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A Joomla! Reference Guide

Joomla Reference Guide

Need help? Call 734.253.2305

Š Copyright 2007


Introduction Yes, we’re starting with the disclaimer. This is not intended to be the wizard’s cookbook for Joomla! The topic of Joomla! is not a small one and to write everything there is to say about this topic could not be done in less than a few hundred pages. What we have here is our version of what’s important in 20 pages, and even that wasn’t easy. The list of contents below are answers to the questions we have most frequently heard every time we introduce Joomla! to someone new.

What is Joomla? Sections and Categories Static Content Hosting and Domain Names Layout First, Then Graphics Users and Rights How to Add/Change Content Adding A New Static Item About Being An Admin - The BackEnd Uploading Images Using Uploaded Images Templates Link Building Banner Advertising SEF (Search Engine Friendly) URLs Mass Mailing Members Session Expired! HTML vs TinyMCE Modules Components Image Gallery Options How to Create a Quick Module FTP Adding Menu Items Removing Locks Taskhopper About Distribution You are welcome to do whatever you would like with this guide. What does that mean? Give it away -- or include it with anything else you sell and you keep 100% of the profits… or you can use it as a free bonus and give it away on your site… or you can print out as many copies as you want… or you can send it as a file to your team to help them with their website ...or you can simply send it to a friend who might be interested in trying Joomla. The only restriction is that you don’t modify this in any way. That’s it! Joomla Reference Guide

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Why Joomla!? Joomla was created in 2005 by a group of developers that had been part of another CMS project called Mambo. The name Joomla is an English spelling of the Swahili word jumla meaning "all together" or "as a whole". It was chosen to reflect the commitment of the development team and community to the project. The first release of Joomla! was announced on September 16, 2005. This was a re-branded release of Mambo 4.5.2.3 combined with other bug and security fixes. We began using Joomla! in October of 2005 and by the end of the that year, had decided that was our CMS. As of May 2007, if you ask Google about Joomla, it returns 47.3 million references, Mambo 34.4 and Drupal 18.2 Joomla! is Open Source and free. They derive much of their revenue from donations. So, if you decide to use this in your business, we encouage you to show your $upport at http://joomla.org

Joomla! - Think of it as a Newspaper Joomla! organizes content by Sections and Categories. So think of it as a newspaper. There’s the front page, business, sports... those are the Sections. A section can have Categories much like you might find golf, basketball and baseball in the Sports section. Joomla! also has some other content called Static. A static item is something that doesn’t need to be categorized. Good examples of static web content: About Us, Find Us...

Content Items vs Static Items - When To Use Them Whatever way you want to organize your content, Joomla won't complain. If you don't know the answer to the question When should I create Static Content and when Content Items (those items organized in Sections and Categories)? - this will not hinder you from doing great things with your website. Unless your website has lots of material. In this case, you'd better learn it. After all, this is one of the best features that a CMS will offer you, and that was not possible in a static website. How Do I Know What Kind My Item Is? Using Static Content and Content Items is a question of common sense. Imagine that you buy a bunch of socks. You come home and place three pairs underneath your bed, two in the closet and two behind the fridge. Regardless of the unusual way that you handled you socks placement, you'll still be safe from getting around barefoot for a whole week. That is, if by the end of the weekend you can remember where to find them. The rest of us humans prefer to allocate a drawer in our closet on which, if we really want to overdo it, we write Socks. Others go so far as to organize that very drawer by color. The thing is, unless you have serious memory problems, you'll know where to go when it comes to dress your lowest possessions. Joomla Reference Guide

