WebSite End User Training Joomla Overview & Some Details

tumwaterpointlessInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Training_Manual GoddessFlowers

Overview NEW VERSION.docx



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© 2013.MobiusMBL All rights reserved.






MobiusMBL Web Design & IT Consulting


Sunshine Coast Qld. & Darwin, NT









WebSite End User Training

Joomla Overview & Some Details


Darwin, NT

April 2013


www.
goddessflowers
.com.au




Presented By:


MobiusMBL






Training
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1

Overview Of This Document

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5

1.1

Screen prints in this document

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................................
................................
.............

5

1.2

Introduction

................................
................................
................................
................................
...........

5

1.2.1.1

What This Document Hopes T
o Accomplish

................................
................................
.....................

6

1.2.1.2

You Will Be Glad Of Those Teamviewer Sessions Now!

................................
................................
..

7

1.3

Some Items Covered In This Document

................................
................................
...............................

8

1.4

This Overview Manual

................................
................................
................................
..........................

8

1.5

Getting Additional Help Or Training

................................
................................
................................
......

8

1.6

Important Points Before Getting To Any Detail
................................
................................
.....................

9

1.6.1

The Site Administrators

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................................
................................
...............

9

1.6.2

Scheduled Backups

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................................
................................
...................

10

1.6.3

Backup Often

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................................
................................
..............................

10

1.6.4

Important Note About Backup Files

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................................
.........................

11

1.6.5

How To Perform A Manual Backup
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................................
...........................

11

1.6.6

How To Use A Backup To Restore Your Site To A Previous State

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........

13

1.6.7

General Information Regarding The Joomla Software

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...........................

14

1.6.7.1

What is jooml
a?

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................................
................................
................................
....

14

1.6.7.2

What can you do with joomla

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15

1.6.7.3

The benefits of using a content management system

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................................
......

15

1.6.7.4

Why Joomla?

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17

1.6.7.5

Alternative CMS software

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19

1.6.7.6

Joomla requirements

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24

1.6.7.7

The Joomla installation process

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.........

25

1.6.7.8

FTP File Transfer software

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..................

25

1.6.7.9

How to down
load zip software

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.........

27

2

Core Joomla Features

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................................
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................

28

2.1

Article Manager

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................................
...

29

2.2

Category Manager

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29

2.3

Media Manager

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................................
...

29

2.4

Menu Manager

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....

30

2.5

User Manager

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.....

30

2.6

Module Manager

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.

31

2.7

Extension Manager

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31

2.8

Global Configuration

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...........................

32

2.9

Template Manager

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32

2.10

Edit Profile
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................................
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...........

33

3

Additional Components

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.............

33

3.1

Contact Manager

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................................
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................................

33

3.2

Web Link Manager

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..............................

35

3.2.1

Individual Web Link Manager

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................................
................................
....

35

3.2.2

Web Link Cate
gory Manager

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.....

36

4

Creating Articles

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37

4.1

Article Options

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....

38

4.2

Copying Articles

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..

42

4.2.1

Copy An Existing Article

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42

4.2.2

Create the Article From Scratch

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43

4.2.3

Single Article Menu Item Link

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................................
...

44

5

Creating Categories

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50

5.1

Connecting the Dots

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...........................

50

5.2

How to Create Categories

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..................

50

6

Creating Menus

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...........................

52

6.1.1

You Should Have No Need To Do This
................................
................................
.....................

52

6.1.2

Create A New Menu
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53

7

Creating Menu Items

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55

7.1

Set Up A New Menu Item To Point To An Article

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55

7.1.1

Determine Where Your Menu Item Is To Go

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............

55

7.1.2

Create The Item In Main Menu

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................................
..

56




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8

User Management
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8.1

User Levels and Security

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8.1.1

Public Front
-
end:

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.......................

59

8.1.2

Public Back
-
end

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59

8.1.3

User Groups and Viewing Access Levels

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................

59

8.2

How T
o Add A New User

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60

8.3

How To Disable/Ban A User

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8.4

How To Delete A User

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9

The Frontpage & Wedding Page Slideshows

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9.1

Adding
/ Changing Slides For The Frontpage

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9.1.1

The Need To Manipulate Frontpage Images

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64

9.1.2

Actually Inserting The Frontpage Slides

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65

9.1.3

Adding / Changing Slides For The Wedding Page Slideshow

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10

An Overview of the JCE Editor

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................................
................................
.

69

10.1

A Few Caveats About The Editor

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69

10.2

And Now Back To The JCE Editor Discussion

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10.3

Accessing HTML Source Code
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70

10.4

Inserting Images

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................................
................................
................................
.

70

10.5

Viewing the Full Screen Mode

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10.6

Linking Content

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...

71

10.7

Custom HTML Modules

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11

Embedding YouTube Videos

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11.1

How to copy the YouT
ube iframe code

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11.2

How to embed iframe code into an article

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11.3

Embedding HTML source code

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11.4

How to embed code using the JCE Editor

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12

Creat
ing Links On Your Site To Other Elements

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12.1

Linking files to Articles

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12.2

How to link the text of an Article to a file in your Media Manager
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12.3

How to link the text of an Article to a file on your PC

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12.4

Linking Articles together using the JCE Editor

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12.5

Linking Articles to Menus

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13

Using FTP To Transfer Files In Bulk To Your Website

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13.1

This Applies To Images And All Other Files

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13.2

Installing An FTP Client On Your Local Computer

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13.2.1

Download & Install FileZilla

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13.2.2

Your FTP Accounts

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13.2.2.1

FTP Credentials To Access These Directories

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13.2.3

Using FileZilla

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13.2.3.1

Connecting To FileZill
a

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13.2.3.2

Connecting To Your Web Server

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13.2.3.3

Transferring Files Using FileZilla

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13.2.3.4

WARNING WARNING WARNING!!!!

