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Joomla! Template Design: Create your own professional-quality templates with this fast, friendly guide

Tessa Blakeley Silver

A complete guide for web designers to all aspects of designing unique website templates for the free Joomla! 1.0.8 PHP Content Management System
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847191441
Paperback232 pages

About This Book

  • Create Joomla! Templates for your sites
  • Debug, validate, and package your templates
  • Tips for tweaking existing templates

Who This Book Is For

This book is aimed at web designers who want to create their own unique templates for Joomla!. Readers should have basic knowledge of Joomla! (which can be obtained by working through Building Websites with Joomla!) and also some knowledge of CSS and HTML, and using Dreamweaver for coding purposes.

Buy Joomla! Template Design: Create your own professional-quality templates with this fast, friendly guide


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Getting Started as a Joomla! Template Designer
Let’s Get Going!
Designing Templates vs. Designing Web Pages
Things You’ll Need to Know
Chapter 2: Identifying Key Elements for Design
Creating and Reviewing the Mock-Up
Slice ‘n’ Dice
Putting It All Together
Chapter 3: Coding It Up
Got Joomla!?
WYSIWYG Editors: What-You-See-Isn’t-Really-What-You-Get
Setting Up Your Workflow
The Truth about XHTML
Tabula Rasa
Chapter 4: Debugging and Validation
Introduction to Debugging
The Road to Validation
Chapter 5: Your Template in Action
A Picture’s Worth
Easy XML
Zip it Up!
Uploading to Joomla!
Chapter 6: Templating Markup Reference
Your Markup and Joomla!’s
Chapter 7: Dynamic Menus and Interactive Elements
Dynamic Menus
Using Flash
Chapter 8: AJAX / Dynamic and Interactive Forms
Preparing for Dynamic and Interactive Forms
Joomla! Extensions
Wrapping It Up
The AJAX Factor
Chapter 9: Design Tips for Working with Joomla!
The Cool Factor
Advanced Tips

What You Will Learn

  • Set up a basic workflow for Joomla! template design
  • Work on layouts for your template
  • 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 will help you brush up your web skills especially XHTML and CSS and help you to get ready to embark on designing a great 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 speed up the design 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 see some of the alternatives to a full Joomla! install. You will learn about the two versions of your design; one with tables and one with semantic XHTML and CSS.

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.

In Chapter 6, you will learn about the standard XHTML Markup and CSS classes for Joomla!. You will also review the standard ways to control what markup is produced via PHP and the Joomla! Administration panel.

In Chapter 7, you will learn to add drop-down menus to your Joomla! template and we discuss various ways to display Flash content.

In Chapter 8, you 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 Javascripts and JavaScript toolkits 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.

In Chapter 9, you will pick up some key tips for easily implementing today’s coolest CSS tricks into your template as well as a few final “fix them” tips for problems that you'll probably run into, once you turn the site over to the content editors.

In Detail

Joomla! is a free, award-winning content management system written in PHP that allows users to easily publish their content on the World Wide Web and intranets. It is used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications. Joomla! is easy to install, simple to manage, and reliable.

The Joomla! template is a series of files within the Joomla! CMS that control the presentation of the content. The template is the basic foundation design for viewing your Joomla! website. To produce the effect of a "complete" website, the template works hand in hand with the content stored in the Joomla! databases.

This book will help you build templates for your Joomla! site. It will help you understand the options in dealing with them. It will help you learn about how to use multiple templates in the same site. It will advise you on creating beautiful Joomla! designs, and using CSS rather than tables in your templates. The book guides you on using animations and other effects in Joomla! templates and provides you with tricks for tweaking existing templates.


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