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The same common sense applies to Joomla content. If you have three items that are talking about sports, why not create a section intitled Sports? If two of them talk about football and the last one gets into golf, why not create two categories called Football and Golf within that section? You'll thank yourself you did it next time you'll look for an item in order to edit it. But the benefits go further than just convenience in locating your pages. If your material is well organized, Joomla allows you to do wondrous things with your content items - like pulling in one page all the material from one section or category, or making the navigation between pages with similar content easier etc. No question about it, your efforts will be well rewarded. How about Static Content? If we decided to get so organized, won't we be organizing away everything that we can lay our hands on? Why leave something out? Well, imagine you buy one coat, and you decide that is the only coat you'll ever have. Will you make a special drawer for it? That would be a waste of drawers and useless work. Suppose you write an About Us page. Unless you get so much into writing about yourself that you cannot stop, that page will likely be the only item of this kind that you'll ever have. Why waste your time creating sections and categories in order to place one item? A better solution is to drop it in the bin with unique items: the Static Content gang. You can do the same with the "Find Us" page, "Term and Conditions" one, or all the other ones that shout "unique". Not clear yet? Here is another example. Ever cleaned the kids' playroom? You have likely placed the dolls in one bin, the toy cars in another, and the board games in the third. Maybe, in an excess of enthusiasm, you have organized these bins too: little trucks in one compartment; the trains and wagons in another. Everything else that did not require a special bin, you abandoned in a corner of the room: a ball, a whistle, a jumping rope and one of those toys that can morph into whatever and out of which your kids seem to get a blast. This "everything else" is your Static Content. On the other hand, everything that can be categorized will go into Sections (bins) and Categories (compartments within bins), and will constitute your Content Items.

Joomla Reference Guide

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Installation - Hosting Joomla! runs on a server. (Well, actually, you can install it on a laptop if you needed to work on your site away from the internet, but we just can’t imagine a time when that would happen -- so we’ll ignore that.) The recommended server type is garden variety Linux. LAMP is an acronym which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Finding LAMP hosting is simple and cheap, except there are so many offerings, it actually can be confusing. Here’s an example of a leading Joomla! hosting company. When you see an ad like this, here are some tips: Stay away from “free domain”, don’t believe the $6/month until you find out how many months you need to prepay, ignore 99.9% uptime because that’s a meaningless stat that has little to do with customer satisifaction, ignore free installation and templates... What is important? cPanel/Fantastico, disk space, bandwidth, and, if your site is important, support. (By the way: the cost above was really $10/month, unless you’re willing to purchase 24 months at once.) How Much Disk Space/Bandwidth Do You Need? Joomla requires about 15MB of disk space, so in most cases, 50MB is plenty to run a simple site. Obviously what you do on the site must be factored into your requirement. If you’re a photographer and plan to build an inventory of hi-res images/video, 50MB will never work. By the way, the 250GB above, for $10/month is still a very good price. Example of Some Typical Support We got a call a few months back asking if we could reinstall their entire site because it had been defaced by some Russian hackers. Their hosting company had told them that was the only option to restore the site. We looked at the damage and repaired their site in under 30 minutes, no reinstall needed. If you don’t host with a company that knows Joomla, don’t expect to get much help if you run into problems.

If you are just getting started with Joomla! something like the above would be a fine starting point.

Purchasing Domain Names Important tip: Don’t host where you buy names, don’t buy names where you host. e.g., If you purchase your domain name from GoDaddy.com (which is a fine choice) do not purhase ANYTHING ELSE from them. They are a domain name registrar and just about everything else is an upsell that you don’t want. You should be paying about $10/year for .COM domain names. It’s still very possible to find places that charge $25 per year. We do not recommend Network Solutions because of their long history with overcharging and making it an act of God to transfer to another registrar. eNom.com and Moniker.com is where we keep all of our domain names. Both have decent prices and support. Joomla Reference Guide

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Layout First, Then Graphics It is here you will define how the site will look based on what it will do. Where things will be located. Menu on the left? Login form, no login form? Top navigation bar, what will the footer say? Colors, fonts, header images... Remember that a CMS-based site can have *any* look you desire. There are thousands of different templates that you can try to see if some pre-existing work fits your vision. When deciding on a layout you should become familar with a the terms “modules” and “positions” because it will help you understand how content can be arranged. All webites have modules which can be thought of as containers that hold content or function. Where they appear on your website is their position.

All positions have names

e.g., Login is a module and normally resides inthe Left position

When you want to see where modules positions are located in a template, you do this (via admin login).

