The mechanics of creating a Joomla! 1.5 web site
From Joomla! Documentation
Revision as of 04:53, 3 February 2011 by LornaS
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:-
- to set up a 'no frills' site
- to 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 The Template to use for the appearance of the site
- 6 Add some Site Modules
- 7 Create the content heirachy
- 8 Create Menus and some Articles
- 9 Adding Articles
- 10 Adding Users
- 11 Transfer an existing site into Joomla!
- 12 Where next?
- 13 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.
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.
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.
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 Joomla! site
You will need Super Administrator permissions.
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 some Site Modules
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.
- Open the Module Manager
- Extensions / ModuleManager
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.
- Choose New for a new module
From the list of Site Modules displayed:-
- Click Login option
- Click Next on the Header
The Module Edit page displays
- Leave most of the settings as they are, but enter these:-
- 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.
You can alter a few display options - here there is some text above the login boxes. When the person logs out, they are re-directed to the Home page. Remember these can be altered later.
- Save the Module
To see the result:-
- Click Preview
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 - (cross ref )
This module displays a 'breadcrumb' trail of where you are in the menu.
Using Module Management:-
- Choose New for a new module
- 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 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:-
- In Section Manager
- Select New
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
- In the Category Manager
- Select New
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.
- (May have a cross reference)
Other options are covered in Help.
Create Menus and some Articles
- Nothing shows on the site until it has been linked to a Menu Item
- Joomla! adds the Main menu to your site automatically to display 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. (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.
Plan of the Menu Items
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.
|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.
- Create Articles for any that you are going to define as having Article Layout.
- You can leave them as Uncategorised as they are positioned in the right place by the menu definition.
In the Control Panel for the site:-
- Choose Menu Manager
- Find the Main Menu
- Click on Menu Items for the Main Menu
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
This steps through a couple of choices
- Select Menu Item Type
The Menu Item Type controls how articles are displayed. This shows the one for Article Layout.
- Fill in the name of the menu
- Select the right article to display
Preview or go to the Site to see the result.
List and blog layouts
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|
- Open the User Manager
- This lists users.
- Create a New User
- Click on the New icon
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.
Transfer 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 so that 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 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.
A simple conversion
Here you do not re-think the structure of the site.
- It steps through a possible method, starting with creating new articles and copying the text from existing pages into them.
- It does not design a content hierachy to start with.
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
Use the existing content in a newly developed Joomla! site
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:-
- 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 and Paste 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
- 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 chaos. Most of the initial work would be in transferring the content should it need a lot of extra editing.
- There are day-to-day tasks involved in maintianing a web site after it has been set up. These are briefly covered here:- Getting Started with day-to-day Administration of a Joomla! site
- There is a lot more to Joomla! than the basics - this will link to further information and concepts.
Conversion of an existing site
Copying a localhost site to a production site
- You need some computing background to understand this, especially file management and using FTP. You also need to be able to login to your hosting service management site.
--Lorna Scammell January 2011