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How do the Quickstart templates in Joomla! work?

| Gianluca Gabella | Joomla!
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Anyone who has bought a Joomla! template has always been faced with a double download: the actual template and a zip package called Quickstart. Let's see what it is and how it works, as it saves a lot of time in the process of creating a website

Why buy a Joomla template?

Joomla4 natively comes installed with a default template called Cassiopeia. This template, while being very efficient and very fast, is also very basic in visual terms: the structure is simple and lacks many details and features that are required by practically every website nowadays... the eye wants its part too! :-)

We are helped by the many templates that can be purchased on the net.

There are really thousands of them and, in general, they can be divided according to the framework that makes them run: Yootheme, SP, Gantry, etc... they are all "families" of templates: this means that, for example, all Yootheme templates are visually different from each other, but the logical and implementation basis (the framework) is the same. The same applies to the templates of Joomshaper, Gantry, etc...

So when you decide to buy a template, the first question to ask yourself is: which framework does it rely on? Do I like it? Do I work well with it?

Once you have chosen and purchased the perfect template you are faced with a choice: whether to download the actual template or the Quickstart. What is the difference?

How and why to install only the template

The template is a zip containing only the template files and not the rest of Joomla. This is because it is designed to be installed in a live and working site (i.e. already with articles, modules, etc. already set up). The problem is that installing the template alone does not set up the site at all as it is usually displayed in its demo. Only the 'cage' is installed, in which modules and content must be placed in order to rebuild the desired structure.

PRO: you can install it on a live site without the contents being touched

CON: only the position cage is installed. You then have to fill each position with your modules, content, etc., so the site has to be completely built.

Let's take an example.

I have a beautiful Joomla4 site created with the basic Cassiopeia template:

cassiopeia base

I want (rightly!) to move on to something more structured, for example a beautiful template from Yootheme.

So I go and download it from the official site and download the basic template/builder. Inside the ZIP there will be, as mentioned, only the template installation files:

yootheme base

If I install it in a Joomla4 site (I can install it as a normal extension from 'left menu' -> 'System' -> 'install' -> 'extensions') I will simply find it together with the other templates and can then set it as the default:

yootheme impostato predefinito

The problem is that now, if I open my site from the frontend, I basically end up with an empty page:

yootheme senza nulla

This is because the framework has been installed, the 'cage' in which to put the various modules has been installed, but nothing has been set yet: there is no menu, no columns, etc. Unfortunately, this is normal. A template, after installation, must be fully configured.

This is where the quickstart and its time-saving function comes in: it allows us to install a Joomla from scratch but already fully configured and set up the right way, just like in the demo!

When and how to install the quickstart of a Joomla!

A Quickstart is an installation package for Joomla! where, inside, all the information for creating a website exactly like the demo that the seller showed you is already pre-configured. This means that images, modules, pages, categories, etc. are already present and properly set up.

If you have to start from scratch in building a website then Quickstart is for you. Let us now see how to install it step by step:

Download the Quickstart package from the vendor's site

The package will be much heavier than the template alone because, as mentioned, it also contains all the Joomla installation files:

yootheme quickstart

If you navigate inside the 'templates' folder, you will see that, in addition to Cassiopeia, there will also be the template you have just purchased (in this case, Yootheme).

Let's upload the zip to the server and unzip it

You must now proceed to install the website as if it were a new one.
You can unpack all the files on your PC and upload them individually to your hosting with a program such as Filezilla, but I generally advise against this: uploading thousands of files is much more time-consuming than uploading just one and then unpacking it.

Install Joomla (taking care to select the example data if you are still on Joomla 3!)

After unpacking your ZIP, you can start the installation of Joomla4 in the usual way: browse your website and, if necessary, put 'index.php' at the end. For example

The Joomla installation starts automatically and we go step by step putting in all the admin data, then the database data (you will need an empty database to fill, usually the hosting provides this).

If you use a Joomla4 Quickstart then the installer will automatically install your template!

If your Quickstart is old and based on Joomla3 then remember, at the last step, to select the template you have purchased/downloaded:

yootheme quickstart joomla3

The end! Your site has been installed and will be a Joomla with template already selected and configured, now you just have to insert your content, without worrying about recreating all the graphics you liked so much in the demo. Good work!

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