What I need to do is, if a person search for a product then if products found the layout need to be page/2columns-left.phtml with layered navigation but if there were no results then its layout should be page/1column.phtml and it will display new products, popular products.

One of the solution I came around is to override the CatalogSearch/ResultController's indexAction() where I can get whether $query->getNumResults() is 0 or not. On that basis how could I load layout differently?

If there's another better approach to this, that would be helpful too.

2 Answers 2


1.Add layout handle in catalogsearch.xml:

    <reference name="root">
        <action method="setTemplate"><template>page/1column.phtml</template></action>
    <reference name="content">
        <!--  add your blocks here-->

2.Load this handle in controller:

public function indexAction()
     * some codes here

    if ($someValueIsTrue) {

  • perfect! exactly the same thing what I wanted. I was missing $this->loadLayoutUpdates();. Can you tell me what is the order of calling these functions? Is there any blog or tutorial on it? Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 5:00
  • @MohammadFaisal see public function loadLayout() of Mage_Core_Controller_Varien_Action class. Our logick is same as logic of this function.
    – mageUz
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 6:15
  • I'd previously tried $this->loadLayout('NO_SEARCH_RESULTS'); but it doesn't worked that time? Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 6:20
  • 1
    In this case default handle will not added to layout updates. See public function loadLayout() for understanding the logic.
    – mageUz
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 6:23
  • 1
    You could also do $this->loadLayout(array('default','NO_SEARCH_RESULTS').
    – benmarks
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 12:33

Take a look at this article: http://sandersluis.com/2011/11/changing-the-page-template-in-a-magento-controller/. Hope this helps.

  • not the answer I'm looking for. it just tell about changing the template. and i'm looking for rendering the layout xml Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 5:03

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