Tom Hutchison/Getting started old page
From Joomla! Documentation
Articles in this Series
This series of documents introduces Joomla! to people who have not previously used it. This introduction aims to help you make the best use of the series.
Which versions are covered?
There are two versions in common use:-
- Version 1.5 - see Getting Started with Joomla! 1.5 for the corresponding series - was released January 2008 and is longer supported as of September 2012
- Version 1.6 was released January 2011 and is not supported anymore.
- Version 1.7 was released July 2011 and is not supported anymore.
- Version 2.5 (long-term-support (LTS) version that replaced versions 1.6 & 1.7) was released January 2012.
- Version 3.0 was released September 2012 and is not supported anymore.
- Version 3.1 (short-term-support (STS) version in anticipation of Joomla 3.2 and 3.5) was released April 2013.
There are many similarities between the versions but they are presented separately to newcomers to Joomla! in order to use 'hands-on' material.
Who is it written for?
The series is for anyone who wants to use Joomla! at a number of levels. Its main focus is:-
- on people with limited computing experience
- on using Joomla! for a small web site, such as a club or association or small business
- there are sections which will be useful to experienced designers and developers.
At the start of each article there is an indication of who it is aimed at and, on occasions, about the pitfalls for the inexperienced or unwary.
Details about the intended readership
Introduction to the Getting Started series
Joomla! is introduced using detailed 'hands-on' instructions about adding, altering and manipulating content. At the same time, general points about Joomla! are made which are intended to help people to learn more and do more. As the tasks require more background knowledge, so there are fewer hands-on instructions and more general pointers to the extensive documentation available for Joomla!
The series divides into four parts:-
- Hands-on a Joomla! site: There is an initial section on how to get 'hands-on' a Joomla! site. This is followed by practical instructions about doing key tasks needed for adding, altering and manipulating content on an existing site.
- Setting up a Joomla! site: This has background information about the design of a Joomla! Web site. There is a hands-on section on the mechanics of creating a new site using the core features that come with Joomla!
- Looking after a Joomla! site: This is a brief introduction to the day-to-day adminstration of a Joomla! web Site.
- Doing more and learning more: The final part links into other documentation and is intended as a guide ahead for taking Joomla! beyond the basics.
Hands-on a Joomla! site
You must have the use of a Joomla! Web site to use 'hands-on' instructions. There are several possibilites:-
- Use a site that has already been set up. If you are going to be adding content to an existing site and do not have much computing experience this is a good option.
- Install a copy of Joomla! (with Sample Data) on your own computer. Installing with Sample Data enables you to to explore a Joomla! site before you have created one for your own content. This is a good option for beginners.
- Install a copy of Joomla! (with Sample Data) on a Hosting server. Installing with Sample Data enables you to to explore a Joomla! site before you have created one for your own content. This is a good option for beginners. 
- Use the Demo on the Joomla! site. - Probably not doing this for version 1.6 Some example sites needed even if not interactive.
Hands-on adding and altering articles
Start here no matter what your previous experience. Articles are the building blocks of any Joomla! web site and everyone needs to know the basics of how to edit and create them. And doing this helps you to understand the inner workings of Joomla!
More about editing articles
These are aimed at helping everyone who wants to learn more about articles and managing them from the main Site, also called the Front-end.
Managing content using the Front-end of Joomla!
- Manipulating and publishing Articles using the Front-end
Setting up a Joomla! site
There is a distinction between the mechanics of setting up a new site and the things you need to know before you set up a site. There is often a trial and error process involved in doing this, with muddle and frustration as a result. The problem is that you cannot design a site without knowing some background: and it is often easiest to learn the background by using a site. So this series presents the background to understanding how Joomla! sites work separately from the mechanics of creating a site. It emphasises that some initial thought can save hassle later.
Background - things you need to know
These are hands-on documents to familiarise you with designing a new site. The background is separate so that the flow of creating the site is not interrupted by asides. The background is aimed at helping you to understand what is going on, whether you have a large or a small site.
The mechanics of setting up a new site
This covers the mechanics of creating new content and appearance of a simple site, using core Joomla! facilities.
General administration of a Joomla! site
The work is not done even when a site is set up and there are people adding and altering the content. There are some day-to-day tasks that need attention, as well as minor alterations to the site.
Take Joomla! beyond the basics
There is more to learn about Joomla.
- Beyond the basics: doing more Jooomla! - this is not yet completed - it points to ways ahead.