When I started to learn abot XML Layout in magento, I come to know two terms namely Layout and Layout Update.

Definition for these two terms in an article was

The term layout refers to the visual and structural composition of the page. However, the term layout update refers to a specific set of XML instructions that determines how the page is constructed.

But I'm not able to understand it with xml files of magento.

Can anyone explain these two terms with an example xml file of magento?

1 Answer 1


<catalog_product_compare_index translate="label"> <label>Catalog Product Compare List</label> <!-- Mage_Catalog --> <reference name="root"> <action method="setTemplate"><template>page/popup.phtml</template></action> </reference> <reference name="head"> <action method="addJs"><script>scriptaculous/scriptaculous.js</script></action> <action method="addJs"><script>varien/product.js</script></action> <action method="unsetChild"><name>head.viewport</name></action> </reference> <reference name="content"> <block type="catalog/product_compare_list" name="catalog.compare.list" template="catalog/product/compare/list.phtml"/> </reference> </catalog_product_compare_index>

Inside catalog_product_compare_index XML rule we have layout rules that components the Layout Update. By Layout we mean the XML structure, with Layout Update we mean all the updates we do using the XML structure.

By using a handle such as catalog_product_compare_index, we update only a specific page. By using the default handle, we update the overall Layout structure of our site.

Hoped i helped you, cause this will mean that i understated as well. :)

Read more here

  • Thank you for the nice explanation, I could understand layout update, but what's that "xml structure".
    – SIBHI S
    May 19, 2014 at 9:56

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