We get asked this question a lot at the website and we understand it can be confusing for people who are just getting started with using Joomla or Virtuemart.

This simple car analogy will help you understand the difference between the Joomla, Virtuemart template and the Joomla, Virtuemart extensions, plug-in and modules

  1. The template is the car body or paint work which controls the look and feel of the website
  2. Joomla is the car engine which powers the website and allows you to create user accounts, setup menus, categories, add and publish content plus images, install extensions like Virtuemart and basically manage the overall website functionality via the administrator control panel.
  3. The lights, wind wipers, spark plugs are the 3rd party modules and plug-ins you can install via the website
  4. The car radio and sat navigation are the 3rd party extensions like a like Virtuemart which you can install via your website to setup an online shop.

So to sum up the template only controls the look and feel or presentation of the website.

The Virtuemart menus, products, prices, product descriptions, product categories, shopping cart, currency options, shipping options are all controlled by the Virtuemart extension.

The template has no control over this functionality and as mentioned above only controls the way Virtuemart is presented at the website not the functionality included in the Virtuemart extension.

What is included in the template and how is it structured

The Joomla / Virtuemart template comes in a zip file package which can be easily uploaded and installed via the Joomla administrator area of your website.

Once the template is successfully installed at your website you can set it as the default design to change the look and feel of the site.

If the template also includes additional built-in features then they can be updated via the built-in control panel which comes supplied with the design.

The template is made up of the following directories and files

  1. PHP files - The PHP files control the functionality, module positions plus other elements of the template
  2. TemplateDetails.xml - The XML file is used to help Joomla understand the name of the template, version number plus the files and directories which need to be installed during the installation. The XML file also includes code used to setup the features the template supports via the control panel.
  3. Javascript files - If the template comes with a slideshow, Java based menu system or other features then the Javascript files will control these features
  4. CSS files - The (CSS) Cascading Style Sheet files which are located in the CSS directory control the look, feel and style of the template to ensure it renders correctly across both desktop and mobile web browsers
  5. HTML overrides - The HTML over ride files are made up of PHP and HTML files which are stored in the HTML directory and override the default Joomla and Virtuemart default views.
  6. Images Directory - The images directory include all the images used by the template
  7. Language files - The language files are stored in the language directory