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Joomla! 3 Beginner's Guide

Book Description

A clear, hands-on guide on creating perfect content managed websites with the free Joomla! CMS

  • Create a Joomla! website in an hour with the help of easy-to-follow steps and screenshots

  • Build and maintain your own website quickly, easily and efficiently, getting the most out of the latest release of the Joomla! content management system

  • Go beyond a typical Joomla! site to make a website meet your specific needs

  • Learn by doing: follow step-by-step instructions on how to design, secure, administrate, and fill your site with content

  • Update to the popular "Joomla! 2.5 Beginner's Guide" by Eric Tiggeler

In Detail

Joomla! is one of the most popular open source Content Management Systems, actively developed and supported by a world-wide user community. It’s a free, fun, and feature-rich tool for anyone who wants to create dynamic, interactive websites. Even beginners can deploy Joomla to build professional websites. Even though it can be challenging to get beyond the basics and build the site that meets your needs perfectly, this book will guide you through it all.

Completely updated for Joomla! 3, this practical guide helps you to create professional and good-looking websites with Joomla!, whether you want to build a personal blog site or a full-featured company or club website.

The Joomla! 3 Beginner’s Guide will help you to get started with Joomla! quickly. It’s presented in an organized, easy-to-read manner. The book doesn’t focus on what Joomla! can do – it focuses on what you can do using Joomla!.

You learn how to get Joomla! up and running, how to organize content, add new menus, add new features, change the design and much more. Real-life examples and tutorials will spark your imagination and show you what kind of professional, feature-rich websites any web builder can achieve with Joomla!. The focus is on clear instructions and easy-to-understand tutorials, with minimal jargon.

Using the "Joomla! 3 Beginner’s Guide" you’ll quickly gain the knowledge needed to build your own site, perfectly tailored to your specific needs.

