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Joomla! 1.6


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Table of Contents

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxv

About the Author xxvi

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 11

Templates 13

Modules 14

Summary 14

Chapter 2: Downloading and Installing Joomla! 17

How to Install Joomla! 18

Obtaining the Latest Joomla! File Package 18

Joomla! Package Naming Conventions 20

Creating a MySQL Database 21

Unpacking the Joomla! Package 21

Unpacking Joomla! on a Local Desktop Computer 21

Unpacking Joomla! on a Hosting Account 25

Running the Joomla! Installation Wizard 26

Getting to the Joomla! Installer 26

Step 1: Language 26

Step 2: Pre-Installation Check 27

Step 3: License 28

Step 4: Database Configuration 29

Step 5: FTP Configuration 30

Step 6: Main Configuration 30

Step 7: Finish 33

Summary 34

Chapter 3: Joomla! Administration Basics 35

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

The Menu Bar 38

The Toolbar 38

The Workspace 40

Administrator Functions in the Menu Bar 40

The Site Submenu 41

Users Menu 45

The Menus Menu 48

The Content Menu 49

The Components Submenu 53

The Extensions Menu 54

The Help Menu 58

View Site 59

Summary 60

Chapter 4: Content Is King: Organizing Your Content 63

How Does Joomla! Generate Web Pages? 64

How Joomla! Organizes Content Articles 66

Uncategorized Articles 67

Categories 67

A Sample Hierarchy 69

Creating the Widget Inc. Website with Uncategorized Content 70

Creating Content Articles 72

Creating Menu Items 75

The Featured Article Component 80

Creating the Widget Inc. Website with Categories 85

Creating Categories 86

Creating Content Article 86

Creating Menu Items 90

Linking to Components 92

"Read More" Links and Individual Pages 95

Module Content 97

Summary 100

Chapter 5: Creating Menus and Navigation 103

How Menu Modules Work 104

What Menu Items Do 105

Creating a Menu Item 106

Where Does a Menu Item Link? 107

What Does a Page Look Like After a Link Is Followed? 108

Blog Layout 109

Blog Layout Parameters 110

List Layout for a Blog 114

Category List Advanced Options 114

Managing Menu Modules in the Module Manager . 116

Show Title 116

Position 118

Access 118

Menu and Module Class Suffixes (Advanced Options) 118

Menu Assignment 118

Summary 119

Chapter 6: Extending Joomla! 121

Extensions 122

Installing Extensions 123

Managing Extensions 125

Components 126

Core Component 127

Third-Party Components 128

Modules 128

Module Display 128

Core Modules 130

Third-Party Modules 132

Plug-ins 133

Core Plug-ins 133

Third-Party Plug-ins 134

Templates 134

Core Templates 134

Third-Party Templates 134

Summary 135

Chapter 7: Expanding Your Content: Articles and Editors 137

WYSIWYG Editors 138

Managing WYSIWYG Editors 139

Other Third-Party Editors 142

Creating and Managing Articles 143

Managing Content Through the Backend 144

Adding Content from the Backend 146

Inserting Images into Content 153

Category Descriptions 156

Managing Content Through the Frontend 159

Creating a Frontend User Menu 159

Limiting Access to Menus by User Level 163

Authors 165

Editors 167

Publishers 169

Article Checkin

Summary 171

Chapter 8: Getting Traffic to Your Site 175

Start at the Beginning: Site Goals 176

Organic Traffic (SEO) 177

Introduction to Google 180

Creating Keywords 181

Keywords and Domain Name 184

Designing Your Site for Organic Traffic 184

Advanced SEO Techniques 192

Referral Traffic 196

Google PageRank 196

Other Link-Building Strategies 198

Internal Linking 199

Pay Per Click Traffic 202

How Google AdWords Works 203

Joomla! and AdWords 205

Email Traffic 207

Third-Party Hosted Email Solutions 209

Joomla! SEF Extensions 210

Quick Start SEO for Joomla! 210

Summary 210

Chapter 9: Creating Pure CSS Templates 213

What Is a Joomla! Template? 214

The Localhost Design Process 216

Localhost Server Options 217

W3C and Tableless Design 218

Semantically Correct Code 219

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 220

Creating a Simple Template: 960TemplateTutorialStep1 220

Template File Components 221

The Joomla! Page Body 231

Using CSS to Create a Tableless Layout: CSSTemplateTutorialStep2 234

Default CSS 239

Modules in Templates 241

Menus in Templates 246

Hiding Columns 250

Making a Real Joomla! 1.6 Template: 960TemplateTutorialStep3 256

Slicing and Dicing 256

Header 257

The Banner/Message Module 257

Column Backgrounds 258

Flexible Modules 260

Typography 261

Summary 263

Chapter 10: Creating a School Site with Joomla! 265

Why Do You Need a School Website? 266

Students 266

Teachers and Administrators 267

Parents 267

Potential Students and Their Parents 267

What Features Do You Need on a School Site? 268

Downloading and Installing a School Template 268

Fresh Template Features and Positions 270

Configuring a Logo 271

Configuring the Search Box 271

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-Down Menu 272

Organizing Content on a School Website 274

Creating the Menus 279

Building Out Content 283

Creating Subnavigation 284

The Academics Submenu 285

Creating News Links for a Section 287

Setting Up the Footer Area 289

Setting Up the Home Page 291

Adding Basic Functionality to a School Website 293

User Registration 293

Events Calendar 295

Downloadable Documents 295

Staff Directory 295

Email Newsletter 296

RSS 297

Random Image

Sitemap 298

Extending the School Website Beyond the Basics 298

Summary 300

