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Joomla! 1.5: Creating and Editing Custom Templates
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Using the exercise files


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Joomla! 1.5: Creating and Editing Custom Templates

with Jen Kramer

Video: Using the exercise files

If you are a premium member of the lynda.com Online Training Library or if you are watching this tutorial on a DVD- ROM, you'll have access to the exercise files used throughout this title. Our exercise files, which I am looking at right now, are organized into individual chapters that correspond to our templates video. In Chapters 1, we provide individual files to look at, to see how a code is written in a typical Joomla! template and get a sense of how these templates are put together. In Chapter 2, we are going to start building our template and we will give you all of the building blocks that you need to put together the same template. In Chapter 3, we are going to give you the final template and we are going to give you some examples of non- working templates, so you can see all of the standard problems that occur in a template installation. In Chapter 4, we will give you the starting CSS files for you to work with, for styling all the modules in other areas of your template. We will also give you the ending CSS files as well just in case you need those too.

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Joomla! 1.5: Creating and Editing Custom Templates
2h 11m Intermediate Dec 02, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Converting HTML comps to Joomla! templates
  • Troubleshooting installation problems
  • Creating XML and index files
  • Placing random images
  • Configuring menus and submenus
  • Changing the favicon
Subjects:
Web CMS Web Development
Software:
Joomla!
Author:
Jen Kramer

Using the exercise files

If you are a premium member of the lynda.com Online Training Library or if you are watching this tutorial on a DVD- ROM, you'll have access to the exercise files used throughout this title. Our exercise files, which I am looking at right now, are organized into individual chapters that correspond to our templates video. In Chapters 1, we provide individual files to look at, to see how a code is written in a typical Joomla! template and get a sense of how these templates are put together. In Chapter 2, we are going to start building our template and we will give you all of the building blocks that you need to put together the same template. In Chapter 3, we are going to give you the final template and we are going to give you some examples of non- working templates, so you can see all of the standard problems that occur in a template installation. In Chapter 4, we will give you the starting CSS files for you to work with, for styling all the modules in other areas of your template. We will also give you the ending CSS files as well just in case you need those too.

Finally, in Chapter 5, we are going to do a little fancy footwork with our templates. We are going to start giving you some PHP and some CSS as a starting point in your template as well as the ending. And finally, we will give a favicon to put that final finishing touch on your website. But first, we need to get our website set up with a common starting point. Because this is a more advanced set of Joomla! instructions, we are not going to take the time to build out the whole website that we are going to use for putting together our template. Plus we also want to make sure that we start with all the same modules, the same content and the same menu structures.

So, we have written a little component for you that you can put on your Joomla! installation that will completely wipe out your entire Joomla! database and all of your images. Let me just repeat that. It's going to wipe out your entire website and replace it with the exercise files that you are going to need for this tutorial. So, we strongly recommend that you make a fresh Joomla! installation somewhere in your web hosting space or on your personal computer. Do a separate Joomla! install in a separate Joomla! database that's strictly devoted to lynda.com. You really cannot use this as part of any of your client's websites or any of your personal websites because again, all of your data will be wiped out.

We have a fresh Joomla! installation here. This is our standard Joomla! installation for Joomla! 1.5.7 and we have installed the Joomla! sample data just so you can see what the site looks like. As you already know, there is a backend to the Joomla! website. In another tab here in Firefox, I am going to go to my localhost/ChocolateBliss1/ administrator and I am going to login.

Now, I need to install my component from the exercise files. So, I am going to go to Extensions > Install/Uninstall. I am going to browse for my package file, which is located in my exercise files in the Introduction folder. Once again, let me remind you that you really need to backup your entire website. Did I mention this is going to wipe out all of your files and all of your data when you install this component? If you are really sure, go ahead and upload the file and install.

You should get an Install Component Success message. Now, we need to run the component. If you have not backed your site up yet, now would be a really good time to do that. Under Components, you will find the item, the lynda.com Tutorial. Click this. By the way, did we mention that your current site is going to be completely reset? Everything is going to go away. Are you absolutely sure? If so, click here. Make sure you are really, really sure before you do this. If you are not sure about how to back up your site or how to set it up, make sure you go back and review the Joomla! Essential Training videos with Joseph LeBlanc. If you click this Yes button, your files and your data are all going to go away. Make sure you are really, really sure.

So, our demo restore has been completed successfully. Now, if you go back to the front page of your website and hit Refresh, you will see all of the data that you need to successfully complete our Joomla! Template video series. At any point in time, you can run this same component again and it will completely reset your website back to this point if you make big mistakes along the ways in the video tutorials, but again, remember that you are going to go all the way back to this point and none of your data will be saved. No backups will be made unless you have made them yourself in advance.

If you are a monthly subscriber or annual subscriber to lynda.com, you don't have access to the exercise files but you can follow along from scratch or your own assets.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Joomla! 1.5: Creating and Editing Custom Templates.


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Q: When creating and uploading custom templates as described in Joomla! Creating and Editing Custom Templates , the following error occurs:

XML Parsing Error at 1:1. Error 4: Empty document
JInstaller::install: File '/tmp/install_4bd887e090339/css/default.css' does not exist.


What is causing this error?
A: Check through the errors described in the “Fixing typical installation problems” video (e.g. files included in the install package that are not listed in the XML file; the XML file lists files that are not in the install package; XML is badly formed). Also check for permissions issues with your server.
In all likelihood, if this message appears, there is an error with the XML file, possibly a typo or a misnamed file. Make sure the CSS file is called default.css and is located in the CSS folder. Also, make sure everything is spelled correctly.
 
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