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Blog | Installing a Joomla Template

Installing a Joomla Template

Posted By Sanaa Themes


This tutorial is a part of the Joomla! series articles/tutorials created exclusively for the Mojo Themes marketplace blog. If you didn’t read the first 2 parts of this series you can do it here:

  1. What is Joomla! and what it can do for me?
  2. Building your website on the Joomla! CMS

How to install a Joomla template

In this tutorial we will develop a basic understanding about the purpose of a Joomla! template, how does it work with the core of the Joomla! CMS and how to install one, on our already made Joomla! website that we had set up in this earlier tutorial.

The article structure:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is a Joomla! template?
  3. How does it work?
  4. How to install the template trough the Joomla! installer?
  5. How to install a Joomla! template by FTP?
  6. How to install the template via Cpanel?
  7. How to switch templates?
  8. What is a Quick Start package and how do I install one?
  9. Conclusion
  10. About the author

Are you ready to learn something new about Joomla!?

If yes, then let’s dive, into another awesome  Joomla! tutorial.


The Joomla! software uses templates for front-end and for back-end.

When you install Joomla! you’ll see that the software comes with already installed templates.

The front-end templates comes in a number of 3 and the back-end templates comes in a number of 1.

Front-end templates are:

  1. Beez
  2. Ja Purity
  3. Rhuk Milkyway

Back-end templates are:

  1. Khepry

This 3 templates are a good  starting point for you to play around and understand how templates work in Joomla!. But this 3 templates are not the only ones that are actually free. You can find tones of Joomla! templates that are free out there in the wild.

Though this templates are very good for testing purposes, please be aware and do not make the mistake to build a production website on a free template.

If you build a personal website or especially a business oriented website believe me it’s worth spending a few bucks to buy a professional template like the ones here on Mojo.

I will give you a couple of reason to let you know why:

  1. A free template is not bug free, because the author doesn’t get any ROI on it and for that, doesn’t care about the result or how well the template performs.
  2. A free template is not build on advanced frameworks that let you customize very easy the touch and feel of the template.
  3. If something goes wrong, the author of the free template will not offer you support.
  4. Better search rankings.
  5. Inbuilt documentation which will guide you step by step. ( I usually include an entire PDF document with a lot of pages explaining every little detail of the template and how to work with it.)
  6. Less frustration.

What is a Joomla! template?

A template controls the look and layout of a Joomla! website.

In the template framework, elements like modules and components are nicely arranged to look professional, surrounded by beautiful images, colors, awesome web fonts and beautiful typography.

The framework of the template has HTML files, CSS files, Javascript files, PHP files, images and fonts. Sometimes even Flash files, but this case is rarely use now this days when we have JQuery.

You can manage your Joomla! templates via the Template Manager, on the Extensions menu in the back-end (administrator) area of your site.

A template helps you assign different modules or components to different pages, different layouts on different pages as well different styles for different pages, that off course is limited by the framework on which your template has been built. Not all frameworks that are out there support all the features described above.

In Joomla you can assign for every page of your website a different template. So if you have a blog you can assign another template to it, if you have an online shop or any other section you can assign one template for every  existing page in your Joomla! installation.

How does it work?

A template is manipulating the way your Joomla! content is delivered to a web browser or screen reader. In the template are files with instruction which tell the browser how to display articles, component, modules and plugins. A Joomla! template has also instruction on how to display content in different web browsers in that way your Joomla! website will not be limited to how it will be displayed.

How to install the template trough the Joomla! installer?

When provided for download templates are packed as zip files.

Do not unzip the template if you plan to install it trough the Joomla! installer.

First log-in in to the back-end of your Joomla! website as a super administrator. Be shure to have at least administrator privileges or else you’re not be able to install or make any changes to the website.

To log in from the backend go to .

Now go to extensions like in Step 1 in the following image:

Step 2

Browse to the template package.

Step 3

Click on upload and install.

You’re done.

Step 4 it’s for installation from a folder on your web server and Step 5 it’s for installing the template directly from an URL. For this step you’ll not be needed to download the template to your PC and after that upload it to the Joomla! installation. Just tell to Joomla! the exact URL and this amazing software will install the template from there.

How to install a Joomla! template by FTP?

Fire up a FTP client like Filezilla and type in it the following path:


In the template folder upload the zip files.

Go to Cpanel and under the file manager locate the zip files of the template and unzip it.

That’s it. You’re done and ready to go.

How to install the template via Cpanel?

It goes the same like the FTP, though I strongly encourage you not to install any Joomla! template by this method.

I tell you this from a lot of negative experience from me and my clients who bought my templates. Many frameworks generate errors after uploading them trough CPanel.

How to switch templates?

Step 1

Check the radio button from the template that you want to appear in the front-end.

Step 2

Click on the big yellow star to make the changes.

Step 3

If the changes were made you will  see a little yellow star which will notify you that the selected template is the default one.

What is a Quick Start package and how do I install one?

Quick Start (QS) packages are packages that contains everything that you see in the demo of the template. If a template provider includes the QS in the download package for shure will provide documentation about how to install one.

The installation is very simple and is almost exactly the same like a normal Joomla! installation. Though what is different in Quick Start (QS) packages from a normal Joomla! installation is that you must install  sample data in order for the content to appear exactly like in the demo.

If you don’t know how to install Joomla! we had published an earlier article about this here.

What is sample data?

Sample data is the database for the Quick Start package. Actually when you install sample data in fact you’re installing the database file for the website.


As a last word, I want to highlight the fact that is not such a big philosophy to install a Joomla! template. In fact is ridiculously easy, as you’ve seen you can do it in just 2 simple steps, browse and upload. That’s it. I want to thank you to all my readers and please do not forget to leave a comment bellow, and yeah do not forget to subscribe to our RSS, because the next tutorial is coming soon. Have a great day and of course Happy Joomla!

About the Author

My name is Costas Sacas and I am the founder of Sanaa Themes. I’m specialised in front end design and developing for the web with more than 5 years experience at this date. My work is my passion. Born under the Virgo sign, I’m a perfectionist. I’m an exclusive author and blogger here on Mojo. On the Mojo marketplace you can find me under the nickname SANAA. On Twitter, I twit under this names:   @CostasSacas and @SanaaThemes.

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