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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.
These are the basic files and folders that comprise a Joomla! template. These Joomla! template files consist of certain organized in a very particular way. There is an image folder, CSS folder, an index.php file, an XML file and a thumbnail file which is in the format of a PNG. You may occasionally see another file in here called params.ini. Those are for fairly advanced applications that are beyond the scope of this video series so we are not going to talk about that.
Joomla! is very particular about the names of these files including spellings and underscores, capitalization and the way that the files are organized. So to go through all of these individually, there is a folder called CSS. Inside of the folder called CSS, there is at least one file called default.css. This is the main style sheet for the website. You may have more than one style sheet in this folder but one at least is required. And there is a folder called images. Assuming that you have some images that are associated with your template, this is where those images go. All of the images for that template are stored here. And obviously those vary between templates that you are working on. The index.php file contains all of the HTML and the Joomla! specific code required to make your template work.
The template_thumbnail.png file is the small thumbnail image that we saw in an earlier video when we were in the Template Manager and you moused over the name of the template file, you saw a little preview of what that template would look like. That's what this is. And finally is the templateDetails.xml file. This contains all of the instructions for installing the template correctly. Once you have generated these files and folders, as we are going to do in future videos, you can zip these together in any single ZIP file, uploaded to Joomla! and it will install as your template. We are going to do that in some later videos.
Joomla! is very particular about the way files are structured and organized. While you may have your own methodology for organizing files for your static sites, you must use Joomla!'s methods for templates to work correctly on a Joomla! site, so be sure you pay close attention to the details like the names of these files, their spellings, and their organizations when putting together a Joomla! template.
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