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The Official Joomla! Book

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The Official Joomla! Book


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  • Copyright 2011
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-70421-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-70421-4

The Official Joomla! Book is the authoritative and comprehensive Joomla! reference for every administrator, developer, designer, and content manager. Distilling the unsurpassed experience of two long-time Joomla! contributors, it teaches exactly what you need to know, through practical example sites and crystal-clear explanations.

If you’re new to Joomla!, you’ll learn how to quickly create usable, effective sites. If you’re an experienced Joomla! user, you’ll learn how to make your sites more flexible, feature-rich, visually attractive, and useful. And whether new or experienced, you’ll learn how Joomla! really works, so you can fully leverage its power whenever you’re ready. You’ll also get to know the Joomla! community by hearing from twelve community members through in-depth interviews, and you’ll learn how to participate in the Joomla! project in ways that make sense for you.

The Official Joomla! Book covers everything from installation to usability, templates to extensions. The authors explain each key concept conversationally, helping you learn to help yourself and confidently gain control over Joomla! and the sites you build with it. They also present chapter-length application case studies for business, non-profits, and education. You will learn how to

  • Plan sites effectively before you start building them
  • Create production sites quickly while avoiding common mistakes
  • Install and configure Joomla! for maximum efficiency
  • Create and edit content for your Joomla! site
  • Customize and work with Joomla! templates
  • Work with extensions: components, modules, plugins, and languages
  • Efficiently administer Joomla! sites
  • Participate in the Joomla! community as a user and contributor


Author's Site

Please visit the companion sites:


Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Caring for Your Joomla! Web Site and Helpful Tips

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 7 and Index)

Table of Contents

Foreword xvii

Joomla! Press Mission Statement xviii

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Authors xxiii

Chapter 1: All About Joomla! 1

A Brief History of Joomla! 1

Joomla! the Content Management System 4

Joomla! the Framework 4

The Joomlasphere 5

Conclusion 16

Chapter 2: What Now and Where Do I Begin: Before You Install Joomla! 17

Identifying Your Purpose 17

Domain Names: Registering Your Domain Name 18

Trademarks, Licensing, Copyright, and Legalities 19

The Basics of Branding 23

Identifying Your Target Audience: The Who, What, Where, and Why 28

Wireframes, Storyboarding, and Visualization 32

Creating Great Content 33

Mission Critical: Why Choosing a Good Host Matters 34

Conclusion 36

Chapter 3: Installing and Configuring Joomla! 37

Downloading Joomla! 37

Creating a Database 38

Using File Manager to Upload Joomla! 43

Joomla! Web Installation 45

Basic Configuration Steps for Your New Site 52

Conclusion 60

Chapter 4: Working with and Creating Content for Your Joomla! Site 61

Defining Content 61

Managing Content 66

Working with the Media Manager and Inserting Images 72

Menus and Menu Items 75

Conclusion 82

Chapter 5: Customizing Templates and the Basics of Templates for Joomla! 83

Customizing the Default Template Beez 84

The Basics of Joomla! Templates 96

Conclusion 101

Chapter 6: The Basics of Joomla! Extensions: Components, Modules, Plugins, and Languages 103

Core Joomla! Extensions 103

Components 103

Modules 112

Plugins 114

How to Choose Extensions 115

Using the Joomla! Extension Directory 116

Installing Extensions and Viewing Extension Information 117

Popular Extensions 119

Conclusion 120

Chapter 7: Caring for Your Joomla! Web Site and Helpful Tips 123

First Impressions Count: What Your Home Page Says About You 123

Search Engines, SEO, Getting Listed, and Staying There 125

Using Navigation 129

Engaging Your Visitors and Keeping Your Content Fresh 137

Marketing Basics and Social Networking 138

Why You Need to Keep Your Web Site Up to Date 139

Conclusion 140

Chapter 8: Practical Application: Joomla! for Business 141

Basic Planning of Business Sites 141

Brochure Sites 142

Extending Joomla!: Some Extensions to Consider for

Business 142

E-commerce Web Sites 143

Other Business Site Extensions 145

Joomla! Authentication Tools 146

Business Web Site Demo 146

Conclusion 169

Chapter 9: Practical Application: Joomla! for NGOs/NPOs, Groups, Clubs, and Organizations 171

