Joomla! A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website

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The First Easy-to-Use Guide to Joomla! -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!-the world’s #1 open source content management system. 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 never-before-published 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! 1.0 and 1.5 reference content.

· Understanding content management, what Joomla! does, and how its components fit together

· Building Joomla! sites from scratch, and systematically customizing them to your needs

· Organizing content with sections, categories, blogs, and tables

· Creating dynamic pages and effective navigation

· Working with Joomla! modules and components

· Search engine optimization for Joomla! sites

· Start-to-finish case studies: building a school website, an e-commerce site, and a blog

· The most valuable Joomla! extensions and add-ons: finding them, and using them

· Key differences between Joomla! 1.0 and 1.5, and what they mean to you

About the Website

The accompanying site for the Joomla 1.5 book, provides five fully functional Joomla! sites with live follow-along examples from the book and up-to-date information on Joomla! The site also includes

  • An active forum where you can ask questions specific to chapters from the book from a Joomla expert
  • 5 fully functional Joomla 1.5 live follow-along examples from the book. You can browse the sites and their backends live online.
  • Downloads of 5 free websites for Joomla 1.5 based on various chapter of the book. These are SQL dumps you can import to instantly give you a completed Joomla site.
  • 4 free tutorial templates and 3 free templates from including the popular commercial template - JS Aqualine!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136135609
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 12/25/2007
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Barrie North has over 15 years of experience with the Internet, as a user, designer, and teacher. He has spent over eight years in the education fi eld, becoming steadily more involved in web technology and teaching web design classes to students and

technology integration to teachers. Most recently he worked as an IT consultant for two new schools pioneering in the use of technology. As well as web design, he has provided web marketing/SEO, usability, and standards compliance expertise to his clients.

He is a partner of Joomla!, providing templates and custom services. He also maintains a blog about all things Joomla! at When not working, he can frequently be found on the Joomla! community boards, and he has written many free tutorials for using Joomla!. His combination of Joomla! expertise, educational skills, and engaging writing has produced a book accessible to everyone.

