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How to Make a Joomla Template Writable

written by: Ada Stoy•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/18/2010

You have found a cool Joomla template and you want to make minor changes to it to make it even greater. However, you are getting error messages that the files you want to modify are not writable. Don't worry, this is easy to fix and now I will tell you how to make a Joomla template writable.

  • slide 1 of 2

    Why Joomla Templates Are Not Writable

    While you might never encounter a Joomla template that is not writable, if you do, it might take you some time to figure out what the problem is. If the error message you are getting tells right away that the template (or the particular file(s)) you want to modify are not writable, then it is easy but sometimes you are getting pretty obscure error messages and you can't guess right away what's wrong. Anyway, if you are attempting to make changes and they fail because you can't save the changes you made to the file, the possible reasons are:

    • You don't have the permissions to make changes.
    • The files are read-only for everybody.

    In this case you need to make some changes to the ownership mode of the files, so that they can be edited. These changes are described next.

  • slide 2 of 2

    Ways to Make a Joomla Template Writable

    Here are some easy ways in which you can make a Joomla template writable:

    1. If you are getting an error message that a particular file is not writable, change the ownership mode for this file only.
    2. Change the ownership and rights for the whole directory where the template is located.

    In either case, the easiest way in which you can change the ownership of a file/template to make it writable is via File Manager (if your web host is using CPanel) or a similar application (if your web host is using something else). Open File Manager and navigate to the directory where the templates are. Generally it is the /templates directory under the root for your site. Select the template you want to modify, as shown in the next screenshot and click the Change Permissions button:

    how to make a joomla template writable 

    This will open a dialog similar to the one below:

    how to make a joomla template writable 

    Here you can change the permissions. The permissions shown in this screenshot are very liberal – i.e. they give write rights to everybody, which could be regarded as a security risk (though actually it isn't that much of a security risk if no unauthorized people can access your account).

    If you want to play it safer, you can remove the ticks from the Write privilege for the Group and World entries and leave it only for User (if you are that User). If this doesn't work, make the file writable for everybody (i.e. for Group and World as well), make the template modifications you wanted and then revert the file back to unwritable.