(make sure you have set the template you wish to view as default first via the Template Manager) Joomla Reference Guide

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User Rights - Authors, Editors and Publishers There are three user groups: Public, Registered and Special. You can control access to your content at these three levels. Within Special there are six types. There are a total of 8 user types. Confused? Don’t worry. This all becomes crystal clear after the second drink. If you wish to restrict content to certain users, then you will need to activate the login module. With this enabled, users can be Registered, Authors, Editors and Publishers. Back-End Users (aka, admins)

Front-End Users These four types can gain access via the front-end

Edit Rights - Who Can Change What? When someone logs into your site, these are the choices their default user menu. As a registered user, the lowest kind, the only rights would be “Your Details” to change their password, submitting a weblink or logging out. Submitting News and checking-in items is resevered for the upperclassmen: Authors, Editors and Publishers. Just as you might guess, Authors can create new copy but can’t change anything. Whatever they submit must be published by someone with more authority before it becomes visible. Editors can edit/update any copy that has been published. They accomplish this by logging into the site, then clicking the tiny edit icons that adorn the top of every page, for the privileged few.

As an editor, this tiny icon is the key to changing any page that’s been published. A Publisher is more like an Author you trust. Sure, it’s possible you can get someone different for each role, but often the person writing is also editing and publishing. When you give Publisher rights, it means that whatever they submit, then can make visible as soon as they save. So as a Publisher, here’s the path to fresh copy: Write some copy

Change it to Published

Login

Click this

Joomla Reference Guide

Save it!

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How To Add/Change Content To add content you must be a Publisher or above. To change content, you must be an Editor or above. Content can be added/changed from the front or back-end. Here’s what the front-end looks like: Any of these 7 types can login from the front-end All this poor sap can do is view content and suggest weblinks

If you want to create a “moderated blog” type of site, you would upgrade Registered users to Authors. This would allow them to post comments, but someone with more authority would still need to approve it before it’s made visible to others. By default, Joomla! is not a good blogging tool because content is not thread-oriented. Joomla! is by default, a news publishing system. Think of it as an online newspaper or magazine and it will make much more sense.

but only these can change content

Creating a New Static Item

After you have logged in as a manager or above, you can create some static items. This is usually a place we recommend you begin because there are no sections or categories to confuse you. It takes only four things to create a new static item. Remember a static item is something that doesn’t need to be grouped. About Us, Find Us are popular examples. If you’re in a hurry or too lazy to figure out sections and categories then make everything static.

Joomla Reference Guide

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The Back-End The back-end is what is also known as admin access. This is where you control things beyond weblinks and pages of content. Joomla! webmasters spend most of there time logging in here. It’s not a scary place, but at first glance, it can be a bit intimidating. The good news is, you’ve only got seven more things to learn until you are certifiable. There’s no “Click here if you forgot your password” so don’t forget.

Who Gets To Use the Back Door? Managers and above are considered admins. Authors, Editors and Publishers IDs will not work here. So what can you do with these user types?

Only these folks can come in the back door

Managers Get 7 Buttons Managers are high powered Publishers. Their role is restricted to content management including the addition of menu items. They can also add/edit sections and categories.

Admins - They Get 3 More Admins control users, change templates and configue modules. Admin is what normal webmasters should be for normal website maintenance. Admins hold the power to “really goof up” a working site so give this to others with some caution.

Yes, admins get to control the trash!

Super Admins ... Get All 12 Supers hold all the keys. Only super admins can make other super admins. They have full control over all Joomla! functions. Once a site up and running, admin access should not be used unless it’s necessary.

Joomla Reference Guide

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© Copyright 2007


Uploading Images There are two ways to get images into your Joomla! site. FTP and the Media Manager. Perhaps in a future session we’ll cover FTP, but for now, we’ll stick to the Media Manager which is accessible only to back-end users. (Managers and above) Images need to be transferred to your site if you want to display them in content items, section/category headers or banner ads. There’s not much to it. As a Manager, here’s the process:

Media Manager is only for content images. You can’t use this to customize a template because by default, the root location is the /images directory. (you can’t traverse out of the images directory with Media Manager)

Tip: When you are designing your site, create all the necessary directories first so it’s clear where images are to be stored. e.g., /images/staff To create a directory, just enter the name and click Create.

