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Learn how easy it is to create a custom column layout for Magento. The tutorial is based on the Magento Enterprise Edition but also applies to the Magento Community Edition. A custom column layout is helpful if you want for instance a "left" column to only appear on certain pages.

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To create a new custom column layout, you need to place a new file in the Magento theme. With the Magento default theme, you could use the folder app/design/frontend/default/default/template/page, but of course - when building your own site - it is recommended to have your own theme-directory.

In the tutorial, the file 1column.phtml is copied to the file 1columnfp.phtml (where "fp" stands for the front page). To make this new page reckognizable you wll need to add a new XML-definition. In the tutorial the following code is added to the file app/code/core/Mage/Page/etc/config.xml.

<one_column_fp module="page" translate="label">
    <label>1 column (frontpage)</label>
    <template>page/1columnfp.phtml</template>
    <layout_handle>page_one_column_fp</layout_handle>
</one_column_fp>

However, with a Magento upgrade this change could be gone. The same XML could also be added to your app/etc/local.xml file instead:

<config>
    <global>
        <page>
            <layouts>
                <one_column_fp module="page" translate="label">
                    <label>1 column (frontpage)</label>
                    <template>page/1columnfp.phtml</template>
                    <layout_handle>page_one_column_fp</layout_handle>
                </one_column_fp>
            </layouts>
        </page>
    </global>
</config>
Written on 8 November 2009 by Jisse Reitsma

About the author

Jisse Reitsma is the founder of Yireo, extension developer, developer trainer and two times Magento Master. His passion is for technology and open source. And he loves talking as well.

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