It is often suggested that if you are going to use and customize the default Protostar template, that you make a copy and rename the template then set this new template as the Default template.

Note: If you go into Template Manager and click on Duplicate, this DOES NOT copy and rename the template files. It simply creates a new style in the database.

Why should I create a copy and rename my template in Joomla?

There are several reasons why it is a good idea to copy and rename the template that you are going to use with your Joomla installation:

  • if you do use the Protostar template in the original files as it comes with Joomla, the files will be overwritten when you upgrade Joomla (except new CSS files or template overrides)
  • if you use a copy of the Protostar template, when you upgrade your Joomla installation, you won't risk losing the custom edits that you made
  • you can give the new template a name that is associated with your site name or business

Steps to COPY a template in Joomla 3

Screenshot showing the Template Column in Template Manager

Step 1:

Go into Extensions -> Template Manager: Style screen and click on the name of the template in the Template column that you want to copy. Clicking on the template name will take you to the Template Manager: Customise Template screen.

The copy template popup box

Step 2:

Click on the button that reads Copy Template and a popup window will appear. Enter the new name for your template (no blank spaces) in the text box then select the Copy Template button.

If you were to look at your site's directory with an FTP program you would see that there is a new folder with the name of your new template. This has a copy of all the files and folders that were in your original template.

By using this method of copying the template, the templateDetails.xml file for your new template will have been edited to reflect the name of the new template.

*** Be sure to set this new template as the Default template so that your edits will appear properly.***

Step 3:

If you want to edit the layout in index.php, create a custom position, edit/create a custom stylesheet, you do it all in the new template.

Things to keep in mind when copying a template in Joomla

There are a few things that your should be aware of when copying and implementing your new template:

  • It is best to do this when you first start editing the template
  • You may find that there are some errors when implementing the new template, as there can be some paths to files that still point to the original template.
  • If you do upgrade your Joomla installation, this new template will not be upgraded. This can be good and bad. Your customization will not be deleted, but you may not get the benefit of bug fixes and other changes that occurred to the original template.

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