Customize any Joomla extension without breaking updates

How many times have you wanted to fix that small issue in your favorite Joomla extension, but can't do it because you still want to be able to update it to the latest version?

Or how many times have you wished to achieve the perfect layout, but don't know where to start? Well, here's where to start with customizing any extension in Joomla, according to your needs.


Template Overrides

What are them and how they benefit you?

In Joomla, a template override is a layout file placed in your template, which overrides the default layout for a Joomla extension. Not all Joomla extensions implement them properly, but most commonly you should be able to create such overrides and customize a layout.

This feature is very beneficial to website developers, because they can tweak the way an extension looks, without meddling with how the extension works!


How to create template overrides?

Since Joomla 3.2, you can create template overrides directly from the Joomla back-end. To do so, you have to follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Extensions > Templates > Templates
  2. Select your Template
  3. Click on "Create Overrides" tab
  4. Select the extension to override.
    You should now get a Success message, saying that the overrides were created.
  5. Go to your template's html directory and find the newly created directory named after the extension you selected in step 4.
  6. Find the desired layout and edit the code!

What to do next is pretty much up to what you want to achieve. See an example of what you can achieve with template overrides for MyShortlist.


Further Reading

Useful Tips for customizing MyShortlist

How to override the output from the Joomla! core

Understanding Output Overrides