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Published on 26 July 2007

Why doesn't my template look like the demo?

Want to learn more about how to build professional websites with Joomla? Then check out Joomlashack University, the #1 Joomla online training program in the world.

Sometimes, a new Joomla! user may ask the question, "Why doesn't my template look like the demo?"

Each Joomlashack demo should contain  important pieces of information such as module map, module class suffixes, and the differences of template and content. If you have a problem trying to achieve a desired effect, we suggest looking through the actual demo for the necessary documentation. Our documentation is on the live demo of the template you purchased. This makes documentation much more up to date.


Why doesnt my template look like the demo Understanding what a Joomla! template is and what it is not can open up many doors in learning how to use the Joomla CMS.

A Joomla! template is not a website, neither is it to be considered a completed website design. The template is, however, the basic foundation for the design, yielding what the public will see when viewing your Joomla! website.

Look at Figure A below for a minute. This screenshot shows the template in use with recomended sample content.

Figure B shows the template as it may look with a raw Joomla installation with little or no content. The template is styled so that when your content is inserted, it will inherit the stylesheet defined in the template such as link styles, menus, navigation, text size and colors, to name a few.

What is a Joomla Template

When you look at a Joomla! powered website, you'll usually see 3 main placeholders:

Central Component Area:

This area is commonly defined as the mainbody in templates and renders the actual content. There are many predefined styles within the mainbody which are automatically styled by the template such as headings, links, tables etc.

Module Positions:

Module positions are the side blocks you'll commonly notice on the left and/or right and often times in userpositions such as top and bottom. The Joomla! template is responsible for the positioning as well as the styles of these as well. Some templates have predefined suffix classes. Module Class Suffixes are not universal with all templates. Some of our templates have multiple preset module styles (such as red, green, blue) which can be entered in the suffix field of the individual module's parameters. When purchasing a template from Joomlashack, the documentation will tell you what module styles are available and their configuration.

Menus Systems:

Menu systems are perhaps the most used modules in Joomla! That's right, menus are modules themselves. The template is also responsible for the rendering of these as well. A template can define whether a menu system is a drop-down style, a button style or a default link style.

So as you can see, the template is a very powerful part of the CMS. There is however, a bit of knowledge of Joomla! required in order to configure your installation tailored to the template you have chosen. We have many tutorials to help you learn how to Joomla!

Want to learn more about how to build professional websites with Joomla? Then check out Joomlashack University, the #1 Joomla online training program in the world.

published in Joomla Tutorials

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