Joomla! 1.5: A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website / Edition 2

Joomla! 1.5: A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website / Edition 2

5.0 1
by Barrie M. North

The Best Easy-to-Use Guide to Joomla!TM—The World’s #1 Open Source Content Management System

If you want to build sophisticated websites that can be easily edited and updated, you need to master Joomla. Now there’s an easy-to-read, easy-to-use guide to Joomla! for every site manager, administrator, and developer. Leading Joomla!

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The Best Easy-to-Use Guide to Joomla!TM—The World’s #1 Open Source Content Management System

If you want to build sophisticated websites that can be easily edited and updated, you need to master Joomla. Now there’s an easy-to-read, easy-to-use guide to Joomla! for every site manager, administrator, and developer. Leading Joomla! consultant Barrie North covers all you need to get results: installation, administration, site organization, template development, content updates, and a whole lot more. You’ll find tips, tricks, and troubleshooting solutions, as well as three start-to-finish case studies.

New to Joomla? No problem! This book starts with the simplest design and system concepts and builds your expertise step-by-step. You’ll rapidly master Joomla!’s power, even if you have no content management, scripting, or CSS expertise. Experienced with Joomla!? You’ll turn to this book constantly for its authoritative, plain-English, example-rich Joomla! 1.5 reference content.

  • Understand content management, what Joomla! does, and how its components fit together

  • Build Joomla! sites from scratch and systematically customize them to your needs

  • Organize content with sections, categories, blogs, and tables

  • Create dynamic pages and effective navigation

  • Work with Joomla! modules and components

  • Learn how to optimize your Joomla! sites for search engines

  • Follow three start-to-finish case studies: building a school website, a small business site, and a blog

  • Identify the most valuable Joomla! extensions and add-ons: find them and use them

About the Website

The accompanying site,, provides five fully functional Joomla! sites with live follow-along examples from the book and up-to-date information on Joomla!.

