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Installing Premium Magento Themes From TemplateMonster Made Easy

Posted in Solutions

Your premium Magento theme installation is a success only if it looks exactly like the live demo. The steps I am about to give you will help you avoid the frustration you may have encountered when installing premium Magento themes such as those you buy from stores like TemplateMonster.

Basically, it is easy to install the premium theme without also installing the sample data that came with the theme’s package. However, I highly recommend that you install the sample data. It will help you and everyone involved with the project in the long run.

One of the advantages of installing the sample data is that it makes you and your team look more professional. You will be able to show your boss and/or your client a development site that has structure instead of a site with empty theme pages. And, if you are working with a team, the team members who will see the project site for the first time will immediately have an idea of what changes are necessary to carry out project requirements. So, this post is for you if you find that installing a premium Magento theme complete with the accompanying sample data very challenging.

Rule of thumb

Only install your premium Magento theme’s sample data on a freshly installed Magento site. You should never install a theme and its sample data on your existing live business site. If you do, your live site’s product inventory data will be overwritten by the theme’s sample data.

Foolproof theme and sample data installation procedure

So, assuming you have just finished installing the latest Magento version. And, you are now ready to install the premium theme you purchased from TemplateMonster.

  1. First, if you haven’t already, download the premium theme package to your computer.
  2. Next, extract the compressed file and open the extracted folder.
  3. Then, inside it, find the theme### folder and upload all its contents to your hosting server via FTP.
  4. Create a new MySql database in cPanel and add to it the same database user your fresh Magento site is using. Grant all privileges. (You can do this while waiting for your theme files to finish uploading)
  5. Now, go back to your premium theme package folder and extract sources_##########.zip. Make sure you have the compressed file’s password (displayed on the page where you downloaded the theme).
  6. Then, go to phpMyAdmin and click the Import tab.
  7. You’ll see a Browse button which you need to click to select the dump.sql.gz file from inside sources_##########/sources/sample_data/ on your computer.
  8. Then, scroll down to the bottom and click the Go button to start importing the SQL dump file.
  9. After phpMyAdmin finishes the import process, click core_config_data from the list of database tables from the left pane. Under the Path column, you’ll find the web/unsecure/base_url and web/secure/base_url. Replace the URL values with your project site’s actual URL.
  10. And then, using Code Editor in File Manager, edit the app/etc/local.xml file by replacing the database name with the new one. (You may download and use your own html editor if you wish)
  11. You’ll find that premium themes don’t use database table prefixes so make sure that in local.xml you see exactly this line of code:
    <table_prefix><![CDATA[]]></table_prefix>

    There should be nothing inside the innermost pair of square brackets. If you see something inside these brackets remove it.

  12. Save the updated local.xml file. Your project Magento site now connects to the database with the integrated sample data.
  13. Then, check to make sure that your FTP upload is all done and all the theme files (Step 3) have been uploaded successfully by your FTP software.
  14. Go to File Manager and delete all the cache files inside the var/cache/ folder. (Deleting these cache files is faster via File Manager than via FTP)
  15. Finally, reload your Magento site on your favorite web browser. You should now see that your Magento site looks exactly like the theme’s live demo.

Congrats, you have a new expertise!

As you’ll realize, you didn’t even need to login to the backend to apply the theme in the system configurations and setup CMS pages or static blocks. It is because the backend settings data are included in the dump.sql.gz file you imported to the empty database in steps 6 to 8.

So, now you have a clearer step by step process for installing premium Magento themes and the like. Try the solution you found on this page the next time a premium theme documentation instructs you to import the dump.sql file into your fresh Magento install site’s database and it doesn’t work.

Also, all premium theme documentations I’ve seen so far are very long. Therefore, scanning through its pages can prove to be a challenge if you are a person who wants to read through the instructions from top to bottom a lot faster.

I would still recommend that you open the documentation of each theme you purchase. This is to check whether you are dealing with the same kind of instructions as the previous one you’ve had success with using the above steps. If the documentation looks familiar then use the procedure you learned from reading this post.

Please let me know in the comments below whether this helped you improve your premium Magento theme installation success rate. Thanks for reading the entire post. Please subscribe to get updates as they happen!

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