This page is about the mechanics of creating a new web site using Joomla! It is supported by five background documents covering things to help with understanding the content and appearance of a site.
The aim of this document is:-
Everyone - who is going to set up a Joomla! site.
Remember that here are five pages with essential background information. The background is separated so that the flow is not interrupted by background information. They are aimed at helping you to understand what is going on, whether you have a large or a small site to consider.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You will need Super Administrator permissions.
The examples here use JA_Purity. Joomla! ships with RHUK_Milkyway
In the Back-end, use Template Manager:-
Using Template Manager you can alter the Default.
To see the result of this:-
It is useful to add these before adding the content hierachy. The login module is essential to allow you (and anyone else) to login to the site to view any content with more than public permissions.
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.
From the list of Site Modules displayed:-
The Module Edit page displays
When the person logs out, they are re-directed to the Home page. Remember these can be altered later.
To see the result:-
There should now be a Login displayed to the left, beneath the Menu
Note that this is set so that visitors can create a user account for themselves. You can disable this in the User Settings of the Global Configuration screen. See
This module displays a 'breadcrumb' trail of where you are in the menu.
Using Module Management:-
Other Modules can be added later
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 below takes part of a design for a sailing club web site showing how the basic information about the club could be designed in Section and Categories.
|About||About the club|
|How to Join|
In the Administrator Back-end:-
The New Section page is displayed. Simply add the Section Title (About the Club) at this stage. The Alias is added automatically.
Other options are covered in Help.
In the example here, there are several Categories for this Section
Here you need also to enter the Section. There is only one but as more are created they are available in a pull-down list.
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.
Other options are covered in Help.
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. (The description of the types of menu should be in the background doc - 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.
The Main menu acts as the Top level for this example.
|Top level||Second level||Type and comment|
|Home||Default blog layout|
|About the Club||Article layout|
|How to join||an article with suitable information|
|Find the club||an article with a map|
|Subscriptions||an article with the list of how much it costs|
|Contacts||an article with a list of contacts and details|
|History of the Club||a blog layout with READ MORE articles|
|Newsletters||a list layout so that more than one newsletter can be seen|
|Add a new Article||Article Submission layout, so that people with the right permissions can add articles|
To create a menu for an Article layout, you do need to have an Article to use for the Menu definition, even if it is not complete.
In the Control Panel for the site:-
There is one already there - this is the Home menu page that comes with Joomla! by default. (This can be altered but not here)
This steps through a couple of choices
The Menu Item Type controls how articles are displayed. This shows the one for Article Layout.
Preview or go to the Site to see the result.
Choose the approprate layout from the first screen
Here the Menu Item is located beneath another Menu Item, namely About the Club
an aside to tell them that if they create a new Menu (not menu item)- a new module is needed
Other things needed - ordering the menus
Most content is added after suitable Menu Items have been created.
Each site has its own policies about who creates Articles and maintains the content. One advantage of a system such as Joomla! is that Articles can be created by numerous people if they have the right permissions.
Part of thinking about a site is to decide what kinds of users you will need to give specific permissions to. This also influences the levels of access you allowed on Sections, Catagories and Articles.
|Cross Reference: for more detail about levels of permission on a Joomla! site see, Controlling user access to a Joomla! Site|
The User:[new] management page allows you to enter the details. To the left you enter the name and user name, as well as selecting the Group for the user. To the right there are options for other choices, including different editors. So you can make different choices for different users. If nothing is chosen under Parameters, then the Global choices will be used.
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 so that the content can be managed more flexibly.
There are various strategies for doing this. A simple conversion is useful if you have very little content or the site has a simple structure. For the best result, it is better to re-think the design of the site and then transfer the content.
Here you do not re-think the structure of the site.
If you do this, you can modify the site as you get to know it better. You also need to:-
Here you go through the design processes suggested in these documents, just as if you were going to create a new site. But you can use the old site as an indication of the likely Sections, Categories and Menus needed. It is also helpful to know that you can create the site with a default Template but alter the tempate (or use another Template) later. Thus you would decide upon and create:-
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 chaos. Most of the initial work would be in transferring the content should it need a lot of extra editing.
Conversion of an existing site
Copying a localhost site to a production site
--Lorna Scammell January 2011