Overview on Joomla Content Management Systems
Printer friendly version
Article # 685
What is a “Content Management System” (CMS)?
A good definition is; software added to a website that enables one’s ability to add and/or manipulate content directly on a website via the web browser.
CMS has become the “standard” in web design, allowing website owners to edit/add/delete content such as rich text, images, articles, database data and more, directly through CMS administration on the website. CMS puts complicated web design publishing software behind, adds functionality, lowers costs, and increases interactivity with your website.
CONTENT MANAGMENT WITH JOOMLA
Joomla www.joomla.org is an award winning Content Management System (CMS) that E Street has been deploying for years now with great success. Specifically Joomla is a web-application that allows you to log into a your own private administrative interface 24/7 and create pages; edit page content with images, formatted text, and links; create and modify menus; create and maintain sections of pages such as news, articles, or FAQs; and place various modules which enhance the layout of your website. This means you can have a competitive and easy to manage website without the hassle of having to learn a web programming language or constantly hiring E Street to make updates for you.
Joomla has a lot of features and it would take more room than this KB article to give a good accounting of them all.
There are many different help guides for Joomla:
E Street has a demo of Joomla that you are welcome to experiment with:
Main Site : cms.estreet.com
(contact E Street for access to the demo’s admin)
E Street Web Design Services can be hired to build your Joomla Website for you. We'll be happy to consult about your needs and business vision and work with you to create a website thats what your looking for. Contact email@example.com for more information on how E Street can help you.
EXPANDING JOOMLA WITH “EXTENSIONS”
One of the reasons we love Joomla here at E Street is its expandability. Where as the features mentioned above are available in the base product, and make it quite a nice piece of software to begin with, Joomla was built with the intention of meeting a variety of needs that go beyond the basic informational website. This is accomplished through various addons called extensions. extensions.joomla.org
There are three kinds of extensions all Joomla users should be familiar with: Templates, Components, and Modules.
NOTE : Since extensions are all third party applications, some of the ones available may not work as advertised, have documentation, offer support, or even be safe to install on your website. E Street does not directly support and is not responsible for any damages or loss of business/funds incurred as a result of you installing an extension into your website.
One of the keys to how Joomla does what it does is its templating system. Unlike traditional HTML websites, where the basic design of the website is stored in every page forcing you to edit every page if you want to make a change, Joomla's basic aesthetic design is stored in a single file called a template. This template is specially coded to change and adjust itself to work with the various design elements of your pages. This means if you set it up in Joomla to have your home page be full width but you want a left hand menu on the rest of your website, the template automatically adjusts and you don't need to have multiple files. This means that once you have your template in place, you are free to work within the admin interface to do build your website and your template will adjust as you add new pages and menus or new modules that alter the layout.
You are welcome to build your own template (a working knowledge of PHP, HTML, and CSS recommended), have E Street design them, or use one of the many available for purchase on the Internet.
E Street Web Design Services can be hired to develope your websites aesthetic feel by customizing an existing template or creating a new one specifically for your needs.
By far the most powerful extensions are applications, called components, that are plugged into Joomla that add new features and functionality. There are a lot of different kinds of components, from ones that let you create a simple email form to complex softwares that handle e-commerce (virtuemart), project management, forums, and blogs. One of the greatest features of the components functionality of Joomla is that unlike the past where adding a blog or e-commerce to your website meant tedious (or costly) hours of getting your new software to work with your existing website design, Joomla extensions work with your existing template from the second they are installed. This lets you focus on getting your new software to look and work the way you want without first getting it up to speed with the rest of your website.
Components have their very own button in the menu labeled Components, click on that and your installed components will be listed for you to access.
Each component will have its own features and documentation and we recommend looking on the website of the components creator for more information.
There are a lot of extensions available on the internet, we recommend looking here:
Joomla Extensions website : extensions.joomla.org/
E Street Web Design Services can be hired to help you find the right component for your needs and install and configure it for you.
I've referred to modules a few times now, but what they are is probably still confusing. Modules are a term used with Joomla to refer to various small sub-applications that allow you to add little display blocks to various parts of your layout. These blocks are used to do things like display menus, search bars, lists of articles, product categories, user logins, and even custom text and images. There are several places in your website layout where modules can be placed called Module Positions. What the name of each position is and exactly where these module positions show up varies from template to template, but most templates at least offer a left hand module position (for things like left hand menus) and a right column (for right hand menus). You are able to set what pages in your website will show a particular module, and as mentioned above, if you have it display a left hand column on one page but want a right hand column on the next, your template will automatically adjust allowing you all sorts of flexibility on the design of individual pages. There are many modules that can be downloaded from the Joomla Extensions website and then you are able to install them using the Joomla installation interface. Also, many components come with their own specialized modules that help you display information from that component ( for instance Virtuemart comes with a module that displays VM product categories).
There are a lot of good modules that you can download and install in your joomla website, we recommend looking at :
Joomla Extensions Website : extensions.joomla.org/
E Street Web Design Services can be hired to help you setup, customize and expand your Joomla websites - Drop us a note and let us know how we can help.
by Ryan Wallace
Lead Web Developer
E Street Communications
webdesign at estreet.com
Article # 685
Category: Web Hosting