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A skin is a collection of code and resources which can be dropped in to any esoTalk installation to change its appearance. Skins are stored in the addons/skins folder.

Skins are actually just special types of plugins! A skin can technically do everything that a plugin can do, although it is recommended to keep functionality-changing code out of skins. Unlike plugins, only one skin can be activated at a time.


A skin has the following file structure:

File/Folder Description
ExampleSkin/ The name of the skin in StudlyCase.
--skin.php The main skin file, where all of the skin's information and logic is located.
--preview.jpg A 250x160 preview which is displayed on the Administration > Appearance page.
--index.html An empty file to prevent the directory from being publicly listed.
--resources/ The skin's publicly-accessible resources (CSS/JS files, images, etc.)
--views/ The skin's views (see Concepts.)


A skin's skin.php file contains two important things: an array of details about the skin (name, author, etc.) and a class which encapsulates all of the skin's logic (discussed on the next page.)

Skin details should be added to the ET::$skinInfo array at the top of skin.php. The key must correspond to the name of the skin's folder.

Defining Skin Details

ET::$skinInfo["ExampleSkin"] = array(
    "name"        => "Example Skin",
    "description" => "An example skin.",
    "version"     => "1.0",
    "author"      => "Toby Zerner",
    "authorEmail" => "[email protected]",
    "authorURL"   => "",
    "license"     => "GPLv2"


Ideally, you should version-control your skin and create a repository on GitHub. The skin.php file should be at the top-level of the repository; there should be no parent folder.

Skins can be submitted for public listing in the Skins channel on the esoTalk support forum. Read this conversation for skin submission guidelines.