I like the Real estate template for my own website. However from the template features I learned that this template is joomla 1.5 compatible. I am using joomla 1.7 so my question is whether I can still use this template without problems or is it necessary to upgrade the template first?
Thank you very much.
Joomla has been constantly progressing and new developments are constantly being designed with each new upgrade of the Joomla format. What is compatible with 1.7 is not design nor will work with version 1.0. I started with 1.5 and when 1.6 was released, I too was concerned. Then with a blink of the eye, v1.6 was released. I asked when 1.6 was released, are these templates compatible? HotJoomlaTemplates were frantically working to release their templates in the new 1.6 format and they have been really good with keeping up with the new development of each new Joomla upgrade.
Since hackers and "script kitties" are constantly trying to attack every website out there, the Joomla team too is developing new versions to keep up. Along with them, extensions are being developed to answer everyone's need for added features like maps, photo and video extensions. Most are free, but the ones that offer more commercial glamour will usually cost a little money. This paid-for extensions will offer more ease of use than the free ones.
When version 1.5 was released, I really didn't like the limited user levels, only three levels. Next came out version 1.6 and this issue was resolved. Since Joomla is completely free to download and use, no one can complain. There are versions of Joomla that do cost money, but they have features that the free version doesn't offer. It's kind of like Joomla on steroids. Since a lot of hours were spent developing these programs, these companies will charge due to their research and development (ie, hotjoomlatemplates).
You can find a lot of free templates out there, but the features are very limited. You can learn css, php and other programming languages and tweek these free versions of the templates or purchase some of HJT's products and allow them to do the work for you. This is a great time saving tool. The time you save can be used to design your website, the way you want.
When you get the website just like you want it, you can go back and re-tweek it to your liking.
This template wasn't exactly like I wanted it. It might be perfect for 90% of HJT's customers, but I wanted a logo that was larger than the default. So to get my logo to fit properly, I did a lot of researching to find my answer. Just because you have purchased Real Estate, Skies or Mobility, certain topics of concern are similar in each template.
Take a lot of notes and use it to add or remove margins, change the hoover color in your menu or add copyright changes to your site.
So to sum up your initial question. Each version of Joomla is like a new child in your family. Your first child was a little stuborn, it didn't do what you wanted. With the birth of your next child (or version) it get's a little better, offering you more features than the last and HJT has been keeping up with the times.
You will find sooooo many people willing to help you learn how to make your website dreams a reality.
Since the forum is free, the response time from the room can take a little time to get a resolution to your issue. Use that time to research and learn. Remember to take a lot of notes.
Prior to making any changes to the template files, save a copy to your computer, make the changes and if it doesn't work out, copy the original back in it's original folder. I try to save the original file to a Microsoft Word Doc and leave myself some notes what I did to get the effect that I was looking for. The picture I added is a snap shot of one of my docs. Since certain css files are big, I add bookmarks and internal hyperlinks to make the search easier to find.
I hope that you find Joomla and HJT's templates to your liking.
Good Luck and remember to take notes and ALWAYS save the original file to a safe place of your hard drive.