I'm developing my first Magento extension for which I have overwritten a few default templates and created some new ones. At the moment, they reside in frondend/default/default and adminhtml/default/default in the app/design folder. According to the current Magento documentation, using the default package and theme is a bad practice because they are overwritten during upgrades (similar to base/default).

From what I gather, I should create a new package for my custom templates. This raises a big question though.

Suppose I put my own template files in frontend/mypackage/default, how can I configure Magento to display them? I know you can change the design package in the admin panel, but if the store owner already uses a custom package and theme, then there's a conflict. Is there any way to solve this issue?

  • You can't use two packages or themes as far as I know out-of-box. Your custom files will need to be place in the store owner's package/theme directory.
    – laketuna
    Mar 23, 2015 at 13:49
  • Which template file you want to override.?? Mar 23, 2015 at 19:47
  • @musicliftsme, I can't think of another solution either.
    – Vincent
    Mar 23, 2015 at 21:40
  • @Meenakshi Some checkout templates on the frontend and a few templates in the admin panel.
    – Vincent
    Mar 23, 2015 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


The correct paths for your themes should be app/frontend/design/yourpackagename & skin/frontend/design/yourpackagename

You then have two ways to invoke the design

Log into your magento admin section

go to

System/Design then add new design and select it from the dropdown list You may need to remove the existing design if one is showing in here.


Log into admin

go to

System/ Configuration

from the left hand menu select Design

Then enter the name of your package in Current Package Name

I always clear all the caches after doing this.

You can only use different packages on different stores in Magento.

You can't use two packages on one store.

  • The problem is that it's not really a theme, just a few edited templates. So creating my own package and changing the package in the admin panel would render the current store theme useless. So I think the only real solution here is to merge them, as musicliftsme says.
    – Vincent
    Mar 23, 2015 at 17:13

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