I'm trying to get an overview over a Magento installation which was done by some other guy. It looks like a complete mess to me. Here is one thing I dont' quite understand, maybe someone can help?

The shop uses a theme called theme123 but I don't find where this is configured. According to my knowledge of the theme fallback system it should not be used at all.

In Magento's backend configuration the package is 'default' and all theme names etc. are set to 'custom'.

This is the structure of the app directory:


And this ist the skin directory:


The 'custom' directory under app is nearly empty (just one template file).

So why is theme123 used? Where might theme123 be configured? According to my knowledge of the fallback system some default/default should be used since there is no 'custom' theme. The templates use getSkinUrl() which returns the theme123 path.

When this is correct: Why? If not: Which hack did the other guy use to get it to work? Maybe he hard-coded the theme name, but where?

2 Answers 2


If it's not overridden on website or store view scope, they might have configured "Custom theme" for all products, categories and CMS pages.

This is how it looks for CMS pages:

Example for CMS

You find a "Design" or "Custom Design" tab in product and category management as well, with similar content.

  • Good idea, but it is set to 'custom' in all scopes.
    – user28315
    Jul 21, 2015 at 13:14

A common error that costs a lot of time to find is a configured design under System > Design. Check if there's an entry present.

  • That's it! Thanks a lot. Is there any difference between the configuration in System-Design and System-Configuration-... What's the use the System-Design setting?
    – user28315
    Jul 21, 2015 at 13:17
  • 1
    Good catch. The feature is intended for seasonal designs but looks like you can also use it without "from date" and "to date" Jul 21, 2015 at 13:34
  • As @fschmengler already mentioned: It's mainly used for a temporary design change... Anyway: We ran into a similar issue without date settings some time ago and it took a while to find out ;-) Jul 21, 2015 at 13:51
  • So all the confusion is just a result of a poor user interface: If you could find all the settings in one place under System-Configuration-... everything would be obvious.
    – user28315
    Jul 21, 2015 at 15:56

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