Joomla! 1.5x Customization: Make Your Site Adapt to Your Needs

Joomla! 1.5x Customization: Make Your Site Adapt to Your Needs
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters


  • Adapt your site to get a unique appearance, features, and benefits of your choice
  • Save on development costs by learning how to do professional work yourself and solve common problems with a Joomla! site
  • Step through how to build an effective subscription-based business with Joomla! and market a site effectively
  • Understand and customize modules, plugins, components, and templates
  • A precise book packed with examples and careful explanations

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 288 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : August 2009
ISBN : 1847195164
ISBN 13 : 9781847195166
Author(s) : Daniel Chapman
Topics and Technologies : All Books, CMS and eCommerce, Content Management (CMS), Joomla!, Open Source


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Skills Required to Customize Joomla!
Chapter 2: Setting Up Our Environment
Chapter 3: Planning Our Site
Chapter 4: Installing and Configuring Extensions
Chapter 5: Installing and Modifying Templates
Chapter 6: Customizing Modules
Chapter 7: Customizing Plugins
Chapter 8: Customizing Components
Chapter 9: Finding and Fixing Problems
Chapter 10: Promoting and Tracking
Chapter 11: Monetizing Our Site
  • Chapter 1: The Skills Required to Customize Joomla!
    • The architecture of the Internet
    • HTML
    • CSS
    • Server-side scripting and PHP
      • MVC programming and PHP
    • Client-side scripting and JavaScript
      • Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)
      • JavaScript frameworks—Mootools and jQuery
    • Database work with MySQL and SQL
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Setting Up Our Environment
    • Types of tools
      • File transfers
      • Code editing
      • Image editing
      • Web browsing
      • Database administration
      • Storing code
        • Checkout
        • Update
        • Commit
        • Add
        • Delete
        • Revert
        • Ignore
      • Building locally
    • Practical—picking our tools
    • Practical—using our tools
      • Inspect Element
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Planning Our Site
    • Why is it so important to plan?
      • The Frankensite effect
      • No one can hit a target they don't have
    • How to plan
      • Mission
        • Practical—write our own mission statement
      • Monetization
        • Practical—decide our monetization model
      • Goals
        • Practical—set our goals
    • Licenses, encryption, and commercialism
      • Licenses
        • Open source
        • Proprietary
      • Encryption
      • Commercialism
    • Using the Joomla! Extensions Directory and Google
    • Choosing extensions from our goals
      • Practical—turning goals into extensions
        • Display audio and video
        • Submit pictures of customers' own house to a public gallery
        • Ask questions to each other and discuss topics
        • Grow an income from ad-supported free members and subscriptions
        • Customer comments on our articles
        • Ability to collect, moderate, and display user testimonials
        • Convert default web page URLs to human-readable links
    • Essential extensions
      • NinjaXplorer
      • JoomlaPack
      • JCE
      • EasySQL
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Installing and Configuring Extensions
    • Configuring Joomla!
      • Core extensions
        • Components
        • Modules
        • Plugins
      • Global Configuration
    • Configuring content sections and categories
      • Clearing out the sample content
      • Creating sections
      • Creating categories
    • Configuring extensions
      • AEC
        • Subscription plans
        • Payment gateways
        • General Configuration
        • Customization
        • Micro Integrations
        • Authentication plugins
        • PayPal
        • Creating subscription plans
      • Joo!BB
        • Configuring boards
        • Overall Configuration of Joo!BB
      • !JoomlaComment
        • General
        • Security
        • Posting
        • Layout
      • Ninja Custom Gallery
        • Categories
        • Custom fields
      • sh404SEF
      • Other extensions
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Installing and Modifying Templates
    • Finding a template
    • Choosing a template
      • XHTML and CSS validation
      • Template structure
      • Extra features
      • Browser compatibility
      • Typography
      • Template performance
    • Installing a template
    • Modifying a template
      • Template images
        • Image considerations
        • Finding and modifying images
        • Modifying our sample site images
      • Template PHP
        • Editing PHP files
        • Editing our sample site's PHP
      • Template CSS
        • Editing CSS files
        • Editing our sample site's CSS
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Customizing Modules
    • Module construction and operation
    • Module in a module
    • Module customization
      • Modifying top ten members
        • Step 1: Understanding the existing code
        • Step 2: Plan out our changes
        • Step 3: Make our changes
        • Step 4: Install and test our module
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Customizing Plugins
    • Plugin composition and operation
      • Plugin types
      • Authentication
      • Content
      • Editors
      • Editors-XTD
      • Search
      • System
      • User
      • XML-RPC
    • Plugin events
      • Plugin order
    • Customizing a Plugin
      • Step 1: Understand the existing code
        • en-GB.plg_content_njaccess.ini
        • njaccess.php
        • njaccess.xml
        • The rest?
      • Step 2: Plan out our changes
        • Step 2.1: Decide on our changes
        • Step 2.2: Mark out our changes
      • Step 3: Make our changes
      • Step 4: Install and test our Plugin
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Customizing Components
    • Component composition and operation
      • Out with the old, in with the new—MVC
        • Before MVC
        • After MVC
        • Execution flow for components
    • Customizing components
      • Customizing component output
        • Change 1: Adding rounded corners to the forum
        • Change 2: Replace the heading background
        • Change 3: Replacing the buttons
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Finding and Fixing Problems
    • Understanding common errors
      • PHP code
        • Incorrect extension parameters
        • PHP code error
        • PHP version
        • Server settings
      • JavaScript code
        • Library conflicts
        • Too much JavaScript
        • Multiple "once per page" scripts
    • Hacking the core
    • Solving the unsolvable
      • Self support
        • Search the support forum
        • Search the Internet
        • Read the Manual/FAQ
        • Ask a skilled friend
      • Support requests
        • Forums
        • Tickets
        • Email
      • Support request etiquette
        • Act like we respect the helper and their time
        • Choose our forum/category/email target carefully
        • Write a useful, meaningful subject line
        • Provide as much information as possible
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10: Promoting and Tracking
    • Promoting our site
      • SEO
        • Web page URLs
        • Content
        • Metadata
        • Images on our site
        • Inbound links
        • Outbound links
      • Traditional marketing
        • Advertisements
        • Mailing list
        • Article marketing
        • Press release marketing
      • Social marketing
        • Blogging
        • Social networking sites
        • Tagging and Social Bookmarking sites
        • Forums and comments
    • Tracking visitors to our site
      • Google Analytics
      • Tracking visitors
    • Summary
  • Chapter 11: Monetizing Our Site
    • The Internet and the free economy
    • Monetization models
      • Advertising
        • Google Adwords
        • Other advertising services
        • Private advertisers
        • Affiliate advertising
      • Selling information
      • Selling products
      • Selling services
    • Monetization implementations
      • Freemium
      • Cross subsidy
      • Advertising removal
    • Monetization models for our site
      • Advertising
        • Google Adwords
        • Private advertising
        • Affiliate advertising
      • Professional services
      • Subscriptions
        • Extra content
        • Advertising removal
        • Site benefits
        • Status
        • Discounts on services
        • Discounts from partners
    • Summary

