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1 The Start Learning Joomla Video Companion Guide from... STARTLEARNINGJOOMLA.COM THE PREMIER SITE FOR STARTING YOUR JOOMLA EDUCATION Table of Contents Joomla Definitions 2 Key Joomla Concepts 6 Structure vs. Presentation 6 Anatomy of Some Example Sites 8 Solo Management Consultant 8 European Travel Site 10 Local Newspaper 12 In Closing of 14 -

2 Joomla Definitions 3rd-Party 3rd Party is basically any plugin, module, component or other extension that is not part of the out-of-the-box Joomla core installation. Article or Content Item An article is simply a piece of text-based content. This is the basis for most pages in Joomla. The article can be any sort of text content you would expect to display on your site. examples include: blog posts, company information pages, reviews, news articles, etc. Access Level Joomla allows us to classify users ranging from non-registered guest visitors all the way up to Super Administrator. This allows us to control which users are allowed to see and/or edit what content. For example, we could setup a section for registered users that is inaccessible to general site visitors. Users would then have to login to see the content. Administrator Console, Backend or Control Panel This is the site administrator view where we manage all aspects of Joomla and configure everything about our site. Site visitors will never see the backend. Category Categories are the second level of the three level Joomla content hierarchy. Articles belong to categories and categories belong to sections. Joomla does not allow sub-categories or for content to belong to more than one category. It is just a simple 3-level system. Component Components are larger, more complex Joomla extensions that provide major new functionality to Joomla. Some of Joomlaʼs core components include the News Feeds and Contacts components. Components like these provide a high level of functionality and often require their own menus in the backend to all us to manage them. Some 3rd party component examples examples include forums, paid membership site managers, etc. Content Content in Joomla is simply all of the text, pictures and other material that makes up the information on your site. Content is most often simply Joomla articles, but it can also mean images, videos, data in 3rd party components (like forum discussions) as well as any material inside of modules. Joomla and/or additional 3rd party components provide methods to manage all of this content. Core The Joomla core is simply the basic, out-of-the-box Joomla installation before any additional extensions like components, plugins or modules are installed. Extension The general name for any installable item. This can be templates, plugins, modules or components. - 2 of 14 -

3 Frontend The frontend (sometimes front-end ) is simply what visitors see when they come to a website. Contrast this with the backend, which is the administrator console view. Front page The front page is the page found at / or the root of the a Joomla site. For example the page that appears when you visit is the front page for the StartLearningJoomla.com Joomla install. Media Media is the name given to content managed within the Media Manager in the control panel. Media simply refers to image files in most cases, though it is possible for an extension to add additional types. Menu A menu is Joomla is the basic building block for designing the userʼs view of a site. Menus allow users to find and access content and control what modules appear in what positions for each menu item. Or, to put it another way, menus are the glue that connects all of the pages of a site together, dictate what will be on each page, and much of how it will look. Menus are displayed as modules and may be placed in any module position that a template permits. Menus are a complex topic and will be covered in detail on the Start Learning Joomla course. Module A module is a Joomla extension that provides useful information or interactive functions to the site visitors on the frontend. These are similar to widgets in some popular blogging platforms. Modules can be positioned anywhere that the template allows, making them very flexible elements for your pages. Example modules include: All of a siteʼs menus Whoʼs online Login boxes Text boxes with custom HTML code Polls Ad Banners And thousands of 3rd-party modules - 3 of 14 -

4 Module Positions Module or Template positions are specific locations in a template that are allocated for displaying modules. Positions are what allow us to take any module and display it anywhere that our templates support. This makes Joomla extremely flexible when it comes to displaying what we want and where we want it. Common module positions that are available on most templates are: header top left right footer A template does not have to display the left position on the left or the footer position on the bottom. In fact, template designers have complete control over where these positions appear. They can create an infinite number of other positions like user1, user2, breadcrumbs, or whatever else they decide to do. Be sure to preview your template to see where those positions are actually located. Plugin, Mambot or Mosbot Plugins (also called mambots in pre-1.5 releases of Joomla), are simply extensions to Joomla that modify the behavior or extend the functionality of the core components or add completely new functionality. These extend the internal features of Joomla. Unlike modules, plugins donʼt necessarily have to display anything and can work behind the scenes to extend Joomla. For example, there are plugins to do the following: Restrict access to content based on the user type Add e-commerce and shopping cart functionality Easily embed videos from various sources into content Redirect one URL to another Many many more... s are the first level of the three level Joomla content hierarchy. Articles belong to categories and categories belong to sections. Joomla does not allow sub-categories or for content to belong to more than one category. It is just a simple 3-level system. - 4 of 14 -

