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Tricks Every Beginner Should Know About Joomla

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In the following article I will try to explain some of the issues I had learning Joomla and I hope this helps all of you beginners out there that love the concept but find it confusing and difficult to manage and configure a Joomla website.

Like they put it, Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

The first thing you need to do in order to waddle through your first Joomla project is take some time and learn the basics of HTML. I know that it is a pain to have to go through it but even the "not-so-smartest" can learn HTML basics within a few hours if they try hard enough. Nowdays there is alot of video tutorials on YouTube and other similar sites. Anyhow, the next thing is basically grab a cheap hosting plan and a domain name and set it up. I would highly recommend using services like Hostgator and such since they have "Fantastico/Simple Sripts" that comes with their services already. Also one of the easiest control panels to use "cPanel" is also provided by Hostgator.

THIS IS FOR PEOPLE USING JOOMLA 1.5 - (You shouldnt be using Joomla 1.0 and if you are using 1.0 then you should know enough not to need this article information :)

Tip#1: Never use FTP to install Joomla - It will confuse you  more than it will help.

Tip#2: The first thing you should ever install in Joomla is something called "JoomlaPack" - It is a backup component that will save you hours of torture I promise ;)

Tip#3: When choosing to download extensions for your site from the Joomla site, try to stick to the ones that have the most stars by the rating. There is a reason why the others dont :)

Tip#4: Whatever template you are using, make sure you print out the "Module Positions"

Tip#5: Get familiar with the template you are working with. LEARN the module positions.

Tip#6: Know how to set up a site quickly. I will list some of the steps I take when I set up a website with Joomla:

NOTE: NEVER EVER FILL IN THE "ALIAS" INPUT BOX anywhere in Joomla - Joomla does this for you. It will save you alot of time

Prep your site: (You can even teach a loved one to help you do this. It is fun for them.)

a. Joomla Installation - Install Sample Data
    a1. Install JoomlaPack - For backing up your site!
b. I go to the "articles" and unpublish all of them except the "Home/Front Page" article.
c. I then unpublish all of the categories
d. Then I unpublish all of the sections
e. I then unpublish all of the modules except: login, user menu, main menu, whos online, and anything else you think you might need
f. After doing that I go to the "menus" tab and I click on the "mainmenu* " dropdown
g. I unpublish all of the menus except the "home" menu
h. Once I have done that I grab my website outline (which you should already have before you even thought of installing Joomla. Basically a layout of how you want the site to be as far as how many menus you will have and sub menus and blah blah blah...) Get ready to start creating your site...

Create your layout: (Make sure you have a plan on how you want your site skeleton to look)

When you start creating sections and categories try to keep it simple - I make a section and category and article for every "Menu" tab I want to show on my website

a. I create my "Sections" first - (Dont change anything, just type in a name and "Save")
b. Then I create my "Categories" and dont forget to make sure you select a "Section" when you create your category. (Don't change anything, just type in a name, select a section, and "Save")
c. *** I then go to article manager and select "Parameters" from the top right corner of the page - You will get a popup box and I make sure "EVERYTHING" up until you see "filtering otions", should have a selection on the left side. You can leave the first one set to yes (Show unauthorized links) this one can be left at "yes"  - Then click "Save"
d. Now we can add our articles - I type the name, skip the alias, select the section (it will automatically select a category for you), then I type anything in the description box (you must have some kind of text in order to be able to save it) then I click "save"
e. After I create my articles I am now ready to create my menus
f. I go to the menus tab and select "main menu *" then I select "add new" or the giant green plus sign on the top right
g. Then I select "articles" then "article layout", then I type in a name for my menu, I skip the alias, then on the right hand side I click on "select article" and I find the article with the same name as my menu and I select it.
h. I then go to the "Parameters System" tab under where I just chose an article. I click on it and it will open up some options.
i. In here I will go to where it says " Page title" and I will fill out what I want it to say on my title bar for that page. Dont forget to set the option "show page title",  set it to "No" and click "save"
j. Then I create all of the menus and submenus. To create a submenu just make sure after you have done everything on the menu creation page, look on the left towards the bottom and you will see something that says "parent item" then set it to whatever you wish.
k. Now my site is set up and I can now start going back and adding content and modules to it.

I hope this helps someone out there. I wish I would have found a set of instructions like these when I was learning Joomla but instead it was all a bunch of confusing information.

Tip#7: If you want to change the Welcome to Joomla or anything that shows in the title bar make sure you check your menus parameters where it says "Page Title" also your Global configuration where it says "Site Name".

Tip#8: Dont forget to set up your Global configurations.

Tip#9: Install JCE editor and you will have alot of fun creating websites

Thank you for reading and please show your support if you think this has been helpful in anyway by visiting my website at http://www.Houstonopolis.com
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