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13.2.3.5

Create A

Practice Area

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14

Using The Testimonials Component

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14.1

The Automatically Scheduled Backup (DropBox)

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14.1.1

Important Note On The Backup Schedule

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14.1.2

Configuration Of The Backup

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14.1.3

Dropbox Configuration For The Backup

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15

Conclusion and Additional Useful Information Resources

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15.1

Conclusion

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15.2

Web Resource Links

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15.3

Offical Joomla Sites

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15.4

Other Sites

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15.5

Joomla Tutorial Videos

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15.6

Joomla Tutorials Blog

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15.7

Images And Graphics (use the one you are comfortable with, Gimp is the best, but complex))

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16

Technical Information For Your Website

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16.1

Database Details

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16.2

FTP Details

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16.3

Email Configuration and Details

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16.3.1

Accessing Email Via The Web

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16.3.2

Setting Up Email For MS Outlook

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16.3.3

Email Details and Passwords

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16.4

PayPal Develop
er Account Details

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16.5

Your Web Hosting Service Details

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16.5.1

Hosting Service Type
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1

Overview Of This Document

1.1

Screen prints in this document


Because of the si
ze of some of the screens, they are not perfectly readable in this document.

This should not be an issue, as it is expected that this document will be used as you are actually
looking at the site.

When you have the screens open as you progress through a p
articular section of this document,
you
will be able to make the connection.


1.2

Introduction

First off, let me say that this document is
NOT

a “How To Be A Website Programming Expert In 10
Easy Steps”……….. it would take at least 11 steps for that





.

M
uch of this document is more than a bit technical, but I hope that you will be able to get through
even the more ‘technical” bits, and I think you
will

be able to, provided you just take your time and
give it a bit of thought.

The technical bits need to b
e there, because… well…. its technical. The document was written to
assist you, and not to bamboozle you……. so, if you get stuck, let me know.

This is a guide to doin
g

the more common things that users would normally want.

It

covers the
general and comm
on features of the Joomla CMS software, on which your website is based.


It does not cover 3
rd

p
arty software like document management, etc….
any such
specific features,
where they exist on your website,
will be described in another document.

This manual

is not intended to be an in
-
depth instruction manual, but it will outline how to achieve
the more common tasks that site owners will require, like:



Adding articles



Adding menus



Adding categories



Linking content



Inserting weblinks



Inserting audio and video

files



Inserting images



etc




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Use the documentation as a reference for these more general features.

It is
NOT

accurate to the nth degree! This needs a bit of explanation…… and this is just an
example….

In the document I say that it is easy to administer,

easy to change etc……. This statement is
true, in
a general way
. Most things are easy, but of course, there are things which need specific
programming knowledge…..

Things such as these will
NOT

be in the normal range of changes you will want to make…
so do
not be concerned with that statement
….. I simply make it for total accuracy… If someone wants
to make a particularly unusual change, and I say that it will take days…. Well…. I don’t want
anyone saying…. “but you said it was all easy!”… what th
e????

There are other things like this, so you have to remember that this software you have is a hugely
powerful thing…………… it
WILL

be easy for you to use, but don’t expect to become a Joomla,
and PHP, and Database expert overnight……… your website is
still a technical thing, with its own
technical complications….. but let me worry about all the technical stuff.


1.2.1.1

What This Document Hopes To Accomplish

This manual is
based on a variety of resources,
and

on some of the features which may apply to your
w
ebsite.

It is generic, in that it should apply to most if not all websites built by MobiusMBL, and is intended
to be a guide / overview of the important things.

It is really an
introduction to Joomla
, and hopefully,
teaches you how
perform the more bas
ic
activities in your
website
, to the extent that you can administer the day
-
to
-
day things you need to do.

Its purpose is to do this, and also to give you some appreciation of the terminology and elements used
in the core software of your website, and to g
ive you some degree of comfort in some of the more
technical things.

You don’t need to be a computer expert to administer your site, but it DOES help if you have a
good understanding of computers, and the internet and websites in general.

Other documentati
on will be supplied which will be more specific to particular functions
which may
apply to your website
, like Photo Gallery, eCommerce, Project Management, Reservation systems,
etc .





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1.2.1.2

You Will Be Glad Of Those Teamviewer Sessions Now!

At this stage, now th
at the website has been delivered, and you are preparing to administer it on a
day
-
to
-
day basis, I am sure you will appreciate the Teamviewer sessions we have had in the last few
weeks before going live.

With those sessions, and this and other documentati
on, you will be in a great position to administer
your website to do most if not everything you need. Again…. The Teamviewer sessions, which may
not have made a lot of sense at the time, will now click into place.

One of the challenges of producing any t
raining course is teaching at a level that keeps everyone
happy. This is particularly so with Joomla as some people are very experienced
with administering
computers and
websites
,
where others
are less experienced.

For this reason, this document is
at a ba
sic level, but if you’re an advanced user I will let when know
when it is safe to skip ahead. At the very least, you need to know enough about computers and the
Internet to get around. If you can visit a website, download software and open files on your
co
mputer, you
should

have no difficulty understanding these step
-
by
-
step instructions.

This
document

is for Joomla version 2.
5.
e


Since
I am not a Teacher, or a Technical Writer, this document may not be written to the level
appropriate for all users.

If t
his is the case, let me know, and let me know what suggestions you have…. Don’t forget, this
documentation is not for me….. it is for you, and if I am going to put all this time into creating it, I
want it to be useful

to whoever reads it.

