Information on customization of OJS 3

I like to customize OJS 3 but can’t figure out all the necessary files. OJS 3 structure seems very different from OJS 2.X. Basically I like to begin by adding blocks to the left and bottom, adding components/pages to these new blocks. I shall appreciate it very much if you can point me to instructions or tutorials.

Hi @Paul_Chen,

We’re going to be a while catching up with our technical documentation, unfortunately – but meanwhile I can help you here. The best resource is going to be the existing codebase. I’d suggest starting by making a copy of one of the existing block plugins – e.g. developedBy, as a very simple example. See if you can get your copy working, then build on it from there. Let me know how far you get and I’ll see if I can assist.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Hi @asmecher ,

Thanks for the reply. I think I meant sidebar and “bottombar” instead of submission block or information block. I would like at a left sidebar just like the right sidebar and a bottom section or even a middle section in addition to the current main body. I remember the 2.X version provides ability to add sections or move sections around. I don’t see the function in 3.

I will also learn how create my own blocks like what you suggested. Thank you again.


Hi @Paul_Chen,

I think there are two parts to what you’re suggesting, one easier than the other. :slight_smile:

If you want to add new blocks to the existing sidebar, that’s not too difficult. As Alec said, check out the existing block plugins. I think the easiest to follow would actually be the makeSubmission block, because it doesn’t include any of the auto-activate stuff.

The other part – adding new sidebars – is a complex problem that would probably require a pretty deep knowledge of the system. Our sidebar system is flexible enough to support adding more sidebars, but actually doing so, and integrating the UI controls to add and manage blocks, will require interacting with a number of different parts of the system.

Hi @NateWr ,

Thanks for your response. Yes I did find very difficult to make any changes because I don’t have a good grip on the system. I have been able to add existing blocks such as Submission button and create my own blocks which can be linked to static pages. This seems to be only way to add more “menus” to the home page.


You can override the frontend navigation menu template in your custom child theme. Just copy this file into your child theme at /plugins/themes/your-child-theme/templates/frontend/components/primaryNavMenu.tpl. Then add your menu items however you’d like.

Your template will override the one in OJS 3.

Hi @NateWr,

I was able to make and see the changes I made to the menu but I can’t get it to work. Questions:

  1. How do I link a menu item to a dynamic (OJS generated contents) and static page?
  2. Where do I input the words I want them to appear on the menu? Should I enter them in a language file?




I think I figured it out. Thanks.


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Where do I change the border wrapped around the main body of the website? I like to change it to transparent or remove it all together. The image shows a think white line crossing down the image and a grey line around the block below. Thank you!