Joomla 3 uses templates to format pages for the front end and the administrative end of your website.

The Front End of your website is what the public sees.

The Administrative End, or what is also called the Back End, is what the people managing the web site use to create content, upload images, install extensions and other tasks.

These templates use HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript to pull in the content and format it into the desired layout, color and fonts of your choosing.

A Joomla 3+ installation comes with two front end templates included. These two templates are Protostar and Beez3.The default template when Joomla is installed is Protostar.

The two backend templates included with a standard Joomla installation are Hathor and ISIS. The default template when Joomla is installed is ISIS.

Joomla web developers also have the option of installing a 3rd party template. There are hundreds of 3rd party templates available that will display your Joomla 3+ in a web browser. 3rd Party Templates have a predetermined layout, options, and functionality already installed. These templates may be free or come at a cost. Some may be quite simple, others have extensive features for customization and functionality.

What does the front end template do?

The Front End template contains the files necessary to compile the content from the database using PHP, the stylesheets to format the content and possibly JavaScript files for specific functionality.

Each template directory will have a file called index.php that uses HTML, PHP and Joomla API statements to pull in the necessary style sheets, JavaScript files and content from the database and from files for displaying the web page.

Where is the template located in the Joomla 3 file system?

All front end templates for a Joomla site are located in folders within the templates directory.

Each template folder will have its own set of folders and files.

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