Joomla Templates explained pls

Say,  I'm new to Joomla and been flooded with Template options.
Please can you assist me with what features to look for in a template.

Kindly comment on this statement reflecting my understanding of template:
"Templates basically save time making code modifications by taking advantage of the built in features of the template"

Who is Participating?
joomla_phpConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There are two ways to look at this. The first is the separation of business, database and interface software. The second is the difference between an HTML site and a content management system site.

Once upon a time, programmers mixed various types of code together. Code that talked to the database was mixed with code that drew the screen and code that processed user input and produced a result.

This made it really hard to change any of those functions. To change out a database you could easily break the code that painted the screen or produced a processing result.

So "n-tier" architecture was invented. The database is a tier. The user interface is a tier. The business logic is a tier. Each level has its own set of files. Now you can change the interface without changing the database or breaking the business logic.

Now let's apply that to websites. Create an HTML page in notepad or Dreamweaver. Every page has an html extension. To have a menu on every page, the code for the menu has to be included in each html file. If you need to change the menu, you need to change code in each file.

The content management system (any of them -- Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, etc) separates the database, design and business logic. The code that connects to the database is not in the same file as the code that draws the page. The user input is accepted and processed without using the same file as template.

When you install a Joomla template, you get behaviors and designs specific to that template. You get HTML, CSS and JS files that encapsulate the design that template represents.

Some templates have mobile built in. Some have grid layout patterns. What all templates do is define a set of module positions, and then populate those positions at runtime.

Unfortunately, module position names are not standardized in Joomla. One template might have "left," "right", "top" and "footer" modules. Another might have "user1," "user2," "user3" etc. So if you switch to another template , your previously-assigned modules might not publish. You have go to each module and assign them to the positions appropriate to the currently-published template.

It's not everything you need to know, but I think it does answer the question.
Andrew DerseConnect With a Mentor IT ManagerCommented:
Templates are like the style and layout of the website.  The articles are like the content.

You can change the templates out all day long and you will be able to see your content styled/displayed in many different formats.

Templates that you should be looking into are templates that have lots of module positions and module variations.

For an example of what I am talking about, please look at RockTheme's demo page here:

You can see in the drop-down menu #2 the module positions as well as the module variations.  Another BIG advantage of using Rocket Theme templates, is mobile layout.  They have built in displays for mobile devices...HUGE time saver.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.