Getting Started with Templates

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The "J2.5" namespace is a namespace scheduled to be archived. This page contains information for a Joomla! version which is no longer supported. It exists only as a historical reference, it will not be improved and its content may be incomplete and/or contain broken links.

This introductory tutorial will give you an insight into the Joomla! templating system and what you can do with it.


J2.5:What is the purpose of a template?

What can you do[edit]

J2.5:What can you do with a template?

Templates Supplied[edit]

J2.5:J2.5:Templates supplied with Joomla!

Switching Templates[edit]

To change the default Template for the Site (Front-end) or Administrator (Back-end), follow these steps:

  • Click on: Extensions -> Template Manager


You will now see the Template Manager screen.

Note: If you do not see Template Manager listed as an option on the Extensions menu, then it is most likely because you are not logged in as a Super Administrator. Only Super Administrators will see this menu item.

From here you manage your templates for Front-end and Back-end. The default view shows your installed Front-end templates. The default template for the Front-end is marked with a star; in the image below it is rhuk_milkyway.

To change the default template to beez:

  • click the checkbox left from the template name to select it;
  • click "Default" on the toolbar;

the star changes from rhuk_milkyway to beez and you are done.


Assigning more than one template for the Front-end[edit]

Using Template Manager[edit]

  • Go to Extensions > Template Manager, choose a template style by checking the box to the left of its name and then click on the Edit button. Alternatively, simply click the name of the template style to edit it.
  • On the Edit Style screen, check the menu items that should display the chosen template style and click on the Save button.

The image on the left shows the Getting Started page displaying the Beez2 template style. The image on the center shows the Atomic template style being assigned to the Getting Started menu item. The image on the right shows the Getting Started page now with Atomic template style.


  • Go to the fronted of your website and refresh the page to view the modifications.

Using menu items under Menus[edit]

  • Go to Menus > Menu Name, choose a menu item by checking the box to the left of its name and then click on the Edit button. Alternatively, simply click the name of the menu item to edit it.
  • On the Edit Menu Item screen, in Template Style, choose the desired template style and click on the Save button.

Atomic template style being applied to the Getting Started Menu item.

  • Go to the fronted of your website and refresh the page to view the modifications.

Installing Templates[edit]

Install via Admin Panel (packed template file)[edit]

Log into the back-end of your site (www.your-site.com/administrator/)

Click on: Extensions -> Extension Manager


You see the page "Extension Manager"

From here you can install your Templates, Plugins, Modules, Components and Languages. You have three options:

  • Upload Package File - (select a package from your PC, upload and install it)
  • Install from Directory - (enter the path where the package is located on your server)
  • Install from URL - (enter the URL to the package)

Here, we choose the first method: Upload Package File

Select the package from your PC and click the button "Upload File & Install"


If the package contains no errors you are done and get a success message like the one below.


Install via FTP (unpacked template file)[edit]

Templates can also be installed via FTP without packaging them. Simply select the template folder on your PC and upload it to your server, using your favorite FTP software. Be sure you upload the template folder to the directory: /path_to_joomla/templates/ - where /path_to_joomla/ is the location of your Joomla! installation on the server. This method is mostly used when you have created a template yourself, and do not want to have to package it to install the template, or if you want to upload more than one template at once. You must then go into extension manager and click on Discover in the sub menu. Click on "Discover" in the toolbar if your template doesn't immediately appear. A list of uninstalled items in the FTP should then appear. Click the checkbox to the left of your template and click install.

Note: Do not try to use FTP to install Components, Modules and Plugins if you are a beginner/novice. These items need database entries which have to be inserted manually if you bypass the package installer.