Template parameters (stored in the templateDetails.xml file in the template folder) give users a way to customize a single template in many ways to avoid creating multiple templates. Template creators can also build in many options to help website maintainers avoid writing their own template code.
Template parameters also tell the Joomla Extension Manager where to install all the different files and folders when you install a template for the first time. The Extension Manager reads the section between the <files></files> tags. Following is a sample from the Milkyway templateDetails.xml file:
<files> <filename>index.php</filename> <filename>templateDetails.xml</filename> <filename>template_thumbnail.png</filename> <filename>params.ini</filename> <filename>images/arrow.png</filename> <filename>css/index.html</filename> <filename>css/template.css</filename> <folder>html</folder> </files>
All the files will be installed and folders created, if needed. You can also avoid naming each file in subfolders and instead install an entire folder.
Changing this part of your templateDetails.xml file will have no effect on a template that is already installed. But it might cause a template to fail or to not install fully if incorrectly changed before installing.
In the next example, we’ll use the Milkway template (see Figure 11-15) since it allows you to select a color variation, a background variation, and the width of your template—all without knowing any code!
Figure 11-15. Parameters ...