Using the Images You Just Uploaded Back-end users are generally the image inserters. Technically editors and publishers could do this, but they normally wouldn’t know what’s been uploaded via the Media Manager. Here’s what it looks like:

To add an image, click this If you need to align the image left or right, click this before inserting

This is the only tricky part. The default editor in Joomla! will not show you a list of images so you need to remember where you put things. In this case, the image was stored in the root directory of images. For the techno types...

If you prefer to work with HTML, the WYSIWYG editor can be turned off or you can click this to view the code. Joomla Reference Guide

If the image does not appear here, then you either didn’t type the URL correctly or the image is not a valid file.

For the non-propeller heads...

Enhanced editors can be installed into Joomla! to make this even easier. If you find it too difficult to remember URLs, that’s another option for you. Need help? Call 734.253.2305

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Templates At some point you will want to try other templates. Not many are content too long with the rhuk_solarflare_ii. By default, Joomla! comes with two templates, one ugly, the other stupid. It’s possible they did this intentionally just to mess with all the Dreamweavers that think CMS products are boxy and clunky looking. A CMS is, at the core, just HTML so it can look like just about anything you can do with Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Cold Fusion or any of the others. Before you can select other templates, you’ll need to first install a few. Nothing but good news here. There are thousands of templates available, both free and others with a modest license fee. They are easy to install and, depending on your needs, easy to customize.

Where To Find Them Google has about 1.5 million references to “joomla templates” - so that’s not a bad place to start. Here are some places we recommend: Commercial Grade: rockettheme.com, compassdesigns.net and joomlashack.com. Most of these are membership based (~$50/yr) which gets you one new template per month. Joomlashack charges per template (~$40/ea) and has a small collection of free samples. RocketTheme builds some high-end stuff. Very professional, and not all that simple to customize. Free: Joomla24.com is about as good an example as you will find. Last count they had over 1400 in their library. Lots of them are boxy and clunky, but for the price, it’s hard to complain. If you’re just getting started, this is an ideal way to spend time browsing and learning.

How To Install a Template Download the template (usually in a ZIP file) from one of the sites mentioned above. Unzip to your hard drive, then upload the entire structure to your /templates directory. Make sure not to change the name of the directory when unzipping as the directory name is hard-coded in the HTML. (If you don’t know what that means, it doesn’t matter because you’ll likely be having somone else do this part as you’ll also need some FTP skills.) You can install templates as a Super Admin but we don’t recommend it as using that feature will assign file/directory rights to the web server which makes tweaking a pain.

Tweaking a Template A tweaked template is just a matter of installing your own graphics into the positions that already exist. Beyond that, adding some background color or changing the font can go a long way to making a common template look unique. Do not underestimate the work that goes into building a custom template. If you want to have this done by a designer, it’s not uncommon to pay $1500 for a high quality template. You can do amazing things with much less if your graphic person knows how to move things around. Joomla Reference Guide

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Link Building

Most website have links to other web sites. That was the idea behind the content type known as Weblinks. As an Admin (or Super) the first step is to build some link categories. Once those are in place, you can add links directly into the system from the back-end or allow Registered users (and above) to suggest them for you. Any link submitted from the front-end will be held in an unpublished Click this to save the link

A weblink consists of four data items. After a user submits this, an email is sent to the admin to let them know something is waiting to be approved.

Banner Advertising Maybe you’ll never care about this, but it’s good to know it’s there if you need it. The day your site reaches the tipping point and everyone wants to be on your home page, you will be ready to start collecting pay-per-click ad revenue. Joomla! includes a simple banner ad rotation/management module. How it works: First, activate the module (must be a Super Admin) and make sure you know where the module will position the ads. Then, with that position space in mind, upload some banner ad images to the /images/ banners directory. (this is a good use of the Media Manager) Next, add some clients, then Manage Banners. Because Joomla! keeps track of how many times a banner has been displayed and clicked, it also calculates click-thru so you can provide feedback to your advertisers, or know how effective your images are.

