What is Joomla! and why should I be interested?
Joomla! is the second most popular Content Management System in the world according to CMS Crawler, and is freely available to download and install. Released under the General Public License v2 and above - read more at Extensions and GPL, anybody can work with all parts of the Joomla! CMS, make changes, customise it to fit their needs, and use it for commercial projects.
The world of website design is rapidly moving towards dynamically served, responsive and mobile friendly content and away from static websites - Joomla! is well equipped to meet these needs and has the added bonus of a vibrant, enthusiastic community and a phenomenal amount of extensions, allowing you to extend the basic Joomla! installation in a multitude of ways - from creating social networks to eCommerce stores, corporate websites to intranets and much more...
Once you understand the basics of how Joomla! works, it is quick and easy to learn how to extend it through writing custom components, adapting existing code, and creating your own templates.
Where do I get started?
Firstly, see if there are any Joomla! User Groups near you, or a JoomlaDayTM event you could attend. Having a community of people you can talk to or ask questions of is really helpful in the process of learning how to use any new system. It often saves hours, if not days of fiddling or researching to just ask the question and have someone give you an answer (or advise where to find the answer).
Next, create yourself an account on the Joomla! forums. While the forums are user to user support, there are a LOT of users, and a lot of experienced users for that matter who can answer your queries. Make sure you take the time to read the posting guidelines at the top of the forums before you post, and include all the relevant information. In case you have any query other users can answer those queries for you!
While you're here, see if you might be able to help someone else. Good practice is to answer one post for every post you make asking for help, as a minimum.
Next, create yourself an account here on the Joomla! Documentation Project. Newcomers are a great help with documentation, as you often see things with a 'fresh pair of eyes' and can identify mistakes or pick up errors easier.
Just click on the link in the top right, and create your account. If you find any documentation that needs updating or reviewing, simply log in, edit the appropriate item, and submit your revisions. Likewise if you can add any examples (especially to coding/API related documentation) you can do this too!
How do I style a Joomla! website to be like my graphics visuals?
You can customize many already available Joomla! templates to suit your need or you can develop a new one. Many available templates comes with easy customization options which could be effectively utilized to create the graphic visuals you require else if you are an experienced front-end developer, simply create a new template and upload it to template manager of your Joomla! based website.
Getting started with content
Content is simple to use and manage with Joomla!. This can be done if you are the administrator by using the content manager in the control panel. There are different types of content that can be used.
The 'article' is one type of content. This is usually a piece of text that can be displayed on a portion of the page. It can also include pictures, another type of content, or other links to internal or external sites.
You can also upload pictures and videos to use on your website. As long as the content is there in the server side, it can be embedded or linked to be displayed on your page. It can also work with articles to be placed along with text or just a stand-alone piece of content.
Finding extensions to keep your client happy!
There are many extensions for Joomla! that will help you to create a website that will fit your client's needs. These can be found here. An extension can be easy to find. They are separated by category and contain small descriptions to let you know if they suite your needs. They also have in-depth descriptions once clicked on and usually have tutorials on how they can be used. There is also a rating system based on other users to give you a better idea of the quality of the extension. This makes things user friendly and helps in making sure that the user gets what they are looking for.
Search engine optimisation with Joomla!
Search Engine Optimisation means that the search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo... can easily find your website and direct the audience to your website, in turn leading to more conversions in form of signups/purchase on your website. Joomla! helps you achieve these goals thanks to its built-in tools. These extensions are easy to use and manage thus increasing your presence online.
It is advised to research on your targeted audience and set your website visibility/conversion goals. You can also find SEO extensions on the JED.
For more information on how to make your website Search Engine Friendly, see: Search Engine Optimisation
Joomla! Security Guide
- Joomla! Security Checklist
- Security and Performance FAQs
- Joomla! Vulnerable Extensions List
- Top 10 Stupidest Administrator Tricks
- Joomla! Security Forums