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Joomla! 1.5: Beginner's Guide

Beginner's Guide
Eric Tiggeler

Build and maintain impressive user-friendly web sites the fast and easy way with Joomla! 1.5
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847199904
Paperback380 pages

About This Book


  • Create a web site that meets real-life requirements by following the creation of an example site with the help of easy-to-follow steps and ample screenshots
  • Practice all the Joomla! skills from organizing your content to completely changing the site's looks and feel
  • Go beyond a typical Joomla! site to make the site meet your specific needs
  • Get to grips with inspiring examples and best practices and implement them to enhance your Joomla! site

Who This Book Is For

If you want to build and maintain your own web site, the Joomla! Beginner's Guide is perfect for you. It helps you build on the skills and knowledge you may already have on creating web sites—but even if you're new to this subject, you won't have any difficulty understanding the clear and friendly instructions and explanations. You learn how to build and maintain web sites without having to dive deep into HTML and CSS.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: A New and Easy Way to Build Websites
Join the CMS revolution
Learning to use Joomla!
Chapter 2: Installation: Getting Joomla! Up and Running
What do you need to start?
Installing Joomla! in four steps
Time for action—step 1: Download the Joomla! files
Time for action—step 2: Place the files on the web server
Time for action—step 3: Create a database
Time for action—step 4: Run the Joomla! installation wizard
Got stuck? Get help!
Chapter 3: First Steps: Getting to Know Joomla!
Making the switch: Building websites the Joomla! way
Introducing frontend and backend: The Joomla! interface
The frontend: The website as the user sees it
Time for action—tour the example site
Taking control: Administering your site in the backend
Time for action—log in to the backend
Getting your feet wet: Start administering your site
Time for action—publish your first article
Time for action—rearranging page layout
Time for action—set Joomla! preferences
Chapter 4: Web Building Basics: Creating a Site in an Hour
What you will be making
Cleaning up: Removing the sample data
Time for action—hiding modules
Time for action—deleting articles, categories, and sections
Building your site is a three step process
Step 1: Customize the layout
Time for action—choosing a color variation
Time for action—preparing a new header file
Time for action—display the new header image file
Time for action—remove the whatsis
Step 2: Add content
Time for action—create a section and some categories
Time for action—create an article
Time for action—add a menu link
Time for action—add uncategorized articles
Time for action—adding items to the home page
Step 3: Add extras through components and extensions
Time for action—create a contact
Time for action—create a Contact Form menu link
Time for action—create a Poll
Time for action—display the Poll
Wrapping up: Change site settings
Time for action—change site configuration
Chapter 5: Small Sites, Big Sites: Organizing your Content Effectively
Building on the example site
Grouping content: A crash course in site organization
Time for action—create a future proof site map
Creating content containers: Sections and categories
Time for action—create a new section and a category
Displaying sections and categories on your website
Time for action—create a link to point to a section
Refining your site structure
Time for action—move content from one category to another
Time for action—rename a section
Building a site without sections or categories
Chapter 6: Creating Killer Content: Adding and Editing Articles
Articles, content pages, what's the difference?
Creating and editing articles: Beyond the basics
Making it look good: Formatting article text
Time for action—add styling to article text
Adding images to articles
Time for action—upload images
Time for action—inserting and aligning images
Changing the way the article displays
Time for action—creating an intro text
Time for action—using page breaks to split up an article
Tweaking the details: Changing article settings
Archiving articles
Time for action—creating a news archive
Chapter 7: Welcoming Your Visitors: Creating Attractive Home Pages and Overview Pages
Why do you need overview pages, anyway?
Creating the perfect home: Mastering home page layout
Time for action—rearrange the layout of articles on the home page
Time for action—show the most recent items first
Time for action—creating a different home page
Creating section and category overview pages
The first type of overview page: Creating Blog Layouts
Time for action—create a facebook using the Blog Layout
The second type of overview page: Lists
Time for action—change a Blog Layout to a List Layout
Chapter 8: Helping Your Visitors Find What They Want: Managing Menus
How many menus can you have?
Creating user-friendly navigation: Cleaning up the Main Menu
Time for action—change menu item order
Time for action—step 1: Create a new, empty menu
Time for action—step 2: Move hyperlinks to the new menu
Time for action—step 3: Tell Joomla! where to display the menu
Time for action—tweak the menu position and orientation
Time for action—create a secondary menu item
Exploring menu module settings
Creating menu links
Creating plain text links
Time for action—creating text links
Chapter 9: Opening Up the Site: Enabling Users to Contribute and Interact
Creating user accounts for team members
Time for action—giving a user frontend authoring permissions
Time for action—create a Login Form
Time for action—logging in as a frontend content contributor
Reviewing and publishing team content submissions
Time for action—reviewing submitted content
Allowing visitors to register
Time for action—register yourself and log in
Time for action—hiding content for non-registered users
Time for action—partially hiding content from non-registered users
Enabling users to rate articles or write comments
Chapter 10: Getting the Most out of Your Site: Extending Joomla!
Extensions in all shapes and sizes
Enhancing your site using core extensions
Time for action—adding a Newsflash to the home page
Time for action—add a short content block
Enhancing your site using third-party extensions
Time for action—downloading and installing an extension
Time for action—putting the extension to work
Time for action—create an image gallery
Time for action—replace Joomla!'s default text editor
Chapter 11: Creating an Attractive Design: Working with Templates
This is what templates do
Changing the default template
Time for action—activating a different template
Downloading and installing a new template
Time for action—step 1: Downloading and activating a new template
Time for action—step 2: Getting the Main Menu module to display
Customizing a template: Tweaking CSS styles
Time for action—adjusting the template colors
Time for action—replace the header text with an image
Time for action—editing CSS on the fly using Firebug
Editing the template HTML
Time for action—removing the fixed footer text
Backing up and restoring a customized template
Creating your own template
Chapter 12: Attracting Search Engine Traffic: Tips and Techniques
Why do you need to accommodate for search engines?
Optimize your articles
Add meaningful metadata
Time for action—personalize the site metadata
Time for action—add metadata information for an article
Use search engine friendly URLS
Time for action—enable search engine friendly URLs
Add extra links to your content
Time for action—turn article titles into hyperlinks
Time for action—add a list of links to popular articles
Time for action—adding a site map component
Make it easier to discover new content: Using RSS
Time for action—enable RSS feeds
Getting to know more about your site traffic
More SEO resources