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Product Details

Prentice Hall
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxix

About the Author xxxi

Chapter 1: Content Management Systems and an Introduction to Joomla! 1

What Is a Content Management System? 2

Static Web Pages 2

Web Pages with CSS 3

Dynamic Web Pages 4

Open Source Software 7

History of Joomla! 8

The Joomla! Community 9

Third-Party Extensions Development 9

Joomla!’s Features 9

Elements of a Joomla! Website 11

Content 13

Templates 14

Modules 15

Summary 15

Chapter 2: Downloading and Installing Joomla! 17

How to Install Joomla! 18

Obtaining the Latest Joomla! File Package 18

Joomla! Package Naming Conventions 19

Creating a MySQL Database 20

Unpacking the Joomla! Package 20

Unpacking Joomla! on a Local Desktop Computer 21

Unpacking Joomla! on a Hosting Account 24

Running the Joomla! Installation Wizard 26

Step 1: Language 26

Step 2: Pre-Installation Check 27

Step 3: License 27

Step 4: Database Configuration 28

Step 5: FTP Configuration 30

Step 6: Main Configuration 30

Step 7: Finish 32

Summary 33

Chapter 3: Joomla! Administration Basics 35

What Are the Frontend and Backend of a Joomla! Powered Website? 36

The Menu Bar 38

The Toolbar 39

The Workspace 39

Administrator Functions in the Menu Bar 40

The Site Submenu 40

The Menus Menu 48

The Content Menu 50

The Components Menu 52

The Extensions Menu 54

The Tools Menu 59

The Help Menu 60

Site Preview 60

Summary 62

Chapter 4: Content Is King: Organizing Your Content 63

How Does Joomla! Generate Web Pages? 64

How Joomla! Organizes Content Articles 66

Uncategorized Articles 66

Sections and Categories 67

A Sample Hierarchy 69

Creating the Widget Inc. Website with Uncategorized Content 70

Creating Content Articles 71

Creating Menu Items 75

The Front Page Component 81

Creating the Widget Inc. Website with Sections and Categories 85

Creating Sections 87

Creating Categories 88

Creating Content Articles 90

Creating Menu Items 92

“Read More” Links and Individual Page 99

Module Content 102

Summary 105

Chapter 5: Creating Menus and Navigation 107

How Menu Modules Work 108

What Menu Items Do 110

Creating a Menu Item 111

Where Does a Menu Item Link To? 113

What Does a Page Look Like After a Link Is Followed? 114

Blog Layout 116

Blog Layout Parameters 117

List Layout for a Section 122

Section List Layout Parameters 123

List Layout for a Blog 124

Category List Layout Parameters 124

Managing Menu Modules in the Module Manager 126

Show Title 128

Position 128

Access Level 129

Module Parameters 129

Menu and Module Class Suffixes (Advanced Parameters) 130

Menu Assignment 130

Submenus 130

Summary 132

Chapter 6: Extending Joomla! 133

Extensions 134

Installing Extensions 135

Managing Extensions 137

Components 139

Core Components 140

Third-Party Components 141

Modules 141

Module Display 141

Core Modules 143

Third-Party Modules 145

Plugins 145

Core Plugins 145

Third-Party Plugins 146

Templates 146

Core Templates 146

Third-Party Templates 147

Summary 147

Chapter 7: Expanding Your Content: Articles and Editors 149

WYSIWYG Editors 150

Managing WYSIWYG Editors 152

Other Third-Party Editors 154

Creating and Managing Articles 156

Managing Content Through the Backend 157

Adding Content from the Backend 159

Inserting Images into Content 166

Creating an Article Table of Contents 169

Section and Category Descriptions 171

Global Article Parameters 173

Managing Content Through the Frontend 175

Creating a Frontend User Menu 175

Limiting Access to Menus by User Level 179

Authors 180

Editors 185

Publishers 187

Article Checkin 187

Summary 189

Chapter 8: Getting Traffic to Your Site 191

Starting at the Beginning: Site Goals 192

Organic Traffic (SEO) 193

Introduction to Google 196

Creating Keywords 197

Keywords and Domain Name 199

Designing Your Site for Organic Traffic 200

Advanced SEO Techniques 208

Referral Traffic 211

Google Page Rank 211

Other Link-Building Strategies 214

Internal Linking 215

PPC Traffic 218

How Google AdWords Works 218

Joomla! and AdWords 220

Email Traffic 223

Third-Party Hosted Email Solutions 225

Joomla! SEF Extensions 225

Summary 226

Chapter 9: Creating Pure CSS Templates 229

What Is a Joomla! Template? 230

The Localhost Design Process 231

Localhost Server Options 233

W3C and Tableless Design 234

Semantically Correct Code 235

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 236

Creating a Simple Template: CSSTemplateTutorialStep1 236

Template File Components 237

The Joomla! Page Body 246

Using CSS to Create a Tableless Layout: CSSTemplateTutorialStep2 249

Default CSS 255

Joomla-Specific CSS 257

Modules in Templates 260

Menus in Templates 266

Hiding Columns 271

Making a Real Joomla! 1.5 Template: CSSTemplateTutorialStep3 276

Slicing and Dicing 277

Setting Up Module Locations 278

Header 278

Column Backgrounds 279

Flexible Modules 282

Typography 283

Advanced Templating Features: CSSTemplateTutorialStep4 288

Template Parameters 289

Template Overrides 291

Tableless Joomla! 295

The Completed Template 296

Summary 297

Chapter 10: Creating a School Site with Joomla! 299

Why Do You Need a School Website? 300

Students 300

Teachers and Administrators 301

Parents 301

Potential Students and Their Parents 301

What Features Do You Need on a School Site? 302

Downloading and Installing a School Template 302

Education Template Features and Positions 304

Configuring the Search Box 305

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-Down Menu 306

Organizing Content on a School Website 308

Creating the Menus 312

Building Out Content 316

Creating Subnavigation 317

The Academics Submenu 318

Creating News Links for a Section 319

Setting Up the Footer 322

Setting Up the Homepage 323

Adding Basic Functionality to a School Website 326

User Registration 326

Events Calendar 328

Downloadable Documents 328

Polls 329

Staff Directory 329

Email Newsletter 330

RSS 330

Random Image 331

Sitemap 331

Extending the School Website Beyond the Basics 333

Summary 333

Chapter 11: Creating a Restaurant Site with Joomla! 335

Why Does a Restaurant Need a Website? 336

What Features Does a Restaurant Website Need? 336

Downloading and Installing a Restaurant Template 338

Organizing the Content on a Restaurant Website 340

Building Content Articles with Lorem Ipsum 343

Creating Menus 344

Setting Up the Homepage 349

Homepage Alternative to the Front Page Manager 349

Creating Footer Content 352

Creating Module Teaser Blocks 352

Using Stock Imagery 358

Extending a Restaurant Website 360

Image Gallery: JPG Flash Rotator 2 361

Calendar: JCal Pro 361

Email Marketing 361

Google Maps 361

Summary 362

Chapter 12: Creating a Blog with Joomla! 365

What Is a Blog? 366

Why Have a Blog? 367

What Options Are There for Blogging? 367

What Features Are Needed on a Blog Site? 368

Downloading and Installing a Blog Template 370

Optimus Template Features and Positions 371

Configuring the Logo 373

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-Down Menu 374

Organizing Content on a Blog 375

Organizing a Blog Within a Larger Site 375

Organizing a Standalone Blog 376

About Tagging 378

Creating the Menus 379

Adding Dynamic Modules 382

Adding Static Modules 385

Adding Basic Functionality to a Blog 387

Flexible Layout 387

Browser-Based Editing 387

Automated Publishing 387

Categories 387

Search Engine-Friendly URL 388

Comment Systems 388

Syndication Feeds 389

Email Notification 392

Search 393

TrackBack 393

Extending a Blog Website Beyond the Basics 394

Forums 395

Ecommerce 395

Summary 395

Appendix A: Getting Help with Joomla! 397

Community Forums 397

Help Sites 398

Getting Help from Google 398

Appendix B: Joomla! Case Studies 399 (MP Media) 400

Interview with John Paoloni, Owner of Welcome to Your Wedding 400 (City of Longwood, Florida) 403

Interview with Ryan I. Spinella, Executive Assistant at the City of Longwood, Florida 404 (Royal Oak Public Library--Michigan) 405

Interview with Eric Hayes, Technology Specialist, Royal Oak Public Library 405 ( 408

Interview with Philip Roy, Webmaster, 408 (Everything Treo) 411

Interview with Christopher Meinck, Everything Treo 411

Summary 414

Appendix C: A Quick Start to SEO 415

Keyword Use in the Title Tag 415

Anchor Text of an Inbound Link 415

Global Link Popularity (Page Rank) of a Site 416

Age of a Site 416

Link Popularity and Topical Relevance Within the Site 416

Topical Relevance of Inbound Links and Popularity of the Linking Site 416

Link Popularity of the Site in the Topical Community 417

Keyword Use in Body Text 417

File Size 417

Clean URLs 418

Error Pages 418

What’s Not Here? 418

Appendix D: Installing WampServer 419

Index 429

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