Joomla 1.5: The Joomla Template Structure

In the following section I will be discussing Joomla templates more in depth.
I will discuss the different types of templates that Joomla supports.
In my opinion there are four types of Joomla templates.

1. Standard Template
2. Template Override
3. Conditional Template
4. Legacy Template

1. Standard Template the default Joomla 1.5.X template “rhuk_milkyway”.

This template is one of two pre installed “Front End” templates that comes with Joomla 1.5.X even though this is the default template you see in Joomla 1.5
this is not a standard template in my opinion.The reason why is that it uses a lot of Joomla 1.5 advance template features.

Not to take any credit from the designer he is very good and does a great job of showing the power of the Joomla 1.5.X template system.
But I believe that a Standard Template at its core should be as simple as possible and have just an HTML layout Framework
and a few module calls and the main include component call in the center.

Now why? Because most web sites and or designers are not going to use most of the advance features.
And its easer to learn the basics of a Joomla template.

Template Override
The second pre installed Joomla 1.5.X template is called “beez”.

This template does what’s called a “Template Override”. The concept is very powerful and in some cases needed for some type of web sites.
Template override templates can not only control or “override” the default formatting of the content,components and modules displayed but also add to it if one where to code it to do so.
Template Override are so powerful that I could not just write one or two paragraphs and explain its functions again in my option it’s a template type onto itself.

Now to be clear you can mix and match any type of template because “Template Override” are just functions and or code and or files that one can add to Joomla template files
and or directories.

Conditional Templates
A conditional template is not a official Joomla template type but just a function or logic.
But again in my opinion this is a Template Type because of how it can be used.

Now I’m not going to get to deep into what conditions are there just logic.
Like “IF” this true or false then do this or in most cases show or hide something.

New to Joomla 1.5.X are what are called “template parameters”.
The word parameters is used everywhere in Joomla but just think of it as an attribute like most of us have hair
some blonde some black.

If we where a computer program we could set our hair color parameter to change color from blonde to black or whatever color to another or both.
The “template parameter” would be “Hair” it’s attribute’s would be color types etc.

Now “template parameters” use a number of files in Joomla 1.5.X templates I’m not at this time going to get into which ones.

Template parameters work best with conditions. Like if a module is active or not. But don’t need to have a condition set in order
to work. I have grouped them with a conditional Template type because they work well with conditions.

Legacy Templates
These are older Joomla 1.0.X template that can work on Joomla 1.5.X framework if you set the CMS to work in legacy mode.

Lastly the above mention types of templates are in my opinion easier to group and categorize then to just to say there only one type or two types of Joomla 1.5.X templates.
But any type can have some or all the other mention functions added to them.