You are the o
nly folk who can tell me if it is useful or not.

If there is something missing from this document, or doesn’t make sense, let me know.

Don’t read it like a book, from cover to cover, have a quick scan through it
, not worrying about
the jargon, r the techni
cal stuff
etc.

You may not understand things… don’t be concerned about that … skip through
it
anyway,
just
to get a feel for the terms etc,

Then, when you are ready to do something, like add a picture to an article, look in the index
and just read t
hat

bit, or contact me.








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1.3

Some
Items
Covered
In This Document


1.

Taking a manual backup of your website

(
this is covered in this document

under Scheduled
Backups
)

2.

Adding / Changing / Deleting Users

(
this is covered in this document

under User Management
)

3.

Addi
ng blogs (
this is covered in this document
)

4.

Creating / Changing Articles

(
this is covered in this document

under Creating Articles
)

5.

Adding images to Articles

(
this is covered in this document

under Creating Articles
)

6.

Adding Videos to the site

(
this is cove
red in this document

under Embedding Youtube Videos
)

7.

Adding services (
this is covered in this document

under
Creating

Menus
)

8.

Putting in links to other pages or documents

on the website

(
this is covered in this document

under Creating Articles

and under Cr
eating Menus
)

9.

Uploading

files (
images
, etc)

in bulk
(WITH FTP)
to the website

(
this is covered in
this

document

under
Using FTP To Transfer Files
)

10.

Using the Testimonials Component

(
this is covered in
this

document

under
Using The
Testimonials Component
)

11.

Setting Up Email

(
this is covered in
this

document

under
Email Configuration and Details
)

12.

Backup Configuration & Use

(
this is covered in
this

document

in a variety of places


see the
index
)

13.

Changing
Frontpage (M
ainsite
)

slides and comments on front pa
ge (
this is covered in
this

document

under
The Frontpage & Wedding Page Slideshows
)

14.

Changing
Wedding page

slides and comments (
this is covered
this

document

under
The
Frontpage & Wedding Page Slideshows
)

15.

Shopping section configuration

etc (
this is covered

in another document



this is a significantly
detailed process
)

16.

Any other software extensions your site
may

use, and which
are

not in the core Joomla

(
this
will be
covered in
separate
document
ation specific to the extension
)



1.4

This Overview Manual

It may

not be organised in
narrative manner
, but its purpose is as a reference, where you look up a
particular topic. It is not meant to be r
ead line
-
by
-
line, top
-
to
-
bottom like a novel.

Everything is this document is, I think well within the capabilities of mos
t if not all users.


1.5

Getting Additional Help Or Training

In addition to this document, and
any

others I
will deliver
, there are literally hundreds of thousands of
articles and videos on the ‘net in regards to any aspect of Joomla.

If I have not covered som
ething well enough…. Trust your friend in Google.

Search for what you
want and you will definitely find it. There is simply too much detail for me to put it all in this
document.

Give it a crack
… and
I am always here for support.




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1.6

Important Point
s

Before Ge
t
ting T
o Any Detail

Irrespective of how it may look and feel, you
must

realise that this software is extremely powerful
and flexible.

It is not simply a blog tool, but rather a comprehensive Content Management facility.

This being the case, there are proce
dures and processes you must follow diligently, if you want to get
the most out of it, and maintain its flexibility and security.

It can be quite technical in parts, but hopefully the details you will read in these manuals will outline
the more common
“us
er administration” functions, and will avoid the more technical elements.

1.6.1

The Site Administrators

As the owner of the website, your user ID has

been designated as the “
Administrator
”,
which
provides
most
options,
and
your

user id has been set up to reflec
t this. This is the
2
nd

highest
security level available
.

Your “
Administrator
” user id will provide access to the “
Back
-
End
” of the website, where the
administration functions are performed.

The highest

security level in the system

is “
Super Admin
”, which

provides
every

option, and is used
for the very technical administration.
No
Green Goddess Florist

personnel
currently
have

this level of
security.

However, s
ince this is your website, you
can

have this level if you wish, but since it is so powerful
,
and
you can destroy your website if you make mistakes
, you must assume
ALL

responsibility for
ALL

administration of the site.

Currently MobiusMBL is your Super Admin. Should you require any work to be performed at
this level, there may, depending on its nature
, be a fee associated with this work.

You are of course entitled, and welcome to change Super Admin to another provider at any
time
. but there should be only one Super Admin at any one time to avoid what could be serious
conflicts made in configurations
.








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1.6.2

Scheduled
Backup
s

Your site has been configured to automatically take a backup on a regular basis. If your content
changes frequently, we may need to make this backup more frequent.

Initially it is a
weekly

backup schedule.

Depending on the option you h
ave chosen

(either (1) or (2) below)
:

1.

The backup will be sent to your DropBox directory.

1.1.


You
will be

totally responsible for the security of this backup file(s).

1.2.

You
MUST

on a regular basis remove this from the DropBox and store it somewhere else
(your c
omputer, an external disk etc). This is because your DropBox may fill up, and the
backups will then fail.

1.3.

This is a procedure that
must

be followed regularly



OR

2.

If you have elected MobiusMBL to adm
inister your backups,
(at a current
on
-
going
cost of
$200.00 per year)

2.1.

An external hard disk will have been purchased on your behalf
, which will be used to house
your backups

(included in the first years $200;00 fee).

2.2.

The process will be as in (1) above, e
xcept that the backup will g
o

to this hard drive, rather
than your DropBox).

2.3.

You will not need to have any involvement in the process, and your backups will be secured
regularly

2.4.

Should the hard disk physically fail for any reason (unlikely, but it can hap
pen),
you will be
responsible for its replacement at the current cost

of the devi
ce (currently around $160.00
for a 1TB USB3 Portable disk).

