Join Jen Kramer for an in-depth discussion in this video A quick tour of the Joomla! interface , part of Joomla! 2.5 Essential Training.
- View Offline
So now that we've got WAMP installed, we've got Joomla! installed, that's great thing. Let's login to Joomla! and take a look at the administrative interface and see what we can find there. So I am currently at localhost/administrator for those of you who are on PCs running WAMP, and for those of you running MAMP you might be at localhost:8888/administrator. We're going to go ahead and login to the website using the username and password that you've created as part of your installation process. Mine is admin for the username and admin for the password, and I'm going to go ahead and tell Firefox to remember that for me because I'll be using it quite a bit over the course of this particular video.
So now that we're logged into Joomla! we're taking a look at Joomla!'s Control Panel here. This gives us access to all of the aspects of the backend of Joomla!'s administrator interface. A few things that you should notice right off the bat; Down at the bottom of the screen, roughly in the center is the version of Joomla! that you're currently running, which is Joomla! 2.5.1 in the case of my particular installation. You may have a different number and it should tell you exactly which version of Joomla! you're running. The other place you can go to find out what version of Joomla! you're running as well as any other versions of software like PHP or MySQL is if you go to Site>System Information, and if you click that, you'll get a window that will give you all of the information about exactly which Joomla! version you're running and information about PHP and so forth.
So this is a great window, if for some reason Joomla! ever discontinues the version number at the bottom of the screen, you can always go to this screen to find this information. Okay, I'm going to go back to the Control Panel, back to Site>Control Panel, gets me back to the big icons. All of the icons that you see here are duplicated somewhere in Joomla!'s menu structure, and Joomla!'s menu structure goes here across the top of the page. I'm going to tell you a little bit about what you can find on each of the menus. So on the Site menu you have a link back to the Control Panel, a link to your individual profile, meaning that your information as a user in the Joomla! system, in this case the user of admin.
The Global Configuration is a place you can go to configure some big global variables for the website, such as whether it's running in off-line mode, information about search engine friendly URLs, information about global meta tags and metadata for the site, as well as some big permissions which I covered in Joomla! 1.7 Access Control Lists. The Maintenance item here covers checking in some information back into Joomla! Things that might have gotten checked out and are unable to be used, can be checked back in using the global check-in. There is also a cache here that you can clear, quite easily.
I'll cover these much later in the course. Under the Users tab you'll see that we have a User Manager, Groups, and Access Levels. I covered these extensively in Joomla! 1.7 Access Control Lists and I'll cover them in a later chapter in the course as to how they work. User Notes is a new feature in Joomla! 2.5 and this will allow you to do exactly what it suggests. You can leave a note about specific users and any information that you'd like to associate with a specific user here. That could be helpful for example, if you've created some dummy logins for testing, you can make a note about what those dummy logins are and what kinds of information they should be able to access.
Mass Mail Users does exactly what you'd expect. It sends a mass email to all of the users of your Joomla! site. Warning, this is not a substitute for e-mail marketing, for services like MailChimp or Constant Contact or Vertical Response. Mass Mail Users is a great way to get in touch with a handful people very quickly but you don't want to get your Joomla! Webhost tagged as a spam machine which is very easy to do if you start sending out lots of emails from your Joomla! website. So if you're going to use Mass Mail Users, use it with caution.
Menu does exactly what you would expect; this is where you can attach pieces of content to the menus for your website. The Content menu is where you can find information and the ability to create articles for your website as well as categories, which I'll cover in great detail, feature some of those articles so that they show on the Homepage of your website as well as the Media Manager which is where you can upload things like PDFs or images for your website. The Components menu contains all kinds of little programs that run within Joomla! some of which I'm going to cover in some later videos. New in Joomla! 2.5 is the ability for Smart Search, which I will cover in a separate video what that all means.
The Redirect component was new in Joomla! 1.6 and that helps to manage particularly helpful in website redesigns where you have old URLs that need to map to in page on the new Joomla! website. Those of you who are familiar with Joomla! 1.5 will notice that the Polls component is missing in Joomla! 2.5. That was dropped as something that Joomla! would carry as a feature. The Extensions menu is where you can find the information about modules for your website, these are little bits of functionality that generally run in the left or the right column of a website or header or footer.
Plug-ins as well as templates, which of course change the look of your website, and the Language Manager, which I'm going to cover in detail in an entire chapter. You can run as many languages in your Joomla! website as you wish. We're going to be building a website that's in both English and French. The Extension Manager is where you can go to manage extensions including installing and uninstalling extensions, as well as managing the most recent version of your Joomla! Installation, as well as some of the versioning for extensions, if your extensions have been hooked up to use Joomla!'s system.
And again I'm going to cover all of that much later in the course. Finally, we have a very helpful Help menu. Joomla! Help is available throughout the website. So if you just simply go to the Joomla! Help here, this will put you into screen which will give you all of the help that is available to you here within Joomla!, you can see that there is a Table of Contents over here on the left side of the screen and on the right side of the screen is the information that corresponds to that. Help is also available contextually, so if for example, I go to the Content menu and to the Article Manager, I have the option for help over here as well.
If I click on the Help within one of these specific items, I'll get some information that pertains specifically to this part of the Joomla! administrator interface. Also on the Help menu is the ability to go to the Official Joomla!'s Support Forum, which is at forum.joomla.org. You can go here and post any of your questions, and volunteers from around the world will be happy to answer them. My friend Ken Crowder has often said the way he learned in Joomla! was to try to answer two questions for every question he asked, and that's how he got so good at Joomla! so fast.
I recommend that you do the same thing. Contribute back to the Joomla! project by answering questions on the forum, it's a great way to help out. The Joomla! Documentation is in the form of a Wiki which is at docs.Joomla.org, and you can go here to look up information about the latest version of Joomla! And since it's a Wiki, you can also edit any of the information there that you might find. Finally, there's some useful Joomla! links that are available to you including the Joomla! Extensions directory which I'm going to cover later in the course. Links to Translations for Joomla!, there is something like 45 languages available.
The Joomla! Resources directory which I mentioned in an earlier video. That's where you can go find help with hosting or consulting with Joomla! other types of resources. The Community Portal will get you up-to-date with all the latest Joomla! events and Joomla! blog posts from around the world. The security Center focuses on Joomla!'s security. Developer Resources are largely oriented towards developers, but not entirely. Most of the information about Joomla!'s release cycle and when you can expect the next version of Joomla! to come out will be located in the Joomla! Developer Resources site.
And finally the Joomla! shop where you can go and purchase all of the fabulous T-shirts and Joomla! paraphernalia you can stand. Now that you have a sense for where everything is here in the back end of Joomla!, I would like to go ahead and get started with building our Joomla! website.
- Understanding a content management system (CMS)
- Comparing a CMS-driven site to a static HTML site
- Installing Joomla!
- Organizing content within Joomla!
- Creating categories, articles, and menus
- Installing third-party extensions and templates
- Managing users and their permissions
- Changing the look of the site with templates
- Launching a Joomla! site