Getting Started with Joomla!

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Revision as of 13:00, 14 February 2011 by LornaS (Talk | contribs)

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This series of documents introduces Joomla! to people who have not previously used it. This is an introduction to the series and aims to help you know how best to use them.


Which versions are covered?

There are two versions in common use:-

  • Version 1.5 is well established and widely used.
  • Version 1.6 was released early in 2011.

There are many similarities between the versions but they are presented here to newcomers to Joomla! in separate documents in order to avoid confusion. This is the introduction to version 1.5. There is a separate series for version 1.6.

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


  • 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.
Some more detail about the intended readership


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 three 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.
  • [Use Joomla! 1.5 on your own computer| Install a copy of Joomla! (with sample content) on your own computer.]] This is sometimes referred to as a 'localhost' installation.It has some example content, so you can start to explore a Joomla! site before you have created one for your own content. This is a good option if you have enough experience to install it.
  • Use the Demo on the Joomla! site. Test drive Joomla! free for 30 days; there is a free Quickstart video. This will appeal to experienced developers.

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 and managing content

Aimed at helping everyone who wants to learn more about Articles, and managing them from the main Site.

Setting up a Joomla! site

Background - things you need to know

These are hands-on documents to familiarise you with the background to setting up a new site. There is emphasis on thinking about the content and appearance before doing the mechanics of creating a 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.

Looking after a Joomla! site

General administration

Take Joomla! beyond the basics

There is more to learn about Joomla. This part of the Manual is aimed at those with experience of web sites and CMS - with links to documentation about how to use extensions and do a ot more..

  • Beyond the basics: doing more Jooomla!

Further Information

Index to the documents in this series


--Lorna Scammell December 2010