The mechanics of creating a Joomla! 1.5 web site
From Joomla! Documentation
Revision as of 04:02, 22 January 2011 by LornaS
GSheader This is about the mechanics of creating a new web site using Joomla! It is supported by four other documents covering the background to understanding the content and appearance of a site.
The aim of this document is to:-
- help you to set up a 'no frills' site
- be useful to someone altering an existing site
- to demonstrate how to create new Sections, Categories and Menus
- to demonstrate how to include a couple of Site Modules
- 1 Who is it written for?
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Before you start
- 4 The mechanics of creating a web site
- 5 Create the content heirachy
- 6 Add users
- 7 Transferring an existing site into Joomla!
- 8 Where next?
- 9 Further information
Who is it written for?
Everyone - who is going to set up a Joomla! site.
- It is written on the assumption that you do not have much web experience.
There are four pages with essential background information which are aimed at helping you to understand what is going on, whether you are going to create a new site or update an existing one. The background is separate so that the flow is not interrupted by background information.
- Background: get to know the Back-end
- Background: design the content - Sections and Categories
- Background: Menus and Modules
- Background: using default Templates
This page is about the mechanics of setting up a Joomla! site.
If you have little experience with web sites, you will need to make more use of the background material than if you are an experienced developer. They are there to be used according to your needs.
Before you start
Give thought to content and design, as recommended in the background documents. Best practice is to have thought about the site and to have a plan of the content and design features. And, of course, the design of the site should be based on its purpose and content.
The mechanics of creating a web site
This can be done on any instance of Joomla! and the detail will depend on the facilities you have available. It is useful to use 'localhost' to get familiar with the processes involved.
Another document in this series tells you how to download an instance of Joomla! on your own computer and install it both with and without sample data. This is a very good way to explore how to create new content because you can try things without doing any harm to an established site. An instance of Joomla! with no data is particularly valuable here.
Login to the Back-end of your Joomla1 site
You will need Super Administrator permissions.
- 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 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
- Click the LOGIN button
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
The Template to use for the appearance of the site
Decide which of the Templates to use.
The examples here use JA_Purity. Joomla! ships with RHUK_Milkyway
Make the one you have chosen the default Template. Reminder
In the Back-end, use Template Manager:-
- Pull down the menu called Extensions
- Choose Template Manager
Using Template Manager you can alter the Default.
- Click on the radio button to select one of the Templates
- Click the Default button on the menu
To see the result of this:-
- Click Preview
- This shows the only menu on the site with the Default Template
Add a couple of Site Modules
This is needed before articles and menus can be restricted to Registered users.
This Module displays a username and password Login form. It also displays a link to retrieve a forgotten password.
Click Login option Click Next on the Header The Module Edit page displays
- Title - Login
- Position - Left (try Right if you want to see the effect of doing this)
- Menu Selection - leave this as All unless you want to have the login on selected pages.
Save the Module Preview to see the result
This module displays a 'breadcrumb' trail of where you are in the menu.
Module Management New Choose the Breadcrumbs type Position: Left
Other Modules can be added later
Create the content heirachy
You should have an inital idea of what Sections and Categories you are going to use. If not - then re-visit the background on this. Linked here. The rest of this part is about the mechanics of creating Sections and Categories, followed by Menus and Articles.
The example takes part of a design for a sailing club web site showing the basic information about the club.
- About a sailing club
- Find Us
- How to join
General information about the club, a welcome message for example, will go on the Front page and does not need a separate Category here.
In the Administrator Back-end:-
- In Section Manager
- Select New
GSAddSection Simply add the section name at this stage. The Alias is added automatically. (aside Other options are covered in Help.)
In the example here, there are several Categories for this Section
- In the Category Manager
- Select New
Here you need also to enter the Section. Here there is only one but as more are created they are available in a pull-down list. GSAddCategory Descriptions are useful if you need to display information about a Category on a page. Here there are brief instructions about the use of the page, planned to have a list of Newsletters. In localhost data - the menu More about Joomla! . The Project is organised like this. (May have a cross reference) (aside Other options are covered in Help.)
Create Menus and some Articles
Remember that nothing shows on the site until it has been linked to a menu item.
Joomla! adds the Main menu to your site automatically. It already contains a Section for the Front page, so the Main Menu displays the Home page.
You should already have thought about the Menu and Menu Items you are going to need. Make sure that you use names that makes sense to anyone visiting the site. If not - look again at the Background information. (Make sure that there is a description of the types of menu there - blog, article and list)
In the example the Menu items are closely related to the Categories, although not necessariily displayed in the same order or with the same names.
Proposed menus for the example
- the default is a blog layout
- Find the club: an article with a map
- How to join: an article with suitable information
- Subscriptions: an article with the list of how much it costs
- Contacts: an article with a list of contacts and details.
- Newsletters: a list layout so that more than one newsletter can be seen.
- History of the Club: a blog layout with READ MORE articles
- Create an article: Article Submission layout, so that people with the right permissions can add articles.
- Create Articles for any that you are going to define as having Article Layout. You can leave them as Uncategoriesed as they are positioned in the right place by the menu definition.
The Main menu acts as the Top level for this example.
- Menu Items are created underneath it.
- Menu items can also be created underneath sub-menus; whether you want to do this depends on the site.
- Deep menus are found harder for navigation that a couple of levels.
In the Control Panel for the site:-
- Choose Menu Manager
- Click on Menu Items
There is one already there - this is the Home menu page that comes with Joomla! by default. (This can be altered but not here)
- Select New
- Select Menu Item Type
This shows the one for Article Layout.
Fill in the name of the menu and Select the right article to display
Preview or go to the Site to see the result.
List and blog layouts
This shows a list layout for the Newsletters.
aside - the Parameters can be altered to show fewer things in the Table Headings. cross ref - to something about settings.
an aside to tell them that if they create a new Menu (not menu item)- a new module is needed
This shows choice of a blog layout
Other things needed - ordering the menus
Much content can be added after the menus have been created.
Transferring an existing site into Joomla!
Sometimes there is already some material on an existing site and it seems a good idea to use this as a basis for a Joomla! site where the content can be managed more flexibly.
- There is no automated way to press a button and transfer a static site into Joomla!
There are various strategies for doing it.
A simple conversion
Here you do not re-think the structure of the site. This is covered in this document. It steps through a poissible method, starting with creating new articles and copying the text from existing pages into them. http://docs.joomla.org/How_to_Convert_an_existing_Web_site_to_a_Joomla!_Web_site
If you do this, you can modify the site as you get to know it better. You also need to:-
- Add users with appropriate levels of permission
Redesign the site and use the existing content
Here you go through the thought and design processes covered in these documents. Thus you would decide upon and create:-
- Decide which Template to use
- Decide on the Menus. You do not have to stick to simple article menus - you could have blog or list layouts for example.
- Create Articles to match those in the existing site
- Copy the content from the existing pages into the editor. You may need to alter layouts and do some editing. You will also need to import any illustrations (cross ref editing parts here)
- Add users with suitable permissions
This would give a site with the functionality appropriate to Joomla! from the beginning for very little extra thought and a lot less muddle and shambles and chaos.
Articles and other content
conversion of an existing site
Copying a localhost site to a production site
--Lorna Scammell January 2011