1.6.3

Backup Often

In addition the scheduled backups discussed above, if you happen to be making any significant
changes
to the site (other than maybe adding simple content like articles, contacts etc), you

should
perform a Manual Backup
BEFORE

you make the changes. In this way, if anything goes wrong, we
can easily undo your work by restoring the system.








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1.6.4

Important Note

About
Backup
Files

Notwithstanding the previous title of “
Backup Often
”, you should be aware of this point:

Your website is located on a “Shared Server”, which means that the server hosts literally thousands
of websites.

For this reason, the hosting provi
ders are absolutely anal about
NOT

allowing

backups to be stored
on the webserver, for the obvious reason that they might run out of space if everyone stored multiple
backups on the server. They police this rigorously.

There is no problem with the automat
ic scheduled backup, even if this is a daily backup, because
when it is done, the files are transferred to Dropbox, and then deleted from the server.

The issue comes with doing manual backups (which
DO

remain on the server).

There is a limit of only 3 manu
al backups stored on the server. If you do a fourth one, the oldest one
will be deleted……
there can only be a maximum of 3 manual backups
. If you need to do more,
use FTP (FileZilla), to download the existing backups to your local computer, prior to runn
ing the
backup.

This is a situation which will rarely occur, but it is best that you understand the background to it.

1.6.5

How To Perform A Manual Backup

How to do it...

1.

Go to the Administrator back end and click on
Components

-


Akeeba Backup





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2.

Then click

on the “
Backup Now
” icon


to

3.

Then enter a note re the backup into the comments box, and then click on the “
Backup Now

button.


4.

You will then see another screen with a progress bar as the backup is completing. This should
take around 5 minutes or le
ss.

5.

Don’t go away from this last screen until the backup has completed.

6.

That’s it…. You can now continue whatever you want to do.

Do this backup as often as you need to, but remember that the files will go to your dropbox, (or mine
if you have chosen op
tion 2 above.

Don’t shirk on backups, they are extremely important, but also, don’t just do them for the sake of it.




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1.6.6

How To Use A Backup To Restore
Your Site To A Pre
vious State

While this is a simple process, it ca
n be quite a technical process, especiall
y if problems arise.

As it is really a “Super Admin” function, and as such, one which you should not be attempting, I will
not describe it here in any great detail.

Should you require the site to be restored to a previous version for any reason, contact yo
ur “Super
Admin” to perform this. Currently, that person is myself.

How to do it...

For your information

only
, the steps required to restore the site are as follows:

1.

Copy the backup files you require into the root directory of your website

(you can use FT
P
(FileZilla for this)
.

2.

Copy the file “kickstart.php” into the root directory of your website

(this file exists in your
backup files location)
.

3.

Execute this file by going to a web browser and entering in the address bar
www.
goddessflowers
.com.au/kickstart.php

4.

Follow the instructions on the screen, taking all of the defaults.

While it appears to be a simple process, if something goes wrong for any reason, rectifying the
problem can become quite in
volved and requires a good technical understanding of the environment,
the database, and perhaps some programming skills (depending on the nature of the issue).

As mentioned above, this is best left to someone with some technical skills.

Currently MobiusMB
L is your Super Admin. Should you require any
restoration of your site

to be performed at this level, there may, depending on its nature, be a fee associated with this
work.



Even though it has been explained for
you
r

information here, DO NOT
attempt to r
estore your website yourself
without contacting yo
ur Super Admin
.






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1.6.7

General Information Regarding The Joomla Software


The remainder of this section is just for background information, to
help put the whole process in context. You don’t need to read this
u
nless you are interested.

Let’s get started by taking a quick look at Joomla.

The topics this
section

covers are:



What is Joomla?



What you can do with Joomla



The benefits of using a content management system


1.6.7.1

What is joomla?

Joomla is a website conte
nt management system that allows you to create and maintain a website. It
is open source which means that it’s free. You can download the software for free and use it to build
as many websites as you like. You don’t have to pay to get a better version


th
e entire Joomla core


which allows you to create a fully functional website


is free. You do not have to include any
branding on your website so a Joomla website looks just like any other website. There are also
thousands of third party extensions availa
ble that provide additional functionality such as feedback
forms, e
-
commerce, photo galleries, membership sites, location maps, calendars, banner ads and
much more.

Many of these extensions are also free but some are commercial and need to be purchased.
A
s a rule,
I prefer to use the commercial versions for obvious reasons.

You need four things to build a Joomla website:

1. A basic understanding of how websites work



for example, you should know that websites are
comprised of web pages, web pages tend to

include a navigation menu with items linked to other web
pages and web pages can include various elements such as text, images, hyperlinked text, audio and
video.

2. An understanding of how Joomla works



which, of course, is where these tutorials come i
n.

3. The Joomla software



and part of this course demonstrates how to download and install it

4. An account with a web host



which is an
organisation
responsible for storing your website and
making it accessible to others on the Internet

There are tw
o parts to a Joomla powered website; the “
Frontend
” is the collection of finished web
pages and the “
Backend
” is where the page contents and other functionality is created and



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maintained. The Joomla backend is usually referred to as the “
Administrator
” and

that’s the term
that is used throughout this
documentation
.

1.6.7.2

What can you do with joomla

Now let’s take a look at what types of sites you can build using Joomla

Simple sites

On its own, Joomla is great for creating simple sites with pages of text and i
mages.

Complex sites

Joomla’s greatest strength is the enormous number of third party add
-
ons called extensions.

Specialist sites

Some extensions allow you to create specialist sites such as magazine sites, e
-
commerce,
membership sites and forums
, etc
.