If you are charging on impressions, a banner will stop running when the limit is reached. It’s possible that the client will be emailed when this happens, but we’ve never tried this, so let us know if that’s the case. Even if you don’t get any direct revenue from running banner ads, it’s sometimes a good idea as it’s a great way to obtain reciprocal traffic. Tip: Don’t use animated gifs in banner ads. It’s dated, can be blocked by browsers and can irritate visitors unless they loop only once. Joomla! does support Flash-based ads, but those are often worse than animated gifs! Joomla Reference Guide

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Getting Google To Notice Good part about CMS-based websites: You can build lots of content fast. Downside: CMS-based websites can have some monster-ugly URLs. Try putting this on a freeway billboard or a Superbowl commercial: http://your_domain.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=26

SEF=Search Engine Friendly Ha, more good news. Joomla! can become search engine friendly with just a little additional effort. With maybe an hour of time, and with a basic understanding of search engine optimization, Joomla! can transform the above URL into something more like http://your_domain.com/about-us.htm

Next: The Site Map Most websites don’t even do this for their human visitors: A single page of all the links, grouped by type. One place where you can “see” every link in the site. If your site doesn’t have one, and the site was built the old fashioned way, then consider yourself normal. It’s just too much work to dig through all the pages and find links, just for the sake of putting them all on one page. But this is imporant for search engines if you care about their ranking of your site. Building what’s called an XML Site Map can be easily done once a Joomla! site is made SEF. This information can then be submitted directly to Google to ensure all internal pages are included.

Mass Mail and A Few Last Tips Of course you can send bulk email. And you can send it 10 different ways to hit any one user type, any of the user groups, or everyone. Start by selecting Mass Mail (available only to Super Admins) Make you selection Then type your message Click this to send!

(some hosters have strict spam controls and may not allow this feature to be used if your user base is large)

Joomla Reference Guide

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© Copyright 2007


Session Expired! Don't run away, thinking that you can do without knowing what this is. The term is important to understand, and this knowledge will save you lots of headaches that all of us had at one time or another. Be smarter than the rest of us. What is Session Expired? Whenever you log in (from the front-end or back-end), you will be offered, as a rule, 900 seconds to do your changes. If during those 900 seconds you do not click any button or link, the system will assume you've left to go fishing and will log you out, thinking it's doing you a favor. Now you may be in the middle of editing some content. Your creative juices may have stricken and you spent one hour writing the story that may bring you the Pulitzer prize. You finish, click Save, and realize that, to your horror, the system tells you you've been logged out. All your efforts have gone down the drain, and so have all your intentions to behave appropriately when reason tells you hammering down your computer in an access of rage won't help. What happened? You have not clicked anything. Typed, yes, but remember, typing ain't clicking. Next time you edit some content, do one of this things:

1

Click the Apply button as often as possible, every few minutes. Do it so often that you start wondering if you have some mental condition. Better that than losing your work.

2

Do what we always do, and edit your content in Notepad or other text editor, then copy it and paste it onto your new Joomla item. (Don’t use Word or any other similar product that formats the text)

Joomla Reference Guide

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TinyMCE Editor vs. HTML It's simpler than it sounds. These two terms refer to two distinct ways of editing and formating the text of your website.

HTML - If you are familiar with HTML tags, you may want to choose No WYSIWYG Editor as your User Editor (you can change this by editing your user profile). Some prefer to do this because they gain more control on how the page will look like. TinyMCE Editor - If you think that HTML is something to eat, it's better to use some help in editing your content. This help comes in the form of the TinyMCE Editor, that you can choose as your User Editor. If you have ever written a document in Microsoft Word, this editor will look pretty familiar to you. It wil offer you some tools that will help you organize your page, format your text, add images and links, or anything else you feel like.

