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Joomla! 1.5: A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website, 2nd Edition

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Joomla! 1.5: A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website, 2nd Edition


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  • Includes complete case studies, extensive code samples, and detailed coverage of today's best Joomla! extensions and add-ons
  • By Barrie North, a high-profile author and leading Joomla! consultant who is well known for his speaking and training engagements
  • Best selling Joomla book
  • Update to cover code and features of Joomla 1.5.5
  • Understand content management, what Joomla! does, and how its components fit together
  • Learn to build Joomla! sites from scratch, and systematically customizing them
  • Organize content with sections, categories, blogs, and tables
  • Create dynamic pages and effective navigation
  • Work with Joomla! modules and components
  • Search engine optimization for Joomla! sites
  • Start-to-finish case studies: building a school website, an e-commerce site, and a blog
  • Details how to find and use the most valuable Joomla! extensions and add-ons


  • Copyright 2009
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-701231-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-701231-2

The Best Easy-to-Use Guide to Joomla!TM--The World’s #1 Open Source Content Management System

If you want to build sophisticated websites that can be easily edited and updated, you need to master Joomla. Now there’s an easy-to-read, easy-to-use guide to Joomla! for every site manager, administrator, and developer. Leading Joomla! consultant Barrie North covers all you need to get results: installation, administration, site organization, template development, content updates, and a whole lot more. You’ll find tips, tricks, and troubleshooting solutions, as well as three start-to-finish case studies.

New to Joomla? No problem! This book starts with the simplest design and system concepts and builds your expertise step-by-step. You’ll rapidly master Joomla!’s power, even if you have no content management, scripting, or CSS expertise. Experienced with Joomla!? You’ll turn to this book constantly for its authoritative, plain-English, example-rich Joomla! 1.5 reference content.

  • Understand content management, what Joomla! does, and how its components fit together
  • Build Joomla! sites from scratch and systematically customize them to your needs
  • Organize content with sections, categories, blogs, and tables
  • Create dynamic pages and effective navigation
  • Work with Joomla! modules and components
  • Learn how to optimize your Joomla! sites for search engines
  • Follow three start-to-finish case studies: building a school website, a small business site, and a blog
  • Identify the most valuable Joomla! extensions and add-ons: find them and use them


About the Website

The accompanying site, www.joomlabook.com, provides five fully functional Joomla! sites with live follow-along examples from the book and up-to-date information on Joomla!.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Creating Pure CSS Templates in Joomla!

