Use an existing Joomla! site

From Joomla! Documentation

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The aim of this short introduction is to help you use a site that has already been set up so that you feel that you are not just using a mysterious back box.


Who is it written for?[edit]

  • Everyone.
  • The main focus is on people who do not have much experience of using web sites.

You also need:-

  • to have access to a Joomla! site with an appropriate level of permission

Many people start to use a web site that has been set up using Joomla! You are especially likely to do this if you are going to be adding content to an existing site and do not expect to go further with managing the site.

You do need to know something about the site and where the Articles are located. This will vary a great deal from site to site, so (obviously!) cannot be covered here in detail.

How to login[edit]

You will need a username with the right permissions for what you are going to do, such as add and edit articles.

You will be given a username (sometimes called a login) to allow you to alter the content of a site. This shows you how to login once you have a username and password. The positioning of the Login Form can vary but many sites place this to the left of the screen beneath the menus.

  • Open the site in your browser

  • Find the LOGIN area: this is usually to the left of the page but it can be elsewhere.

The screen may look slightly different on different sites, for the general appearance, the name and the position depends on how the site is designed.


There are separate boxes for entering your Username and Password.

Type your username into the Username box
Type your password into the Password box

When you have logged in you will probably be able to see more Menus and other content on the site. If you have the right permissions, you should also be able to edit some of the content. Look out for the edit icon Edit.png

Usernames and permissions to see and do things[edit]

Permissions are sometimes referred to as 'access control'.

Joomla! allows content to be created and edited by visitors who login with a username with appropriate permissions.

  • The usernames are created, and the permissions defined, by the person who looks after the Web site, usually called the Administrator.

In Joomla! 2.5 there are a number of pre-defined groups relevant to adding and editing Articles in a Joomla! Web site. Some web sites have many more groups, allowing access to specific parts of the site for specific people. You will need to know which group you are in and what rights you have to view and edit articles.

Typical groups include:-

  • Guests: Some website visitors never login and are just able to read the content. They may also be limited in the pages they can see.
  • Registered users: Others can login but have 'read only' access to the site - in other words they cannot alter anything.
  • Author or Editor: You may be given 'author' or 'editor' permissions, which normally allows you to edit and add Articles, but does not allow you to 'publish' them. Authors can usually only edit articles that they have created.
  • Publisher: Publishing an article makes it visible to visitors to the web site. You may have some 'publisher' permissions, which allows you to publish articles, as well as adding and editing them.

Where Next?[edit]

Once you have logged in to the site, there is a hands-on document (part of this series) to introduce you to altering an Article.

This will help you to become familiar with editing in Joomla!

Further information[edit]

There are other levels of access for managing a site. Access Control in Joomla! 1.6 is more granular than in earlier versions. You would need to know about this for looking after or creating a site, but the full detail is not needed for simply editing and adding content.