes control the appearance and graphics. Tiki comes bundled with several themes, each of which have an images folder and a templates folder associated with them. As such you can switch or customize themes without ever touching the core/default files that drive the program.