Joomla allows a site to be taken offline with a setting in the Administrator Global Configuration panel. When this happens, frontend access is no longer permitted and a special offline page is displayed. By default, the source for this page comes from the core supplied System Template. However, Joomla allows you to provide your own offline page. To do this you need to create a file called offline.php in your template folder. Like index.php, component.php and error.php, this is a fully fledged template file in which you can use PHP and jdoc:include statements.

The Joomla error page, while functional, is not the prettiest page to look at and can be a bit of a shock to your site visitors if they accidentally stumble upon it.

The final override we will look at is the pagination override. This override can control the display of items-per-page and the pagination links that are used with lists of information, as shown in the following screenshot.

Joomla 1.0 had a number of fixed styles that could display a list of modules in a particular position. These where represented by numbers:

Modules, like components, are set up in a particular directory structure.

To understand layout overrides we must first understand the file structure of a component. While there are many parts to a component, all fulfilling different roles and responsibilities, we want to look just in the /views/ directory. Here is the partial structure for two of the Articles component (com_content) views:

MVC can be a scary acronym for the uninitiated. It stands for Model-View-Controller and the concepts behind MVC are responsible for the extra flexibility that is now afforded to the designer. While parts of the theory can be rather involved and complicated, the only part that the designer need worry about is the V for View. This is the part that is concerned with output.