Joomla Reference Guide

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Modules and Components Here is Joomla in full bloom! When we talk about modules and components (and you cannot avoid that), we reach the subject of Joomla's ever-increasing functionality. Because they exist, you are a few clicks away from making your website a box of surprises and useful tools. Simply put, modules and components are a way of adding more to your website than just the text and images that you have poured into your main area in the previous steps. As for the difference between these two concepts, you will find it in a) the kind of addition you will get, b) where you display it, and c) the degree of functionality they come with. Modules are simpler in terms of added functionality, and are used to display information - around the main area of your web page. Here are some examples:

Image Gallery Options Great example of a component is an image gallery, a place within Joomla! where you can upload images for others to view. An image gallery is perfect IF you want others that are members to your site to be able to upload their own. If you don’t need this, maybe a Joomla-based gallery is not the best option. Other options are these two: 1. Stand-alone products like Coppermine which is a full-featured product that does not integrate with your Joomla members. (if you don’t have a login module on your page, then this might be a good fit) e.g., http://shipmycar.com/gallery is a Coppermine gallery “on top of” a Joomla site. 2. Public galleries offered via places like Google (http://picasa.google.com is the product we highly recommend which interfaces automatically with their public image gallery) Tip: Understand of these options BEFORE you jump into a solution. Joomla Reference Guide

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Components Components are more complex, since they do not only add information usually in the main area of their own page, but come with full functionality of their own - that is - they are tools you can use to do things. Examples are forums, task systems, calendars, real estate management systems etc.

Where do you get components? Components are produced by software engineers that know lots about Joomla. If you want to get an idea of the size of this market, go to http://extensions.joomla.org. As of today there were 1824 of them in there and it’s growing at a brisk pace. Joomla is based on the GPL/open source license and as a result most of the components written are of the same. That means most are available at a low cost, or no cost at all. We don’t like to use the word “free” because that does not paint the correct picture. Everything has a cost, it’s just a matter of how and when you pay. Taskhopper.com is available without charge, but if you want us to install or support it, you need to pay us. Same would hold true if you wanted someone else to support Taskhopper. If you know Joomla well and can support all aspects of this, then your out-of-pocket expense is less, but you still would need to spend your time learning how everything connects. To learn more about this “free” concept ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source Joomla Reference Guide

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How to Create a Module Joomla comes with some built-in modules. You can unpublish those that you don't need, or add more. It takes about a half dozen clicks to get a new module installed.

Modules can appear on every page or combination of pages. You can also easily control where they appear on page. If this is all confusing, don’t worry about it. You don’t need to be a programmer to make Joomla an effective tool. If you’re only interest is being an author, editor or publisher, just ignore all this technobabble and flip to the next page.

What about FTP? FTP is file transfer protocol. It’s both a process and a program. e.g., Can you FTP that to me? Which FTP program do you use? You can be an accomplished Joomla webmaster and never use FTP, but there comes a point when Media Manager just doesn’t cut it. We recommend FileZilla. We would give you the domain name, but Google likely will help you find this. How and when to use FTP is beyond the scope of this reference manual. We only included this so we could plug the good folks over at http://filezilla-project.org If you need to know more, call the number listed at the bottom of this document. :)

Joomla Reference Guide

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Adding Menu Items Now that you have some main content, you may expect that it appears magically on your page. Unfortunately, it will not. In order to access it, you will need to create links, things you can click. WARNING: For a beginner, creating a link can become a confusing matter. Even though easy and fast, you are offered an array of choices with which you have to be familiar. The part that’s confused as heck is that many of the choices are the same thing. Here’s the screen that will cause you to do a pull-back... Telling you about each type of thing you can link to could easily consume the entire 20 pages we have here ... so we’ll not even try to go there. There are 25 different radio buttons on the New Menu Item page and it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed anytime in life you get that many options at one time. Our tip: Try them one at a time. Make notes and see what they do.

Blog Content Joomla! is not a blogger! You can make it one, but that’s not it’s mission in life. If you want to blog, then you should be looking at Wordpress. When you see Blog as a link type it just means that five items will be displayed on each page. It’s got nothing to do with threaded messages. Not sure where they came up with the name for this, but we think it must have been just to mess with people. If anyone has a better explanation, we would love to hear it.

