Quickstart Guide

 

Joomla is a great site building tool and something you will grow to enjoy using.   Just takes time to get up to speed with it.  The video tutorials at http://www.buildajoomlawebsite.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=keywords&gclid=CNKpkY-O7aoCFSE8gwodB27aNg , although made for an older version of Joomla, are still worth watching to get a general idea of how Joomla functions.  
 
Much has changed with the newest version 3.0.x which is what you should should learn in some detail and eventually install on your new site.  You may want to start by going to http://demo.joomla.org/ and viewing a Joomla.3.0 demo including the front and back-end views

Once you feel your ready,  you can get started by following the following steps:

A. Optain a web hosting account.

JoomlaPatterns Web design recommends http://qth.com/ and selecting the "Best value" plan. In the signup wizzard, pay particular attention to the section where you choose the appropriate primary domain to use. If the site you are creating is a completly new site, than select the first option "Register a new domain...". However, if you are updating an already existing site, then the third option "Keep my existing domain... is most appropriate. Then, when your new site is completed, ask qth.com to point your domain to the new location.


B. Installing Joomla

1. Download the latest version of t Joomla 2.5.x content management available at http://www.joomla.org/download.html saving it to your desktop.

2. Next, you will need to use Cpanel (preferably) to create a new database on your server. To do this, carefully follow this procedure:

  • Go to http://www.(yourdomain).com/cpanel. (Enter the actual domainname, either permanent or temporary, provided by your website host).
  • Now, type in the username and password provided by your website host and click the "login" button.
  • Once logged in, go to the "Databases" section and click the "MySQL Database Wizzard" button.
  • Carefully complete each step making note of the info you ente as you will need it during the installation of Joomla.

3. Use Cpanel's file manager to upload Joomla 2.5.x.zip (latest version) full package to your server’s root directory or a sub-directory of your choice. Simply, click the "upload" icon in the toolbar, browse to your local computer desktop and select the Joomla instation file you previously dowloaded in step 1 above. Note: Important.....In certain circumstaces, before you install Joomla you may want to create a subdirectory with cpanel. This is where you will install Joomla if you are converting an existing website to Joomla. This is critical so that your existing site remains intact while you build the new site. Once the new site is completed, then have your host point the domain to the new location.

  • Next, use Cpanel's file manager to extract the Joomla installation zip file you uploaded above. Simply select the file and then click the "extract' icon on the toolbar.

4. Then, proceed to install Joomla with your browser (preferable Google Chrome). You will need to carefully run the installation script. In your browser, navigate to the domain, temporary or permanent, that the webhost provided. For example, if you are installing Joomla to the main domain name you would go to http://www. (your domain).com/installation. For a subdirectory (joomla for instance) the installation URL would be http://www. (your domain).com/joomla/installation.  This will redirect you to the installation script.  Step 1will ask you for: 

 

  • Site Name
  • Description
  • Admin Email
  • Admin Username
  • Admin Password and Confirm password
  • Site Offline (if you want to have it switched off by default, leave this as it is “No” to have an online site)

Enter each of these details there, these are personal/basic information that needs entered, no help needed here.

After you’re done, click the top-right “Next” button. Step 2 is related to your Database Configuration settings. You will have to enter the following:

  • Database Type – usually is MySQL or MySQLi
  • Hostname – on most servers this is localhost, if you’re not sure, ask your hosting provider!
  • Username – your MySQL user
  • Password – your MySQL user password
  • Database Name – your MySQL database name
  • Table Prefix – this can be whatever you want, but you can leave it as it is.
  • Old Database Process – If you have an existing installation, you can use this to replace tables and use the old data OR you can remove the tables and install new tables. It’s good to be left as default or backup your database if you’re not sure!

Hit the “Next” button in the top-right corner when you’re done. The Step 3 is asking if you want to enable FTP support. In most cases this is really not needed, so I’m skipping this. It’s also asking for FTP credentials which you should already know since you’ve used a FTP to upload your Joomla! 3.0 script. So leave Enable FTP Layer by default to “No” and hit the “Next” button.