Table of Contents

  1. Joomla! 3 Beginner's Guide
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Joomla! 3 Beginner's Guide
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. www.PacktPub.com
      1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
        1. Why Subscribe?
        2. Free Access for Packt account holders
    7. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Time for action – heading
        1. What just happened?
        2. Pop quiz – heading
        3. Have a go hero – heading
      6. Reader feedback
      7. Customer support
        1. Errata
        2. Piracy
        3. Questions
    8. 1. Introduction: A New and Easy Way to Build Websites
      1. Join the CMS revolution
      2. Why would you choose Joomla?
        1. What kind of sites can you build with Joomla?
      3. Learning to use Joomla
        1. What you'll learn using this book
        2. What's the current version of Joomla?
        3. About the example site
      4. Summary
    9. 2. Installation: Getting Joomla Up and Running
      1. What do you need to start?
        1. Hosting space
        2. FTP software
        3. More than one browser
        4. Upgrading from previous versions of Joomla
          1. Updating Joomla 1.5 to 3.x
            1. Updating Joomla 2.5 to 3.x
      2. Installing Joomla in four steps
      3. Time for action – downloading the Joomla files
        1. What just happened?
      4. Time for action – placing the files on the web server
        1. What just happened?
      5. Time for action – creating a database
        1. What just happened?
      6. Time for action – running the Joomla installation wizard
        1. What just happened?
      7. Got stuck? Get help!
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of installing Joomla
      8. Summary
    10. 3. First Steps: Getting to Know Joomla
      1. Making the switch – building websites the Joomla way
        1. Sorry, web pages have ceased to exist
        2. The benefits of the CMS approach to websites
        3. A website built of blocks
      2. Introducing frontend and backend – the Joomla interface
        1. Your workspace – the backend
        2. And what's the frontend?
      3. Exploring the frontend – the website as the user sees it
      4. Time for action – tour the example site
        1. What just happened?
        2. Exploring the example content
        3. Have a go hero – get familiar with the other example sites
      5. Taking control – administering your site in the backend
      6. Time for action – logging in to the backend
        1. What just happened?
        2. Taking a closer look at the Control Panel
          1. Top menu (1)
          2. The Submenu and System menus (2)
          3. Information panels (3)
          4. Shortcut list (4)
          5. Preview and Info Bar (5)
        3. Understanding backend tools and controls
      7. Getting your feet wet – start administering your site
        1. Three types of backend tasks
          1. Content management example – let's create some content!
      8. Time for action – publishing your first article
        1. What just happened?
          1. Extension management example – adding a module
      9. Time for action – adding a module to the site
        1. What just happened?
          1. Site management example – configuring basic site settings
      10. Time for action – setting Joomla preferences
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – explore the configuration options
        3. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla basics
      11. Summary
    11. 4. Web Building Basics: Creating a Site in an Hour
      1. What you will be making
        1. Meet your client
      2. Cleaning up – removing the sample data
        1. Step 1: Removing sample content
      3. Time for action – deleting articles and categories
        1. Step 2: Deleting menus and other modules
      4. Time for action – deleting menus
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – cleaning out the list of modules
      5. Building your new site in three steps
      6. Step 1: Customizing the layout
      7. Time for action – creating a copy of the current template
        1. What just happened?
      8. Time for action – preparing a new logo image
      9. Time for action – tweaking the design details
        1. What just happened?
          1. CSS stylesheets? Come again?
        2. Have a go hero – explore layout settings
      10. Step 2: Adding content
        1. Creating a foundation first: Making categories
      11. Time for action – creating a News category
        1. What just happened?
        2. Creating articles and using the Images and Links fields
      12. Time for action – creating an article
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – add more images to articles
        3. Making content visible on the site: Creating a menu link
      13. Time for action – adding a menu link
        1. What just happened?
          1. Now that's the all-important power of menus
        2. Have a go hero – create more categories and articles
        3. Creating menu links to the new content
        4. Adding individual content pages: uncategorized articles
      14. Time for action – adding uncategorized articles
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero –rearrange the Main Menu using drag-and-drop
        3. Putting content on the home page—at last!
          1. Adding items to the home page
      15. Time for action – assigning articles to the home page
        1. What just happened?
      16. Step 3: adding extras through extensions
        1. Components and Extensions, what's the difference?
        2. Add a contact form
      17. Time for action – creating a contact
        1. What just happened?
      18. Time for action – creating a Contact Form menu link
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – clean up the Top Menu
        3. Adding a special message block
      19. Time for action – creating a message block
