As you may know, Magento Design Fall-Back is used to render themes from the Magento basic templates and the most important part of this article will make you focus on the fall-back hierarchy. Let’s me show you more details as below:

The fall-back hierarchy is described from Custom_theme -> default_theme -> base -> error.

Please take a look at the following diagram:

In a nutshell, Design Fall-Back process includes 4 steps:

  • Search the request file in the folder:

skin/frontend/custom_ package/custom_theme

  • If not finding it, please search in the folder:


  • In case you are still unable to look for the request file, continue searching in the folder:


  • The error notification will be displayed if the file cannot be found.

Our series of posts about Template Structure ends here. Hope you find it helpful. 😉


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  1. Ricardo Martins Reply

    Hi Blanka.
    I cant see the diagram. Its too small. Can you post it again with a onclick big-size version?
    Thank you very much.

  2. Ricardo Martins Reply

    Just one more question: 🙂

    Does the default folders

    means the “Default” value at the design config?
    Does it means that if I put there “mydefault” the defaults would be
    app/../mydefault and skin/../mydefault?

    Thanks once more Blanka.

    • Hi Ricardo,
      Thanks for your interest in my article. For larger size of the picture, please click on this link: . You can see it more clearly. 🙂
      Regarding your question, the theme that has the name “default” in your design package is the default theme of your package. And in the design config, if you put the package “mydefault”, the default theme will be app/…/mydefault/default and skin/…/mydefault/default
      If you still have any questions, please let me know. I’ll assist you.

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