Creating templates in Joomla is pretty easy. If you are a good designer and have sound knowledge of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, HTML and CSS, then you will find Joomla Templates like child’s play. In other CMS, you have to create several different templates for differed page layouts. But in Joomla, only a single file can be customized to display different layouts will single information pages to front page will multiple columns and layouts.So, before beginning the tutorial, lets answer one question, why do we require to develop our own template? Can’t we find in Joomla, free templates or the templates of our requirements? Well, answer to the second question is: there are many sites in the web, where we can find free templates for Joomla. Ask Google for this. One of my favorite site and largest collection of free templates is www.joomla24.com. Also, you can find many commercial templates for your Joomla site in the web. The answer to the first question is: it depends on the client’s requirement. Many clients have their own specific templates to the sites, which may be difficult to customize in the free templates or commercial templates, that’s why we require to develop our own templates. In fact, if you are a good web designer, you will find more easier to develop your own template rather than using other’s template.
Installing a Joomla template:
Whenever, you download the Joomla template, to install it in your site, login to the admin panel and goto Extensions->Install/Uninstall. Select the template zip file and install it. If the template is installed successfully, it will be listed in the template manager. To enable the template, goto Extensions->Template Manager. Now, select the template and click on the Default button at top right, then goto the front page of your site and refresh the page. You will see the new template will be enabled for your website.
So, I have given you the basic idea about how we can install and use a pre-created Joomla Template. The templates are installed inside the ‘templates’ folder of your Joomla installation. If you look inside the templates folder, you will find different folders of template names. Inside each folder, you will find some files like, index.php, templateDetails.xml, template_thumbnail.png etc and folders like css, images etc (I have mentioned basic files and folders here, though there may be other files and folders).
Creating Required Files for Template:
Lets now start by creating a folder inside the templates folder, suppose we name it mytemplate. Now, lets create a blank file index.php. Later we will update it. Also, copy templateDetails.xml file from any other template folder, we are just going to change that file. Rest, create css and images folder. Now, change following parameters in templateDetails.xml file:
name, creationDate, author, authorEmail, copyright, license, version and description
Leave other parameters as it is and save the file, we will change other parameters later. Now, goto the admin panel Extensions->Template Manager, there you can see the name of template listed there. Now, if you make it default, you will see nothing in the front end because the index.php file is still blank. So, this concludes the part one of this tutorial.