We are on the last step now, finalizing the installation process. On this page you are first ask if you want to install some sample data for you to get used to it. You can just remove the content afterward, so I’m going to select to install for me “Blog English (GB) Sample Data“. Next you can set your script if you want to send the configuration details to your admin email, I’ll choose Yes in my case because I always like to keep my things written down in case I forget something.

On the bottom in the left side, you will have “Pre-Installation Check“, this is really important, you need to make sure everything in this pre-installation check is marked with a green “yes” mark. If it’s not, you could have problems later or you won’t be able to install it successfully.

In the right side, are the php settings recommended by Joomla! in order for you to have full compatibility support.

Hit the “Install” button in the top-right side when you’re ready to finish the installation. Leave the installer to do its job and at the end you will be asked to remove the installation folder. You can click the button “Remove installation folder” to attempt removing the installation folder from the installation script itself OR you can just remove it using a Filemanager or FTP client.

And you are done, great job! You can now view your new Joomla! 3.0 website using:

http://www. (yourdomain.com)

To access its administration area you can use:

http://www.(yourdomain.com)/administrator/

And that’s it, enjoy the new version of Joomla! 3.0.

 

C. Installing your Template

First, you need to find a template that will suit your needs. Joomla template vendors typically operate from the Internet. Some provide free templates while many others sell them. Here is our "short list" of favored template vendors:

Once you find the desired templat, download it and carry out these steps to install it:

1. Login to your Joomla 3.0.x administration area (www.domain.com/administrator).

2. Navigate to Extensions/Extensions Manager.

3. Select the browse button and choose the [TemplateName.zip] that you previously downloaded.

4. Click "Upload file & install" to install the template to your Joomla installation. To set the template as the default, navigate to your Template Manager (Extensions/Template Manager).

5. Now, select your desired template and click "Make Default".

6. Your desired template will now be set as the default template.

D. Installing desired Joomla Extensions

Go to http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/most-favoured. This is a good place to start looking for useful extensions. Here is our “short list” of favorites: (make sure that you pick the ones that are compatible with your version of Joomla).

  • eXtplorer
  • JCK Editor
  • Simple Image Gallery
  • XCloner-Backup and Restore
  • Gtranslate

Download the ones you want and save them to your desktop.

To install and setup your extensions, login to the backend of your Joomla installation, and:

1. Navigate to Extensions/Extensions Manager

2. Click "Browse" and select each extension you downloaded to your desktop.

3. Some of your extensions will be managed with Module Manager while others are listed under the menu item “components”.

4. Setup each extension up as necessary.DC.

E. Setting up desired categories

Login to the backend of your Joomla installation:

1. Go to Content/category Manager.

2. You should notice that one category called “Uncategorized” is already present on the list. Leave it as is and use it for articles that don’t fit better in a more specific category.

3. Start adding your desired categories by clicking the “New” icon.

4. Type in the Title (for example “About us” or “Products” or “Customer Support”, etc.).

5. Make sure each new category has a state of “Published”.

6. Click the icon “Save and New” or, (when finished) “Save and Close”.

 

F. Creating articles

Login to the backend of your Joomla installation:

1. Go to Content/Article Manager

2. First, click on the icon “Options” and setup all of your default options. This is entirely your personal preference.

Notice that there are several tabs to select. Go through each tab and set up each item. Remember, the more items you list as “Show” or “Yes”, the busier the appearance of your site. Click “Save & Close” when finished.

3. Now, you are ready to start authoring your articles. The first article you create should probably be your home page. This will be your site’s default home page. Click Content/Article Manger and then click the icon “New” which will bring up the Article Manager: Edit Article window. Type in the Title of your home page, which might be something like “Welcome to my site”-or whatever you prefer. Make sure you assign it to an appropriate category, a state of “Published”, Featured “Yes”. Then add your desired text and photos to the “Article Text” field in the editor. This is your welcome page and, as such, critical to compelling your site visitors to journey through your entire site! Click the icon “Save and New” when finished.

