How to create template overrides in Joomla... the easy way.

  • Monday, 18 May 2015

Way back in Joomla 1.5, we were given the ability to override output from the Joomla core. The method involved manually copying folders from the core into the relevant folder inside your template. If you are still doing it that way then you are doing it the hard way. You may not know it but there is a simpler method. In Joomla 3, you can now create overrides and edit your code inside the template manager.

Step 1.

Log into the Joomla Administrator. In the main menu select Extensions > Template Manager. Then select the relevant template from the template column on the right.

Joomla template override

Step 2.

You should now see your template's folder structure and a message to "Select a file". We are going to ignore that though. Click the Create Overrides tab. Select the relevant component, module or layout. Lastly, click the view you need to override. In the following screenshot we are creating an override of the article view in Joomla's core content component.

template overrides 2

That's it. You've just created a template override. This will be used in place of the core file so you won't lose any changes when core files are updated.

template overrides 3

Step 3.

To make changes to the new override file. Click the Editor tab, navigate to html/com_content/article/default.php and make any changes you need to right there in the administrator.

template overrides 4


Be careful editing php files. Leaving out a semi-colon or closing bracket can completely break your site and leave you with the infamous white screen of death. Backup first.


john-pitchers-avatar-300About John Pitchers

John Pitchers is a specialist in back-end Joomla development and development of Joomla based websites. He is also the developer of the FocalPoint maps extension for Joomla. John has been building CMS based web sites since 2004, originally working with Mambo before it became Joomla. When not writing PHP, Javascript or CSS you'll find John carving up the hills around Baldivis on his longboard (long before Walter Mitty made it famous).

Find out more about John on his page and . Follow John on Twitter.