        1. What just happened?
      20. Wrapping up: Changing site settings
      21. Time for action – changing the site configuration
        1. What just happened?
        2. Pop quiz – test your basic Joomla knowledge
      22. Summary
    12. 5. Small Sites, Big Sites: Organizing your Content Effectively
      1. Building on the example site
      2. Grouping content – a crash course in site organization
        1. Designing a site map
      3. Time for action – create a future-proof site map
        1. What just happened?
        2. Transferring your site map to Joomla
        3. How do you turn a site map into a website?
      4. Creating categories and subcategories
      5. Time for action – create a category and subcategories
        1. What just happened?
        2. In what case do you need more subcategory levels?
        3. Have a go hero – rearrange existing categories
        4. Adding content to new categories
      6. Displaying main categories and subcategories on your site
      7. Time for action – create a link to point to a main category
        1. Have a go hero – explore the possibilities of category pages
      8. Refining your site structure
      9. Time for action – move content from one category to another
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – moving entire categories
      10. Renaming categories
      11. Time for action – rename a category
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – name and rename!
        3. Changing category settings
      12. Building a site without using categories
        1. How do you go about building a small site?
        2. Have a go hero – organize a site!
        3. Pop quiz – test your site organization knowledge
      13. Summary
    13. 6. Creating Killer Content: Adding and Editing Articles
      1. Articles and content pages, what's the difference?
      2. Creating and editing articles: beyond the basics
      3. Making your words look good: formatting article text
      4. Time for action – add styling to article text
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – change the formatting
      5. Adding images to articles
      6. Time for action – uploading images
        1. What just happened?
      7. Time for action – inserting and aligning images
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – adjusting the image settings
      8. Changing the way the article displays
        1. One lump or two? Split the article into an intro text and main text
      9. Time for action – creating an intro text
        1. What just happened?
        2. Creating multipage articles
      10. Time for action – using page breaks to split up an article
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero: use sliders and tabs
      11. Displaying images and links with articles
      12. Time for action – adding images and links to an article
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – tweak the article layout
      13. Tweaking the details: changing article settings
        1. The Publishing Options tab
        2. The Article Options tab
        3. The Configure Edit screen tab
        4. The Metadata Options tab
        5. The Article Permissions tab
        6. Setting general preferences for all articles
          1. The Articles tab
          2. The Editing Layout tab
          3. The Category tab
          4. The Categories, Blog / Featured Layouts, List Layouts, and Shared Options tabs
          5. The Integration tab
          6. The Permissions tab
      14. Archiving articles
      15. Time for action – creating a news archive
        1. What just happened?
        2. Pop quiz – test your article expertise
      16. Summary
    14. 7. Welcoming your Visitors: Creating Attractive Home Pages and Overview Pages
      1. Why do you need overview pages, anyway?
      2. Creating the perfect home – mastering home page layout
        1. Changing the way the home page is arranged
      3. Time for action – rearranging the layout of articles on the home page
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – tweak home page layout options
        3. Adding items to the home page
        4. Controlling the order of home page items manually
        5. Setting a criteria to automatically order home page items
      4. Time for action – show the most recent items first
        1. What just happened?
          1. The Featured Articles Menu Item Type – an overview of all options
            1. Layout Options
            2. Article Options
            3. Integration Options
            4. Link Type Options
            5. Page Display Options
            6. Metadata Options
            7. Module Assignment for this Menu Item tab
        2. Creating more than one page containing featured articles
      5. Another type of home page: using a single article
      6. Time for action – creating a different home page
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – undo!
      7. Creating category overview pages
        1. Two main choices: Blog Layout and List Layout
      8. The first type of overview page: creating Category Blog layouts
      9. Time for action – create a facebook using the Blog layout
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – add a category description
        3. Showing full articles on a category overview page
        4. Have a go hero – experiment with Category Blog layout settings
          1. Setting the options of the Category Blog Menu Item Type
            1. Category Options
      10. The second type of overview page – Lists
      11. Time for action – add a link to a Category List layout
        1. What just happened?
        2. Customizing lists: Exploring Category List options
          1. Category Options
          2. List Layouts
    15. 8. Helping Your Visitors Find What They Want: Managing Menus
      1. How many menus can you have?
      2. Creating user-friendly navigation: cleaning up the Main Menu
        1. Option 1: changing the order of menu items
