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Now for the Details: A First Look at Joomla! Templates

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You are using Joomla! now and would like to know more about its template functions. This chapter gives you an overview of the structure of the templates—knowledge that will help you develop your own individualized template based on the default templates.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Templates determine the general structure of a page. Apart from the design, they determine where the content is within the document, where and when certain modules are shown or hidden, whether to use your own error pages, and which HTML version you should use.

The standard version of Joomla! currently contains three templates for the front end and two for the back end. The frontend templates are two versions of Beez and one Atomic template. In the back end are the standard template Bluestork and the accessible template Hathor by Andrea Tarr. We are going to ignore the backend templates for now.

First and foremost, the frontend templates should be captivating. You can adapt templates according to how you want your Web site to look and feel to the outside world. All templates differ not just in their visual design but also in their range of technical functions. Here is a brief overview of the frontend templates.


The focus of the Atomic template is on using the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) framework Blueprint. Prepared CSS classes help you create complex layouts. If you select this template in the back end and look at the page, it initially seems to have no design. It only appears this way, though, because it is not designed to work with the current sample data. Once you adapt it, you will have a very nice design. More on Atomic a bit later.

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