Joomla! 1.5 Essential Training

with Joseph LeBlanc
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Joomla! 1.5 Essential Training
Video duration: 0s 3h 9m Beginner


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.

Topics include:
  • Installing Apache, PHP, and MySQL to support Joomla! Setting article access, ordering, icon, and metadata display parameters Using the login, breadcrumb, and syndication modules Inserting contact, poll, and search components Managing users and permissions Adjusting templates with the HTML Editor Managing languages on the site Understanding search engine optimization (SEO)


Hello! My name is Joseph LeBlanc. I'm a programmer and a member of the Joomla community. I'm teaching you Joomla because it is a great way to build a website without touching code. Joomla, at its base, is a content management system that allows you to create and organize content and extend your website with prebuilt functions. Throughout this course we will be building a website for small business. We'll be covering how to author content, how to organize it, how to create navigation, how to restyle a site with a prebuilt template and how to install more functionality.

The dynamic nature of open source applications such as Joomla makes it challenging to keep up with bug fixes and minor release updates. To solve this, we are focusing on the 1.5.3 release of Joomla. We'll continue to monitor the dates for the next major release of Joomla, and we'll update our training materials as necessary. Let's get started.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Joomla! 1.5 Essential Training .

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Q: Joomla!'s back end does not have all of the text options like font family and quite a few more that are seen in the “Formatting content" chapter. I have the latest version of Joomla! 1.5, so why are the options not available?
A: Between Joomla! 1.5.3 and 1.5.15, the core team decided to simplify the set of toolbar icons that display by default. Users should be able to complete the Joomla! 1.5 Essential Training course with the smaller toolbar set, but the original toolbar can be recovered by doing the following:   

  1. Go to Extensions > Plugin Manager.  
  2. Click Editor - TinyMCE 2.0 from the list. 
  3. On the right under "Plugin Parameters," set Functionality to Extended.
Note: When using Safari, you will need to click Safari's Refresh button once you return to the article editing screen. This will reload the toolbar code for the editor.
Q: After installing the 02_04.sql file from exercise 02_04, Joomla! locks the user out of admin and won't recognize the admin password. How do I access this exercise?
A: When the exercise files are used, the password gets reset to 'lynda' as typed in the video.
Q: Despite following along with the “Using the Blog Layout options” tutorial in the Joomla! 1.5 Essential Training title, none of the items in the Main Menu show up on the site’s home page. The menu links do not appear, and attempts to create new menu links are unsuccessful. The menu links can be seen by going through Extensions > Module Manager, but they still do not appear on the home page. What are possible reasons for the Main Menu links not appearing?
A: It is possible that the Access Level input is missing. This most likely means that Joomla! was not installed completely, or that an upgrade was not applied 100% correctly. Verify that the latest version of Joomla! is installed. To make sure all of the files are there, download the latest copy of Joomla! and extract all of the files from that .zip on top of the current installation. Once that's done, remove the 'installation' folder. This will ensure that the latest copies of all of the files are installed.
Q: When trying to add a new article as described in the “Creating content” tutorial, after entering the username and password, a message appears that says the password is incorrect. What is the correct password?
A: The password used for that tutorial is “lynda.”
Q: In Chapter 3 of the Joomla! 1.5 Essential Training the instructions say, "To access additional articles, please open 03_01.sql file in chapter_03 > database > of your exercise files." However, there is no explanation how to import this file into Joomla! to create the necessary articles for this section of the tutorial. How does one import the files?
A: Chapter 1, video 6, “Using the example files” shows how to import the .SQL files. This is done with phpMyAdmin, which comes with WAMP and MAMP.
Q: After installing Joomla!, a user accidentally deleted the Super Administrator account. How can a Super Admin account be restored/created?
A: To create a user with Super Admin status, follow these steps:

1. Go to phpMyAdmin and select the database for the Joomla! site in the left-hand drop-down list box. This will show the database tables on the left side of the screen.

2. Press the SQL button in the toolbar to run a SQL query on the selected database. This will display a field called “Run SQL query/queries on database <your database>”.

3. Delete any text that appears in this field and enter the following text:
INSERT INTO 'jos_users' 
   ('id', 'name', 'username', 'email', 'password', 'usertype', 'block', 'sendEmail', 
   'gid', 'registerDate', 'lastvisitDate')
   VALUES (NULL, 'Administrator2', 'admin2', '',
   'Super Administrator', 0, 1, 25, '0000-00-00 00:00:00', '0000-00-00 00:00:00');
INSERT INTO 'jos_core_acl_aro' VALUES (NULL, 'users', LAST_INSERT_ID(), 0, 'Administrator', 0);
INSERT INTO 'jos_core_acl_groups_aro_map' VALUES (25, '', LAST_INSERT_ID());

4.  You should now be able to log into the back end of Joomla! with username “admin2” and password “secret”. After logging in, go to the User Manager to change the password and the e-mail to a valid address.

An important note: the preceding queries must be run on the computer that contains the MySQL database.
Q: In the Managing Users section, the author says that it is possible to enable users to submit the content to the Joomla! site, but there is no "how to" mention for that feature. How do you allow a user with "editor" permission to submit articles from the front end?
A: You can add this functionality to your site by adding a menu item pointing to the Article Submission Layout. To do this, start by adding a menu item, then select Articles as the menu item type. Once Articles is selected, Article Submission Layout will appear underneath among other options. Authors can then follow this link to submit articles to the site.
Q: Will the exercise files for this title work with Joomla 1.6?
A: The video and the exercise files are designed for Joomla 1.5. Joomla 1.6 has a different database structure and cannot use the exercise files designed for Joomla 1.5.
Q: I followed the instructions in the "Installing WAMP" movie, but I am having trouble with the Joomla installation. What could be causing the problem?
A: When using WAMP on a Windows machine, make sure that WAMP is running all services. The speedometer icon in the taskbar should be white. If the speedometer icon is red, it means no services are running. Click on the icon, and in the pop-up menu, select "Start All Services." If the speedometer icon is yellow, it means that not all of the services are running. Click on the icon, select MySQL or Apache, go to the Service option, and click Start/Resume Service.

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