Changing the appearance of your Ensembl website

Here at the Ensembl project, in addition to we run many different websites based on Ensembl code, including public sites such as pre! and the Ensembl archives, and private sites used for internal development. In order to distinguish these sites we use plugins to alter the colour scheme and/or site logo, in addition to the changes in content. For example pre! is green, and the archives are light brown.

You may find it useful to do something similar with an Ensembl mirror, so that your users know they are looking at a local copy and not the actual Ensembl site.

In the examples below, we'll assume that you are adding these changes to the normal /public-plugins/mirror directory.

Important note: if you make any changes to .ini files, you need to remove /conf/config.packed before restarting the server, to ensure your changes are recompiled.

Changing the site logo

The Ensembl logo graphic can be found in /htdocs/i/ directory. First you should make a directory


and copy your logo into it. Ideally your logo should be around 40 pixels high, so that it does not break the template layout.

You will then need to add the following lines to your /public-plugins/mirror/conf/ini-files/DEFAULTS.ini file, substituting the appropriate parameters:

SITE_LOGO        = e-ensembl.gif
SITE_LOGO_ALT    = Ensembl Home

The SITE_LOGO_HREF parameter is only needed if your Ensembl mirror does not occupy the root of the host domain - omit this line to use the default link "/"

Changing the colour scheme

The colour scheme can be altered by adding the following to /public-plugins/mirror/conf/ini-files/DEFAULTS.ini (you can omit the [ENSEMBL_STYLE] header if you already have a custom logo defined, as above):

MAIN_V_DARK       = 333366
MAIN_DARK         = 7b8baf
MAIN_MEDIUM       = b0bbd8
MAIN_LIGHT        = dadff1
MAIN_V_LIGHT      = eef0f7

CONTRAST_DARK     = ffc107
CONTRAST_LIGHT    = fffae6

BLACK             = 000000
V_DARK_GREY       = 333333
DARK_GREY         = 666666
MEDIUM_GREY       = 999999
PALE_GREY         = cccccc
LIGHT_GREY        = eeeeee
V_LIGHT_GREY      = f0f0f0
WHITE             = ffffff

## For usability, use site colours if possible, otherwise blue/dark blue/red choices that look OK with site colours
LINK              = 697ec9
VISITED           = 33478c
HOVER             = cc3600
HOVER_REVERSE     = ff7f50

SEVERE_DARK       = b32d00
SEVERE_LIGHT      = ffece6
MODERATE_DARK     = e6b000
MODERATE_LIGHT    = fff3cc
OK_DARK           = 009933
OK_LIGHT          = e6ffee

Simply alter the hex values to the colours you want. These placeholder values will be compiled into the Ensembl css files on server startup.

Note: we recommend not changing the font sizes, or you may have problems with your graphics!