Most parts of creating an independent website using open source content management system like Joomla are complex instructions, but the fun part once you have installed everything you need to make it work is, you can then begin to customize your page template extensively. Sure, you can use the default settings, but who does that nowadays? Perhaps only a few percent does. Our generation is fond of exploring new possibilities and that includes managing websites so everyone takes advantage of free customization because it allows a person to express his or her individuality.
The good thing about developing websites using an open source content management system is you can apply a different template on each page of the same website. So, if you want your blog to contain your interest in travel, photography, and art, you may assign different template design on each category to give your readers the illusion of entering that distinct part of your life. Joomla, being a user-friendly publishing platform, develops its system to be highly convenient for all its users; thus it provides an extensive collection of applications in its Extension Directory where users can easily select and download their preferred template designs. But, you want to unleash your creativity, you can create you own Joomla template. The level of complexity of the instructions on how to make your own Joomla template vary on the version of Joomla you’re using so we will skip that part and instead discuss on other useful options of creating a Joomla template that work on all Joomla versions.
If you are using Joomla version 1.5 and do not intend to upgrade, the Joomla Template Toolbar developed by Antun Koncic is a stand-alone simple application that you may use. A newer version was released on the latter part of 2011, which supports Joomla versions 1.6, 1.7, and 2.5.
If you want more advanced web design solutions, I recommend Artisteer Web Design Revolution to help you create Joomla templates without the need to learn complex technical skills in HTML, CSS, and Dreamweaver.
Just follow these 9 easy steps:
1. Download Artisteer after you have finished all required Joomla installations.
2. Start Artisteer.
3. Click the Suggest Design button several times until you see a Joomla template idea you wish to use.
4. Adjust the design elements (fonts, background, layout) to your liking. such as layout,
5. Export your finished template to any folder on your computer.
6. Zip the files.
7. Go to Joomla Administrator and then click on Extension Manager.
8. Select Upload Package File and browse on the zip file on your computer.
9. Click Upload File & Install.
Artiseer has a trial version but you are restricted to save your project and only allowed to export it as a theme, HTML, or template.