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Table of Contents

Preface xix

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

What Is a Content Management System? 2

Static Web Pages 2

Cascading Style Sheet Web Pages 3

Dynamic Web Pages 4

Open Source 7

History of Joomla! 8

Joomla! Community 9

Third-party Extensions Development 9

Joomla!’s Features 10

Elements of a Joomla! Website 11

Content 13

Modules 14

Templates 14

Summary 15

Chapter 2: Downloading and Installing Joomla! 17

How Do I Install Joomla!? 18

Where Can I Find the Most Current Joomla! Files? 18

Unpacking Joomla! on a Local Desktop Computer 23

Unpacking on a Hosting Account 26

Running the Joomla! Installation Wizard 28

Summary 35

Chapter 3: Joomla! Administration Basics 37

What Is the Frontend and Backend of a Joomla!-powered Website? 38

Menu Bar 40

Toolbar 41

Workspace 41

Administrator Functions in the Menu Bar 42

Site Submenu 42

Menus 50

Content 52

The Component Menu 53

Extensions 55

Tools 60

Global Checkin 61

Help 61

Site Preview 62

Summary 63

Chapter 4: Content Is King: Organizing Your Content 65

How Does Joomla! Generate Web Pages? 66

How Does Joomla! Organize Content Articles? 68

Uncategorized Articles 68

Sections and Categories 69

Sample Hierarchy 71

Creating the Widget Inc. Website with Uncategorized Content 72

Creating Content Articles 74

Creating Menu Items 77

Page Coponent 82

Creating Widget Inc. with Sections and Categories 86

Creating Sections 89

Creating Categories 91

Creating Content Articles 93

Creating Menu Items 95

“Read More” Links and Individual Pages 102

Module Content 104

Summary 107

Chapter 5: Creating Menus and Navigation 109

How Do Menus and Modules Work Together? 110

What Do Menu Items Do? 112

Creating a Menu Item 113

Where Does a Menu Item Link To? 116

What Does a Page Look Like After Following a Link? 116

Blog Layout 118

Blog Layout Parameters 119

List/Standard Layout for a Section 123

Section List/Standard Layout Parameters 125

List/Standard Layout for a Blog 125

Category List/Standard Layout Parameters 127

Module Manager 127

Module Parameters 130

Submenus 132

Summary 133

Chapter 6: Extending Joomla! 135

What Are Extensions? 136

Installing Extensions 137

Managing Extensions 139

Components 140

Core Components140

Third-party Components141


Module Display 144

Core Modules 145

Third-party Modules 148

Plugins 149

Core Plugins 149

Third-party Plugins 150

Templates 150

Core Templates 151

Third-party Templates 151

Summary 151

Chapter 7: Expanding Your Content: Articles and Editors 153

WYSIWYG Editors 154

Managing WYSIWYG Editors 155

Other Third-party Editors 158

Creating and Managing Articles 160

Managing Content Through the Backend 161

Adding Content from the Backend 163

Inserting Images into Content 169

Creating an Article Table of Contents 172

Section and Category Descriptions 174

Article Content Preferences 176

Managing Content Through The Frontend 178

Creating a Frontend User Menu 178

Limiting Access to Menus by User Level 182

Authors 183

Editors 187

Publishers 189

Article Checkin 189

Summary 190

Chapter 8: Getting Traffic to Your Site 193

Start at the Beginning: Site Goals 194

Organic Traffic (SEO) 196

Introduction to Google 198

Creating Keywords 199

Keywords and Domain Name 202

Designing Your Site for Organic Traffic 203

Advanced SEO Techniques 209

Referral Traffic 215

Google PageRank 215

Using WebFerret to Find Websites 217

Other Link-Building Strategies 220

Internal Linking. 221

Pay-Per-Click Traffic 225

How Google Adwords Works 226

Joomla! and Adwords 228

Email Traffic 230

Joomla! Email Newsletter Extensions 232

Third-Party Hosted Email Solutions 232

Joomla! SEF Extensions 235

Summary 236

Chapter 9: Creating a Pure CSS Template 239

What Is a Joomla! Template? 240

Localhost Design Process 241

Localhost Server Options 242

W3C and Tableless Design 243

Semantically Correct Code 244

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 244

Creating a Simple Template 245

The Template File Components 245

index.php 249

Blank Joomla! Template Body 253

CSSTemplateTutorialStep1 256

Using CSS to Create a Tableless Layout 256

Default CSS 261

Joomla!-Specific CSS 263

Modules in Templates 265

Menus in Templates 271

Hiding Columns 275

CSSTemplateTutorialStep2 280

Making a Real Joomla! 1.5 Template 280

Slicing and Dicing 280

Setting Up Module Locations 281

Header 282

Column Backgrounds 283

Flexible Modules 285

Typography 286

CSSTemplateTutorialStep3 291

Advanced Templating Features 291

Template Parameters 291

Template Overrides 293

Tableless Joomla! 297

CSSTemplateTutorialStep4 297

Summary 298

Chapter 10: Creating a School Site with Joomla! 301

Why Do We Need a School Website? 302

Students 302

Teachers and Administrators 303

Parents 303

What Features Do We Need on a School Site? 303

Downloading and Installing a School Template 304

Education Template Features and Positions 306

Configuring the Search Box 306

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-down Menu 308