Custom applications

If you need to develop some functionality that goes beyond the standard features of Joomla, and no
extension exists that does the job, then you can create a custom application. As the Joomla
framework is open source, web programmers c
an modify any existing functionality and add new
functionality.

Design options

Another aspect to consider is the look of your website. Joomla pages are displayed using a file called
a template. There are free and commercial ready
-
made templates or you ca
n design your own
template.


1.6.7.3

The benefits of using a content management system

Joomla is a content management system which I’ll now refer to as a CMS.

Traditionally, websites were built using software on a local computer and then moved to a web host.
CM
S powered websites tend to be built and main
tained directly at the web host

. This provides
several benefits including:

The website is easy to update

You just connect to your website management section using a standard web browser which is a tool
that yo
u’re already familiar with so you don’t need to learn a new interface.




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The site can be updated from anywhere in the world


no installed software necessary

With a traditional website you need to make updates using software located on your computer. A
CMS

powered site allows you to update content from any Internet connection.

More than one person can update the site

Although some traditional website construction tools support multiple users, it is generally much
easier to maintain and assign individual pe
rmissions using a CMS.

Design changes are easy

This is one of the most powerful aspects of using a CMS. If you wish to make a design change across
all your pages, all you have to do is make one change to your template and the change is reflected
througho
ut your entire site.

No need to pay someone to keep site updated

Website maintenance can cost a fortune.

You control when site is updated

As you have full control over the updates, you don’t have to wait for
a

developer to make changes.
These changes rel
ate to things like:



Adding or changing articles




Adding pictures and other media files



Adding or changing menus, menu items and menu structures



Adding, changing, deleting data in your database (in most cases)



And other things related to the content or gene
ral appearance of your site



That concludes the first chapter which covered:



What is Joomla?



What you can do with Joomla



The benefits of using a content management system







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1.6.7.4

Why Joomla?

This is the 64 million dollar question.

There are many CMS tools

available (WordPress being one of them, Drupal another), but I chose
Joomla.

The Joomla / Wordpress / Drupal debate is much like the Holden / Ford issue….. ask a thousand
people the question, and you will get a thousand answers.

This document is not inte
nded to go into this discussion in a big way, but I will give a few points. If
you are not interested, or i
f you’re convinced that Joomla is right for you,
or if you don’t care either
way, just
move on to the next chapter.

1.6.7.4.1

Joomla

Pros

Here are
just a few

main points
about
Joomla

(and of course, other CMS folks will use exactly the
same points I guess)
:

It is
powerful and robust


If you want a blog site, or a simple website, go to Wordpress every time, reasons are in the next
section.
If you

want a serio
us and powerful business application, Joomla is the more powerful one.


It is free

If you’re developing websites, you need a low cost CMS. Joomla is free which allows you to use it
for the most basic of sites

to the most complicated
.

It’s Cross platform

The software is not dependent on your local operating system, so it doesn’t matter if you use a Mac,
PC or Linux

machine
. And when it comes to hosting a Joomla site, you can choose a host that uses
the Apache server (which is usually run on the Linux
/Unix

operating system)
,

or Windows IIS. The
majority of Joomla sites are hosted on Linux
/

Unix

powered servers. Hosting is discussed in later
chapters and please don’t let these terms frighten you as everything you need to know is explained.

Support

The grea
test criticism of open source applications is the lack of support. Joomla has an extremely
large user base which means there are a lot of people available to answer your questions at the
Joomla forum.

Long history

As there are so many CMS products availa
ble, some of them do disappear very quickly. If you make
the wrong choice, you’re stuck with software that has no support or ongoing development.




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Joomla is here for the long term and has a history dating back to 2000.

Thousands of extensions

Extensions
are programs created by third parties that extend the functionality of Joomla.

Examples include shopping carts, photo galleries and membership sites. There are thousands of
Joomla extensions available, so when you need to add functionality to your site, t
here is a good
chance that a solution already exists.

Secure

By itself, Joomla is very secure. However like any software you need to keep it and any third party
extensions, up
-
to
-
date.

Popularity

Your will feel more at ease
knowing

that you use the wor
ld’s most popular CMS that is supported by
thousands of developers. That means if
you
want to change developer

t
hen it will be easy to find
someone else to take over their website. And if you plan to maintain your site yourself, rest assured
that if you ru
n into trouble, there is a solution. Joomla’s popularity means there are thousands of
developers you can hire to help with anything you might find is beyond your ability, such as building
a custom application.

1.6.7.4.2

Joomla

Cons

Bigger learning curve

Undoubtedl
y, there is more to learn. No such thing as a free lunch. Anything more powerful is also
bigger and more complex, but it’s not so complex that you can’t manage it.


Not SEO friendly out of the box

SEO is a major consideration for a website. Joomla isn’t to
o bad in this, but it needs work in the
initial stages of development.


Slower loading times

It’s a bigger product than others, with much more code in it. For this reason, the individual pages are
technically slower to load. However, this is measured in mi
lliseconds, so in the final analysis, it
probably doesn’t matter too much, given the extra power you are getting from its facilities.








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1.6.7.5

Alternative
CMS

software

W
hat about other
p
opular content management systems? There are two big contenders; WordPress

and Drupal.

Drupal is along the same lines as Joomla. Wordpress was built to be used for blogging but these days
it can do a lot more. Now there’s nothing like a software comparison to spark a debate and as you
would expect I am somewhat biased towards J
oomla, but I will try to be objective. There are actually
some really good features in these other products. Let’s start with Wordpress.

