Setting up Joomla

Joomla, which is one of the most used open source cms’s in the world. Cms, or content management system, is the abbreviation for a system that allows you to store, modify and display organized content.

If you want to use Joomla, you need to install it on your (php) webserver. This process is very straightforward and simpel! You can find more information about this on their site: http://docs.joomla.org/.

This blog post however, is about what the first things are that you do after setting up your Joomla system? Below I’ll explain quickly what the main things are that I change, once Joomla is installed. I decided to make this post since I have to do this process anyway, for a new website I am setting up!

Here is a global overview of how I go to work.

  1. Global configuration
    1. Apaches .htaccess
  2. Theme
  3. Content
  4. Menu
  5. Extensions/Plugins

Global configuration

This is used for modifying website wide setting. So this is of course one of the first places to go and make sure everything is fine tuned!

You can go there through the menu, by choosing ‘Site > Global Configuration’.

What options may you suspect being there?

  • Site: Parameters, Titles, metadata, Seo & Cookie settings.
  • System: Debugging, Caching, Session & System settings.
  • Server: Location, FTP, Database, Mail & Server settings.
  • Permissions: Manage the different user types & their permissions.
  • Text Filters: Another new feature that enables you to block certain words in fields / editors.

Things I believe are important are:

Site

  1. Set your Site Name
  2. Set your Metadata Settings! They are often used by Google on their search page.
  3. SEO Settings: I really like the URL rewriting. For that you need to make sure that the .htaccess.txt file in the root of your Joomla installation is renamed to ‘.htaccess’. Also, do include your Site Name in Pages Titles (After)!

System

I never use the caching, but if you have a lot of visitors, and your website doesn’t change often, it may be a good idea to save your database a bit.

Server

  1. FTP may be good (for uploading pictures), however in previous versions this didn’t always work brilliant (you could upload but not remove things, sometimes it didn’t work). So if you want to, you can just leave it off.
  2. If you have a newsletter plugin, you better add an SMTP email account!

Permissions & Text Filters I just leave as how it is.

Theme

How website looks, is really one of the most important things, isn’t it?!

Joomla hid their Temlate Manager under the Extensions menu.

Templates are organized in 2 ‘things’. You have Templates and Styles. In short, a ‘Template’, is a layout which you created yourself, or downloaded from the internet, and installed in Joomla. A style is an applied template, containing configuration for a Template, applied on a part of your website. (Like the website, the administrator website, or a set of pages.)

It is not very hard to make a template yourself. And there are many websites where you can find Joomla templates! (http://www.joomla24.com/, http://www.siteground.com/joomla-templates.htm, google)

Content

How create ‘website pages’, and thus, a website, is of courseĀ  the most important thing. There are many different ways to display something.

Static content Content or a page that almost never changes. Create an article for it! Put in in the Category ‘Site’ (Which you have to create yourself.)
Streams of news Blog alike streams of news, articles, content, updates, … Also use an article for this! And choose the same category (under which you can group them together).
Image album, guestbook, any-thing Anything that didn’t fit in the previous category? You can use many many plugins for this, findable on Joomla.

Linking that content?

To put articles, plugins on your website, you need to use the Menu Manager. This has a dedicated menu item (Menus). Choose an existing menu item, or create a new one and play with it! Is you can see every menu item has a ‘Menu Item Type’, which defines if it is an articles, a stream, or plugin content.

By Choosing Select on Menu Item Type, you get a popup with all available types:

Plugins (or extensions in Joomla vocabulary)

So, now that we can create content, modify menus, choose a template and have setup our main configuration. Lets dive quickly in the plugins (or extensions)!

There are different types of extensions, an overview below:

Component A big system used to create and keep content (like albums, event managers, guest books, newsletters). Everyone of them you have is accessible through the Components menu
Module A block you can put in your layout.
Plugin An utility (could be to turn images into a lightbox gallery, or to login with oauth).
Template A layout template.

Good luck with your Joomla website! If you have any question, add below!

Are their things you always do when setting up Joomla? Please share!

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