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As someone who has not used Joomla! before, you need to know how to get started. Maybe you have a friend or a neighbour who uses Joomla! and you want a Joomla! web site of your very own. Maybe you have a small business or a club or a community that needs a web presence, and you want to use Joomla! for that purpose. Maybe you are a seasoned Information Technology professional, but you have never Joomla! before. If so, you are just starting a very enjoyable journey and we warmly welcome you to Joomla!
Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla!
Welcome to Joomla!, a leading open source Content Management System (CMS) platform. Joomla! is a well-tested, extensible and effective tool supported by a very active and friendly community of developers and users.
Although you could spend a lifetime learning Joomla!, if you master the basics you will be able to make a very attractive and useful basic website in very little time and with no special technical skills.
Do you want to get started with Joomla!, but you have no idea where to begin? If so, you have come to the right place.
- This Absolute Beginner's Guide to Joomla! is just for you. It lists articles on this Wiki that should get you up and running with Joomla! quickly. It does include some general terms and techniques you might not be familiar with, but there is good reference material for those on the Internet.
- Getting Started with Joomla! is a tutorial series with hands-on instructions to introduce Joomla! to people who have not previously used it. It explains all techniques step by step using screenshots. These documents are useful if you like detailed and exact explanations, but they are necessarily longer than this reference.
- Please use either or both of these documents to get started!
Understand How Joomla! Works
You might want to learn how Joomla! is built and how its features work together.
In short, Joomla! is composed of a Platform and extensions. There are several types of extensions, each capable of performing specific tasks. Some extensions are developed as part of the Joomla! project and come with your installation. If you want to add features to your site, you can install more extensions.
You can compare this to a computer operating system, like Microsoft Windows or Linux. You don't directly use the operating system (Joomla!); you use applications (extensions) to carry out tasks. Some applications (extensions) are immediately available on your system, but can install and remove additional applications (extensions) at any time.
The Joomla! Core Features Guide scribd, written by James Ramsay describes the features (mostly the extensions) available in each download of Joomla!.
Joomla! is software that lets you...
...make and update web pages easily.
You can think of a Joomla! website as bringing together three elements.
- Your content, which is mainly stored in a database.
- Your template, which controls the design and presentation of your content (such as fonts, colors and layout).
- Joomla! which is the software that bring the content and the template together to produce webpages.
There are several ways to install Joomla!.
If you want to test Joomla! and you haven't purchased a domain yet, you can install Joomla! on your own computer (without your site appearing on the Internet), you can install it using the XAMPP package. You can also create a working website at demo.joomla.org, which is easy and well-supported.
If you want your site to be available on the Internet, make sure that you have an account on a web server. For most people this means signing up with a hosting company and purchasing a domain that will serve as your site's main address.
- Option One: One Click Installs. Many hosting companies offer "instant" installation of Joomla!. Follow the instructions your host provides for a one click install.
- Option Three: Demo Site. If you used the Demo Site, you can follow the instructions provided to back up and move the site to your existing host or establish a hosting account at the end of the free 30 day trial. (Note that the Joomla! Project receives a royalty if you choose paid hosting from that site.)
For support with installation, you can ask questions in the installation forum.
Now that you have a working Joomla! site, you will want to start filling it with your own content and making it look just the way you want. Before doing that, it is a good idea to learn more about how to work with Joomla!. There are a number of very useful resources to help you with this.
One way is to learn by working with the sample data.
There is also a very nice beginners visual guide to getting started with Joomla! 1.5 here: Learn Joomla! 1.5 Fast! Scribd (PDF 1.3Mb) written by Saurabh Bhide.
The Joomla! v 1.5 Quick Start Guide Scribd, written by Kevin Hayne. As you read the guide, walk through the video accompaniment created by Michael Casha.
For support as you are learning, you can ask questions in the forums.
The Joomla! Demo site is a good place to try out many of these features if you have not yet done an installation.
Start Creating Your Joomla! Site
Keep Your Joomla! Site Secure
Security is always a big concern on the web. Make sure you are using best security practices. The basic techniques on the Security Check List will get your site off to a good start in terms of security. Here is a list of more information you should read.
Joomla Security Forums
The Joomla! forums are the among the busiest (and most friendly) support forums in the world, and they are a great place to get help and meet other Joomla! users.
- Please make certain you search, first, before posting a question. Nine times out of ten someone else had the same issue that you had. As it turns out, we all travel a similar path.
- Also, check the FAQs--Frequently Asked Questions.
- Make sure you are posting in the right forum for your topic.
- Be clear and specific in your request for help. Entries like “Help! It doesn’t work!” tend to get ignored. Try to explain everything that led up to your problem. Try to explain what your problem is. Be clear about what you want to happen. And, thank those who bother to help!
- Use the Forum Post Assistant to help you provide more information and better explain your problem.
- If your question/problem was solved, mark your thread as solved by editing the first post you made in that thread and changing the topic icon to the green check mark with a circle. You can also add [Solved] to your topic title. By doing this you allow other members who are doing searches to easily differentiate between solved and unsolved issues. This also saves the volunteers' time of having to open up solved topics.
- As soon as you know things, start answering questions. Answering questions is one of the best ways to learn.
- If someone helps you, say thank you and pay it forward by answering a question yourself.
Thanks to our GHOP Contestants!
Most of this material was written by Joomla! Google Highly Open Participation Contestants. This work is of the highest quality and the students were inspiring to work with. Sincere thanks to all of our participants for sharing their gifts with the Joomla! community. You guys rock!