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Magento theme

Magento theme

We have described earlier how to change Magento template. Now we suggest learning Magento themes a bit deeper and investigating of what Magento themes consist and the general terms of a template and block layout.

Component Parts

Layout is a Magento theme part which in its turn consists of

  • Skins: These images and other documents define how Magento store will look like;
  • Templates: This determines what will be in Magento store certain blocks;
  • Layouts: Magento determines what will be in the templates;
  • Languages: respectively, this parameter determines what language will be in Magento store.

To change Magento Layout

You should go to the admin panel and choose the CMS menu - > Manage Pages. Then you should find the page, to be more specific, its layout which you want to change. For instance, let’s take About Us layout.

Let us assume that the layout displays three different blocks (columns) and if we change it, we will be able to change any page from the list or the layout. To do it you need to find the Custom Design item and after clicking on the button you will see a dropdown menu where you can change the configuration of any button. The next step is to save and check the updates. You need to go to the main page of Magento store and update this page, columns and its content.

All the data about the columns is in different Magento folders, because every column is fundamentally different from another one and you need to go to the path app/design/frontend/default/blank/layout/catalog.xml in order to check it.

Template Path

To find some template part quicker you can use special tips.

You can enable it in the administrator’s panel: System – Configuration and choose the appropriate Magento store that will be changed.

When the page is reloaded, you will see the Developer menu. You should find Debug section there and tick the work section. Please, save the changes. It will give you an opportunity to be transferred to some Magento store parts. All the data for what this section is responsible for and what you can change will be displayed preliminarily. This will greatly facilitate orientation in the control panel.

Layouts Terminology

In Magento platform layout you can set up content blocks, which will be the main ones and where the structure blocks will be located. We are going to consider its components:

  1. 1. Handles: This is the mean for determining a specific image in the Magento store;
  2. 2. Blocks: this data determines the work principle of every Magento element, its structure and location;
  3. 3. References: due to this block the remaining blocks can refer to other elements and other blocks are created with this block.


You can remake each of these templates as you want, but we advise you to select optimal parameters for the working proof copy of the store. So, you will be able to analyze the changes and protect your Magento site from the damage.

If you have any additional questions connected with the blocks location and their role in Magento, you are welcome to contact our GoMage magento experts on our forum