Introduction to Joomla

By | February 6, 2012


  • Download latest version of Joomla (2.50)
  • Installed locally on IIS (notice install requirements PHP & MySQL) – basically create IIS virtual directory and then run Joomla index page (default page for Joomla site)
  • Install requirements for hosted version are different (Linux/Appache)
  • See Joomla forum or Google for help with install issues/troubleshooting


  • Login via admin link or use <site>/administrator
  • Control panel for user setup, templates, extensions etc
  • Admin: site, users, menus, content, components, extensions, help


  • Default template (user or admin)
  • To see template positions (template map) see Template Manager/Options/Preview Module Positions (enabled)
  • Login to page using <site>/index.php?tp=1, e.g.
  • Example of a template map (

Which is the map for the page:

In the default installed you have a login module and the layout looks like below:

  • Boxes/positions
  • Menu module
  • Breadcrumb module
  • Primary content
  • Secondary content (each bit of content is called a module)

So, a template has design elements and positions (made up of various modules)

Article Manager

  • Content/Article Manager
  • Articles stored in categories
  • Categories can be nested
  • Don’t have too many levels of nesting (as it can make navigation difficult, too many clicks for your users, e.g. max 3-4)
  • Can filter and search articles (e.g. author, title, category etc)
  • Items can accidently be locked if you forget to Save/Close (e.g. use back button) this can be fixed in the Site/Maintenance/Global Check-in (select all then click check in to free locks)Menus – Add Menu, supply title and (single word, no spaces) menu type; add article to menu

Media Manager

Images etc


under Extensions menu (as are templates)


  • Go to Joomla resources directory ( or just Google “Joomla Templates”; remember to read any associated documentation as the install process can be different for each (e.g. Extensions Manager/Install/select & upload package file [Upload & Install])
  • General template settings (e.g. logo/banner/navigation position etc) can be amended in the template options (click on the template name)
  • Template map normally provided on download site (or with documentation), this can be seen by enabling the Preview Template positions (in template options) and then calling page with optional parameter/index.php?tp=1


  • Vital add on “easy blog” which includes features only normally available in a dedicated blog CMS/site (blogs are very useful for SEO – changing content, and for attracting visitors, sense of community etc)
  • Extensions – Joomla extensions directory, can be commercial and non-commercial (free)Always refer to the extension documentation for install instructions and instructions on how to use (you may needs to go to the developer website for this)
  • Example, photogallery extension is a plug in – go to “Plug In” Manager then configure and enable the plug in (having installed it first via Extension Manager)
  • “Plug ins” work inside an article – e.g. a gallery …. {gallery}sampledata/parks/animals{/gallery}
  • Other extensions are modules which, are managed by Module Manager, work by being placed inside your templates (positions)
  • Components are the other extension type (see Components Menu)

Best Places to Get Help

Finally the obligatory Mind Map, available as a PDF file