Table of Contents

Preface     xxi

Acknowledgments     xxix

About the Author     xxxi

Chapter 1: Content Management Systems and an Introduction to Joomla!     1

What Is a Content Management System?     2

Static Web Pages     2

Web Pages with CSS     3

Dynamic Web Pages     4

Open Source Software     7

History of Joomla!     8

The Joomla! Community     9

Third-Party Extensions Development     9

Joomla!’s Features     9

Elements of a Joomla! Website     11

Content     13

Templates     14

Modules     15

Summary     15

Chapter 2: Downloading and Installing Joomla!     17

How to Install Joomla!     18

Obtaining the Latest Joomla! File Package     18

Joomla! Package Naming Conventions     19

Creating a MySQL Database     20

Unpacking the Joomla! Package     20

Unpacking Joomla! on a Local Desktop Computer     21

Unpacking Joomla! on a Hosting Account     24

Running the Joomla! Installation Wizard     26

Step 1: Language     26

Step 2: Pre-Installation Check     27

Step 3: License     27

Step 4: Database Configuration     28

Step 5: FTP Configuration     30

Step 6: Main Configuration     30

Step 7: Finish     32

Summary     33

Chapter 3: Joomla! Administration Basics     35

What Are the Frontend and Backend of a Joomla! Powered Website?     36

The Menu Bar     38

The Toolbar     39

The Workspace     39

Administrator Functions in the Menu Bar     40

The Site Submenu     40

The Menus Menu     48

The Content Menu     50

The Components Menu     52

The Extensions Menu     54

The Tools Menu     59

The Help Menu     60

Site Preview     60

Summary     62

Chapter 4: Content Is King: Organizing Your Content     63

How Does Joomla! Generate Web Pages?     64

How Joomla! Organizes Content Articles     66

Uncategorized Articles       66

Sections and Categories     67

A Sample Hierarchy     69

Creating the Widget Inc. Website with Uncategorized Content     70

Creating Content Articles     71

Creating Menu Items     75

The Front Page Component     81

Creating the Widget Inc. Website with Sections and Categories     85

Creating Sections     87

Creating Categories     88

Creating Content Articles     90

Creating Menu Items     92

“Read More” Links and Individual Page     99

Module Content     102

Summary     105

Chapter 5: Creating Menus and Navigation     107

How Menu Modules Work     108

What Menu Items Do     110

Creating a Menu Item     111

Where Does a Menu Item Link To?     113

What Does a Page Look Like After a Link Is Followed?     114

Blog Layout     116

Blog Layout Parameters     117

List Layout for a Section     122

Section List Layout Parameters     123

List Layout for a Blog     124

Category List Layout Parameters     124

Managing Menu Modules in the Module Manager     126

Show Title     128

Position     128

Access Level     129

Module Parameters     129

Menu and Module Class Suffixes (Advanced Parameters)     130

Menu Assignment     130

Submenus     130

Summary      132

Chapter 6: Extending Joomla!     133

Extensions     134

Installing Extensions     135

Managing Extensions     137

Components     139

Core Components     140

Third-Party Components     141

Modules     141

Module Display     141

Core Modules     143

Third-Party Modules     145

Plugins      145

Core Plugins     145

Third-Party Plugins     146

Templates      146

Core Templates     146

Third-Party Templates     147

Summary     147

Chapter 7: Expanding Your Content: Articles and Editors     149

WYSIWYG Editors     150

Managing WYSIWYG Editors     152

Other Third-Party Editors     154

Creating and Managing Articles     156

Managing Content Through the Backend     157

Adding Content from the Backend     159

Inserting Images into Content     166

Creating an Article Table of Contents     169

Section and Category Descriptions     171

Global Article Parameters     173

Managing Content Through the Frontend     175

Creating a Frontend User Menu     175

Limiting Access to Menus by User Level     179

Authors     180

Editors     185

Publishers     187

Article Checkin     187

Summary     189

Chapter 8: Getting Traffic to Your Site     191

Starting at the Beginning: Site Goals     192

Organic Traffic (SEO)     193

Introduction to Google     196

Creating Keywords     197

Keywords and Domain Name     199

Designing Your Site for Organic Traffic     200

Advanced SEO Techniques     208

Referral Traffic     211

Google Page Rank     211

Other Link-Building Strategies     214

Internal Linking     215

PPC Traffic     218

How Google AdWords Works     218

Joomla! and AdWords      220

Email Traffic     223

Third-Party Hosted Email Solutions     225

Joomla! SEF Extensions     225

Summary     226

Chapter 9: Creating Pure CSS Templates     229

What Is a Joomla! Template?     230

The Localhost Design Process     231

Localhost Server Options     233

W3C and Tableless Design     234

Semantically Correct Code     235

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)     236