Chapter 11: Creating a Restaurant Site with Joomla! 301

Why Does a Restaurant Need a Website? 302

What Features Does a Restaurant Website Need? 302

Downloading and Installing a Restaurant Template 304

Organizing the Content on a Restaurant Website 306

Building Content Articles with Lorem Ipsum 309

Setting Up the Home Page 310

Home Page Alternative to the Featured Article Manager 310

Creating Menus 311

Creating Footer Content 316

Creating Module Teaser Blocks 317

Using Stock Imagery 319

Extending a Restaurant Website 321

Image Gallery: JPG Flash Rotator 2 322

Email Marketing 323

Google Maps 323

Summary 323

Chapter 12: Creating a Blog with Joomla! 325

What Is a Blog? 326

Why Have a Blog? 327

What Options Are There for Blogging? 327

What Features Are Needed on a Blog Site? 328

Downloading and Installing a Blog Template 330

Optimus Template Features and Positions 331

Configuring the Logo 332

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-Down Menu 334

Organizing Content on a Blog 335

Organizing a Blog Within a Larger Site 335

Organizing a Standalone Blog 336

About Tagging 338

Creating the Menus 338

Adding Dynamic Modules 342

Adding Static Modules 345

Adding Basic Functionality to a Blog 346

Flexible Layout 346

Browser-Based Editing 347

Automated Publishing 347

Categories 347

Search Engine-Friendly URLs 347

Comment Systems 348

Syndication Feeds 348

Email Notification 350

Search 350

Extending a Blog Website Beyond the Basics 351

Forums 351

E-commerce 352

Summary 353

Appendix A: Getting Help 355

Community Forums 355

Help Sites 356

Getting Help from Google 356

Appendix B: A Guide to Joomla! 1.6 ACL 357

Appendix C: A Quick Introduction to SEO 359

Keyword Use in Title Tag 359

Anchor Text of Inbound Link 359

Global Link Popularity of Site (PageRank) 359

Age of Site 360

Link Popularity Within the Site 360

Topical Relevance of Inbound Links and Popularity of Linking Site 360

Link Popularity of Site in Topic Community 361

Keyword Use in Body Text 361

File Size 361

Clean URL 362

Utilize Your Error Pages 362

What's Not Here? 362

Appendix D: Installing WampServer 363

Index 371

About the Author

Barrie M. North has more than 20 years of experience with the Internet as a user, designer, and teacher. He has spent more than 8 years in the education field, becoming steadily more involved in web technology, teaching web design classes to students and technology integration to teachers. Most recently, he worked as an IT consultant for two new schools pioneering 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 founder of, one of the oldest and most popular Joomla template providers, and a founder of, a service that provides easy-to-use, turnkey Joomla hosting for those new to Joomla. 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.


Praise for Previous Edition of Joomla!: A User's Guide

"A complete guide to the powerful features of Joomla! 1.5, this book takes a holistic approach to building a Joomla!-powered website-from the CMS itself to its many extensions, search engine optimization, and even building your own tableless template. The novice reader is eased into the subject and confidently guided through the basic principles and on to the more advanced features. This guide empowers the user not only to build a professional website but to also to make it a success."

-Russell Walker, CEO, Netshine Software Limited (Joomla! Development Consultancy)

"If you've been using or following Joomla! in the past years, you've most likely seen the name Barrie North or Joomlashack. Barrie has been a member of the community for a long time and, as such, my expectations for this book were pretty high. Besides explaining how Joomla! works from a usability point of view, there is valuable information for people who want to learn serious template building, and readers can stand out of the crowd by using Barrie's steps to make their (X)HTML and CSS optimized for accessibility and SEO. All in all, this book is a great guide that comes at the right time for newcomers and more experienced Joomla! users and developers alike. Well done, Barrie!"

-Arno Zijlstra, Joomla! cofounder, custom template specialist,

"In a time when solid, real-life Joomla! 1.5 information is rarely available, this book is a thirst-quenching oasis of knowledge. The abundant and clear examples in the book make Joomla! 1.5 websites within anyone's reach. I heartily recommend Joomla! 1.5: A User's Guide by Barrie North."

-Tom Canavan, author of Dodging the Bullets: A Disaster Preparation Guide for Joomla! Based Web Sites

"Refreshing! After reading many how-to books, this one is a step beyond the rest because of its focus on examples based on live sites. This book is well crafted for beginners to advanced users with a well-organized overview that walks you through the entire Joomla! CMS."

-Steven Pignataro, corePHP,

"As a long-time Joomla! end-user and developer, I had low expectations for anything new I might learn from this book. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it a great refresher course, especially since the book is logically organized, leading beginners from the most basic Joomla! concepts and continuing through to more complex ones, such as tableless template design and how to write a template for Joomla! 1.5. In summary, Barrie North has produced the gold-standard print reference for Joomla! 1.5. I highly recommend this book for novice and intermediate users if you want to make the most of Joomla!"

-Vicor Drover,

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