5 SEF or SEF URL SEF refers to the phrase Search Engine Friendly and is used to describe the convention of using article titles or other text in the URL vs. complex technical strings. For example, a standard Joomla URL may look something like this: Not only is this unfriendly to your users, but it is bad for search engines as they tend to give more weight to URLs with useful keywords in the titles. A SEF version of that url might look like this: This provides more information to the user while also helping out a bit with the search engines as well. Template Templates are the design or blueprint of a site. Template developers decide on the general appearance of the site, what module positions names are available and where they will appear, as well as control the style or appearance of every other visual element on the site. In Joomla, we can actually assign different templates to different menu items, allowing us much more control over how different parts of the the site appears. WYSIWYG Editor Joomla allows us to use a basic What you see is what you get or WYSIWYG editor to edit articles on our sites. Joomla is also not tied to the use of a single editor, though it does provide 2 good options in the core installation. The default editor is set TinyMCE, which is a popular open source editor. - 5 of 14 -

6 Key Joomla Concepts Structure vs. Presentation Joomla lets us organize all of your articles into major sections and minor categories. This simply gives us the chance to structure the content so it is easy to find and manage. We can think of this as the purpose of the articles. This frees us from concerning ourselves about where the articles might appear on the actual site. We can focus on the main purpose of the article as it relates to the goals of our site or business. Category Category Category Articles The structure only 3 levels deep: s, Categories and Articles. Letʼs look at some specific Examples: Suppose our site is going to be for a small software company providing 3 different products for private medical practices. The site will need to present information about the company, its products as well as provide a technical support area for existing customers. This is a common pattern for a small business site, so itʼs a great example to get started with. Regardless of how the site will look and where users will click to see what content, we may already have an idea about what kind of articles and pages we want to present. Hereʼs a list of what we want: Support how-to documents for installing and managing our products Pre-sales FAQs for potential customers Post-sales FAQs for existing computers A download area for product updates The CEOʼs blog About us, contact us, directions, careers and other company info pages Product information pages A front page with dynamic content Misc or uncategorized content - 6 of 14 -

7 Now, we can break this up into major sections: Support Support how-to documents for installing and managing our products Post-sales FAQs for existing computers A download area for product updates Product Product information pages Pre-sales FAQs for potential customers Company The CEOʼs blog About us, contact us, directions, careers and other company info pages Uncategorized A front page with dynamic content Misc or uncategorized content For some sites, this may actually be as much organization as we will ever need. For our site, however, we need to be a little more specific. Later, we may use specialized page layouts such as one of the blog or category layout options that Joomla provides. So, we have decided to break the content down further into categories: Support How-to Support how-to documents for installing and managing our products FAQs Post-sales FAQs for existing computers Downloads A download area for product updates Product Product Pages Product information pages Pre-sales Info Pre-sales FAQs for potential customers Company CEO Blog The CEOʼs blog posts Company Info About us, contact us, directions, careers and other company info pages Uncategorized Uncategorized A front page with dynamic content Misc or uncategorized content - 7 of 14 -

8 Support Product Company Info Blog Uncategorized Howto Articles FAQ Articles Product Info Pages Pre-sales Info Pages Individual Articles/Pages Individual Articles/Pages This new structure allows us to use some of the Joomla layout views down the road if we choose to do so. Other than that, it provides us with a simple way to organize our articles. As our site grows, having a simple structure like this will make it much easier to manage a large number of articles efficiently. Later in the course, we will use Joomla menus to link all of this content into a functional website for our visitors. For now, understanding how to organize the content into sections and categories is Anatomy of Some Example Sites Here, weʼll talk about 3 more example sites: A Solo Management Consultantʼs Site A European Travel Site A Local Newspaper Site Solo Management Consultant In this example, we need to build a site for a management consultant. She will be working with small to medium-sized business executives to improve their management practices. The site will be both a promotional site for her business and a private communication area for her existing clients. - 8 of 14 -

