Is creating a Theme for Confluence Cloud still possible?

We just switched from Confluence server to the cloud solution. It was very disappointing to find out that it is basically impossible to theme any space or sidebar with at least a background color. Based on this discussion there seems to be just no hope?
I wonder how Atlassian can announce an obligatory cloud solution while not offering a simple style guide option.
Can someone from Atlassian give a feedback whether there is something in the pipeline?

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@SimonKubica - Are there any advances on this? We have a client looking to use confluence as their internal education platform and a degree of styling to align it with colours used in independent documentation would be very helpful. Thanks.

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Any updates on this thread?

For our organization, we’d like to create a custom theme for the confluence cloud. I too would like to change the colors of heading levels, sidebars, and other things within our design but haven’t found a way to do this? It is sort of annoying that the only solutions appear to be pay to play “theme builder” plugins. Like a tax upon the system just to customize some basic things…

Thanks for the comments folks. I’m chasing up an update on this from the Confluence Ecosystem team :slight_smile: Will reply back here when there is one.

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Hi all,

Thank you for your patience. I’m the PM for Confluence Cloud Ecosystem team. I’ll be providing update on where we are with theming extensibility.

I understand that you are looking to do deeper customization of the look and feel of Confluence Cloud site as how it works in Server or in Cloud a couple of years ago.

In the spirit of Open Company No BS, as of now, Confluence Cloud has a smaller set of native theming capabilities compared with Server and with the previous Cloud version before we rolled out the re-engineered and re-designed navigation in 2020. This came partially from an intentional choice to weigh simplicity over flexibility, among other tradeoffs. There’s no public nor private API for theming at the level of granularity you require yet. That said, we are aware of the need for more flexibility into theming by our customers and have started looking into it as a high priority.

In the past few months, we identified and fixed some issues with the APIs themselves, which aren’t dependent on the underlying capability that we yet to rebuild. As @james.dellow pointed out, “Header color” and “Text color” attributes and the override on the space overview page are working. From this point on, we have two theming initiatives planned:

  • In the next 6 months, we will release a new full page extension point for apps and customizations meant to provide custom site homepage experience.
  • In the next 12 months, we will build the capability to support more granular level of theming and release corresponding public APIs.

In order to plan our development effort in the order of importance to you, I’d like to ask for your help to share a bit more details about the top 3 missing theming capabilities that you need the most. You can leave a comment here or PM me via this community platform, whichever way you’re comfortable with. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

Elaine

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Hi @ElaineH,

Thanks for providing status info. I am an experienced Confluence user, but my role has changed now. I recently founded a company of my own and for now chosen Confluence for broad aspects of documentation, rooted in my usage in previous companies. I now realize, that choosing a cloud version restricts core features that I actually took for granted when choosing the product.

The ability to customize the appearance of my various documentation elements is crucial. Why ? Because we dream of releasing Confluence content in public for potential stakeholders to read, comment on and contribute. Therefor we need to be able to align the visual identity of an upcoming 100% public website with Confluence as a semi-public company presentation engine. This is currently NOT possible it seems, when it comes to core things like fonts, colors, spacing and similar visual elements. Really disappointing I must say.

You hint that ‘new stuff’ will emerge, in half a year and in a year. I hope for more detailed product backlog info and schedules with greater certainty. I hope you will include basic styling features on the half year mile stone. Look up any knowledge on visual identity and you will learn what’s on my wish list :slight_smile:

And please keep us informed, at a minimum on a monthly basis. Choice of documentation engine is an important one with large impact involved.

Best regards…

Steen Klingenberg
CEO of Awarenezz

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Hi @SteenKlingenberg,

I agree that the lack of customizability of Confluence Cloud renders it completely unusable as a public documentation. But you’ll probably find that even if Confluence Cloud let you change a few CSS properties here and there, it would still lack some of the fundamental requirements you’re looking for in a tool used for public documentation / help center.

The only sensible way you can use Confluence Cloud as a public documentation at the moment is to render the content of your pages into your own HTML sites and host them somewhere. There’s Marketplace apps that let you do specifically that. We’ve for example been using Scroll Viewport for our docs. Another alternative is Refined. Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Sven

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Hi @sven.schatter,

Great with some workaround ideas! Will look into your suggestions. Still, it (is) was the intention to kind of “write once, publish once, readable everywhere” :wink: I believe that lots of documentation topics are not exclusively neither internal nor public. To use the Confluence feature to go public with selected content seemed great. And one would think that it could be styled according to site owner preferences :slight_smile:

Br Steen

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@ElaineH some of us with dev sites that receive previews of new functionality are seeing some new emoji and page header image features. Is this related to your work on theming or something different? I can’t find other mentions of this anywhere yet.

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Hi Steen! Thank you for the add’l context on your use case and the specifics that you are looking for. I’ll take your suggestion to provide the community with updates on a monthly basis.

Hi James! The emoji header release isn’t related with the theming work. I’ll provide monthly update on theming and other topics of high interest to the community going forward.

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Thank you @ElaineH ! Can I persuade you to consider some order of incremental releasing of…

  • In the next 6 months, we will release a new full page extension point for apps and customizations meant to provide custom site homepage experience.
  • In the next 12 months, we will build the capability to support more granular level of theming and release corresponding public APIs.

:slight_smile: I read somewhere else, that you just announced EOL of the customer hosted version. Bringing existing customers from server to cloud and exclude them from wellknown features sure must raise some concern with you :wink: It kind of signifies: all hands on deck for the development of the cloud product :slight_smile: