I am going to provide you with further understanding about how to use Magento themes in the easiest way. By giving some main concepts and approach to Structure of Template, this tutorial will certainly be helpful for those who have encountered difficulties when applying Magento Themes as well as wanted to learn more about Magento. Three main following parts will be covered:

• Define and describe how to use Magento themes

• Define and describe how to use design packages

• Define and describe how to use fallbacks

Now let’s start with the first section: Define and describe how to use Magento Themes

1.  Structure of Magento Theme includes 4 major parts as follows:

● Layout

  • Folder: app/design/frontend/{package}/{theme}/layout
  • Including the .xml files that define the block according to tree structure

● Template

  • Folder: app/design/frontend/{package}/{theme}/template
  • Including: the .phtml files. In fact, they are .php files containing HTML + PHP

● Skin

  • Folder: skin/frontend/{package}/{theme}
  • Including: .css, images, .js files

● Locale

  • Folder: app/design/frontend/{package}/{theme}/locale
  • Including language files

2. How to use Magento Theme

● Steps to set up Magento Theme

  • Copy all the files of the theme to Magento set up folder
  • Login back-end
  • Go to System > Configuration > Design
  • Enter the package name, theme name
  • Package name shown as blank is seen as “default”



  • Go to System > Design > Add Design Change
  • Select  Store, Theme, Time using theme

● Using a separate theme for Category

  • Go to edit category page
  • Choose “Custom Design” tab
  • Set “Custom Design” to be the name of the desired theme


● Using a separate theme for Product

  • Go to edit product page
  • Choose “Design” tab
  • Set “Custom Design” to be the name of the desired theme

Well, the first part ends here. For the sufficient knowledge of Template Structure, please follow the rest 2 parts of this topic in our next posts. Don’t hesitate if you want to leave comments here.

See you again. Have fun!


Alex is the CTO & Co-founder of Magestore which has been providing retail solutions for Magento merchants since 2009. He started as a Magento developer just one year after the release of the first version of Magento. With over 10 years experience of working with Magento and clients all over the world, he gained great knowledge on e-commerce development, order management systems, inventory control & retail POS.

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