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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 and Your front page
8-Modules, Components, and Mambots
9-Where is it?

Someone recently asked me for more specifics about making blogs, so here is my description:

Joomla can create a blog out of any category or section you choose. Blog simply means that the page displays the titles and intro text to items in a category (or section), and links to full text. And you can make any page a blog.

1. Create a category called "Thoughts" (or whatever name you want). See tip 2 for more info on categories.

2. To create the blog page, create a menu link. (Remember, in Joomla there are no pages - just menu items [tip 4].) Edit your main menu and click on New. It will give you a bunch of items (see tip 6, linking) - pick Blog - Content Category. Then name your page and choose the "Thoughts" category. Don't forget to look at the Parameters tab in your menu item to control things like how many columns to use for the intros & other useful stuff.

Your Front Page
[I just read this on the forums and thought it was very helpful. Here it is in mperkel’s words:]

Understanding Blogs

One mistake I made was to assume that the front page manager had something to do with the front page - it doesn't. Joomla has the object called a "blog" and the center of the front page is one of these blogs.

The "blog" is a very unusual and powerful object once you understand it. By default the first object in the blog is full width (one column) and the next 4 object are 1/2 width (two column). After that - there are links to the next blog articles and pages of clusters of more blog items.

This blog thing is totally customizable and if you want to actually use it as a blog what you do is change the settings. You do this by going into the menus and selecting the mainmenu. Then you configure it by changing the leading, intro, and colums settings. I just put in 999 into leading to get a one column vertical blog.

A blog also points to a collection of content items. There are both sections and categories that are collections. So a blog is associated with a list and you create the list of the content as a section and then have a blog object pointing to the list and put the blog object into the main menu and you have a new blog.

The Front Page

Whatever the first item in your main menu is - this item becomes your front page. Once you understand this it eliminates a lot of confusion. If you choose something for the first menu item other than the standard entry then the "front page manager" is totally useless because what is says is on the front page isn't - and what is on the front page isn't listed in the front page manager.

Thanks, mperkel!
Next tip: Modules, Components, and Mambots.

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