I know this has been asked a few times, but I'm working with a group of folks in a new non-profit who tell me they want to move away from CiviCRM (recently installed) because it's not "beautiful" nor "intuitive", they claim people aren't using it. I think they really mean they want a bolder, more-updated style/theme than the standard Garland or Bartik I usually start with (because I care more about function than form). I think they are looking for something more in line with the Shoreditch extension effort (not sure if that is still in development), something bootstrap-feeling.

What would you all recommend to make Civi more pleasing to the eye, more readable? Is Shoreditch the way to go? If so, which base these should it be put on?

Or is there even a theme that doesn't use Shoreditch that I should be looking into? I don't want to lose folks from the great functionality and customization ability of Civi just because of the theme (I happen to be a huge fan, using it for 9 years now, I think). I'm even open to moving to WordPress if that provides better themes for Civi.

Side note: unfortunately, I haven't been able to discuss more details to find out what exactly they mean by "intuitive design" and things like that, to understand what they feel is missing. But I'm thinking I can provide a couple of theming options early on and see if that alone will give them comfort while we talk specifics later on. Thanks for any suggestions!

  • Why not just install Shoreditch so you can see for yourself?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 23:39
  • Yeah, I did exactly that after posting the question, I just wasn't sure which base theme to add it to. But then I saw the latest description with the companion theme plus seven, so I'm going with that at the moment.
    – Paul B
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


Apart from Shoreditch there is also the Haystack theme which can be found here: https://github.com/mattwire/civicrm-haystacktheme. As @petednz suggested, try them both?

  • Thank you! I had no idea this existed. I'm going to try them both. That's what I was looking for, suggestions of themes that maybe I just don't know about. Appreciate it.
    – Paul B
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 13:11

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