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How would I incorporate Joomla in this case?

Posted on 2011-02-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Joomla rocks! I so dig everything that I'm seeing, but here's my question. I've got a site where my client is going to be dictating the look and feel. While it resembles some of the Joomla templates that I've seen, there are going to be some unique aspects that make me think a template may or may not work.

I've seen some tutorials that allow you to take a Photoshop document and, basically, build your own Joomla page from scratch. I've not looked at it closely enough to know if that's a common approach or is that asking for trouble?

Secondly, I've been working on the site that I'm looking to convert to a Joomla platform for the better part of two years. There are some things that I've built that I want to preserve. Is it possible to open the hood of your Joomla database and incorporate some of your own code? For example, I want to be able to flag a particular contestant as the "Featured Performer of the Week." That would mean adding anothe column to the table that corresponds to that user and adding a lilttle bit of stuff to the administrative interface that allows me to go in there and flag that contestant. Can you do that kind of thing, or, again, am I asking for trouble.

I'm hoping there's a Joomla ninja out there that can answer my question. What do you think?
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Question by:brucegust
3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:thomasd04
ID: 34930907
Hi brucegust. I love Joomla CMS also! I've created many sites with it for a wide variety of purposes. As I understand it, you want the following two questions answered (summarized):
- Is creating your own template from Photoshop a feasible approach?
Absolutely, this can be done if you're up to it. However, it depends on your experience, knowledge, and time. While I can create my own template and design myself, I prefer to use templates for my clients; for two main reasons: 1- It's much faster! Many of the templates come with modules and sample content already installed. This makes it easier for me to see the potential of the template. And 2 - Many of the templates incorporate technologies that I have yet to learn about because I don't have the time. Examples would be custom modules, headers, java-scripts, menu systems, etc. There are some great professional and powerful templates out there at very low prices.

- Can you modify the database and code of the Joomla code?
Yes, you can but I would not recommend it. Reason being there are always subversion updates that may overwrite or change your modifications. This would be tedious work tracking changes and making modifications each time there was an update. The updates are important for security patches and feature additions. So what should you do? Get to know the Joomla API. Joomla is very powerful because it allows you to create extensions that will allow you to perform the functions that you're looking for, both on the public front-end and the admin back-end. The API reference can be found here: http://api.joomla.org/.

I hope this information helps. Good luck!
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Accepted Solution

by:
LAMASE earned 250 total points
ID: 34930929
A whole new template is easier tat you may think. Basically you need to
- create a folder inside "templates" (ie "mytemplate")
- make a file "templateDetails.xml", copy from another theme and modify.. you can start with something like
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<install version="1.5" type="template">
	<name>mytemplate</name>
	<version>1.0.0</version>
	<creationDate>17/02/11</creationDate>
	<author>aaaa</author>
	<authorEmail>aaaaa@bbb.com</authorEmail>
	<copyright></copyright>
	<description>My custom template</description>
	<positions>
		<position>header</position>
		<position>menu</position>
		<position>left</position>
		<position>right</position>
		<position>footer</position>
	</positions>

	<params>
	</params>
</install>

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note the "positions", are the zones where you will put modules.

- make the template, index.php, with something like
<html>
<head>
....
</head>
<body>
<div id="container">
	<div id="menu"><jdoc:include type="modules" name="menu" /></div>
	<div id="content">
		<div id="left"><jdoc:include type="modules" name="left" /></div>
		<div id="main">

			<jdoc:include type="component" />

		</div>
		<div id="right"><jdoc:include type="modules" name="right" /></div>
	</div>
	<div id="footer"><jdoc:include type="modules" name="footer" /></div>
</div>

</body>
</html>

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Note the
<jdoc:include type="modules" name="menu" />

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that defines a single position, and
<jdoc:include type="component" />

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that defines the main content.

For the second part of the question you will need little deeper knowledge of joomla programming... you can create your own modules, components... depends on your skills, not ninja presence here ;)
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Assisted Solution

by:Amanda Watson
Amanda Watson earned 250 total points
ID: 34931249
For building your own template I only recently discovered Artiseer http://www.artisteer.com
I wish I had found it sooner as I did build my own templates before but this great tool has saved me HOURS
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