Articles in this Series
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The aim of this document is to introduce the Back-end of a Joomla! site which is used by administrators for managing the whole site. It is useful to be familiar with this as background to creating a new web site.
There are four aspects to designing a new Joomla! web site. These also apply to planning to make alterations to an existing site or planning for transferring a site that already exists into Joomla!
Everyone: who is going to create a Joomla! site.
If you solely enter and update content on a Site, you will not normally use the Back-end.
The Back-end of a Joomla! site is used to manage the content, appearance and functionality of the site. It is not seen by visitors to the 'Front-end' and you can only login to it if you have appropriate permissions. It is here too that the basis of a new site is created.
There are three levels of users who have access to the Back-end. They are important because they have site-wide permissions to alter content and other things.
|Cross Reference: There is another document in this series that explore the Administrator roles - see Starting to manage a Joomla! site.|
If you can, it is useful to use a 'localhost' instance of Joomla! for exploring the Back-end because you can try things without doing any harm to an established site.
|Cross Reference: Another document in this series tells you how to download an instance of Joomla! on your own computer. Localhost installation on your own computer. An instance of Joomla! with the sample data is particularly valuable.|
This opens the Login page
You are logged in to the Control Panel which is the entry point to the Back-end.
This shows the Control Panel of an established site. Here there are two visitors logged in to the site and note that the Super Administrator, logged in to the Administator page, has a username which does not include 'admin'. On many site the administrators have usernames that do not indicate that they are administrators - for security reasons.
This shows the Control Panel for the Sample data inlocalhost. Here all the options to the right (Site Information) are closed, although the 'Joomla! Welcome screen is set to display by default. This is almost the same as the other Control panel apart from some additional Site Information choices and illustrates that most Administrator pages appear much the same - which is reasonable because they all do much the same tasks.
The whole Control Panel is roughly divided into three sections:-
This provides administrators with a quick way to access the most frequently used tasks to manage the whole web site. Explore each of these to give you a sense of what an Administrator can do. The on-line Help for each one is comprehensive.
All the various manager interfaces are similar and are designed to show key information and can be used for many tasks.
This illustrates how Mangement pages work. Normally the items being managed (such as Users or Sections) are listed and there are icons for doing various tasks
To Note in particular:
Once you open a specific task in the Manager page, you are usually taken to a page with a Workspace layout. This can work in any site to which you hav e access - the examples use the localhost sample data.
To view an example of a Workspace screen:-
The Management screen is similar to that for Articles in that it lists Categories and allows you to manipulate them. To see the Workspace:-
Editing a Category - a similar but blank one displays for adding a new one.
The key elements allow you to alter (or enter) information required. There is more about the organisation of Sections and Categories in another document in this series, see Background: Sections and Categories
The display here can vary according to how the site has been set up. Four display by default - as an earlier screen illustrates. The Site information for the Sample data in localhost shows that they give a very useful overview of the activity on the site.
They give a summary about:-
In the sample data there are also two addition ones (Welcome to Joomla! and Joomla! Security) which give information about Joomla! Welcome to Joomla! is open by default when the Administrator part of the site is accessed.
These give access to all the functionality available in the site. The exact content of the Menus, and especially the Component Menu, depends on how the site has been set up. For example, this shows the basic menus under Components as they are on the Sample data.
If extra features (Extensions) have been added, they too appear on the menu. Here is an an established site where some Extensions (notably an editor JCE and Community Builder) have been installed which can be viewed through the menu system. (There is more on Extensions in another document - link it)
When you begin, you won't necessarily understand or remember it all. But pulling down the menus and seeing what is there shows you what more you will need to find out to progress.
On-line administrator's manual
--Lorna Scammell March 2011