4. Start adding additional articles. Type in the Title, leave the Alias field blank, assign your article to the correct “Category”, State “Published” Featured “No”. Then add your desired text and photos to the Article Text field in the editor. Then, click the icon “Save and New” again and keep repeating this step until you have added your final article. Finally, click the icon “Save and Close”.

G. Creating your menu scheme

Login to the backend of your Joomla installation and first, create a module to assign your Main Menu to. This is essential for your menu scheme to work correctly and appear in a proper location on each of your web pages. Exercise care with these steps:

- Go to Extensions/Module Manager

- Click the icon “New”

- Enter a Title of “Main Menu”

- Show title “No”

- Position the module in the correct position on each of your website’s pages. Do this by clicking “Select position” and selecting the appropriate title location from the list provided. Refer to your template’s module locations diagram (usually part of the template package or listed on the template maker’s website) to pick the right spot for the Main Menu. It will usually be something like “hornav”, depending on what name the template maker assigned.

-In the right hand pane, Select Menu “Main Menu”.

- Show Sub-Menu Items “No”, unless you intend to use nested drop down sub menu items.

- Click the icon “Save & Close”.

 

Next, you will assign the Main Menu module you have just created to the correct Menus. Do this by:

1. Going to Menus/Main Menu.

2. You should find one menu item called “Home” to already be present. Click to view the details.

Typically, it is defaulted to Menu item type “featured”. It is recommended you change that field to “Single Article” by clicking the “Select” button to picking “Single Article”. You can leave the Menu Title as “Home” or change it to something such as “Welcome to our site”. You decide. Make the Menu Location “Main Menu”. Make sure that the State is “Published” and is listed “Yes” as the default page. Normally, this will be the only menu item listed “Yes” as the default page.

3. Click “Save & New” to add additional menu items. Fill in the fields as follows:

  • Menu item Type “Single article” (usually).
  • Menu title as desired. (keep it short – preferably no more than 3 words).
  • State “Published”.
  • Menu Location should be “Main Menu” that you have previously created.
  • Parent item will usually be “Menu item root” unless you are nesting menu items under categories in which case it should point to the correct category.
  • In the right hand pane, Select the correct Article.
  • Click the icon “Save & New”.

4. Repeat step E. 3. Click “Save & Close” when finished.

Go to the front end of your site to see if the main menu items are where they ought to be. Next, assign sub-menu items (if any).

H. Adding additional modules

Login to the backend of your Joomla installation, and go to Extensions/Module Manager. Here is where you will setup modules such as:

  • Footer
  • Submenu (unless you want drop down menu items)
  • Logo
  • Headerbanner (to hold whatever you want under the main menu such as a photo, sketch or logo)
  • Image slide show
  • Google Translate

To create new modules, click the “New” icon (let’s start by creating a footer):

1. Add the title “Footer”

2. Show title “Hide”

3. Position - Position the module in the correct place on each of your website’s pages. Do this by clicking the “Select position” button and select the appropriate title location from the list provided. Refer to your template’s module locations diagram (usually part of the template package or listed on the template maker’s website) to pick the right place for the Main Menu. It will probably be something like “footer” depending on what name the template maker assigned.

4. Select Published.

5. Click the “Save and New” icon to create additional modules. Important note: If you elect to create a module called “submenu”, be sure to position it in the correct location on the page. Usually it will “left”. Also, in the right hand pane, the Select Menu should be “Main Menu” , the start level “2” and the Show Sub-Menu Items checked “Yes” . Depending on your template, you may also need to open the Advanced Options tab and assign Menu Tag ID “Main_menu” and Module Class Suffix “submenu”.

6. When finished with all your modules, click the “Save and Close” icon.


7. Go to your site’s front end to see if everything appears to be in the right place. If not, trouble shoot to determine what’s amiss. Start out by:

  • Going back to Extensions –> Module Manager and open up module “Main Menu”. Double check all the settings previously entered.
  • In the right hand pane, make certain that Basic Options Select Menu is “Main Menu”, Start level “1”, End level “1” and Show Sub-Menu Items is “No”. Also, go to the Advanced Options tab and make sure that the Menu Tag ID is “Main_Menu”