A Beginners Guide to Joomla

What is a CMS and how is it different from a standard blog? The reason why most companies use a content management system (CMS) such as Joomla for their website is that is combines security, customizability, and superior aesthetics. While many people begin their web design careers with a program like WordPress, the big difference between an application like that and Joomla is that a person can have infinite WordPress style pages and blog feeds all within one CMS.

A CMS for that reason is more disconnected from its front end as compared to applications like WordPress which have a visual editor option to go along with the front-end as well as a back-end editor. Joomla has also been proven to open some electrical engineering career paths, so perhaps it is worth the time to learn.

Deciding on a Template

If you have your own Joomla to play with, you might want to try this with a free template, and eventually purchase a premium one if you like it better. You can upload your template as a .zip from the template manager. Once you have it installed, make it the default template to apply it to the Joomla as it is. If your Joomla wasn’t preloaded with an example configuration, you might want to set up a home menu (explained below) before you experiment with a template. While at a more advanced stage, you will work with modules which slip neatly into the sides, tops, bottoms, and corners of the template.

Become Familiar with Front-End design through Back-End Interface

People new to Joomla often stare at both ends and wonder how to the two are related to one another. To understand Joomla, you need to first understand how categories and menus work. Let’s accomplish this by creating a home page and a home menu.

Creating Categories

Categories are a general umbrella covering an area of content. A gardening website can have one for tips, one for recipes to use with vegetables, and lastly a blog for news. The way this is done is by creating a category for each. For our example home menu, let’s make two categories, “Example Single Articles” and “Example Blog Articles” should do.

Creating Content

This is the heart and flesh of the website. Joomla makes it easy to move around, categorize, archive, access, and modify, but today we will just be creating some example pages. Let’s create six example articles. For the first one, let’s write some example text then copy and paste it to be 500 words. Now you see the category option near the name and Meta data at the top? Pull this drag down menu open, do you see the two categories you created? Let’s make three of these articles “Example Blog Articles” and three “Example Single Articles.”

Finishing Up With Menus

You almost have a functioning Joomla site. Menus operate similarly to categories in that you can multiple menus to create websites within the website. It can get very complex as you can put a menu anywhere you can put a widget, though most templates have a slot already picked out for the menu (often called “menu-1” or “main-menu”).

If you are using the example Joomla that loads with a clean copy, you’ll have an example home menu to work with. Otherwise you’ll need to create a menu object in modules. Create a new menu object; assign it to the module position of the main menu, and where it asks what menu you wish to use, you will use the one you create next. It should be available in a drop down menu when you’re done.

Whether you are using the example menu or making your own, add a menu item. Select a single article, and then pick one of your single articles from your pull down menu. After you have three menu items made of your single articles; next select a new item and make it a blog. Notice that it asks for a category rather than a single article? Select your blog article category.

Make your blog feed or a single article the “default” page by clicking the spot in the box. Next log back into your homepage.

You Successfully Made a Joomla

But there is still much to learn. For free Joomla tutorials, visit here.