As we discussed previously the introductory stage of the website development is the interview between Allora and the customer. During the interview the customers describe their vision of the attractive website design. Often customers don`t like the existing design of their website and just want to renew it.

We should say a few words about the structure of a Joomla Template (discussed in detail here). We find that out of all competing CMS`s Joomla probably provides the most flexibility in terms of graphical layout. Visually a template consists of three types of elements:

  • Static Graphics which doesn`t change from page to page, for instance: logo, header, background, etc.
  • Main window displaying the actual content of the site: articles and components (in Joomla terms). This is where all action evolves. For example right now you`re reading an article displayed in the Main Window of Allora`s Joomla Template. However it doesn`t always have to be some blurb. Joomla counts thousands of extensions (mostly free) that deliver the power of all kinds of web technologies: interactive forms, slide shows, internet shops (e-commerce), video clips. You name it!
  • Small content elements which are called MODULES. Each module normally wouldn`t take a lot of space and it has a well defined purpose. To give you an idea we should name a few familiar elements of this sort: a menu, a search field, a miniature window with the latest news. The content of a module can change depending on which area of the website the viewer is at. One can also turn on and off the display of a module reflecting on various predefined conditions.

Allora`s consultant collects customer`s requests and then armed with the knowledge of the target functionality he conducts a small research on what`s the best way to achieve these wishes and what Joomla extensions we should choose. At this time we might analyze the competitors` sites in order to identify possible flaws in their design as well as to adopt interesting solutions for our own project. We now posses an important list of Joomla elements to be involved in the template and therefore it`s time to move forward to the most interesting phase of the template design: we begin the projecting of the very structure of the website and its miscellaneous counterparts.

After all nuances are discussed the design studio proposes a few graphical sketches, ideas. As a result, the customer can select the most suitable route that takes into account all the requirements. Following the customer selection of the layout and perfecting it by the design studio, one of the key figures of our team is introduced into the process the coder. The purpose of his work is to create a neat HTML code that would adequately render the website via all popular browsers. We shall return to this at Stage Three.

We should also mention that one can pick an off-the-shelve solution; there are many free and commercial Joomla templates available from many sources. In case of a tight budget and provided that the customer doesn`t mind having a look of the website that might be present elsewhere on the Internet we can help with picking the right template and acquiring it. Typically one can get a good looking template for roughly $50. The exclusive right to use such template would cost at least $2500 and therefore it`s more advantageous to design a truly unique template reflecting customer`s input vs a pre-cooked solution.

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