Templates are just a group of XML, PHP, HTML and image files that are stored in the templates directory of your site. You can edit these files directly or use the Template Manager.
Before you start hacking away at a default installed template, remember that any updates of the Joomla core files is likely to contain new copies of the default templates. Unless you take steps to protect your work, your modifications will be lost.
There are options in the Template Manager to Duplicate and Copy an existing template style or the actual template and template files. This page refers to the methods available to make a full copy of your template, styles and all the template files.
Note you can make a copy of the template style and if you are only copying the style of the template, you are not protected from overwrites. There is simply another entry made in the
_template_styles table of the database. The template files are not duplicated into another uniquely-named directory and they will be overwritten during an upgrade.
To preserve your changes you need to Copy the template with all its styles. This procedure makes references to creating a full copy(a duplicate) of the template including all the files.
Create a new template by copying an existing template:
<language tag="en-GB">en-GB.tpl_my_template.ini</language> <language tag="en-GB">en-GB.tpl_my_template.sys.ini</language>
<param name="theme_header" type="folderlist" directory="templates/my_template/styles/header" default="" label="Header Themes" description="HEADER THEMES DESCRIPTION" /> <param name="theme_background" type="folderlist" directory="templates/my_theme/styles/background" default="" label="Background Themes" description="BACKGROUND THEMES DESCRIPTION" /> <param name="theme_elements" type="folderlist" directory="templates/my_theme/styles/elements" default="" label="Primary Elements" description="PRIMARY ELEMENTS DESCRIPTION" />
Now the new template must be introduced to your Joomla site through the discovery process.
If successful, the new template will now be available in Administrator → Extensions → Template Manager
You might have problems as a result of copying an existing template to a new template. Because of the way that Joomla handles file names, you might be tripped up by a capitalization error, for example.
Joomla contains some useful debugging tools. To see what is happening while working on a site, there are three settings that you should change.
With the Debug Language set to Yes, for instance, you will see the success or failure of language file loading on each page of the Administrator. Open the Joomla Debug Console > Language Files Loaded panel to view the report.