      3. Time for action – changing menu item order
        1. What just happened?
        2. Option 2: creating submenu items
      4. Time for action – creating a secondary menu item
        1. What just happened?
        2. Option 3: adding a separate new menu
      5. Time for action –creating a new, empty menu
        1. What just happened?
      6. Time for action – moving hyperlinks to the new menu
        1. What just happened?
      7. Time for action – telling Joomla where to display the menu
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – change menu settings
        3. Using the horizontal drop-down menu as the main menu
      8. Time for action: displaying Main Menu links in the Top Menu
        1. Have a go hero – clean up menus and menu links
        2. Creating split submenus
        3. Have a go hero – arrange menus any way you like
      9. Exploring menu module settings
        1. Switching to the menu module screen
          1. The Details tab
          2. The Basic Options tab
          3. The Advanced Options tab
          4. The Menu Assignment tab
      10. What types of menu links are available?
        1. Have a go hero – try out Menu Item Types
      11. Creating plain text links
      12. Time for action – creating text links
        1. What just happened?
        2. Pop quiz – test your menu knowledge
      13. Summary
    16. 9. Opening Up the Site: Enabling Users to Log In and Contribute
      1. What are the default user groups and their permissions?
        1. Public and Guest users – the site visitors
        2. Registered users – the user group that can log in
        3. Author, Editor, and Publisher – the frontend content contributors
        4. Manager, Administrator, Super User – the backend content contributors and administrators
        5. Shop Suppliers and Customers – two example user groups
      2. Enabling users to log in and contribute content
      3. Time for action – adding a user with frontend authoring permissions
        1. What just happened?
        2. Enabling content contributors to log in to the frontend
      4. Time for action – put a Login Form on the home page
        1. What just happened?
      5. Time for action – logging in as a frontend content contributor
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – create a frontend User Menu
        3. Reviewing and publishing team content submissions
      6. Time for action – reviewing and publishing submitted content
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – explore different User Group permissions
          1. Find out what editors and publishers can do
          2. Finding out what backend users can do
      7. Enabling self-registration – allowing visitors to register
        1. How do you enable users to create their own account?
          1. Displaying a Login menu link
      8. Time for action – register yourself and log in
        1. What just happened?
        2. Hiding content for non-registered users
      9. Time for action – hiding content from non-registered users
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – changing access level settings
        3. Getting your visitors to "register to read more"
      10. Time for action – partially hiding content from non-registered users
        1. What just happened?
      11. Creating custom-made user groups
        1. What are the permissions you can assign to user groups?
        2. What Viewing Access Levels are available?
        3. Creating a custom user group to manage contacts
      12. Time for action: Step 1 – create a user group
        1. What just happened?
      13. Time for action: Step 2 – tell Joomla what the group can see
        1. What just happened?
      14. Time for action: Step 3 – Tell Joomla what the group can do
        1. What just happened?
      15. Time for action: Step 4 – adding users to the new group
        1. What just happened?
        2. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla user management
      16. Summary
    17. 10. Getting the Most out of Your Site: Extending Joomla
      1. Extensions in all shapes and sizes
        1. The big ones – Components
        2. The medium ones – Modules
        3. The tiny ones – Plugins
        4. Where do you get extensions from?
      2. Enhancing your site using core extensions
        1. Highlighting articles using the Newsflash module
      3. Time for action – adding a Newsflash to the home page
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – change the Newsflash settings
        3. Creating a list of contacts using the Contacts component
      4. Time for action – adding a series of contacts
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – try out contact component settings
        3. What extensions are part of the Joomla core?
      5. Enhancing your site using third-party extensions
        1. Trying out an alternative newsflash module
      6. Time for action – downloading and installing an extension
        1. What just happened?
      7. Time for action – putting the extension to work
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – explore module options
        3. Showing images in a lightbox gallery
      8. Time for action – create an image gallery
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – add your own images
          1. Do you want more from your photo gallery?
        3. Using extensions to enhance your work space
      9. Time for action – replace Joomla's default text editor
        1. What just happened?
        2. So much more to explore
      10. Managing the site language
        1. Changing default text strings
      11. Time for action – removing or replacing default texts
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – make default texts suit your needs
        3. Using the Language Manager to create multilingual sites
        4. Updating extensions
        5. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla extensions
      12. Summary
    18. 11. Creating an Attractive Design: Working with Templates
