Joomla Templates

Easily Build A Professional Joomla Website

Welcome to our website dedicated to Joomla Templates and building first class websites with Joomla.

We're glad you've stopped by and sincerely hope we can help you to create your own stunning, professional and highly successful Joomla powered website.

We are a small, boutique Joomla template design studio with a strong focus on customer service and support. Our templates are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, extremely fast loading and SEO friendly. Our support is unrivaled and we go out of our way to make sure your website presentation is second to none.

Our business model is based around a small one time fee. Membership grants you access to all the Pro Joomla Templates we have produced, along with expert support from our team of Joomla experts. Check out our plans here.

If you are new to Joomla and have questions then read on. If you just want to get straight into the templates then register for a free account, you'll get instant access to our free downloads. If you want a helping hand getting setup, and access to our professional templates with no design attribution links in the footer, then sign up for one of our very affordable membership packages.

Joomla is an amazing free web site management tool that will revolutionize your web presence and save you an enormous amount of time and money. It's not costly to setup - infact Jooma itself is free and by current estimates is used to power more than 5 million websites.

Companies such as Porsche have chosen to build their websites with Joomla, Gwyneth Paltrow selected Joomla to build her website GOOP. The  nine top Universities in the USA use Joomla to power their web portals, they include Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Joomla is used by large and small organizations alike, Individuals, businesses, schools and universities are chosing Joomla for its myriad of features, scalability, ease of use and cost effectiveness.

To help you get the information you want faster we have broken the rest of this page into a number of sections based on commonly asked questions. Click one of the shortcuts below to jump to the section on this page most relevant to you, or if time is on your side  just keep reading...

What is Joomla?

Joomla is a free, open source, website Content Management System, often abreviated to CMS.

If you are completely new to all of this then that probably doesn't enlighten very much. What you really want to know is what is CMS? And how it can help you make a website quickly and affordably?

The Joomla Content Management System can be described as software that lets you create and edit your website pages without knowing any complex code or web design techniques. (It does a whole lot more than this, but we'll get to that shortly).

Unlike a lot of software we use day to day, Joomla does not run on your own computer. Instead it is web based software and runs on a web server where it provides two functions:

  • It's a powerful, yet simple tool to manage your content
  • It delivers this content to your users at the frontend of your website.

Your Joomla software never stops running and is working 24/7 serving content to your visitors.

You can log in to your Joomla web based software from any computer using a web browser. Once logged in as an administrator you can then create and edit webpages, check statistics, send newsletters to your users, and much, much more.

Although Joomla is fundamentally different from a program like Microsoft Word (both in it's purpose and philosophy), I still find it is the best analogy to use when describing what Joomla is to those who have never seen it in action. Joomla makes it as easy to create a web page as it is to open a word processor and create a new document.

One of the fundamental tools the Joomla CMS provides you with is a WYSIWYG editor. WYSIWYG stands for "What You See Is What You Get" and it basically consists of tools that anyone can use, with no prior web development knowledge, to create web pages in a visual manner, using drag and drop for images, buttons to align text, etc. Hence the term "What you see is what you get..."

What Is The Joomla WYSIWYGAs they say "a picture tells a thousand words" so I have provided a screen shot of the editor I am using to write the content that you are reading at this very moment!

Click the image - go on you know you want to.

Cool huh! The image popping out of the page like that is often referred to as a LightBox effect and can be achieved quickly and easily on your Joomla site using a free Joomla Plugin.

Hopefully you can see how easy it is to manage your website content with Joomla just from looking at the WYSIWYG screenshot.

Joomla also provides almost infinte flexibility to make your website perform other tasks, from running a shopping cart to sending newsletters to all your users. This flexibility and power comes from the addition of Extensions or Plugins, and you've just seen a simple yet excellent example of a Joomla plugin in action when you clicked the WYSIWYG image above. You can pick and choose the extensions you want to add to your site depending on the functionality required.

