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How to choose the best Joomla Template for your project

Invest your time better when desiging a site

You already know that Joomla is a versatile platform with a theming system that provides great features and flexibility. As a Web developer working on your own projects or a client site, you also already know that it’s a great idea and the best use of your time to invest in purchasing a professional template to build upon. When you do this, you don’t have to focus on laying out the groundwork for your web-design project, because the template will take care of that. Instead, you can spend your time on the small details, the customization, the incorporated features, and the site design.

The Joomla theme market is huge, so it’s important to go into the process with a list of features, requirements, and theme characteristics that will work best for your needs, skill level, and the particular project.

Basic Layouts

The first place to start is figuring out what kind of layout you want, which generally depends on the content you’re presenting to your readers. A text-heavy site benefits from a blog- or magazine-style layout, while a media-centric site may need more of a photo gallery or video site layout. The Novitas template, for example, was built with what is know as a "content-first" template, a term used to describe sites tat enable you, the web designer, to fill the home page with lots of articles, which in turn, means lots of H1 and H2 headers and parts of articles. For this reason alone, this type of template is great for SEO.

The Tripod template in contrast, is a great example of a photo/media-centric layout that allows the web designer to show off an artist's work. It uses a flat, responsive design that puts the focus on the content, this time in the form of images, while still having an eye catching design. Templates also allow you to decide on the number of columns to display, such as two- or three-plus-column designs.

You should sketch out the grid work and the basic layout to accommodate the project before you go shopping for a template.

Framework and Extensions Compatibility

Some Joomla templates are loaded down with coding and scripts that are not part of the Joomla content management system. They come loaded with everything but the kitchen sink and as a result, they are heavy and bloated. Each time Joomla releases an update, all these features will need to be fettled with to make sure they work, so these templates are usually slow to update and maintain. These types of templates are hard to work with, as they go outside the knowledge realm of Joomla alone and increase the complexity and time you take on a project.

At Joomlashack we build our tempaltes with the Wright Framework, the lightest framework in the industry. Look for templates that only utilize Joomla features at their base, and confirm that any extensions you want to add to the template work properly with the theme. One template that is especially good with being adapted to your extensions’ needs is the Techie theme by Joomlashack. This is a clean template with a code structure that makes it easy to look through and work with. In addition, it also has different skins and a responsive design.

Search Engine Optimization

Search-engine rankings make or break businesses, so it’s important to make sure that the Joomla theme is search-engine friendly as its base. Otherwise you are going to spend a lot of time making changes to get it to be as SEO friendly as possible. Look for information about the template's SEO features and take a look through how essential SEO elements, such as the content divs, title tags and headers, appear in the code. Ideally you want these elements to be as close to the top of the page as possible, with the rest of the necessary in-line coding further down so that the search-engine crawlers see content first. 

Here you found some ideas that would help you to make a better decision. Please let us know any other features and characteristics you consider can also be important when choosing the template of your project.

 Author: Eddie Tabush



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