Posted by Joe Oldak on

Hi all,

Although its name suggests otherwise, the Modern theme is anything but modern, and we will be removing it from Voice at the end of 2023.

Sites using this theme will have received an email today warning them about this, and we will send further warnings before the theme is removed.

The theme can no longer be selected by sites that are not currently using it - though sites that are using it will still have it available to select until the end if this year. I have also removed it from the documentation.

Any site still using the Modern theme at the end of 2023 will be automatically switched to the Fresh theme with the default colour scheme.

Why are you removing the Modern theme?

The main reasons are that it has poor accessibility and readability, and several layout bugs that can't easily be fixed. The theme hasn't had updates for a long time, and is difficult to maintain.

The other themes have more layout options, are more accessible and readable, have faster page loads, and a better search engine ranking. Essentially, the other themes are better in pretty much every way! :-)

What are the alternatives?

There are three other themes available: Fresh, Clarity, and Bootstrap. You can find out more about these themes in the documentation.

To help you choose between these themes, here are a few hints:

  • Fresh is designed to be highly accessible, and is the most visually similar to Modern with a horizontal navbar below the banner area. It's the default theme for new sites. You can pick from a range of preset colour schemes, or choose your own primary colour.
  • Clarity is created for readability, with minimal clutter and big clear fonts. This is why we use it on the Documentation site. You can configure all the colours, and there's a lot of font choices, including some Google fonts. Ideal if you have lots of information you want to get across, or if you particularly want an unusual colour scheme!
  • Bootstrap has loads of layout configuration options, so it's great if you want to experiment to get something just right for your site. You can change the style and position of the navigation (navbar, buttons, list, etc), add a banner image, change the logo position, and more. You can pick from a range of preset colour schemes, or choose your own primary colour.

Can I see any of these themes in action?

Certainly - you can head over to the Showcase to find examples of sites. You can use the filters to select sites by theme.


Joe - Voice Admin

Posted by Bradley Kelly on

Hi Joe,

Hope you had a nice Christmas break. And thanks for keeping the Voice website updated with new features. I was wondering what is happening with the Modern template as we still have it on the Sutton Mencap website?

Posted by Joe Oldak on

Fundamentally what happened is that I got a full time job and have been rather busy with that, and while this is fine for maintaining Voice and doing the Zoom calls and so on, it meant that I sort of forgot about some other things like removing the Modern theme!

I still very much recommend that you switch to the Fresh theme (or one of the others). I see you've tried it on the test site. Does it work OK?

I will soon send a final final warning to sites using Modern, and automatically switch them to Fresh if they don't do so themselves.



Posted by Bradley Kelly on

Don't worry, I understand. I do like the new template, but I'll ask if Sutton Mencap would like to manually switch it to the new template, especially as you plan to still have it automatically switched soon. 

Posted by Joe Oldak on

I would recommend doing so on your own terms at a time convenient to you/them, rather than waiting until I switch them all and find that it doesn't work as expected or happens at an inconvenient time!

It also means you can try the different theme settings and colour schemes to make sure you're all happy with it.