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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.
Getting your website listed in the search engine is only the first stepping getting promotion for your website. Search engine rankings are dependent on who links to your website, how your content is presented and what your URLs look like. In this video, we will cover some of the built-in controls Joomla has for search engine optimization. Also known as SEO. First let's go to the backend. The controls for SEO and search engine friendly links, also known as as SEF, are located in the Global Configuration panel.
Let's go there now. Global Configuration contains settings that you can apply to your website on a global basis. We covered Global Configuration in a previous video. For now we'll be setting SEO Settings and Metadata Settings. First let's look at Metadata Settings. The Global Site Meta Description controls how your website is listed in search engine results. Let's change this to personalize it for Fresh and Local. We can also change the keywords that are used.
These should match some of the words in your description and some of the words in your website. We'll leave Show Title Meta Tag and Show Author Meta Tag on. Next, let's take a look at the SEO Settings. First we're going to turn on Search Engine Friendly or SEF URLs. By default Joomla has your URLs with long strings. With SEF URLs on, Joomla will produce URLs that match the titles of the content being viewed.
Let's click Apply. Let's go to the front end. At the moment we're on the Home page. Let's navigate to some of the other pages. You'll notice to the name of this link is Seasonal Specialties. Seasonal Specialties is also listed in the URL. You'll also notice that index.php is a part of the URL. We can remove this on certain servers. Let's go back to the backend. Let's set Use Apache mod_rewrite to Yes.
You'll notice that there's an icon here with a warning. is a file called htaccess.txt that has shipped with Joomla. This needs to be renamed to to .htaccess. Let's try this in Finder. Here is htaccess.txt Let's rename it. Mac OS does not let us rename the file from htaccess.txt to .htaccess. This is because file names that begin with a dot are reserved as system files that are hidden from users.
There's a way we can work around this though. I'm going to show you a little trick you can use to rename the file. Go to Terminal. First I'm going to go to the directory where our Joomla installation is located. To get there I'm going to type in CD for change directory, space, Sites/restaurant. Then hit Return. Now that we're in the folder, I'm going to copy htaccess.txt to .htaccess.
Type in CP, space, htaccess.txt space, .htaccess. This will copy the contents of htaccess.txt into a file named .htaccess. This is what we want. Hit Enter. Now let's go back to the backend of Joomla. Now that Use Apache mod_rewrite is set to Yes and htaccess.txt is renamed, let's click Apply.
Let's go back to the front end. Let's go to Home and I'll just click on some links. You'll notice that index.php is no longer a part of the URL. This makes shorter links and makes it easier for search engines to find your site. If we go to Ingredients We Use and then click on a submenu item, you'll notice that the URL expands. Joomla will generate URLs based on your menu structure.
Let's go back to the Home page. There is one more adjustment that we can make for SEO. We can tell Joomla to add filename extensions onto the end of our URLs. Let's go do this. Go back to the backend and set Add suffix to URLs to Yes. Then click Apply. Let's go back to the front end to see how this turned out. Click Refresh, and now navigate to some links.
You'll notice that the links now end in .HTML. Joomla and has built-in functions you can use to create search engine friendly URLs and perform basic search engine optimization. For more SEO information, consult other lynda.com Online Training Library titles.
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