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Magento theme tutorial 1.8 series: Configuring Magento themes and packages

This is Magento theme tutorial chanel, offering developers valuable knowledge about Magento template. Magento works with multiple themes. You can configure more themes in the same store. A common case is that you have a theme of your shop and some inherited themes based on the shop theme. This Magento theme tutorial will give you the way to configure templates and packages

Getting ready for practicing by this Magento theme tutorial

Log in to the backend and goto the theme configuration section that you can find at System| Configuration| Design.

How to configure templates and packages

The following instructions in this Magento theme tutorial describe how to manage the different Magento themes of a webshop:

1. Change the theme field to modernand clear the cache. Go to your frontend and your shop will look as follows:


You have now configured the moderntheme in the defaultpackage. This theme will extend things from the defaulttheme and, in the last case, from the base/defaulttheme. This process is called the theme fallback system.

2.  Make the theme field empty and add the following configuration:


3.  Next step of this Magento theme tutorial is: Reload the frontend:


Your shop will look like the defaulttheme but with some different CSS styles. We have configured the default theme but with another skinfolder that contains the CSS files.

How it works…

According to above Magento theme tutorial, you guys understand that there are three levels of themes in Magento: the base theme, the package’s default theme, and the other themes in the package.
The following diagram shows how the theme fallback system works when you have configured a theme:


When the winter theme is configured, Magento will look at files in the following order:

  • The theme (packt/winter)
  • The package’s default theme (packt/default)
  • The base theme (base/default)

It is possible to configure a default theme in the configuration page by navigating to System| Configuration| Design. If this is set (for example, packt/summer), the fallback system will loop through the themes in the following order:

  • The theme (packt/winter)
  • The configured default theme (packt/summer)
  • The package’s default theme (packt/default)
  • The base theme (base/default)

The directory where the theme is stored is app/design/frontendfor the template files (rendering HTML) and skin/frontendfor the static files (CSS, images, fonts, and so on).

Practically, the default theme of a package will contain the theme of the webshop. The subthemes in that package mostly have the same layout but differ insome small things. For example, a winter theme has a background with snow and the summer theme has a background with a beach. The rest of the theme is exactly the same because this uses the same files of the default theme.

When your theme is not in the default package, nothing happens on the
frontend after installing a Magento extension.
The reason couldbe that the theme files of the module are in the default
package. Magento looks only at the configured and base packages. The
defaultpackage is just like every other package such as packtor music.
When a module has custom theme files, the best practice is to store these
files in the base theme to avoid this problem.

You can configure Magento themes on different levels to show up on the frontend. In most cases, the theme settings are configured on the configuration page by navigating to System| Configuration| Design.
You can add exceptions on the page by navigating to System| Design. On this page, you can configure a theme for a store with a from date and to date.
It is also possible to configure a specific theme for a product, category, or CMS page. You can change the settings on the edit pages of a product, category, or CMS page.

Follow our Magento theme tutorial chanel to get useful tips and guide about Magento template.

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