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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.
We are ready to get started on making our Joomla! template. So your first step is one you are familiar with. You have already gone through that process of planning your site and got a graphic designer and that converted it to some type of HTML and CSS and Image files. As we have done here with the Bliss No. 5 chocolate website. You are going to follow your typical way of creating that HTML file, whether you are slicing and dicing a Photoshop or a Fireworks component. You have created the DreamWeaver HTML layout or you might just work directly in DreamWeaver and use your CSS- based layout. However you choose is fine. Make sure you think about where the menus and the content and various other Joomla! modules are going to appear while you are in process of doing this.
So here is that flat HTML file that we are starting with. This contains some HTML and there CSS that's controlling the look of the page. If we look here in Dreamweaver, just to catch those you up who are working in Dreamweaver as well, over here on the right-hand side I have my Files window open and above that is the Style window and I am currently looking at All Styles. If you have other palettes that are open here on the other side, we are not going to be using them. You can close them or minimize them to get rid of them. My Styles are operating off of an external style sheet called default.css that lives inside my CSS folder and the reason why we do this as an external style sheet always first of all, Joomla! wants an external style sheet. But it also helpful to you because it going to help you with search engine optimization. There is not so much code at the top of the page for search engine spiders to wade through on its way to the content. It also means the style sheet can be used then more than one template and I will be covering in another series of video called Advanced CSS in Joomla!.
If you look at the menu on this side here, such this want to cross the top, I am going to flip over Code View here and you will see that our menus are written with unordered lists. This is generally a best practice in writing HTML anyway. But it is the way the Joomla! will also write its lists, in an unordered list fashion and use styles to make them go horizontal. If you want assistance in how to make a list go horizontally, a great site to look at is Listamatic and we will include to that in our exercise files. I am going to flip back over to Design View. There are four images that are used to make this site over here in the folder. The background image is this background in the content area here with little flowers. We have a footer images that's down at the bottom of the page. It's this darker teal piece with the rounded corners. We have a logo on the top, this image here, and a tag line image, which is also a background image on this webpage.
The structure of our files over here are what Joomla! is ultimately is going to want. Joomla! will want a CSS folder with the default.css file with it. Joomla! will also want an Images folder with whatever images involved on the site are in it. You will notice here that I have used all GIF images on this site. That just happens to be the way things worked out. You can of course use JPEGs or PNG files as images as well. If you are not familiar with how to make your own static page I recommend you go back to the introduction from my recommendations on some helpful HTML and CSS videos you can watch at lynda.com so that you can make a page just like this.
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