Assuming you have configured your Joomla! installation to your liking, you are probably quite keen to customise the look of your website. To this end, Joomla! uses a template system which makes it incredibly easy to make your website look the way you want – and best of all, there are literally thousands of free templates around on the web.
Finding a template
The first thing you will want to do, then, is to find a template that you like. As mentioned before, there are tonnes of free templates going, and a quick search for ‘free Joomla templates’ will bring back a lot of hits. One such website is Joomla24.com, which is probably one of the biggest free template sites around for Joomla!. If you go on to Joomla24, click ‘Template Gallery’ at the top, then ‘Templates for Joomla 1.5’. Once you find a template that you like, click download and save it to your computer. For this purpose of this tutorial I have downloaded the first one on the page.
Installing your template
So, you’ve found a template you like and downloaded it to your computer. Chances are it will be in a .zip format, which is perfect. If it is in a different format (such as .rar), chances are your server won’t be able to unpack it and as such it may be a good idea to change it to .zip. Once you have your template in a .zip format, installing it is simple:
- Log in to your Joomla! administrators area (yoursite.com/administrator)
- Once logged in, locate the menu option titled Extensions in the top menu, hover over it and click Install/Uninstall
On the new page, find the heading Upload Package File click Browse… and locate the file on your computer. Once located, click Upload File & Install. Once you click upload and install, Joomla! will automatically determine what type of extension it is (module, plugin, template or component) and install it accordingly.
The last step of the installation process it to activate your new template. To do this, hover over Extensions in the top menu again, but this time click Template Manager.
You should now be looking at your template manager, which should contain a list of 3 templates. These are the 2 default templates that come with Joomla!, as well as the one you just installed. To activate your new template, locate it in the list and check the circle to the left of it, then click default in the top right corner of your Template Manager.
(For the purpose of this tutorial, the ‘Default’ icon has been highlighted in red)
You have now successfully installed and activated a new template!