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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.
The XML file is an installation file, so that all of the files that create a template are sent to the right locations. It must be constructed in a specific way to work correctly. Even if you don't know XML, you will be able to copy and paste what you see in this file to make it work for you. This is the XML that drives the installation of your Joomla! template. XML is like HTML in that there is always an opening and a closing tag. So, name and then /name, a creationDate and /creationDate. Notice that all of your capitalization and spellings have to be consistent as they always are when writing code.
When creating this XML file, you never really start this from scratch. We will always give you a file that you can start from and then modify it as you need to, to make the XML installation file for your specific set of templates. This include things such as the name of the file, which is what will show up in your Template Manager, the creationDate and author and so forth, a description of what your template is and then two very important parts of the XML file. A series of files; this is all of the things that appear in your CSS folder, in your images folder, the index.php file, the XML file and the thumbnail file itself.
The second part here on line 23 to line 27 are the positions that are appearing in your template. These are module positions that are typically assigned names like top, left, or footer. We'll show you how to create those positions in another video and how to figure out how many positions to include and how to create a list like this. The only things you are going to need to add or remove from an XML file are more file names under the Files tag or fewer of them and you may need to add or remove some of the positions in this file.
Everything else you can just change what's between the tags. In part two of this video series, we are going to show you step-by-step how to modify this XML files so that your templates will install correctly. We'll give you that starter XML file, so you can use it the pattern in your future XML files.
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