BACK-END Fun

 

Only ADMINISTRATORS have access to the Back End. Typically you would navigate to YOURWEBSITE.CO.UK/ADMINISTRATOR and log in with user name and password. This will open the CONTROL PANEL [CP]. As well as being able to submit, edit, or add new content you will also be able to alter the structure and style of the website, add or remove components and plugins, grant access permission to others etc.

Because of the way Joomla works [PHP assembling web pages from data stored in a MySQL database] pages do not exist until called for via a menu. Therefore creating a NEW article [as opposed to editing an existing one] requires a new menu listing. That requires an ADMINISTRATOR who thus decides what material is or is not actually 'published'. When a user logs on at the Front End as an AUTHOR, EDITOR, or PUBLISHER and clicks Submit Article before saving it, the article will be stored in the database but will not be published until listed in a menu. Menus are managed from the Back End and will be dealt with shortly. New articles can also be created from the Back End by ADMINISTRATORS.

If the website is a small one, CATEGORIES are not essential, but they help to organize Articles by subject, and are useful when creating a BLOG. Best practice is:

  1. Before creating an Article, if a new CATEGORY is required, create the Category before the Article.
  2. Create the Article.
  3. Before you SAVE & CLOSE the Article ensure it is assigned to the correct Category. If you forget, or an appropriate Category does not exist, the Article will be saved as Uncategorized.

You can assign Articles to Categories at any time, so if the correct Category does not exist you can add the Article to a Category after creating a Category.

HOW to CREATE a NEW ARTICLE in a NEW CATEGORY and ADD it to a MENU. What follows is ONE way. Paragraphs 1-3 are a summary. Slightly more detail appears below.

1. TO CREATE A NEW CATEGORY Go to > CONTENT >CATEGORY MANAGER > ADD NEW CATEGORY. Enter a TITLE. The ‘alias’, as with all other aliases, can be left blank as Joomla will complete it. Access should be Public if you want everyone to see it. There are other options available when creating Categories but the above is the bare minimum needed. > SAVE & CLOSE

2. TO CREATE A NEW ARTICLE Go to CONTENT > ADD NEW ARTICLE, enter a TITLE and assign to a CATEGORY, and type your masterpiece. Set the STATUS, ACCESS and other ARTICLE OPTIONS as required > SAVE & CLOSE Before anyone can see it, the New Article must be added to a MENU.

3. TO ADD TO MENU. Click MENUS > MENU MANAGER > Add New Menu Item Enter a Menu Title. Click SELECT > ARTICLES > SINGLE ARTICLE then use LINK/SELECT to navigate to the Article and select it. Check Menu Location and Parent Item then SAVE & CLOSE. Use the Preview link [domain name at upper right on every page] to check all is well.

ADDING A NEW ARTICLE TO AN EXISTING MENU. From the CP > CONTENT > ARTICLE MANAGER > ADD NEW ARTICLE. Note that there are 2 ways of doing this; via the horizontal drop-down menu at the top of the CP page or via the expanded vertical menu on the left. You must enter a TITLE. Joomla will add the alias. Set the STATUS to PUBLISH if you want anyone to see your work! Note also that you can set dates for pages to be published and unpublished. ACCESS can be PUBLIC i.e. everyone or limited to REGISTERED or SPECIAL users. Selecting YES for the FEATURED option places the WHOLE ARTICLE on the FRONT PAGE [Joomla speak for Home Page] unless you limit what is shown by adding a READ MORE instruction - see below. ARTICLE OPTIONS contains over-rides for GLOBAL OPTIONS and there is a dialogue box for METADATA. Metadata are important for Search Engine Optimization [SEO] i.e. giving your pages the best chance of being found by others searching the web. Finally, SAVE & CLOSE - but before anyone can see it, the Article must be added to a MENU. Here's one way.

Go to MENUS select the menu [probably MAIN MENU] to link to the new article and click NEW. This opens the Menu Manager: New Menu Item window. Enter the Menu Title which is what will actually appear on the menu button and can differ from the article's title. To the right of the Menu Item Type box click SELECT which will list all the options. For this example, from the Articles list select SINGLE ARTICLE which will probably be used most often, but notice CATEGORY BLOG and CATEGORY LIST - useful for creating blogs etc. Once selected, the pane will close and you will be back in the Menu Manager: New Menu Item window where you will find Joomla has entered the Type chosen in Menu Item Type box. The LINK box will then have a SELECT button to navigate to ARTICLES and select the required Article. [If there are lots of articles, use the filters to narrow the choice to one particular CATEGORY.] Once back in Menu Manager, for the article to appear on the website the status must be Published. Set the Access to Public or limit as required. Check the correct menu is selected in Menu Location and set the Parent Item if the new article is to form part of a sub-menu. Notice there are other options to consider under Link Type, Page Display, Metadata and Module Assignment but for now, if you click SAVE & CLOSE your new menu item should appear on the website. Use the Preview link to check.

READ MORE LINKS You can feature part of one or more Articles on the Home page by adding a Read More instruction somewhere in the Article. Open the Article and place the cursor at the point where you want the featured content, i.e. what appears on the Home page, to FINISH. This will automatically create a Read More link on the Home page to the whole Article. A horizontal line will appear, separating the Read More content from the rest of the Article, but this will not be visible on the Home page. EVERYTHING BEFORE the Read More insertion point will appear on the Home Page, so it makes sense to keep your opening words on any featured Article pithy and interesting! To remove such content from the Home page open the linked Article, place the cursor adjacent to the horizontal line and delete it. Save & Close.

To add, delete or edit MODULES > EXTENSIONS > MODULE MANAGER To remove an unwanted MODULE e.g. the LOGIN box, simply click the GREEN TICK under the STATUS column and the Module will be Unpublished. A red circle with a white CROSS will replace the green tick. Similarly, to publish a Module click the CROSS. To install a New Module click NEW which will open a dialogue from which you can select the Module wanted. Note; unpublishing is not the same as trashing or deleting.

DELETING AND UNINSTALLING Joomla makes a distinction between Deleting and Trashing. Selecting any Menu in Menu Manager and deleting it does just that. Delete it and it's gone - permanently! Do the same with Articles, Categories or Modules and they are merely removed from view - or Trashed in Joomla-speak. To delete an Article permanently, in Article Manager: Articles > Search Tools > Select Status > Trashed a list of all trashed articles will be displayed. Select any for permanent deletion then > Empty Trash. The process is similar for Modules and Categories. You may occasionally get a Joomla message stating that you cannot use such-and-such a name as the item already exists. Check the trash. If an item is in trash with the same name, empty the trash.

If you haven't found what you want here, try the HELP option from CP or, failing that, you can try the Joomla Forum.