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Joomla! 1.5 Template Design

Tessa Blakeley Silver

Create your own professional-quality templates with this fast, friendly guide
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847197160
Paperback284 pages

About This Book


  • Create Joomla! 1.5 Templates for your sites
  • Debug, validate, and package your templates
  • Tips for tweaking existing templates with Flash, extensions and JavaScript libraries

Who This Book Is For

This book is aimed at web designers who want to create their own unique templates for Joomla! 1.5. Readers should have a basic knowledge of Joomla! 1.5 (Building Websites with Joomla! 1.5 by Hagen Graf from Packt Publishing will help you with this) and also basic knowledge of table-less CSS and XHTML techniques, as well as using Dreamweaver or other text/code editors for coding purposes.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Getting Started as a Joomla! Template Designer
Joomla! 1.5 perks
Pick a template or design your own?
Things you'll need to know
Tools of the trade
Chapter 2: Template Design and Approach
Things to consider
Getting ready to design
The solution: Rapid design comping
Let's get started!
Chapter 3: Coding It Up
Got Joomla?
Understanding the Joomla! 1.5 template
Your Joomla! 1.5 work flow
Let's build our template!
Chapter 4: Debugging and Validation
Don't forget about those other browsers and platforms!
Introduction to debugging
The road to validation
Chapter 5: Your Template in Action
A picture's worth a thousand words
Template packaging basics
The templateDetails.xml file
ZIP it up!
One last test
Chapter 6: Joomla! 1.5 Template Reference
Jdoc include tags
Menu output options
Using overrides
Additional template information
Common Joomla! CSS
Template parameters
Chapter 7: Dynamic Layouts, Menus, and Interactive Elements
DIY or extensions?
Dynamic layouts
Dynamic menus
Flash-ize It
Chapter 8: AJAX/Dynamic Content and Interactive Forms
Preparing for dynamic content and interactive forms
Joomla! extensions
The AJAX factor
Chapter 9: Advanced Enhancements and Design Tips for Joomla! 1.5
Giving users control
Editing a template override
Adding suffixes to modules and pages
Design tips and tricks
The cool factor essentials
Good design isn't always visual: Looking at SEO

What You Will Learn


  • Debug and validate your template code
  • Use the W3C's XHTML and CSS validation tools
  • Package up your finished template into a working ZIP file
  • Know the standard XHTML markup and CSS classes for Joomla!
  • Create Suckerfish drop-down menus
  • Get Flash content quickly into your Joomla! site
  • Create interactive and dynamic forms in your Joomla! site
  • Download and install Joomla! Extensions for your Joomla! site
  • Use the wrapper (Wrapper Menu Item) for fully working AJAX applications

Chapter 1 introduces you to the Joomla! 1.5 CMS, letting you know what you'll need to be aware of regarding the Joomla! 1.5 template project you're ready to embark on. The chapter also covers the development tools that are recommended and web skills that you'll need to begin developing a Joomla! 1.5 template for the most popular, robust, Open Source, content management system available for the Web today!

Chapter 2 covers the key elements of a Joomla! template and what considerations to make while working with your mock up. You will learn some basic techniques for image extraction and optimization, and some tips and tricks to enhance your design workflow and speed up the design revision process.

In Chapter 3, you will learn how to set up your development environment and an HTML editor for a smooth work flow. You will also learn how to make your template truly table-less by implementing template overrides.

Chapter 4 will help you understand the basic wash—rinse—repeat process of debugging and validating your template's code. You will learn how to use the W3C's XHTML and CSS validation tools and further explore the value of using Firefox as a development tool using its JavaScript Console and Firebug extension.

In Chapter 5, you will learn about the templateDetails.xml file and what each part of that file does in detail. Also, you will learn how to package up your finished template into a working ZIP file that anyone should be able to upload into their own Joomla! installation.

Chapter 6 covers key reference information under easy-to-look-up headings that will help you with your Joomla! template development. From the many CSS ID and class styles that Joomla! itself outputs to Joomla!'s jdoc tags and their controlling attributes, information in this chapter is listed along with key links to bookmark to make your template development as easy as possible.

In Chapter 7, you will learn to make your layout dynamic so it can handle collapsible columns. You'll then learn to add drop-down menus to your Joomla! template and we discuss various ways to display Flash content.

In Chapter 8, we will take look at the most popular methods to get you going with AJAX in Joomla! and help you create interactive and dynamic forms in your Joomla! site. Also, you will see some cool JavaScript toolkits and libraries you can use to make your site appear "Ajaxy". This chapter will also help you learn how to download and install Joomla! Extensions for your Joomla! site.

Chapter 9 covers how to enhance your template by adding a params.ini file so that your template's users have more dynamic control over your template's configuration right from the administration panel. For you PHP gurus out there, the basics you need to know about editing module chrome and template override files is covered. Last, you will pick up some key tips for easily implementing today's coolest CSS tricks into your template.

In Detail

Using Joomla! Templates with HTML and CSS allows you to give a unique look and feel to your site, present a "fresh face" to your pre-existing content, ensure that your site design is consistent with your brand, and build a site layout that suits your unique needs. A quality web site is easily within your grasp using these cutting-edge templates. However, even experienced web developers need help to take their designs and turn them into flexible and easily maintainable Joomla! 1.5 templates.

The release of Joomla! 1.5 meant a radically enhanced template system that is very different from that of Joomla! 1.0. Joomla! 1.5 comes complete with the ability to create template overrides and customize "module chrome". The Joomla! development team has also revamped the template process by introducing clean, understandable jdoc tags in place of the PHP function-based Mambo-derived markup that Joomla! 1.0 templates used. This book focuses squarely on the new enhancements to the Joomla! 1.5 templating process and walks web designers through the process of turning a working XHTML and CSS "mockup" into a fully functional Joomla! 1.5 template.

This well-crafted and easy-to-use book provides you with everything you need to create your own unique Joomla! 1.5 template. It guides you through setting up a basic work flow for Joomla! template design, debugging and validating the template code, creating drop-down menus and dynamic forms for your site, and packaging up your finished template in a ZIP file for users. At the end of this book you will be able to create a template that is effective, flexible, and presents a new look for the pre-existing content.

This book focuses on the new jdoc template system for Joomla! 1.5. It is geared toward web designers who need to know how to turn their designs into Joomla! 1.5 templates. It covers how to enhance and speed up your design and revision process, then focuses squarely on the Joomla! 1.5 essentials of creating a template. It covers implementing template overrides, the best approaches for implementing Flash and AJAX techniques, as well as advanced enhancements such as creating design parameters so users can have some control over the template via the administration panel. The original 1.0 book covered how to amend an existing 1.0 template before creating one from scratch, the new templating features of Joomla! 1.5 are so logical to implement we move right into creating a full table-less, semantic XHTML/CSS template from scratch.


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