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We hope to eventually provide details of how you can develop your own modules and themes for webtrees. But until that is available, anyone wanting to start on their own customisations should read this page first.

Skill levels required

webtrees is written using php, html and css code, plus an increasing amount of JavaScript (in particular the jQuery tools). To be able to effectively customise webtrees AND manage your customisations it is important you have at least a basic understanding of each of these languages.

Upgrade policy

We do not recommend you customise ANY core code. Features such as themes and modules can customised, but that should be done either by creating a completely new module or theme, or by copying and renaming an existing one.

This is because webtrees follows a policy of "release early; release often" for upgrades. Commonly we will release a new upgrade every month. This means that any core code customisations you make will be destroyed and require re-writing every 4 weeks or so. If you modify copied modules and themes these will NOT be over-written or deleted, and so can easily be compared to their original files and any changes incorporated into your own version.

Support limitations

The webtrees support forums (http://webtrees.net/forums) include an area specifically for discussing customising. Developers and other users will do their best to help you with any problems you have, but there must be limitations on the amount of support that can be provided. In general these would include:

  • customisation support requests will always be given low priority when developers are busy helping core feature users
  • the support forums are for SUPPORT, they are not the place to get lessons in computer languages. Please ensure you have the basic skills before you try.
  • There are many parts of webtrees that cannot be readily customised. We are aware of the issues, and do plan to address them, but it is not our highest priority.

Sharing your work

We encourage you to share any custom modules or themes you develop. You can upload the code to the "Add-ons" area (http://webtrees.net/en/add-ons). Use the forum to announce and explain your work and provide support to other users who want to try it.

Help needed

If you are reading this page then there is a good chance you have some coding skills. Before you consider using those to customise webtrees, have you thought about helping improve the core product? We never have enough people to get everything done. There's no need to be an official part of the development team, just talk to us to explain what you might be able to do and we'll point you to the areas we regard as most important. There are various ways you can share your changes, so they can be tested and hopefully incorporated into the core. Do read the WIKI pages here, particularly the Developers Guide category, and familiarise yourself with the coding standards we use. We would also expect you to be a reasonably experienced user before you start trying to change code, otherwise a lot of time can be wasted explaining underlying systems.

This page has not been reviewed since webtrees 1.1.0. It may be out of date.