Starting with Joomla 1.7

What does it take to create a 1.7 Joomla! website?
Once you have the website installed via cpanel and fantastico, you get some thing like this:

Not much to look at, actually pretty ugly. What this gives us is all the holders that you need so you can now build the content of your website.

Think of this as being the scaffolding, some thing we want to get rid of pretty quickly.

There are four areas that we want to deal with in making your website.

  • Template: the look and feels
  • Content: what do you want to presently to people, text, pictures, embedded multimedia, i.e. youtube etc.
  • Navigation: how you are going to get to the different parts of your site.
  • Widget: things to make your website stand out and be useful.

Templates can be found all over the ‘Net, you can download the zip file to your computers, and then install it to your website. We can also create you a custom template.

  • Go to google, and search on:
    templates joomla 1.7
  • Or draw one out on paper and get with me for an hour or three and we’ll brain storm and create a template.
  • For the purposes of this article, lets just start using the template we have been given by default.


Before we can make any changes we really need some valid content that we want to change too. So we will start with the Content Articles.
There are six pieces of content we will start with:

  1. Contact Us.
  2. About Us.
  3. Welcome.
  4. Directions.
  5. What we do.
  6. Previous Projects.

Once we have done these six things you will have a fully functioning website that you can then add to and improve as you gain more skills.

You need to go to the back-end of your website. It will be something like this:
Your domain name may differ, but it still should need the /administrator bit.

Put in your username and password as supplied by me (or your webmaster).

Once you have logged in you will get this:

This gives you your control panel.

It also tells you who is logged on to your back-end.

The first thing we want to do is create some Categories to hold your articles. Think of these like filing cabinets, we will also create some sub-categories, or draws  to the filing cabinets. You can even create sub-sub-categories as well.

Category ManagerClick on the Category Manager.
Up the top click on New.
Give the Category a Title [Some thing that defines your site]
(Do not put anything in Alias)
For this first Category leave Parent at – No Parent –
Later we may want to put some useful information in to the Description.
Later  we will want to come back and put some good metadata so spiders and robots can index our website in a useful way.
Click on Save & Close.

Now for our second Category, Up the top click on New.
Give it a Title.
Change Parent to that Category we previously created.
Click on Save & Close.

Do this a couple of more times to create useful sub categories to your main category.
As an example:

  • ai (the main category for my business)
    • Domain Names (I sell them and want a category to hold the articles I wrote around this)
    • Websites (I also sell these)
      • Joomla (I want to spcifically talk about joomla websites)
      • WordPress (another way of doing websites)
      • phpBB (a forum tool for websites)
    • Hardware (I sell all sorts of computer hardware)
    • Schools (I do quite a bit of work in to schools)
    • Linux (I have all sorts of articles about how to work with Linux)

So it is not hard to end up with 1ten or twenty categories and sub categories to help manage your website.

Now to create an Article.

Just under Administration, there are your menus:

  • Click on Content,
  • Hover on Article Manager,
  • Click on Add New Article.

In this New Article

  1. Give it a Title, in this case (Contact Us)
  2. Leave Alias blank, we always let Joomla fill this in.
  3. Change Category to a meaningful one that you have previously created.
  4. Put some meaningful Article Text in.
  5. Click on Save & Close.
  6. This article has now been created. It has not been placed anywhere in the website so it only exists at the back-end for now.

Do these same 6 steps and create meaningful articles for: About Us, Welcome (which will appear on the front of your website), Directions, What we do & Previous Projects.

We now need to link these six pages in to the navigation (Menus) of your website.

About howlmc

50 something geek, who has owned way too many computers.
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