Category: Web Design

Advantages Of Using Joomla CMS As A Web Design Tool

There are currently countless benefits in choosing to use Joomla when compared to other types of web-design platforms. Here are some of the advantages to you can expect:

• Joomla is a complete Content Management System (CMS). The CMS is what enables a way to make sure that pages on your website are easy to update as well as maintain. One of these examples includes removing or adding pages as well as dividing content into the different categories. There is some significant advantages when compared to creating websites in Dreamweaver or standard HTML.

• One of the other stand out advantages of Joomla is that it is an open source and free product. What this means is you will never have to pay a fee when it comes to licensing which is standard practice for the commercial products associated with BIF companies. In addition, because Joomla is classified as an open source it also is associated with a large pool of different community sources that offer support and assistance at any time of the day or night. This community is available in every country and there are several groups that consist of the local users that support Joomla with additional add-ons and Forums. You can find a forum on the Joomla.org site which contains 200,000 members that all provide their own input along with support in regards to ensuring Joomla remains one of the very best CMS platforms around.

• Another great reason to choose Joomla is that it is a simple task to extend functionalities. It is very easy to create anything with the assistance of Joomla’s infrastructure. This could be a basic brochure website, a fully comprehensive shopping cart or a membership site that is interactive. This is possible due to the fact that Joomla offers over 5700 extensions, available for just about every use. Some of these include video plug-ins, shopping carts, image galleries, forums, and a variety of tools associated with project management and so much more.

• Another stand out advantage of Joomla is that ACL.Joomla offers access restriction systems. There happen to be various users levels along with different access control degrees. You can apply access restrictions for every module or content item. In the latest Joomla version (1.6), the system is even more powerful and this version is already well ahead when compared to a popular alternative such as WordPress.

• Joomla is also known as SEO friendly and is compatible with all the different search engines. However, if your website is highly complex, it is in some cases necessary to make use of SEO plugins such as SH404.

There are several web-application which are commonly used when it comes to developing a website. Joomla out of all the other applications is in the top 3 in demand when it comes to CMS platforms. Joomla can be used for basic sites, presentations, marketing portals, ecommerce sites, newspapers and a lot more.

You can also find extensive information about Joomla when you search on the various search engines. You can forget about thinking that a web-development company is going to cost you a lot of money when you let them know about your plans to achieve the a website that matches up to your needs. This is simply not true. Creating a desirable website when you make use of Joomla can translate into the very best way in which to save you on a lot of money.

The reason for this is that it facilitates Rapid Website Development. It also offers open-source as well as minimizing the “code maintenance” costs.

 

Set Up Your Joomla Website from Scratch

If you’ve followed my tutorials on installing Joomla locally or on a web host, then you’re probably wondering, “What do I do now?” This tutorial will help you set up your Joomla website from scratch. I’ll walk you through 4 easy-to-follow steps:

Step 1: Create a website structure.
Step2: Add content and articles
Step 3: Create a main menu
Step 4: Add modules to your Joomla website.

A Joomla website only needs 4 main pieces to operate succesfully: Articles, Menus, Modules and Templates. There could be a 5th piece here, Extensons. But, extensions are by no means required to run a successful Joomla website. I’ll cover extensions in a future tutorial.

For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll be looking at a completely vanilla Joomla installation. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to follow along just fine if you’ve already installed the sample data.

Step 1: Site Structure

If you haven’t yet planned out the organization of your site, then stop here, get a pen and paper, and sketch up a rough outline like the example below. Focus on the main menu for the top tier, with each box being a menu link representing different sections of the site. If you’ve already done that, then way to go! You just knocked out one of the 4 steps without even knowing it!

Now that you have a general idea of your site’s flow, let’s head back into the Joomla administration panel.

Step 2: Adding content via Articles

All of your site’s content will be stored in what Joomla calls “articles”. First, we need to create article categories. Go to Content > Category Manager. You should see a default category named “Uncategorized”. You can use that for static pages like About Us, Our Services etc.. Named categories are useful if you’re planning on having a lot of articles, like a blog site or news site would. Don’t worry about category descriptions, most Joomla sites don’t display them on the front-end. Let’s create a category called Latest News, which will be appear like a blog in the front-end.

Once you have a your categories in place, we can create articles. Press the Articles tab or go to Content > Article Manager & press the New button. All you need to do here is 1) add an article title, 2) select a category, then 3) add your article text. I usually create a “Welcome” article to serve as the home page, and an “About Us” article; both uncategorized. I’ll also create a few articles to place in the Latest News category. When you’re done, press Save and close the article. Congratulations, we’re half way through! Only 2 steps to go.

Step 3: Create a Main Menu

Now that our content is in place, we need to build a navigation menu. Go to Menus > Menu Manager. There should already be a Main Menu installed by default, containing a link to your Home page. This is called the “Default menu item.”

Select the Menu Items tab. If left alone, this Home menu item will display your featured articles in a blog layout. You can easily change that if you wish to display a single article as your home page. Simply click on Home then press Select next to the Menu Item Type field. In the popup window, select Articles > Single Article. Next, on the right under Required Settings, press the Select/Change button. In the popup window, choose the full article you wish to display as your home page.

Let’s create some more menu items. This is a good time to refer back to your organization chart from step 1. Let’s create a link to our “About Us” article. Select New and follow the same steps as we did for the Home page, choosing the Article layout and selecting an article. We’ll create one more item to house our Latest News category. For this we’ll choose the menu type under Article > Category Blog.

Step 4: Position the Menu on the site

The last step is to place the menu on the site. Joomla templates use modules to place content in various positions on the page. Go to Extensions > Module Manager. Press New and select Menu from the Module Type popup window. Give it a title like Main Menu, and press the Hide Title button.

Next, select a module position for the menu. It’s important to know that each Joomla template has a unique system for naming it’s module positions. Some templates make it obvious, like “top” while others can be more discreet in their naming conventions, like “position-1.” Refer to your template’s module positions guide for the exact name. If you don’t have a guide handy, use this little trick I included at the bottom of this article.

I’m using the “Beez2” template for this tutorial, which tends to be on the discreet side of module naming conventions. Let’s place the menu in the Top, named “position-1” . Set the Status to Published, and select the Main Menu name under the Basic Options. Then press Save & Close.

Let’s add one more module. Go back to the Module Manager main screen and press New. This time, select Latest News. This module will display the titles of the most recent articles from a category. Give it a name, and select a position. I want this module to appear on the right side of the home page: position-7 in the Beez2 template. Under Basic Options, I’ll choose my Latest News category. (FYI: hovering over the labels usually shows a tooltip about each item). Lastly, I only want this module to appear on the Home Page only. So, on the Menu Assignment section, select the option “Only on the pages selected”. Under the Main Menu tab, uncheck everything except the Home Page then press Save.

Congratulations, the basic setup is complete!

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