Daniel Chapman

Daniel Chapman has been working in IT since 1995, firstly as an Oracle Database consultant and trainer, then in freelance web development, and now as a Joomla extension developer. He is the founder and CEO of Ninja Forge, a leading Joomla! extension club. Currently based in Japan, he is an entrepreneur with extensive experience in designing and customizing sites, as well as in building successful web-based businesses, having worked on the design and development of several.

Submit Errata

Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


- 6 submitted: last submission 30 Sep 2013

Errata type: Language | Page number: 7 | Errata date: 25 Aug 09

1st line following heading "The architecture of the Internet":

"The Internet is primarily based off on a..."

should read as

"The Internet is primarily based on a...".


Errata type: Language | Page number: 15 | Errata date: 25 Aug 09

1st paragraph, second line: "since Joomla! uses PHP, so we will be..." should read as "since Joomla! uses PHP, we will be...".


Errata type: Language | Page number: 21

1st line following heading "Database work with MySQL and SQL":

", an understanding the technologies..."

should read as

", an understanding of the technologies..."


Errata type: Typo | Page number: 22

2nd line, 1st paragraph: "proposition" should be "preposition"


Errata type: Language | Page number: 39

Last sentence in the paragraph immediately following the screenshot:

"This gives us the ability test and refine..."

should be

"This gives us the ability to test and refine..."


Errata type: Language | Page number: 76

Third line, third paragraph on the page:

"...with them to allow we to..."

should be

"...with them to allow us to..."


Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book


  • Identify and use the right tools to speed up site development
  • Set goals and a mission for your site to guide development
  • Pick the right extensions for your site
  • Plan and implement advanced configurations for extensions
  • Modify extension functionality to suit your needs
  • Modify extension and template appearance to suit your needs
  • Diagnose and fix common problems on Joomla! sites
  • Market your site, via SEO, Social Marketing, and Traditional Marketing
  • Monetize your site to make the maximum return
  • Build a subscription site step by step

In Detail

Setting up a basic Joomla! Web site is easy; what comes next is hard and expensive – making the site do exactly what and look exactly how you want. With this book in hand, it is easy to adapt your site to bring your vision fully to life.

This book will help you to separate your site from the crowd of other Joomla! sites without having to invest in developers. It will guide you through how to customize different parts and aspects of your site and will also show you how to turn your site into a profitable business via these customizations. You will be able to build a successful, professional web site that will adapt to all your business needs.

You will be taken beyond the basics of Joomla!, and given an insight into the techniques and tools used by the professionals to rapidly develop unique, custom sites. This will enable you to develop your own professional-quality Joomla! site without assistance, saving you time and money. You will learn how modules, plugins, components, and templates are constructed, and how to make changes in them, giving you the confidence to make more elaborate changes to your site. On top of this will be a look at common problems Joomla! site developers face and how best to deal with them.

You will also learn techniques for building a business with Joomla!, as you step through building a subscription-based web business. Towards the end, you will look at marketing and monetizing this business fully to maximize your return.

This step by step guide will show you how to build and customize a unique web site with Joomla! using the same techniques as the professionals


Filled with plenty of examples and careful explanations, this step-by-step guide teaches you to build a subscription-based business site with Joomla!. This site will evolve chapter by chapter as you apply the techniques and theory that you are learning to it.
You will start by looking at the environment in which you develop, setting yourself up with the right tools to develop a professional site as effectively and efficiently as possible. Then you will move on to setting the purpose of our site, and why it is important to have a clear purpose and goals for your site before you ever even install Joomla!.

You will begin to look through choosing, installing and customizing extensions, and proceed to work on your sample subscription site as a practical example of the information covered in each chapter.

Finally you will look at how to market and monetize your site to ensure the maximum success for your site.

Who this book is for

This book is written for people with basic knowledge of Joomla! who want to expand their skills and move from simply assembling extensions and installing a template to truly customizing their own site.

Readers are expected to have functional knowledge of Joomla! and a very basic understanding of terms such as FTP, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, even if they have no real knowledge of the workings behind these terms. This book does not cover topics such as installing Joomla! and extensions, or creating content.

The ideal reader is one who wishes to build a successful business web site using Joomla! and is interested in making as well as saving money by applying professional tools and techniques to the development, monetization, and marketing of their site. Non-business focussed site owners can still benefit greatly from the book, however, if they wish to add a level of professionalism to their work.

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