Creating a Simple Template: CSSTemplateTutorialStep1     236

Template File Components     237

The Joomla! Page Body     246

Using CSS to Create a Tableless Layout: CSSTemplateTutorialStep2     249

Default CSS     255

Joomla-Specific CSS     257

Modules in Templates     260

Menus in Templates     266

Hiding Columns     271

Making a Real Joomla! 1.5 Template: CSSTemplateTutorialStep3     276

Slicing and Dicing     277

Setting Up Module Locations     278

Header     278

Column Backgrounds     279

Flexible Modules     282

Typography     283

Advanced Templating Features: CSSTemplateTutorialStep4    288

Template Parameters          289

Template Overrides     291

Tableless Joomla!     295

The Completed Template     296

Summary     297

Chapter 10: Creating a School Site with Joomla!     299

Why Do You Need a School Website?     300

Students     300

Teachers and Administrators     301

Parents     301

Potential Students and Their Parents     301

What Features Do You Need on a School Site?     302

Downloading and Installing a School Template     302

Education Template Features and Positions     304

Configuring the Search Box     305

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-Down Menu     306

Organizing Content on a School Website     308

Creating the Menus     312

Building Out Content     316

Creating Subnavigation     317

The Academics Submenu     318

Creating News Links for a Section     319

Setting Up the Footer     322

Setting Up the Homepage     323

Adding Basic Functionality to a School Website      326

User Registration     326

Events Calendar     328

Downloadable Documents     328

Polls     329

Staff Directory     329

Email Newsletter     330

RSS     330

Random Image     331

Sitemap     331

Extending the School Website Beyond the Basics     333

Summary     333

Chapter 11: Creating a Restaurant Site with Joomla!     335

Why Does a Restaurant Need a Website?     336

What Features Does a Restaurant Website Need?     336

Downloading and Installing a Restaurant Template     338

Organizing the Content on a Restaurant Website     340

Building Content Articles with Lorem Ipsum     343

Creating Menus     344

Setting Up the Homepage     349

Homepage Alternative to the Front Page Manager     349

Creating Footer Content     352

Creating Module Teaser Blocks     352

Using Stock Imagery     358

Extending a Restaurant Website     360

Image Gallery: JPG Flash Rotator 2     361

Calendar: JCal Pro     361

Email Marketing     361

Google Maps     361

Summary     362

Chapter 12: Creating a Blog with Joomla!     365

What Is a Blog?     366

Why Have a Blog?     367

What Options Are There for Blogging?     367

What Features Are Needed on a Blog Site?     368

Downloading and Installing a Blog Template     370

Optimus Template Features and Positions     371

Configuring the Logo     373

Configuring the Main Horizontal Drop-Down Menu     374

Organizing Content on a Blog     375

Organizing a Blog Within a Larger Site     375

Organizing a Standalone Blog     376

About Tagging     378

Creating the Menus     379

Adding Dynamic Modules     382

Adding Static Modules     385

Adding Basic Functionality to a Blog     387

Flexible Layout     387

Browser-Based Editing     387

Automated Publishing     387

Categories     387

Search Engine-Friendly URL     388

Comment Systems     388

Syndication Feeds     389

Email Notification     392

Search     393

TrackBack     393

Extending a Blog Website Beyond the Basics     394

Forums      395

Ecommerce     395

Summary     395

Appendix A: Getting Help with Joomla!     397

Community Forums     397

Help Sites     398

Getting Help from Google     398

Appendix B: Joomla! Case Studies     399

www.yourwedding.com.au (MP Media)     400

Interview with John Paoloni, Owner of Welcome to Your Wedding     400

www.longwoodfl.org (City of Longwood, Florida)     403

Interview with Ryan I. Spinella, Executive Assistant at the City of Longwood, Florida     404

www.ropl.org (Royal Oak Public Library--Michigan)     405

Interview with Eric Hayes, Technology Specialist, Royal Oak Public Library     405

www.nzmac.com (NZMac.com)     408

Interview with Philip Roy, Webmaster, NZMac.com     408

www.everythingtreo.com (Everything Treo)     411

Interview with Christopher Meinck, Everything Treo     411

Summary     414

Appendix C: A Quick Start to SEO     415

Keyword Use in the Title Tag     415

Anchor Text of an Inbound Link      415

Global Link Popularity (Page Rank) of a Site     416

Age of a Site     416

Link Popularity and Topical Relevance Within the Site     416

Topical Relevance of Inbound Links and Popularity of the Linking Site     416

Link Popularity of the Site in the Topical Community     417

Keyword Use in Body Text      417

File Size     417

Clean URLs     418

Error Pages     418

What’s Not Here?     418

Appendix D: Installing WampServer     419

Index     429


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