9 The site will have the following content: Private client area to download slides and training material private articles for clients A blog Management training articles about various topics for the public (and search engines!) About me, contact me, and schedule an appointment pages A pitch page explaining her services Testimonials from satisfied clients A front page with a flash animation, client login and some promotional copy Because this is a relatively simple site, weʼll organize the content in a simple way. The main sections of the site appear to be the private client area, the blog, public articles, services, and about. We could simply this further and group services and about together if we chose to. There are no hard and fast rules here, so itʼs completely your choice as to what seems best for your site. The section & category layout may look something like this: Private Downloads Category for each set of Slide for other training material Category Private Articles Blog Blog Entries Category for the blog Management Topic 1 Category related to this topic Management Topic 2 Category related to this topic Services Service Description Category Consulting services pitch page Details about other services Schedule an appointment About About Category About me page Contact me page Testimonials Category containing testimonials. - 9 of 14 -

10 Private Blog Articles Services About Registered Users Only Slide Downloads Private Articles Blog Entries Article Topic 1 Category Article Topic 2 Category Individual Articles/Pages This site has a special private section for our management consultantʼs clients. In order to make this work, we simply set the access level on that section to Registered. We will disable allowing users to register themselves so that the general public canʼt register and gain access to this section. When a new client needs access, our management consultant will simply add the clientʼs account in the backend and them the login information. So, this allows us to create a private section using only the core features in Joomla. Powerful indeed! European Travel Site This next site is more complex and has much more content. The site will consist of a very large number of travel and review articles as well as user-submitted reviews. While there is a high level of functionality and this site is very large, it is still quite easy to organize the content in Joomla. The site will have: Standard company about us, contact us, careers, etc pages A front page with featured content and special promotions 10 contributing editors writing travel blogs and reviews Reviews for thousands of hotels, restaurants, etc user-contributed reviews, ratings and comments This site seems pretty complex, but the content organization isnʼt going to be too difficult. Actually implementing the site means that we would need to use a few extensions to add some functionality to the Joomla core, but it doesnʼt change the organizational structure of the sections and categories. Weʼll go over how to actually build sites like this later on in the course of 14 -

11 Hotels London for each hotel Paris for each hotel...etc for each hotel Restaurants London for each restaurant Paris for each restaurant...etc for each restaurant Activities London for the activities...etc Company company pages About Us page Contact Us article...etc Uncategorized Uncategorized Submit a Review Hotels Restaurants Activities Company Uncategorized Company Pages London Paris...etc London...etc About Us Contact Us Careers...etc Individual Articles/Pages Now we have a structure that can accommodate a near infinite amount of content related to European travel. Adding new topics is as simple as adding a new top-level section. While we may wish we could have deeper levels of categories to allow us to group things more closely by destination, the model still works here. We can still generate large amounts of - 11 of 14 -

12 content and organize it easily. Later, we may choose to use a tagging extension to group and relate things even better, but this will work as a basic organizational structure. Local Newspaper Our last example is a local newspaper site. While there is going to be an incredibly large amount of content in the form of articles and news feeds, the structure is, again, quite simple to setup. Hereʼs what the site needs: Standard company about us, contact us, careers, etc pages A front page with up-to-the-minute top stories, etc Local, National and World news articles Submit a story page for readers to contact journalists about a possible story Many contributing authors writing articles Journalistsʼ blogs Editors to review, improve and approve articles User registration required to read editorial articles Again, while this seems complex, it should be quite easy to layout the structure. Weʼll use the natural breakdown of content according to local, national, and world news sections. Local News Politics Business Weather etc... National News Politics Business Sports etc... World News Politics Business etc of 14 -

13 Company Sales Post a Classified ad page Ad Sales Company About Our Newspaper Contact Us Careers etc.. Uncategorized Uncategorized Misc pages: report a story, etc. Local News National News World News Company Uncategorized Politics Sports...etc Politics...etc Sales Company Pages Individual Articles/Pages Here we can see the at the sections and categories correspond perfectly to the core mission of the newspaper, namely to deliver Local, National and World news to its readers. Again, we may want to have a more complex structure with more in-depth organization, but this structure suites the overall goals of the organization. Authors can write articles into these actions and Editors can find and improve them. The editor responsible for the front page can easily easily pick content from any of these sections and categories to include on the front page of 14 -

14 In Closing... This completes the material for our video companion guide. We hope youʼve enjoyed it and have learned a lot from the combination of this and the introductory video located at And thanks for choosing us to be a part of your Joomla training experience... weʼre happy to have you onboard! Next Steps To continue your training, please continue with the rest of our full Joomla course. Joomla is wonderfully powerful system, but has a notoriously difficult learning curve for people just getting started. While there is extensive developer documentation for it, new users often find it extremely difficult to just get started. Our Joomla course fills the gap between that beginning level through to professional-level Joomla skill. Please come to to get instant access to the full program right now of 14 -

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