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CMS Fundamentals
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A closer look at Joomla!


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CMS Fundamentals

with James Williamson

Video: A closer look at Joomla!

Joomla! is another very popular open-source CMS. It's extremely powerful, and it's capable of creating and managing large, heavily trafficked sites. What's really nice about Joomla! is that despite its power it's straightforward enough to be used for pretty much any site, regardless of size or complexity. Although having prior web design and development experience will help you get the most out of Joomla!, a novice web designer could use Joomla! to get a site up and running fairly quickly. To give you a better idea of what Joomla! is capable of, let's take a closer look at how it works.
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. What CMS means for this course
      1m 44s
  2. 22m 52s
    1. What is a CMS?
      2m 47s
    2. The evolution of CMSs
      4m 4s
    3. CMS types
      6m 7s
    4. Basic CMS capabilities
      5m 4s
    5. When is a CMS right for you?
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Comparing CMSs
      4m 28s
    2. Core features to research
      4m 41s
    3. Commonly overlooked issues
      4m 12s
    4. Properly assessing needs
      4m 39s
    5. Knowing when to seek assistance
      4m 15s
    6. Choosing a CMS for designers
      4m 45s
    7. Choosing a CMS for organizations
      4m 12s
    8. The pros and cons of hosted solutions
      2m 58s
    9. Hosted solution examples
      5m 51s
    10. The pros and cons of open source solutions
      4m 36s
    11. Open source CMS examples
      7m 6s
    12. Proprietary CMSs
      7m 48s
    13. A closer look at Drupal
      5m 7s
    14. A closer look at Joomla!
      4m 0s
    15. A closer look at WordPress
      5m 33s
    16. Resources for comparing CMSs
      9m 2s
  4. 43m 58s
    1. What is an open source CMS?
      3m 4s
    2. What is a LAMP stack?
      2m 53s
    3. What are WebDAV and FTP?
      2m 39s
    4. What is MySQL?
      2m 24s
    5. WYSIWYG editors
      3m 56s
    6. Understanding users, groups, and permissions
      4m 12s
    7. What is metadata?
      5m 19s
    8. Understanding taxonomy
      3m 35s
    9. What is version control?
      4m 23s
    10. What are themes and templates?
      3m 30s
    11. What is SEO?
      4m 42s
    12. What are web analytics?
      3m 21s
  5. 36m 31s
    1. Content management as a process
      4m 38s
    2. Properly defining roles
      5m 3s
    3. Planning a content strategy
      4m 1s
    4. The importance of taxonomy
      5m 7s
    5. Controlling content lifecycle
      6m 22s
    6. Challenges for CMS migrations
      3m 45s
    7. Steps for migrating content
      4m 16s
    8. Avoiding distractions
      3m 19s
  6. 2m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 24s

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CMS Fundamentals
3h 11m Beginner Apr 06, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In CMS Fundamentals, James Williamson defines content management systems (CMSs) and explains their role in web site development. The course demonstrates the different CMS solutions available today, including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla; reviews CMS terminology and best practices; and shows how to develop a content management strategy. Guidelines are also included for evaluating a potential CMS, whether hosted or self-hosted, open source or proprietary, and choosing a CMS based on a specific need or focus.

Topics include:
  • Defining and understanding a CMS
  • Understanding taxonomy
  • Assessing an organization or company's needs
  • Comparing content management systems
  • Planning a content strategy
  • Controlling content lifecycle
  • Migrating between CMSs
  • Understanding users, groups, and permissions
  • Using web analytics
Subjects:
Web CMS Web Foundations
Author:
James Williamson

A closer look at Joomla!

Joomla! is another very popular open-source CMS. It's extremely powerful, and it's capable of creating and managing large, heavily trafficked sites. What's really nice about Joomla! is that despite its power it's straightforward enough to be used for pretty much any site, regardless of size or complexity. Although having prior web design and development experience will help you get the most out of Joomla!, a novice web designer could use Joomla! to get a site up and running fairly quickly. To give you a better idea of what Joomla! is capable of, let's take a closer look at how it works.

For most people, Joomla!'s content system takes a little time getting use to. The default structure has three tiers to it: sections, categories, and articles. Articles are the actual pieces of content and are associated with categories when added to the site. This is a little easier to visualize if you think of sections as a file box, categories as folders inside the box, and articles as pieces of paper in the folder. For more complex sites, this rigid structure can make some tasks more difficult than you'd like.

The most recent release of Joomla! allows you to merge sections and categories, which should give you a little bit more flexibility when needing to display related content. Once the content has been structured, pages within the site are built using Joomla's menu system. This is another concept that can be a little confusing at first. Basically, to add content to the site, you create a new menu item, associate that with a menu item type, which can be anything from custom pages like a contact page or a blog layout, to an individual article of content.

Now, that might seem a little obtuse at first, but trust me, after you do it once or twice, it becomes pretty straightforward. The page layout and customization is handled through templates. A Joomla! template is a mixture of static HTML that controls layout, modules that add functionality like menus, search boxes, or other functional plug-ins, and a content component. Although templates can have as many modules as you'd like, you can only have one component per page. Components hold the main areas of content on the page, and they can be anything from a single article, to a blog or a message board.

Much like Drupal, Joomla! Has a huge feature set that is further extended by modules. Joomla! has a fairly robust roles and permissions, with nine built-in user groups and extensions that let you have even more granular control over those roles and permissions. Joomla! also has a media manager that assists in managing images and any other file type that you need on your site. It also supports multiple sites and has multilingual support, although it isn't as powerful as some of the other systems.

One of the more intriguing features of Joomla! is that every Joomla! install also contains a Moodle installation, meaning that in addition to its powerful content management tools, you can also handle complex e-learning tasks. Now I've often heard that Joomla! is targeted more towards designers than say Drupal, but I'm not sure that's true. Joomla! is certainly is easier to set up and administer than Drupal, but the templating system is often seen as restrictive and hard to update. Now I simply see Joomla! as a powerful alternative to Drupal.

It might not be quite as flexible, but it makes up for that by being easier to set up and use. You can build almost any site you can imagine using Joomla!. And it handles large sites and heavy traffic just fine. Some of the more complex sites that have really complicated content relationships can sometimes be hard to build in Joomla!. But for the most part, if you can dream it up, Joomla! can build it. The development community for Joomla! is also a quite strong, and there is a huge amount of modules available to extend at Joomla's core feature sets.

Much like Drupal, it's quite easy to find a developer if you need a custom module or help developing your site. Learn more about Joomla! and even test-drive the demo at joomla.org.

There are currently no FAQs about CMS Fundamentals.

 
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