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Many types of websites can be built and maintained more easily using a content management system (CMS). A CMS provides a web-based interface for creating and organizing content. The content is stored in a database, then consistently presented according to a set of templates and preferences, which eliminates the need to handcraft each page in HTML. Joomla! is a popular, easy-to-use, open-source CMS built in PHP. It has near-limitless functionality, thanks to its community of extension developers. In Joomla! 1.5 Essential Training, Joseph LeBlanc uses Joomla! to build a small-business website from scratch with no programming at all, from installation to launch. He demonstrates how to create and organize content; add menus, sidebars, and other features; change the look with templates; install plug-ins and extensions; and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Site-wide preferences are defined in the Global Configuration. You can change many of the setting specified during installation here. In this video, we'll talk about the different sections of the Global Configuration and look at some of the common changes you'll want to make. To get started, let's click on Global Configuration. Under Site Settings, you can take your site off-line if you need to take it down for any reason, specify an off-line message while it's off-line, you can also rename your site, and you can change the WYSIWYG editor that gets loaded when you're editing content.
Only one editor is shipped with Joomla, or you can specify No Editor if you want to edit raw HTML. The Description and Keyword meta tags are automatically generated by Joomla at the beginning of the HTML documents. You can set the global metadata settings here. When Joomla inserts meta tags into the header field of your HTML document this is what goes in. You should edit these tags to reflect the content of your website and to make your website more search engine friendly.
Joomla also has settings for search engine friendly URLs. We'll be covering search engine optimization in a later video. Let's click on the System tab. This tab has system settings and debug settings. Leave these settings alone,unless you're directed to do otherwise. You can configure user settings to allow front end users to register themselves on the site. We covered this in an earlier video. Joomla's cache can be turned on when you have a high traffic website. Under other circumstances, leave caching off.
Session Settings determine how long the user stays logged in and inactive before being automatically logged off. Media Settings control preferences for the Media Manager. We'll be covering the Media Manager in another video, but for now, if you want to add more extension types that are accepted by the Media Manager, you can add them here. You can also change the root folder that's being used for the Media Manager. Leave Server Settings alone unless you're directed otherwise.
If you want to use a different time zone than the one used currently, you can set it here. The time zone affects which dates and times are displayed in the Joomla interface. When you move your Joomla installation to another server, with another database configuration, you can change it here. Turning on FTP can help you install extensions on your website. If you are able to install extensions, just leave FTP off. Finally Mail Settings control how mail messages are sent from Joomla. If you're receiving mail messages successfully from Joomla, leave these settings alone.
Otherwise, you may need to make some adjustments. Changes made on the Global Configuration panel are felt throughout your website. You can change presentational items like your site title and metadata as well as make changes to the server configuration you specified during installation.
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