Anna's Joomla tips

Tuesday, 03 January 2006
Article Index

Anna's Joomla tips

1-How to think about content management
2-How to organize your site
3-Designing the look of your site
4-Modules and pages
5-Adding text and images
7-Blogs andáYour front page
8-Modules, Components, and Mambots
9-Where is it?

If you want an explanation of what Modules are, see tip #8. This tip is to introduce them to you, since you have your positions lined up in your template. Modules are little magic boxes that contain dynamic content. Go to Modules -> Site Modules in your Joomla admin. Here you will see a list of the modules that come with your Joomla installation.

You will notice that all of your menus are modules. Your login form is a module – it lets users sign in so that they can update or add content right from the website. Latest News is a module that gives links to the most recently added news items (content in the News category). Pretty much anything that involves linking or user input is a module. And there are tons of modules you can download and install, so you’re not limited to the ones that you have now (see tip #8 for more info).

Look across the table till you get to the Position column – this tells you what position (what block) that module is in (Positions are covered in tip #3). If you click on one of the module names to edit it, you will see an option to change the position it is in (under Module Details). Go ahead and move these around into different positions and go see it live on your site. Pretty cool, no?

You can also turn modules on or off on specific pages. Remember, the position only saves space for the modules, it doesn’t control whether modules show or not.

Pages. Are you sitting down? Because I’m about to lay one on ya. Ready? Web pages don’t exist. At least not in Joomla. When you think you’re looking at a web page, Joomla thinks you’re looking at a menu item. In fact, there’s no way in Joomla to see what is on a particular page, where the positions are, what modules are in what positions, what content shows, etc. Because Joomla doesn’t believe in pages! Frankly, I think it’s silly – the page is the fundamental unit of the web. But re-orient your brain, because Joomla is plugging its ears and singing “la la la la.”

To turn modules on or off in specific pages, you have to link them to menu items. Fortunately that is right in the Edit Site Module page (Modules -> Site Modules, then click on a module to edit it.) There is a tab on the right called Locations, and you can highlight as many Menu Item Links as you want. This does mean that you can’t control modules until you’ve linked your content, which we won’t do for another two tips! But there you have it, that’s Joomla.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for! Let’s add content.
Next tip: Adding text and images.

Comments (5)
RSS comments
1. thanks22-02-2007 23:13

This was a great guide, why couldn't it have been part of the official Joomla documentaion! I learned enough to finish off quite a few things that I missed since I didn't know the context and conventions of Joomla. Thanks again!

2. Excellent17-10-2007 14:00

When is your book coming out?  
"joomla/mambo EXPOSED"....really.  
Please let me know. 
Thanks for your "unique" real world approach as well as  
your great insight.

3. Thanks!26-10-2007 15:21

I appreciate you taking the time to provide "traditional hand-crafted web pages" vs. Joomla perspective. I am beginning to get my head around Joomla thanks to your time and efforts.

4. Nice tutorial.26-11-2007 10:57

HI Anna ! 
This is anand, last two days i am following your tutorial. 
It is very good for the beginner, It is very useful to me. Now I joomlafying 
a website, already well designed and running. Can you tell be the better approach ? 
And one more question for you, how can i place my 
menu in a desired location, sorry if my question is wrong. 
Thx in Advance, 
Anand kumar.

5. Thank a lot18-04-2008 08:28

I am a new címer and I have a lot of confusions on PAGE/Front page. 
After reading, now I understand more how Joomla works. 
Thank you for your writing! 
Good Job! 
Adidaphat :(

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