Organizing Content on a School Website 310

Creating the Menus 314

Building Out Content 318

Creating Subnavigation 319

Academics Submenu 320

Creating News Links for a Section 322

Setting Up the Footer 324

Setting Up the Home Page 325

Adding Basic Functionality to a School Website 327

User Registration 328

Events Calendar 329

Downloadable Documents 330

Polls 331

Staff Directory 331

Email Newsletter 332

RSS 333

Random Image 334

Sitemap 334

Extending the School Website Beyond the Basics 336

Summary 337

Chapter 11: Creating a Restaurant Site with Joomla! 339

Why Does a Restaurant Need a Website? 340

What Features Does a Restaurant Website Need? 340

Downloading and Installing a Restaurant Template 342

Organizing the Content on a Restaurant Website 344

Building Content Articles with Lorem Ipsum 347

Creating Menus 349

Setting Up the Home Page 354

Home Page Alternative to the Front Page Manager 354

Creating Footer Content 356

Creating Module Teaser Blocks 358

Using Stock Imagery 362

Extending a Restaurant Website 364

Image Gallery: JPG Flash Rotator 2 365

Calendar: JCal Pro 365

Email Marketing 365

Google Maps 366

Summary 367

Chapter 12: Creating a Blog Site with Joomla! 369

What Is a Blog? 370

Why Have a Blog? 371

What Options Are There for Blogging? 372

What Features Are Needed on a Blog Site? . 373

Downloading and Installing a Blog Template 374

Aqualine Template Features and Positions 376

Configuring the Logo 377

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-down Menu 378

Organizing Content on a Blog

Organizing a Blog Within a Larger Site 379

Organizing a Standalone Blog 380

About Tagging 382

Creating the Menus 382

Adding Dynamic Modules 386

Adding Static Modules 388

Adding Basic Functionality to a Blog 390

Flexible Layout 390

Browser-based Editing 390

Automated Publishing 390

Categories 391

Search Engine Optimized URLs 391

Comment Systems 391

Syndication Feeds 392

Email Notification 395

Search 396

Trackback 396

Extending a Blog Website Beyond the Basics 397

Forums 398

Ecommerce 398

Summary 398

Appendix A: Getting Help 399

Community Forums 399

Help Sites 399

Getting Help from Google 400

Appendix B: Joomla! Case Studies 401

Six Case Studies for Organizations That Use Joomla! 401 (MP Media) 402 (City of Longwood, Florida) 404 (Royal Oak Public Library–Michigan) 407 (The Telx Group, Inc.) 409 ( 411 (Everything Treo) 414

Summary 417

Appendix C: A Quick Start to SEO 419

1. Keyword Use in Title Tag 419

2. Anchor Text of Inbound Link 419

3. Global Link Popularity of Site (PageRank 419

4. Age of Site 420

5. Link Popularity Within the Site 420

6. Topical Relevance of Inbound Links and Popularity of Linking Site 420

7. Link Popularity of Site in Topic Community 420

8. Keyword Use in Body Text 421

9. File Size 421

10. Clean URL 421

11. Utilize Your Error Pages 421

What’s Not Here? 422

Appendix D: Installing WAMP5 423

Index 431

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    Don't get this book if you are new to joomla. That would be a painful mistake. You will pull all your hair out in frustration. I get no pleasure from writing a poor review, but I wish someone had warned me away from this book. The author seems very knowledgeable and this book contains useful information, but it also has several flaws: Worst flaw is that, frequently, when walking the reader through a series of steps, he will overlook something important - I guess he assumes we already know stuff. This was tremendously frustrating for this beginner. I spent hours trying to figure out missing links through the joomla forum and online tutorials. The organization, descriptions and language are badly flawed. The author tries to use a conversational tone, but it is very annoying and confusing to frequently read useless phrases like 'as you can see' - especially when you can't. About half the narrative is filler like that. I had to re-read many paragraphs 3-4 times to understand them. After five frustrating, headache-filled days 'I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt that it would get better - it never did', I bought 'Beginning Joomla' by Dan Rahmel and had joomla working properly in a few hours. 'First, I cleared my mind and computer of everything I had attempted under this book's guidance.' Let this be your second or third joomla book, but not your first if you're a beginner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    Get Joomla! A User's Guide as a Companion to the downloadable Joomla! User Manual

    To sum it up so I can get back to work, is this is a great no frills user guide to Joomla! As I am new to Joomla!, but not web development, it is a very good book to work from and easy to read. This book also goes good with the Joomla Book website<BR/><BR/>The only thing that would be nice is some advance topics like security or backup of data... but what do you expect, this is just a user's guide and it is great as that.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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