How does Joomla handle layouts?

I'm planning to use Joomla 3 with the Purity 3 responsive template, which seems to allow relatively easy customization.

My problem is a conceptual one: how does one specify which particular layout is used for a particular page? Looking at the Purity docs doesn't seem to help with that. Maybe it's a Joomla-concept thing?

A related issue: at t e c h n o j e e v e s . d e m o j o o m l a . c o m : 8 1 i was attempting to turn off the footer, but there still seems to be one about with an ad for something called 'Bootstrap'. Why?
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Steve BinkCommented:
>>> how does one specify which particular layout is used for a particular page?

With the menu item, there is Template Style.  This is useful for templates with configurable options, as demonstrated here.  It can be set from the Menu Manager (pick which style/template applies), or assigned in [Extensions -> Template Manager -> Styles] (assign a particular style to menu items).

Then there's layout overrides, which comes in flavors for components, modules, and menu items.  With all three, it is necessary for the XML configuration to include a template layout selector, or there will be no where to set the override.  See mod_banners for an example of this.  The alternative layout will appear as a choice in the layout selector control.

Note that there is a default style option for articles and category, found in [Global Configuration -> Articles].
Steve BinkCommented:
Regarding the other site's footer, that position may or may not be toggled by the same position, or it could be coded special to appear.  You'd have to look at the template's config (possibly), or the template code file to know for sure.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Thanks Steve, but i'm just not finding those options/getting it - maybe it's different for Joomla 3? I can see why people say it's difficult to use
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Steve BinkCommented:
Which options aren't you finding?  Everything I explained is part of Joomla 3, though overrides don't just appear - they need to be created.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Actually there's no item Template Manager under Extensions, it's just Templates. Allowing for that it's still all very confusing. I think Purity III adds a log of options of its own, which further adds to the confusion. If i could get the log in module back again (can't remember how i hid it) then i'd suggest you login to look.
Steve BinkCommented:
In the default "Isis" template for Joomla 3, this is what I see:

Joomla 3 admin menu
It may be that you installed an admin template which changes this.  In that case, you'll need to look through any documentation for that template to discover how things translate.  If your template is making things more difficult instead of easier, that begs the question of why use that template?

Joomla is not easy to use.

You have to set template per page using the template page, and also you can do that on menu module item.

I suggest you to take course or read tutorial  that will help you to start
or maybe choose a different CMS there are smaller option, Joomla is huge package.
Also Joomla have often security issue and take a lot of time to maintain.

There are several course on Udemy and on Youtube :

To save time you can buy a premium theme on themeforest

Other CMS:
Steve BinkCommented:
I disagree - I find Joomla extremely easy to use, manage, and extend.  The complications with Joomla usually come from poorly coded templates or extensions.  

You would, however, be well-served by going through some Joomla tutorials to learn the basics.  It doesn't take long - my intro for beginners is usually 2-3 hours showing an admin-to-be around the system.  

I generally make my own templates, custom-tailored to the needs of the client.  If this is an option for you, I highly recommend taking this route.  Dealing with a third-party generalized template can be difficult.  It will not fit your needs 100%, and will likely add some confusion and complexity to what should be a simple exercise.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
It may be that you installed an admin template which changes this.  In that case, you'll need to look through any documentation for that template to discover how things translate.
Not that i'm aware of, though of course i did install Purity III as i said above. For the record, this is what i see

Template (manager?)
Steve BinkCommented:
That's fine..  "Templates" is where you want to go.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
I tried to change the layout for the Test page. Didn't seem to make any difference. Care to go in there and look Steve?
Steve BinkCommented:
Sure, but you'll have to post the credentials for the admin panel here.  If you want to go this route, I advise making a temporary administrator user, and disable it quickly.  Be sure to take a backup of everything, too.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Steve, i PMed you the credentials
Steve BinkCommented:
I see the message, but two things:

1) I'm not sure it is appropriate, since it excludes other experts from joining the question.  I'm hoping one of the mods will chime in here on how to handle this, since you obviously don't want to give the internet-at-large admin access,

2) I'll need the hostname, too.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
1. Well it just excludes them from going in there too, not contributing
2. Given at top of question (space-obfuscated)

I'll ask the mods
Steve BinkCommented:
No worries, then.  I'll take a look some time today and see if I can get it to work properly.
Steve BinkCommented:
I did try the credentials, but was unable to log in to the admin panel for the site.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Do you need Admin privilege do you think?
Steve BinkCommented:
To look in the admin panel?  Yes.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Steve BinkCommented:
Done.  If you look in the Template Manager, you'll see I created a new style based on the Purity III template.  The only difference between the two is that the new one is using the "Red" theme instead of "Orange".  I also set the "test" menu item to use the orange style through the menu manager.  Browsing to '/' and '/index.php/test' now show two different styles.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Thanks for that. Did you manage to come to any conclusion about the mysterious footer (which is not 'meant' to be there)?
Steve BinkCommented:
I tried playing with the template config some, to no effect.  Finally, I looked on their GitHub, and discovered the bad news - the copyright notice is hard-coded to appear in the footer block.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
So that would mean a manual edit out?
Steve BinkCommented:
Yup.  I would do it on a copy of your existing config, then just switch the new version to be the site default when you're ready.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Thanks for that. It's not quite what i had in mind though. That's essentially the same layout, but with different colours. There seem to be different layouts available in the template, such as 'corporate', 'blog' etc. and i'm not sure how they are to be set on a particular page.

It seems that the handling of structural issues is odd to say the least. A case in point:

Alt layoutIf there are various types of layout available, you would expect, when you create a new article (you'll see one called 'Different') that you'd be able to choose one. The only likely place 'Alternative Layout' sounds promising, but appears to lead to a dead end.

I'm beginning to think i'd be more happy with something that makes more sense structurally. What about Drupal?
Steve BinkCommented:
To have different sets of template options available, you generate "styles" from each template.  Consider a template as the basic structure, where a style is the template with all the questions answered.  By default, Joomla creates a style for each installed template.  When you change the defaults, you're still editing that one style.  By following the process I demonstrated earlier, you can create different styles and assign them to menu items as you choose.

Since the "corporate", "blog", etc., are settings within that template, you'll have to take the styles approach to "switch" between them.  

The alternative layout selector you posted is specifically related to articles.  That is a feature of the com_content component, a built-in component in Joomla.  That component is coded to look for article overrides in the same way Joomla as a whole does.  Here's a brief demonstration for you.

IMHO, Joomla's structural organization makes great sense, but you do have to learn some basics in order to understand where everything is.  One disadvantage with Joomla is the mix-and-match approach it took to terminology early on.  They've made some progress in cleaning it up (e.g., overrides vs alternative layouts vs template overrides vs chrome), but it can be a little confusing for people new to the system.  What we've been discussing here are items I'd put into Joomla's "intermediate" skill set.  

IME, Drupal is much worse structurally.  It is much more complicated, much less efficient, and just overall more difficult.  If you're interested in comparing them, I certainly recommend trying them both out.  Drupal is a very competent CMS...  I just find it way too much and way too complicated for most sites.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Steve, i PMed you again. Many thanks for your help
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Since the "corporate", "blog", etc., are settings within that template, you'll have to take the styles approach to "switch" between them.  
OK, so if i've got this right: you can't switch between these named layouts at will. What you'd need to do (maybe) is to make layout "foo" the default and then create a style from that default "foo" which would then be selectable, like your 'red theme'?
Steve BinkCommented:
Correct.  Those layouts are a function of the template, so those settings are tied to the 'style' implementation of the template.

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CEHJAuthor Commented:
Excellent help. I shall return to this soon
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