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There are a wealth of new features and differences to Joomla templates. Starting from Joomla 1.6 templates underwent a big overhall. Learn about the differences with this quick overview guide.
Learn about the new Joomla template feature in Joomla 1.7.
In Joomla! 1.5 the Template Manager features templates that are split into two sections, Site and Administrator, with 'Site' being the templates that are available for the front end of your website, which your visitors will see and 'Administrator' templates being those that are available for choosing as the back end design of the website, that seen when you log in to the administrator panel.
In Joomla! 1.6 and onwards this has changed and although still relying heavily on templates for the front end design of the websites, the Template Manager page has changed. Rather than there being the Site and Administrator options available within the Template Manager screen as seen in Joomla! 1.5, this has now been changed to Styles and Templates.
All templates regardless of them being site templates or administrator templates are all displayed within the same single list, although with the addition of a column titled 'Location', which specifies whether it is a front end template or a back end administrator template.
In Joomla! 1.5, templates quite often came with configurable parameters which would allow you to customize your template to a certain degree. However it was difficult to make some slight changes to the template if you wanted to have a slightly different style for different pages on your site.
In Joomla! 1.6+, things have gotten a whole lot better (and easier!) with the introduction of Template Styles.
A style is a set of parameters for a Joomla! template that has been configured and saved as a style, allowing variations of the same template, which is ideal for different areas of a website using different styles of the same themed design. Out of the box Joomla! 1.6/1.7 templates may come with a set of styles, however you can customize your own styles as required from the available template parameters, saving these styles so that you can use them throughout the site as required.