Joomla vs. Wordpress

Wordpress was originally designed as a blogging platform. If you’re not familiar with the term

blog”, it’s short for web log. These sites contain a series of articles written by one or more authors
on a particular topic. Wordpress has evolved and is now used to power lots of other types of sites, not
just blogs. Let’s take a look at the interface.



Wordpress frontend




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The above image shows a typical Wordpress installation. The latest post is displayed at the top and
includes fields like the date, the category and the author name. You can also create static pages. Both
blog pages and static pages ca
n include a comments box encouraging feedback from readers.


Wordpress backend

The above image is the administration interface. A post includes a title and the associated content.
It’s really simple to use and overall, Wordpress is an excellent product.
But here’s a few things to
consider.

Firstly Joomla articles can be easily arranged in a blog format. It currently lacks a native commenting
feature, but there are a couple of excellent free extensions available. Those who are
u
sed to Joomla,
find a coupl
e of annoying things about Wordpress. Firstly there is no native way to hide the posted
date, category and author name on blog pages. You might not want to always display this which is
something easily controlled in a Joomla site. Also these content items
at the right, which are called
Widgets in Wordpress, appear on all category pages. Joomla calls this type of content Modules and
they can easily be allocated to all or specific pages. Another point is the sort order. With blog pages,
you tend to want to di
splay the most recent post at the top of the page and this is how Wordpress
works. But there might be occasions when you want to display the posts in, say, alphabetical order.




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Joomla natively provides many sort order options such as by date, author name,
alphabetical or your
own order. Now to be fair, these are relatively small issues and they can be managed in Wordpress
with either a plugin or by altering the co
de. Joomla is sometimes criticis
ed for being overly complex
and therefore hard to learn. Of cou
rse if something does more, it takes longer to learn it all, but
this
document shows

the essentials so you can get up and running quickly. Besides
,

this complexity
provides a lot of control which you will appreciate once you start using it.

So despite the

fact that Wordpress can be used for a lot more than simple blogging, that is still its
core strength. If that’s all you want to do, then I would seriously consider it. But before making that
decision, have a think about your future needs too, as you might

find that Joomla has the
functionality you will need later.

1.6.7.5.1

Wordpress Pros

Wordpress has many (not all), of the pros that Joomla has, and a few more.
Here are
just a few
main
points
:

Excellent blogging software right out of the box

This is exactly what
it was built for, and it does it magnificently.

SEO Friendly right out of the box

Wordpress excels in this, Joomla needs to be worked a bit more in this area.

Administrate articles, comments, and blogs easier

It certainly is an easier tool to use, but the
re is a trade
-
off in power.

1.6.7.5.2

Wordpress Cons

Articles are more “bloggy”

It is basically a blog tool. HOWEVER, it is now getting much better.

Limited on components / extensions

It still has a great many, but not quite to the extent of Joomla

Lightweight
/ limited on power

I don’t think this can be disputed, HOWEVER it is getting better






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Joomla vs. Drupal

I personally think that Drupal is
THE

best CMS available today. There are reasons for me not using
it, least of which is the fact that it has a ver
y small user and developer base at the moment.

Broadly speaking, Drupal is more developer oriented and Joomla is more user focussed. Developers
who favour Drupal do so because they find it easier to manipulate and create new functionality.
However if you’r
e not a developer you will find it harder to learn to use Drupal than Joomla.

Below is a picture of a default installation. Adding content appears easy at first as you just add a title
and enter some content. But by default, no editor is included for the
body section so you can’t easily
format the content. Some developers prefer this because they like to enter formatting code manually.
But for beginners, you will need to install a plugin to get an editor.


Drupal has a steeper learning curve than Joomla.

It also doesn't have as many templates or extensions
available.

The interface is not
as
intuitive, so you might find yourself spending time
looking for things
.

Drupal used to have several advantages over Joomla including a content construction kit, a be
tter
storage system and better access control. However the current version of Joomla now handles this
either within the core or via extensions.

So there’s a quick wrap up of why I went with Joomla. It can take a little while to get your head
around it whi
ch is why you’re
reading this
. But once
you get into it
, I’m sure you’ll love using it. The
next chapter explains what software and other requirements you need to build a Joomla website.





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1.6.7.6

Joomla requirements

There are several requirements to build a Jo
omla website including:



A web host



FTP software



ZIP software

All these requirements are discussed in this chapter but before we start, it’s helpful to understand the
steps to installing Joomla.

Step 1



you download a single compressed file from the J
oomla website

Step 2



the contents of this file are extracted to a location on your local computer

Step 3



the extracted files are uploaded to your website hosting account

Step 4



using your web browser, you go to your web address and complete the on
line installation

This process requires you to have a web hosting account, a domain name, FTP software and ZIP
software. If you have all of these and know how to use them then it is safe to skip this chapter.


WEB HOST

Websites need a place to live on t
he Internet. They run on high
-
end computers with special hosting
software. Now technically you could do this with any Internet connected computer but you would
need to spend a lot on hardware and software to do this properly so very few people take this
ap
proach. Instead, most websites live at a web host which i
s an organisation that specialis
es in
making websites accessible on the Internet. So you will need an account with a web host and just
about any host will have the necessary requirements. However it
is a good idea to use a host with
extensive Joomla experience.

Most Joomla sites run on Linux servers, however they can also run on Windows servers. As the vast
majority of Joomla installations run on Linux using the Apache web server, these chapters focu
s on
Linux hosting. If you’re intending to host Joomla using a Windows server then you’ll still be able to
follow, but you might need to ask your host for help with a couple of issues.

