How to Create Template Overrides in Joomla... The Easy Way

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 PitchersSince 2005, I've supported my family working from home building Joomla sites for paying clients.

If you're a first-time Joomla user, or building a freelance career of your own, I'm sharing everything I've learned one post at a time.

“My mission is to help you become the best Joomler you can be. Are you ready?


My Awesome Joomla Website