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
6-Linking
7-Blogs andáYour front page
8-Modules, Components, and Mambots
9-Where is it?

There are two ways to link from page to page: menus & links. In most web design (whether you use a wysiwyg editor or not), it’s easier to link text or images to another web page than it is to set up a menu. As with everything else, Joomla is the opposite. Menus are pretty easy -- linking, not so much.

Menus. Menus are modules (for more about modules, see tips #4 or #8 ). A few menus come with your Joomla installation (main, top, other, and more). Since they are modules, you can place them in positions in your template. One thing to remember about menus is that you can’t create a link until you’ve created content.

You can add links to menus from the content, or from the menu manager. From a content item (Content -> Content Managers -> All Content Items [or choose your cagetory], then click on the content item to edit), there is a tab on the right called Link to Menu. It will let you choose any or all of the menus, and tell it what words you want to appear in the menu. I think this is the easiest way to link menus to content you have created.

You can add or remove links from a menu (Menu -> [choose menu]). Remove links by trashing them (don’t worry, it doesn’t delete your content, just the link). Add links with the “new” button on the toolbar. It will give you a number of choices that determine both what type of content you are linking to and how you want that content to appear.

New Menu Items: How - What
The list looks like this:
Blog - Content Category
Blog - Content Section
Link - Contact Item
etc.
The first word tells how it will appear on the page. A blog page contains multiple pieces of content, but only shows the "intro" text of each item (with a link to see the full item on another page). A link will go directly to whatever item you specify. A table contains multiple pieces of content in table format. A separator doesn't link to anything. And see this thread for info on wrappers (thanks DRD!):
http://forum.mamboserver.com/showthread.php?t=43536
The second word tells what will appear on the page. Content or Section, outside url or newsfeed, contact item or static content or newsfeed. (So many options!)

Before you make too many menus, remember that menus are modules, and that Joomla already has a lot of built-in modules. If you want to build a menu for news items, for example, then stop! It's already done. The "Latest News" module displays links to the most recent n content items in your News categoy. And you don't have to do anything but put that module in one of the positions in your template (tips #3 and #4).

What if I want cool rollover buttons in my menus instead of this boring text? Well, I haven't tried it yet, but I understand that this component will do just that:
http://mamboforge.net/projects/swmenu/

Linking. If you want to link text or images in content to another page in your site, the first thing to do is to get one of the "nice url" components. I recommend SEF404:
http://mamboforge.net/projects/sef404/. If you look at the web addresses of your pages, you'll notice that they have non-intuitive names ending in something like /view/25/64/. SEF404 will make all of your page addresses nice, based on the title of your content and category (or section).

Now that you have "nice" urls, you will have to copy and paste. Open your browser and go to the page on your site you would like to link to. Highlight and copy the url. Now go to your Joomla admin, and go to the content you want to link from (Content -> All Content Items [or choose category], and edit the content item). Highlight the text or image you want to link, and click the "link" button in the editor. Paste the url in the popup box, and voila, your text is linked. (Hey, let me know if there is an easier way to do this….)

You should be able to actually make a site now. Yay!! But wait – there’s more….
Next tip: Blogs; Your front page.






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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