Regardless of who you choose as your hosting provider, you need to ens
ure that their platform
conforms to certain technical requirements. You don’t need to understand any of this, just let them
know that you intend to host a Joomla powered website and ask if their platform supports the
following as a minimum. If it is a Linu
x hosting account, Joomla 2.5 and above needs at least:



Apache version 2



PHP version 5.2.4



MySQL version 5.0.4



If it is a Windows hosting account it needs:




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Windows IIS version 7



PHP version 5.2.4



MySQL version 5.1

DOMAIN NAME

Every web site needs
an address, better known as a domain name. You’re no doubt familiar enough
with domains otherwise you wouldn’t have found your way here.

Incidentally you can setup an environment on your local computer to develop a Joomla site but this is
an advanced tech
nique and tends to be a much more difficult process.
We can talk about this at
another time.


1.6.7.7

The
Joomla
installation process

This section is not relevant as it deals with the installation of the core Joomla
software.


For this reason, it has been removed

from this document.



1.6.7.8

FTP File Transfer

software

It will be useful for you to download and use this FTP software. I will deliver
another document on the use of this software.

FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol”. It is a method of moving files from on
e computer to another.
Part of the process of installing Joomla requires you to upload the Joomla files to your website
hosting account. Uploading files is done with FTP software so you need software known as an “FTP
Client”. If you already have one and kn
ow how to use it then stick with that. If not, here is how to
download and install a free FTP program called Filezilla.

Open your web browser and go to
www.filezilla
-
project.org
.




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Click the button marked
Download Filezilla client

You will then be presented with a choice of file options. Choose the one that corresponds to your
local computer operating system. In my case I have a Windows PC so I will download this first
option by clicking on the link. My bro
wser gives me a warning because it thinks the program may be
harmful. If you see a similar warning, just approve it. It will take some time to download.

Remember to download the FileZilla
CLIENT

software, and nt the
SERVER

software!


Once you have saved
the file, you need to install it as you would any other downloaded software.
Open the location where the file was saved. Then run the program and follow the wizard. Once it has
installed, choose the box to run Filezilla just so you can confirm that it has
worked correctly.

That’s all for now. You will learn how to use it in later chapters.





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1.6.7.9

How to download zip software

Now we need to get some unzip software. Lots of programs that you download need to be unzipped
so you may well be familiar with this proc
ess. These days, many operating systems already have the
ability to extract compressed files so there is a good chance that you don’t need additional software.
If you already know what to do with a compressed file feel free to stop now and move to the next

chapter.

If you’re still with me, let’s go and get some zip software. To keep this explanation simple, I will use
a program called Winzip as it is available in both Windows and Mac versions.

Go to
www.winzip.com
. Select “Download”, and the click the “Download” button next to the version
that matches your operating system.

Choose either “WinZip” if you are using Windows or “WinZip Mac Editio
n” if you are using a Mac.
Enter your email address if you wish and click the “Download Now” button.

You might need to confirm that you wish to download the software. Download the evaluation and
install it as you would any other program. Strictly speaking
, the software is not free, it is a free trial.
There is a way to get it for free if you take advantage of an option they have called TrialPay and to do
this, enter your name and email address into the box on this confirmation page.


Despite its name, Wi
nZip is available for both Windows and Mac

You now have the required FTP and ZIP software installed. In the next chapter I’ll show you how to
download the Joomla files and upload them to your web hosting account.






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2

Core
Joomla

Features


The
following are
the
main
keywords used in J
oomla:



Front End

-

Refers to your main website and the ability to login and edit pages from the
"front
-
end"



Back End

-

Refers to the Administrative Control Panel.


You can access the "Back end" of
your site by adding "/administra
tor" to the end of your URL. EXAMPLE:
http://www.YouSite.com/administrator.




Components

-

Components are the main functional units that display in your template, like
the content management system, contact forms, Web Links and the like. They are usually
di
splayed in the centre of the main content area of a template (depending on the template).



Modules

-

Modules are lightweight and flexible extensions used for page rendering.
Sometimes modules are linked to components such as the “latest news” module which l
inks
to the content component (com_content) and displays links to the newest content items. These
modules are mostly visible as the “boxes” that are arranged around a component on a typical
page, for example, the login module. Modules are assigned per menu

item, so, for example,
you can decide to show or hide the logon module depending on which component (menu
item) is used. However, modules do not need to be linked to components; they don't even
need to be linked to anything and can be just static HTML or
text.



Module Position

-

Modules can be added to a Module Position. Positions are defined in a
Joomla template. Additionally you can see what positions are available in the template you
are using by adding either

?tp=1 or &tp=1 to the end of the URL in the
frontend.

o

Menu

-

Menus are just a Module…. the term is put in this list only because it is one
of the major ones used by visitor. It allows user navigation of the site, by linking a
specific function (like an article, or a picture, with a selection item
on the main screen.



Extension

-

An extension is a package that extends your
Joomla

installation in some way. A
small selection of extensions is included with the default
Joomla

installation but many more
are available from the
Joomla

Extensions Site.



Article

-

In
Joomla

an Article is a piece of content usually consisting mainly of text, but may
contain other resources too (for example, images).



Category
-

In
Joomla

a Category i
s a collection of Articles. For example, a website might
have Categories such as "Birds" and "Mammals". Within the "Birds" Category, the website
might have Articles such as "Parrots" and "Sparrows".



Plugin

-

A plugin is a kind of
very small Joomla

extension
. Plugins provide routines which
are associated with trigger events within Joomla. When a particular trigger event occurs all
plugin routines of the type associated with the event are execute
d in sequence. In this way it is
possible to add functionality to the Joomla
Framework
.



Template

-

A template is the type of Joomla
extension

that changes the way your site looks.
There are two types of templates: Front
-
end Templates and Back
-
end Templates.