What You Will Learn

  • Create a feature-rich site that's easy to expand, customize, and maintain without having to learn web languages such as HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Design attractive home pages that provide a quick overview of the site's contents and direct people to the content they could be interested in
  • Engage your web visitors and turn them into active users by enabling them to register, add content, and leave comments
  • Design clear and easy navigation using menus, submenus, and text hyperlinks
  • Make full use of templates to get your site to look just right, tweaking the CSS and customizing templates using your own logo, fonts, and colors
  • Extend Joomla!'s capabilities by finding and utilizing must-have extensions that perfectly meet your needs
  • Increase your site's visibility for search engines by applying highly effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
  • Secure your site from hackers and potential threats using easy-to-follow techniques

Chapter 1: Introduction: A New and Wasy Way to Build Your Web Site – In this chapter you'll learn why you'd want to use Joomla!: to create a cool looking, feature-rich site that's easy to expand, customize, and maintain.

Chapter 2: Installation: Getting Joomla! Up and Running – You'll learn how to install Joomla! on your own computer or on a web server, and how to install a sample site.

Chapter 3: First Steps: Getting to Know Joomla! – In this chapter you'll get familiar with the basic concepts of Joomla!: the Joomla! interface and the principles of a web site constructed out of 'building blocks'.

Chapter 4: Web Building Basics: Creating a Site in an Hour – Face a Real-Life Challenge – In this chapter you'll use Joomla! to build a basic but expandable web site fast – customizing Joomla! 's default sample site to fit your needs, adding content, menu links, and changing the site's look and feel.

Chapter 5: Small Sites, Big Sites: Organizing Your Content Effectively – Making it easy to add and find information on your site: designing a clear, expandable, manageable structure for your content.

Chapter 6: Creating Killer Content: Adding and Editing Articles – In this chapter, you'll learn to create content pages that are attractive and easy to read, and you'll learn about different ways to tweak the page layout.

Chapter 7: Welcoming Your Visitors: Creating Attractive Home Pages and Overview Pages – When you've got your content set up, you'll create a home page and overview pages to entice visitors to actually read all your valuable content.

Chapter 8: Helping Your Visitors Find What They Want: Managing Menus – In this chapter, you'll practice designing clear and easy navigation through menus. How can you help the visitors to find what they want easily?

Chapter 9: Opening Up the Site: Enabling Users to Contribute and Interact – You'll learn how to enable users to log in and allow them to create content and manage the web site. Enable visitors to register and give them exclusive access to premium content. Another powerful way to get visitors involved is to allow them to leave comments.

Chapter 10: Getting the Most out of Your Site: Extending Joomla! – In this chapter, you'll learn how to extend Joomla!'s capabilities using all sorts of extensions: using an image gallery to attractively display pictures, automatically showing article teasers on the home page, or enhancing your workspace by installing an easier content editor.

Chapter 11: Creating an Attractive Design: Working with Templates – Templates will give your site a fresh look and feel – and make it easy to create an individual look, different from a "typical" Joomla! site. You'll learn how to install and customize templates.

Chapter 12: Attracting Search Engine Traffic – This chapter shows you how to increase your site's visibility for search engines applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, such as creating friendly URLs.

Appendix - Keeping the Site Secure – In this chapter you'll learn simple, common sense steps you can take to keep your site safe from hackers.

In Detail

Joomla! is one of the most popular open-source Content Management Systems, actively developed and supported by a world-wide user community. Although it's a fun and feature-rich tool, it can be challenging to get beyond the basics and build a site that meets your needs perfectly. Using this book you can create dynamic, interactive web sites that perfectly fit your needs.

This practical guide gives you a head start in using Joomla! 1.5, helping you to create professional and good-looking web sites, whether you want to create a full-featured company or club web site or build a personal blog site.

The Joomla! 1.5 Beginner's Guide helps beginners to get started quickly and to get beyond the basics to take full advantage of Joomla!'s powerful features. Real-life examples and tutorials will spark your imagination and show you what kind of professional, contemporary, feature-rich web sites any developer can achieve with Joomla!. It gives you a head start and explains what's good and useful about Joomla! features and what's not. The focus is on clear instructions and easy-to-understand tutorials, with minimum of jargon. This book provides clear definitions, thoroughly covering the concepts behind the software and creating a coherent picture of how the software works. This book is not about what Joomla! can do—it's about what you can do using Joomla!.


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