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Joomla Templates, Frameworks and the 960 Grid

Last week I blogged about the Fastest Joomla Template in the World. In a related topic, today I wanted to talk about how frameworks and grids are being used in our Joomla templates, and why we have come to adopt the 960 grid system for our future template releases.

At Joomlashack, we focus on clean, deceptively simple templates that are easy to customize, and look great. We've been using our own "framework" in use for a couple of years now, and included such Joomla template innovations such as dynamic width switchers and source ordering.

In my mind, a framework is some kind of standardization in a template. For a long time people used default templates like Milkyway or Beez as a jumping off point, so they served as de facto frameworks.

Over time, major template vendors like Joomlashack, Rockettheme and Joomlart have developed their own framework. They used core snippets to do repeated tasks, like collapsing columns. Lately, we have seen the created of ever more complicated frameworks like the ones from Prothemer and Yootheme.

Recently, we have gone looking for a new base system for our templates. After an extensive search, have adopted the 960 CSS grid system first created by designer Nathan Smith.

The 960 CSS grid provides a rock solid, fast loading layout, using grids to space out columns for a web page. Its elegantly simple, works in major browsers, and very flexible and powerful. We first used the 960 grid for our Inspirion Joomla template.

Joomlashack didn't stop there of course. For our newest release, we added our own special ingredients:

  • We took the 960 grid and converted it to Joomla
  • We created advanced PHP processing so the grid can be dynamic (so you can change column widths)
  • We added source ordering and layouts that can be change on the fly (check this video!)
  • We wrapped a fluid version of the 960 grid inside the fixed width version to create highly flexible module variations.

The result is an evolution of template design, but one that give more power with greater simplicity. Our latest Joomla template, eBusiness, has a Hemi under the hood. A Hemi with 960 cubic feet of power!


JS eBusiness



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