Monday, April 4, 2011

CMS Templates: Download or Design?

This paragraph is an addendum to this blog. After class, I have decided that it is necessary to learn to template whether you start from scratch or modify a template. You can't modify a structure if you don't understand how to operate in the CMS. It will most likely be easier to start from scratch because you can make the template the way you have designed it and not have to eliminate unnecessary aspects of a template that is already created.

Original Blog

On a continuing note from my last blog, I ultimately decided to join the group of students working with Joomla because it is considered friendlier for designers. Now the question is set before us as to whether we should download a fully designed template for our website redesign project or to design a template ourselves.

I am working in a group of four people and we will come to any final decisions as a group. For us, time is short and we are starting at the beginning of our learning curve. It is therefore my opinion that we should find a template that is closest to our wireframe design layout and then tweak that template to suit our needs.

Suggested Template for Modification:

Based on the wireframe design layout that our group decided on, I suggest this template called green-consultant as a base to begin to develop our website redesign project.  I looked at many different templates on a lot of free Joomla template websites and this template most resembles the structure of our wireframe.

Joomla Template Resources:

Finding Joomla template resources is as easy as entering those words into the Google search.  I am listing here some of websites that I visited in my search for the right template for my group project.
I did experience problems downloading templates from Some of the zipped folders appeared to be empty and my computer wanted me to insert a CD to continue extracting. Many sites are free but they want the user to register and login to be able to download their templates. seemed to be the easiest to work with.

Learn Joomla Templating:

Even if you download a template to use for your website, there is always some little detail that you might want to change. Here is a list of good sources to learn how to design a Joomla template.

The source is my favorite to begin with because the site offers video tutorials grouped into three skill levels. The beginner level set of tutorials is free. There is a fee for the intermediate and advanced levels but the prices are reasonable.

The source is a written tutorial that includes snippets of php code and continues on to the next page of instructions. The page that I have linked to in the list above is an article on how to customize Joomla templates. This may be useful to my group. is a resource library that costs at the least $25.00 per month to access but it is rich with video tutorials for just about everything related to working on the computer. However, I found only two videos on this site useful to my group. We are using Joomla 1.6 and there are only two videos for this latest version of Joomla. Those videos are titled Essential Training and Creating and Editing Custom Templates.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for listout the sites for learning the design process of joomla templates. It's a valuable information for beginners.