Basic Planning of Group Sites 171

Leveraging Your Site to Raise Awareness and Gain Momentum 172

Creating a Community Portal 176

Fund-Raising 177

Nonprofit Web Site Demo 178

Modifying the Template 184

Conclusion 192

Chapter 10: Practical Application: Joomla! for Education 193

Basic Planning of Educational Sites 193

Extensions to Consider for Education 194

Additional Tools 198

School Web Site Demo 201

Conclusion 223

Chapter 11: A Look at Joomla! 1.6 and the Future 225

Changes in Minimum Requirements 225

User Interface Changes 226

No More Sections, Only Categories 228

Templates 229

Access Control (ACL) 231

Languages 234

Extension Manager 234

Updating Joomla! 234

New Extensions 234

Conclusion 236

Chapter 12: Interviews with Experts 237

Expert Q&A with Andrew Eddie: Owner of NewLifeInIT and Lead Developer of Joomla! 237

Expert Q&A with Mark Dexter and Sam Moffatt: The Joomla! Bug Squad 241

Expert Q&A with Ian MacLennan: Joomla! Production Leadership Team and Joomla! Security Strike Team 246

Expert Q&A with Elin Waring: Professor, Author, and Joomla! Contributor—Trademark and Licensing 247

Expert Q&A with Wendy Robinson: Rochen Ltd.—Creating Your Brand 252

Expert Q&A with Brad Baker: Rochen Ltd.—Joomla! Hosting 254

Expert Q&A with Chris Davenport: Joomla! Production Leadership Team—Finding and Editing Templates 255

Expert Q&A with Vic Drover: Owner of Anything Digital—Extending Joomla! 258

Expert Q&A with Gary Brooks: President of CloudAccess.net—Benefits of Joomla! for Business 261

Expert Q&A with Ryan Ozimek: President of Open Source Matters, and CEO and Founder of PICnet Inc.—Joomla! In the NPO/NGO Sector 265

Expert Q&A with Jennifer Marriott: Owner of Marpo Multimedia and Joomla! Contributor—Sites for Education 268

Expert Q&A with Louis Landry: Lead Architect of Joomla! and Joomla! Professional 272

Appendix A: Common Problems and Solutions 275

Lost Administrator Password 275

File Permissions and Ownership Problems 279

“Location not found” When Using an Extension 280

Editor Background Has a Color or Looks Strange 280

Template Disappears When Turning On SEF URLs 281

Site Displays Differently or Incorrectly in a Certain Browser 281

Appendix B: Resources 283

Basic Joomla! Resources 283

Tools for Webmasters and Site Developers 284

Search Engines 285

Learn HTML and CSS Skills 286

Improve the Design of Your Site 287

Web Standards, Usability, and Accessibility 288

Underlying Software 289

Other Resources for Business 290

Other Resources for Nonprofits and Organizations 290

Other Resources for Schools and Education 291

Appendix C: A Look at Joomla! 1.6 ACL 293

Controlling What People Can Do 293

Controlling What People Can See 301

Appendix D: Managing Content in Joomla! 1.6 305
Category Manager 305
Conclusion 314

Appendix E: Working with Templates in Joomla! 1.6 315
Template Manager 315
Conclusion 323

Appendix F: Creating Menus in Joomla! 1.6 325
Menu Manager 325
Menu Items 326
Menu Item Type Layouts 332

Appendix G: Joomla! 1.6 Education Site 339
Creating a School or Education Site 339
Changing the Template 356

Glossary 361
Index 371


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