There are literally thousands of Extensions available in the Joomla Extension Directory, many of the best ones are free and allow you to add additional functionality to your website with a few clicks. Powerful features such as shopping carts, newsletter managers, rating systems and more. The link above will take you there but don't go yet! I still have more to share with you.

Addionally Joomla Templates are also like extensions in that you can install them with a few clicks and completly change the look and feel of your site in seconds. More on this below.

We have covered briefly what Joomla is and the last thing I want  to show you is a screenshot of the main administrator control panel. Click the image to the right for more detail.

So wrapping up, how much does the shiny software seen in the screenshot to the right cost?

Absolutely nothing
, yes you read that correctly, Joomla costs $0 dollars and will always be free.

What you do pay for is website hosting, costing anywhere from $5 per month upwards. This covers the cost of keeping your Joomla application and live website running 24 hours per day. You will need to pay more for hosting if you want a very high level of support, or if your website gets a lot of traffic (visitors).

Other things you may optionally pay a small fee for are:

  1. Technical work required to setup Joomla on your web host, typically takes under one hour and includes confgiuring basic plugins for essential functionality.
  2. A Professional Joomla Template, and support associated with configuring your template, uploading your logo, etc.

These are the primary services we provide here at Joomla Bear.

We don't charge the earth for our services;

  • If you want us to do everything for you we can install Joomla, essential plugins, a Professional Joomla template of your choice with your branding included, all for under $100.
  • If you are prepared to do a little work yourself you can have a professional Joomla website up and running for less than $30.
  • If you want to do all the work and use a free Joomla template your site could cost you nothing except the web hosting fees.

Does That Sound Incredible?
I still find it astounding even after working with Joomla for years. The impact is magnified when you consider that 10 years ago a website with half this functionality would have cost you $50,000+, I know because I started my career as a web designer and information architect in around 1997.

If all this sounds to good to be true you can find more information at this Wikipedia article on Joomla, and also make some time to visit the main website.

Now we'll look at the stuff I really love - the design of your Joomla site and what your users see on the front end - your Joomla Template.

What is a Joomla Template?

A Joomla Template is the 'look and feel' of your website. Typically it is designed and constructed in the way most other web pages are built, using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and a number of graphics.

The reason it is referred to as a template is that in most cases only one HTML/CSS layout is required for your entire website. Your Joomla Template becomes the basis of every page on your site. It does not matter if your website visitors see 1 page or 1000 pages, the same template will be used for all of them, Joomla will intelligently inject different content from its database into the same template to create unique web pages on the front end of your website.

When the HTML/CSS and template layout design is complete, special tags are then added to the HTML layout in the areas that content, and other integral items, will appear. These tags usually refer to what is known to the Joomla administrator as module positions.

On this website I have a tag for the navigation at the top,. A tag for the content area that displays the content you are reading now, a tag to the right for the 'right column', etc. Joomla will take care of the rest as long as I tell it which tagged module area I want my menu to display in, Joomla will then add appropriate links to this menu when I tell it to, or I can configure it to do this automatically when I add new content.

When I create new pages in my Joomla admin, the content is stored in the database, and I can choose what additional features I may wish to show  in my module positions. For example you can see at the top of the right column I am chosing to display a "who's online" module with a visitor count. I have specified in my Joomla administration that this should display on all pages, but I could quite easily publish it only on select pages, such as the home page, if I wanted to.

The power of a Joomla template is in the fact that Design is kept seperate from Content. The content is all held in the database and the design is all contained within a small group of files. This is much, much, more efficient than the very old fashioned method of creating 100's of static pages where each page has various design elements that are repeated page after page. The Joomla template systems most powerful feature is the seperation of design from content, the advantages of this method include:

  • The design of your website can be changed in a matter of seconds, by simply uploading a new template, or making a change to your existing one, these changes are then reflected site wide on all your web pages. e.g. if I wanted this text to be slightly bigger I could edit my style sheet (CSS) and increase the size value, this would then be reflected accross the entire site for all content text.
  • Backing up the content on your site can be as easy as downloading a single database file - there are even Joomla extensions that will email a daily database backup automatically.
  • Content can be presented in many different ways depending on variables, e.g. you may choose to have your Joomla website display additional content to users who are registered on your site, and restrict the content seen by unregistered visitors.

