Creating CSS templates in Joomla

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Creating CSS templates in Joomla

Hi all,

In the world of Content Management Systems, it is no more a difficult task to build a website. With CMS like Joomla, you could probably create a brand new site of yours within a day. Joomla comes with a lot of in-built features, and what makes is so popular is the fact that you can add third-party features to the core Joomla component in the form of extensions.

Apart from extensions, Joomla users can choose from different templates for their websites. Templates are just like dresses that are pre-made and can be used on any content. However, making templates for Joomla websites are more challenging! Generally Cascaded Style Sheets (CSS) is purely used for the purpose. So, how do we create a CSS template for Joomla? Read on to know more.

The templates are stored in the “template” directory of the Joomla installation package. So, if you are creating a new template, make sure that you create a folder under the “template” directory. In most cases, the name of the folder is the name of your template as well! Now, Joomla templates require a few files to be created.

a. index.php – This happens to be the main section of the complete Joomla template. It will specify the module positions and also the location of your css files.

b. templateDetails.xml – This XML file contains data about the complete template. This helps the Joomla application to extract information about the template.

c. css folder – This folder contains all the css files required for the template. In the most basic template, you will find a single file named .css

These files can be created on any text editor and then uploaded to the control panel of your web host! However, besides knowing CSS, one must also know certain aspects of Joomla, PHP and XML to create the above files.

1. The index.php file will contain certain tags that are specific to Joomla only. For example, will display the main content in any web page created in Joomla, thus all styles associated with the main content can be applied on it.

2. The XML file will contain a lot of information like the version that is suited to the template, the name, author, description, list of files present in the template directory, and the positions enabled in the template. These information should be filled up in order to be recognized by the core Joomla components.

3. The basic design of the page will be contained in the CSS files of the css folder. The design that you want to provide to the template must be coded in a clear way and also should conform to the W3C standards.

More than anything else, imagination is what makes a great template. Joomla, being an efficient tool for developers too, keeps the content section separated from the design section, thereby making it easy for designers to concentrate on their creativity to come up with great templates.

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