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Custom templates are the key to making a Joomla!-driven website stand out. In Joomla! 1.5 Creating and Editing Custom Templates, Jen Kramer McKibben offers instruction and insight to help Joomla! users create eye-popping websites. Jen starts with the basics, like how to add the Joomla! template codes to a static HTML layout, install the template package, and clean up styling after installation. She also shows how to make multiple layouts within the same Joomla! template, configure menus and submenus, and more. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you are using your own files and you have got an error message the last time you tried to upload that ZIP file, there are typically some problems that will occur in your XML file. The common problems that we encounter are: you have forgotten to list a certain image or file, you have listed a file that doesn't exist, you have named your template the same name as something else are already existing in the site, or you have forgotten to close one of those XML tags. Those are generally the four problems that you will encounter when working with these template uploads. I am going to show you what all these errors look like in this movie.
First of all, from your Extension Manager screen here, and we are going to click on the Browse button, and we are going to go to our Chapter 3 folder and 03_02, pick the package called broken1.zip and let's upload that. So we have got a success message here. It looks like everything went great. Now we are going to go to our Extensions > Template Manager, and you will see that we now have a template called broken1. I am going to set that to be our default template. And then I am going to take a look at the front end of my website. And what you will notice here is we are missing the footer image. So what happened? Let's take a look at the XML file that drove this installation.
Let me go back to Dreamweaver and I am going to take a look at templateDetails1.xml. This is the XML file that's located inside of that ZIP folder. And you will here that I have only listed three images even though there are, as we know from earlier videos, four images that are associated with this template. The file that's missing is the footer image. And if we take a look at our Wamp installation and look at where our files have gone, you will see that we have a new template folder here under our templates folder called broken1. And inside of the image folder, there are actually only three images that are installed. That fourth image was present in the ZIP file but it just didn't get installed in this particular template.
At this point to fix this problem, you could just drag in the footer.gif image into this folder and that will fix the problem. Let's take a look at some other problems. Let's go back to Joomla! and let's go back to our Installation screen. Now we are going to try to upload broken2. What you see here is an error message that immediately appears. And it tells you that something called filedoesnotexist.jpg does not in fact exist. So where do that come from? Let's take a look at the XML file. Once again, I am going to go back to Dreamweaver and I am going to take a look at templateDetails2.xml. And as you see here I have a file name listed in my XML file that in fact is not part of this template. So I have listed five images instead of the actual four that are on template. That's what has caused the error message. So the way to fix this problem is simply get rid of this line, re-save the XML file, and put it back in your ZIP file, and then try to upload it again. Now let's take a look at another problem.
Back to our Extension Manager, this time we are going to browse for broken3.zip. And we are going to upload it. In this particular case, we get another error message. It says that, "Another template is already using the directory" called beez. That's because I had named in my XML file, the name of the template I gave was beez, which as we know already exists on this website because beez is a default template that comes with Joomla!. Let's take a look at the XML file. Back to templateDetails3, you will see here on line four that the name of the file is beez. We need to change that to a unique name. So if I change this broken3, save this XML file, update my ZIP file, and then install this on the server, I should fix that problem.
Finally, let's take a look at the last common problem. I am going to upload broken4 here. And this time it says that it couldn't even find an XML setup file in the package. Well, if you open up broken4.zip, you will find that there is in fact an XML file present but there is a problem with that. Let's take a look at Dreamweaver at templateDetails4. Right here on line 21, you will see that we forgot to close the filename tag. And Joomla! is interpreting this as this is a completely invalid file and not what it was expecting. So I would call this a usability problem with a terrible error message because of course, there is a Joomla! XML file present. It's just formatted badly. You can't always believe what you read on the screen.
Now that you have fixed your template problems and hopefully you have a template installed, let's go on to the next step, trying to make it look pretty.
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