      1. This is what templates do
      2. And this is why templates are so much fun
      3. Changing the settings of the current template
        1. What are Template Styles?
        2. Customizing the current template using built-in options
      4. Time for action – changing the site color and layout options
        1. What just happened?
      5. Changing to a different template
        1. Which templates come with Joomla?
        2. Previewing available templates
        3. Setting a different template as the default
      6. Time for action – activating a different template
        1. What just happened?
      7. Applying Template Styles to individual pages
      8. Time for action – creating a Template Style for one specific page
      9. Downloading and installing a new template
      10. Time for action – downloading and activating a new template
        1. What just happened?
      11. Time for action – adding the logo file
        1. What just happened?
      12. Time for action – adding a menu module
        1. What just happened?
      13. Time for action – placing modules in new template positions
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – change page and module layout
      14. Customizing a template: tweaking CSS styles
        1. Understanding the very basics of CSS
      15. Time for action – customizing the background color using CSS
        1. What just happened?
        2. Analyzing Joomla CSS using web developer tools
          1. Expanding your CSS knowledge
      16. Backing up and restoring a customized template
      17. Where can you get a new template for your site?
      18. Creating your own template
        1. Template building resources
      19. Using a template framework as a base for your own template
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla templates
      20. Summary
    19. 12. Attracting Search Engine Traffic: SEO Tips and Techniques
      1. Why do you need to accommodate for search engines?
      2. Optimizing articles for findability
        1. 1. The article title – make it meaningful
        2. 2. The article structure – use clear formatting
          1. Adding H1 headings
          2. Adding H2 headings
          3. Adding H3 through H6 headings
        3. Optimizing the use of H1 headings
      3. 3. The article body text – use relevant keywords
        1. Updating articles regularly
      4. 4. The images – explain what they're about
      5. Configuring HTML page titles
      6. Time for action – setting the HTML page title
        1. What just happened?
        2. Adding the Site Name to the page title
      7. Adding meaningful metadata
      8. Time for action – personalize the site metadata
        1. What just happened?
        2. Choosing what metadata to set
        3. Have a go hero – find metadata to fit your site
      9. Using search engine friendly URLs
      10. Adding extra links to site content
        1. Creating an automatically generated list of hyperlinks
      11. Time for action – adding a list of links to popular articles
        1. What just happened?
        2. Have a go hero – add link lists
      12. Redirecting visitors to pages that have been moved
      13. Time for action – creating page redirects
      14. Getting to know more about your site traffic
      15. More SEO resources
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla search engine optimization
      16. Summary
    20. A. Keeping the Site Secure
      1. Tip 1: Download from reliable sources
      2. Tip 2: Update regularly
      3. Tip 3: Choose a safe Administrator username
      4. Tip 4: Pick a strong password
      5. Tip 5: Protect files and directories
        1. Setting File Permissions
      6. Tip 6: Use extensions to secure your site
        1. Using the Joomla Captcha plugin to avoid spam
      7. Tip 7: Have a backup ready
        1. Creating a Backup with Akeeba Backup
        2. Restoring a backup
      8. Tip 8: Stay informed!
    21. B. Creating a Multilingual Site
      1. 1. Adding a new language
      2. 2. Enabling Joomla to switch between languages
      3. 3. Adding multilingual content
      4. 4. Creating menus for the multilingual content
      5. 5. Connect menu links to their translated counterparts
      6. 6. Finalizing the site menus
      7. 7. Enabling the visitor to select a language
      8. Read the step-by-step tutorial on multilingual sites
    22. C. Pop Quiz Answers
      1. Chapter 2, Installation: Getting Joomla Up and Running
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of installing Joomla
      2. Chapter 3, First Step: Getting to Know Joomla
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla basics
      3. Chapter 4, Web Building Basics: Creating a Site in an Hour
        1. Pop quiz – test your basic Joomla knowledge
      4. Chapter 5, Small Sites, Big Sites: Organizing your Content Effectively
        1. Pop quiz – test your site organization knowledge
      5. Chapter 6, Creating Killer Content: Adding and Editing Articles
        1. Pop quiz – test your article expertise
      6. Chapter 7, Welcoming your Visitors: Creating Attractive Home Pages and Overview Pages
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of home pages and overview pages
      7. Chapter 8, Helping your Visitors Find What they Want: Managing Menus
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge on menus
      8. Chapter 9, Opening up the Site: Enabling Users to Log in and Contribute
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla user management
      9. Chapter 10, Getting the Most out of your Site: Extending Joomla
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla extensions
      10. Chapter 11, Creating an Attractive Design: Working with Templates
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla templates
      11. Chapter 12, Attracting Search Engine Traffic: Tips and Techniques
        1. Pop quiz – test your knowledge of Joomla search engine optimization
    23. Index