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2.1

Article Manager

Using the core
Joomla

Article Manager, users can easily create content that is displayed that might be
show
n in different locations on the page. Articles typically contain some text, pictures or other type
of content and for most types of
Joomla

sites, Articles are the majority of the information presented
in the website, and an Article typically contains some
text, pictures or other types of content.

How to do it...

1.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Content


䅲瑩t汥⁍慮慧er

to get to this.


2.2

Category Manager

The Category Manager exists to help users save Articles logically, so they can come back
in the
future and do an Article search very effectively. Categories exist primarily in the Administration area
(the back end) of your
Joomla

site, but sometimes they are used for specific Menu Items or Module
types.

How to do it...

1.

In the Back
-
end Adminis
tration area, click on
Content


䍡Ce杯g礠⁍慮慧ar

to get to this.


2.3

Media Manager


The built in Media Manager supports a variety of different file types

that can be displayed or utilis
ed
in the site. While most common media types are supported, a file t
ype can easily be added to the
Media

Manager if you’d like to utilis
e it within your site.

How to do it...

1.

You can upload files using the box circled in the image below.

2.

The red “
X
” beneath each file or directory will
DELETE

…. There will be
NO

warning.

3.

Make sure you are in the correct directory where you want to upload your media to.

4.

Simply double click on the directory required, either in the directory tree on the left, or on the
directory icon on the main image.

5.

Files to be uploaded will go the directo
ry highlighted (selected)




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2.4

Menu Manager


One of the features that separates
Joomla

from other CMS is the versatile Menu system. Site
administrators can develop an infinite amount of Menus and Menu Items that have different
functionality. Menu Items c
an be connected to Articles, but core
Joomla

functionality also contains
registration, login, contact, web link, and other Menu Items to choose from.

How to do it...

1.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Menus



Menu
M慮慧ar

to get to this.


2.5

User
Manager


Another extremely valuable component within the core
Joomla

components is the User Manager that
come with the CMS. Site Administrators can develop registration and login forms, and account
activation can be automated or require administrative a
pproval. Users can register or be added to the
site, and there is a vast series of Access Control Levels and Permission Settings. There are many
default User settings, but all of them can be changed and managed to create an extremely User
-
friendly site. On
ce Users are added they can be placed into different User Groups, and the
administrator can grant or restrict access to various areas of the site. There is an additional Edit
Profile function in the Administration area control panel where users who have ba
ck end access can
edit their profiles.

How to do it...

1.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Users



啳Ur
M慮慧ar

to get to this.




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2.6

Module Manager


Modules are the building blocks of the visual
Joomla

websi
te. Modules can contain customis
ed text

and images, but they may also feature calendars, shopping carts, registration forms, video files, image
rotators, log in forms, directories, forums and many others. Modules can be placed into a variety of
positions on the site depending on the Template be
ing used and positions can easily be changed.

How to do it...

1.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Extensions



M潤u汥l
M慮慧ar

to get to this.


2.7

Extension Manager


Although the core
Joomla

features allow quite a lot of functionality, if there i
s something that you
would like to feature on your site that is not part of the core
Joomla

package, there is an Extensions
Directory that contains thousands of
:



3rd party Plugins,



Modules, and



Components

that can be added to the site.

The directory
-

located at
extensions.joomla.org

-

is where users unlock the true potential of
Joomla
.


Extensions

generally come with some instructions and extension developers can typically be
contacted with questions.

An extension may be a very large Component, like a

Template, that is added to the site.

Components

are robust pieces of software that can be modified in the back end of the site, and users
see the Component on the front end.

Modules

perform specific functions, users can see them on the front end of the
site, and the
administrator can modify them in the back end, but they are smaller than Components.

Plugins

are very small pieces of software that can be added to the site they increase the functionality
of users in the back end. Users typically only see t
he effects of the Plugin on the front end.

Once installed,
Joomla

contains a separate manager for each
-

a Component Manager, Module
Manager, and Plugin Manager
-

that allows administrator to configure the software for their
specifications.




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How to do it.
..

1.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Extensions



E硴en獩潮
M慮慧ar

to get to
this.

2.

OR

3.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Extensions



M潤u汥l
M慮慧ar

to get to this.

4.

OR

5.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Extensions



P汵
杩g
M慮a来r

to get to this.

6.

OR

7.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click on
Extensions



Temp污瑥
M慮慧ar

to get to
this.

2.8

Global Configuration


As the name implies, Global Configuration is the area of Administration interface where site
administrators
can make changes that affect the global behavio
u
r of the website. All of the
parameters for the Site, System, and Server can be configured here and additional Permission levels
can also be controlled here.

Currently
you do not have access to this feature,
as it is a “
Super Admin
” function.
Should you
require any
work
to be performed at this level, there may, depending on its nature, be a fee
associated with this work.


2.9

Template Manager


A Template controls the overall look and layout of a site. It provid
es the framework that brings
together common elements, modules and components as well as providing the cascading style sheet
for the site. Both the front
-
end and the back
-
end of the site have Templates.

Templates are managed with the Template Manager in t
he back end of the site, and in this area users
can select and edit default Templates, make copies of Templates, and assign different Templates to
different pages.

Your site uses the “
VM
-
Bright
” template. You can make various changes to this template to ch
ange
the display of your site.


How to do it...

1.

In the Back
-
end Administration area, click
on Extensions


Temp污瑥⁍慮慧ar

to get to
this.

2.

Then click on the template name to edit it. The various options are self
-
explanatory, but only
change the options o
n the right hand side of the screen.




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2.10

Edit Profile


The edit profile feature allows any user with back end access to update their user name, password and
email address associated with their account, but if you have site administrators speaking diffe
rent
languages, those users can also select the back end language and template they'd like to use when
manoeuvring through the site.