Our Uninvited Opinion We don’t think that a blogger should be the foundation for a business identity. Why? Because a blogger is usually about opinions of others and you don’t want that as your home page. If you’re using Wordpress as your coporate site, it’s likely all your posts are internal or heavily moderated, and folks, that’s not blogging. If you want to add opinions to your public-facing website, do it with some planning. For true blogging, it might be better to consider an alter ego domain name to keep the corporate brand safe. Joomla Reference Guide

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Locked Out! 1. When editing the content from the front-end The beauty of Joomla lays in the fact that you can update/change the content of your site easily. OK, maybe we generalize. Sometimes, when you want to edit the content from the front end, you are stopped by a message telling you that that piece of content is being edited by another user at the moment, and you are not allowed to do it.

What happened? The content is locked. What is locked content? Whenever you start editing a piece of content, you place in fact a lock on it. The lock will not be removed until you click Save or Cancel and leave the page. If a different user is editing the content at that moment, the lock will not allow you to make your changes simultaneously. The reason for this is to avoid confusion and unexpected results. As in the case of two cooks that would better not fix the same soup, aditing the content is another situation in which it's wiser not to mix things. If you are the only user, things start to look suspect. Who is the other guy? In case you have created two user names for yourself (maybe one is admin, the other one admin1), the other you may have edited the content previously and forgot to leave it properly (by clicking the Save/Cancel button). Your session have expired, you have been logged out, but the system has still your lock on the content. Most often, the reason for locked content is expired session. You started making updates, took a break, wandered away, and forgot to ever come back. Tip: When the item is locked down, in case you log in with the same login id as when you locked the item, you will be allowed to make changes. Joomla knows who locked it and if that is you again, it has no problem with letting you back in.

2. When editing the content from the back-end In the back things get colorful. Whenever an item is locked, the little yellow lock icon that we met above is placed next to it. That will show that either you or another user has been wandering away or is editing the content.

How can you unlock an item? What will you do if another user forgot to unlock the item and left/quit/died? There is a little trick that you can use whenever that happens, or whenever you find that too many locks are sticking around too many items. This trick is called Global Checkin. If you’re an Admin, you will find it under the System menu on top of the page:

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What's Taskhopper? Taskhopper is a task manager that tracks, and reminds you of things needing attention. Customer requests, problems and technical support are areas where it can be highly effective. Taskhopper handles one or hundreds of users. Users are generally customers or someone who responds to requests. Responders are typically in Sales or Customer Support. Requests can be submitted without logging in, meaning this can be used by potential as well as existing clients. • Joomla! compliant - Installs quickly into your Joomla-based site. • To-do lists - See what needs to get done and who needs to do it. • See the team - Who's working and what time it is there? • File sharing - Files can be attached to each request. • Time tracking - Automatic timers can be used to tally total time spent on an item or project. • Accountability - Track when things are due and who's responsible. • Notification - Send alerts when things change. • Project/User History - Shows who, what, when, how; great for future project estimates. • Secure - Users see only the projects they belong to.

Benefits Projects don't fail because of lacking Powerpoint presentations -- or because employees didn't attend enough MS Project classes. They especially don't fail because you selected people who don't self-motivate. (well, sometimes that's the reason) Projects fail often because of communication breakdowns. Tiny slices of precious time fall through the cracks, creating micro sized schedule slips. Each slip impacts related tasks, which can quietly explode a simple one month effort into many. When people don't communicate well, they tend to continue that behavior and bad becomes worse. Taskhopper encourages communication and gently reminds you when something is slipping. In a corporate environment, it's the perfect CYA and a powerful hammer to hold people (especially those unreliable vendors) accountable. TaskHopper connects you with others and keeps things organized. It automatically tallies up how long things take and allows you to use hindsight to make better future decisions.

Learn more ... http://TaskHopper.com (Also, Taskhopper is open source/GPL which means you can add it to your site ... no charge)

API Network Corporation is a professional Joomla integrator. If you would like to learn more about services and products available visit http://apin.com If you have any comments about this document, contact us at http://apin.com. If you need help with any services you purchased that involve your website, use the number listed below. Joomla Reference Guide

Need help? Call 734.253.2305

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