What is a Joomla Template?
The Joomla template is a series of files within the Joomla CMS that control the presentation of the content. The Joomla template is not a web site, neither is it to be considered a complete web site design. The template is the basic foundation design for viewing your Joomla! web site.
The template is styled so that when your content is inserted, will inherit the stylesheet defined in the template such as link styles, menus, navigation, text size and colors to name a few. Notice how the images associated with the content (the photos of the people) are not part of the template, whereas the image in the header is part of the template.
Using a template for a CMS, as Joomla does, has a number of advantages and disadvantages:
- There is a complete separation of content and presentation, especially when CSS is used for layout (as opposed to having tables in the index.php file). This is one of the main criteria for a site that meets modern web standards.
- A new template, and hence a completely new look to a web site can be applied instantly. This can even have different locations/positioning of content as well as colors and graphics.
- If different layouts are called for within one web site, it is difficult to achieve. Although different templates can be applied to different pages, this built in functionality is not reliable. Most designers choose to use various PHP code to show/hide columns depending if there is any content published in that location (discussed in tips and tricks).