These are just a few examples of the power of the Joomla templating system. Which leads us to the next section:

Why should I use a Joomla Bear Joomla Template?

Hopefully the templates speak for themselves, we take a lot of pride in our template design and development. Our templates are all built using 'best practice' web development techniques, The code and graphics are optimised for super fast load times and our templates produce extremely search engine friendly websites. 

If that wasn't enough and we also pride ourselves on providing an extremly high level of support and believe unwaiveringly that your website's success is also our success. We've come this far because our users to date have loved our designs and appreciated having a Joomla expert to help them over the hurdles of getting their Joomla website up and running.

Our founder and Lead Designer, Big Bear has written a statement on our origins and philosophy:
  I'd like to share a little about myself and my history. This will hopefully give you some insight into the process we follow at JB, the respect we have for our clients, and the experience and care that goes into every template we produce.

I am a designer first and foremost, a perfectionist with a fascination for technology and how things work. I've spent most of my life contemplating aesthetics and the relationship between proportion, shape, color, form and function.

I've been applying my passion for design to building web sites and web applications since 1997. It all started when I was an Architecture student at Auckland University, New Zealand. One of my forward thinking design mentors gave me a copy of Flash to use as a conceptual tool and a brief to produce some web based conceptual architecture.

I finished my architecture degree shortly after this but had fallen hopelessly in love with the web. I opened my web design studio a few months after graduating and the rest is history.

Since then I've worked on web based projects for the likes of Audi, Saatchi & Saatchi, L'Oreal and Moet & Chandon to name a few. In recent years I've built a number of high profile sites using Joomla, such as the very popular Ninja Kiwi Free Online Games which receives over 200,000 visitors per day.

My skills range from interface design, to expertly cutting graphics and code, to dominating the search engines, to trouble shooting and balancing server loads when your Joomla website is trying to cope with 20,000 visitors per hour.

I believe that Joomla is revolutionizing the web. It provides the ability for any individual or organization to publish their opinions, products or services, quickly and professionally, without a huge investement of either time or money.

Big Bear

You can read more from Big Bear on the Joomla Blog, or follow his Joomla tips on Twitter.

A Technical Overview Of Our Joomla Templates

Our approach to Joomla template design differs from many others - we try to be as creative as possible while still adhering to the principles of good web design. The following guidelines are considered with every template we produce:
  • A Joomla template should be web standards compliant and consist of only valid HTML and CSS.
  • Graphics should be optimized - there are three common image formats used on the web, PNG, GIF and JPG. There is a time and place for each and there are advanced methods for using images in templates that most designers do not take the time to implement. We do.
  • Optimized graphics lead to fast loading, SEO friendly, and user friendly templates. We aim to stay under 20k in most cases.
  • A joomla template should be built on a HTML/CSS framework and should not consist of any tables. Tables were never meant to be used for laying out pages and there are many issues with using them for this purpose. Tables should be used for tabular data within content items, such as a comparison chart.
  • A Joomla template should be structured so that content loads before supplementary items such as the login form or who's online counter. With HTML and CSS it is possible to control the page content ordering to a large degree. Content closer to the top of the page (source code) is recognized as being an important SEO factor as the search engines place more emphasis on information higher in your web pages source code.

Will You Help Me Get My Joomla Website Up And Running?

Yes! That's what we do, we love building websites with Joomla! You can sign up for a membership here and help and support is offered through our forum 12 hours per, day 7 days a week. Please read our subscription package terms for more information.

JOOMLA TEMPLATES Joomla Templates By JoomlaBear
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