Back End

Only users with ADMINISTRATOR status can access 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, plus be able to grant access to others.

This is where things get messy! 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. It stands to reason therefore that 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 [see Front End for more] in the User Menu and saved it, whatever was saved will be stored in the database but will not be visible 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 those with the appropriate permissions. Click > ARTICLE MANAGER > New Article and proceed from there. Best practice suggests creating the CONTENT first then sorting out the navigation afterwards. However, with a bit of forward planning, it is easier to create new Categories, if required, before the Articles that go in them. Make sure Articles are listed under the correct Category before saving. If the correct Category does not exist you will need to add the Article to it after creating it - see below. So far so simple.

TO ADD A NEW ARTICLE TO AN EXISTING MENU. From the CP > ADD NEW ARTICLE or, as an illustration of the different ways Joomla allows you to do the same thing, > CONTENT > ARTICLE MANAGER > ADD NEW ARTICLE. You must enter a TITLE. Joomla will add the alias. You can also assign a CATEGORY - which is why it is best to create the Category first, but you can always return and do it later. Set the STATUS to PUBLISH if you want anyone to see your work! ACCESS can be PUBLIC i.e. everyone or limited to REGISTERED or SPECIAL. Selecting YES  for the FEATURED option places the WHOLE ARTICLE on the FRONT PAGE [Joomlaspeak for Home Page] unless you limit what is shown by adding a READ MORE instruction. ARTICLE OPTIONS contains over-rides for the GLOBAL OPTIONS and there is a dialogue box for METADATA. Finally SAVE & CLOSE - but before anyone can see it, the New Article must be added to a MENU. Here's one way.

Go to MENUS select the menu to carry the new article and chose the Add New Menu Item option. This opens the Menu Manager: New Menu Item window. 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. There are many other options but this one will probably be used most often. 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. Under that enter the Menu Title which is what will actually appear on the navigation and can differ from the article's title. Joomla will complete the alias. For the article to appear the status must be published. Set the Access to Public or limit as required. Check the correct menu is selected and set the parent item if the new article is to form part of material already published. On the right, under Required Settings click the Select/Change button and browse to the required article and select it. If there are lots of articles use the filter boxes at the top to narrow the choice. Click Save and View Site to preview, or Save and Close to exit. There are lots of further options below the Required Settings!

Here's HOW TO CREATE A NEW MENU WITH A NEW ARTICLE IN A NEW CATEGORY. What follows is ONE way that works. There are 5 steps. If you can plan ahead, it is easiest to create the new CATEGORY first.

1. TO CREATE A NEW CATEGORY. Go to CONTENTCATEGORY 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 As earlier > ADD NEW ARTICLE, enter a TITLE and assign to a CATEGORY, and type your masterpiece.  Set the STATUS and ACCESS. and other ARTICLE OPTIONS as required > SAVE & CLOSE Before anyone can see it, the New Article must be added to a MENU. Creating a new Menu takes 2 steps; creating the Menu and its new Module.

3. TO CREATE A NEW MENU. Click MENUS > MENU MANAGER > ADD NEW MENU opens a dialogue box with 3 fields; TITLE (mandatory) TYPE (a unique name - could be something like 'latestmenu') DESCRIPTION, optional. > SAVE & CLOSE

And I bet you thought that was it! But that's only 3 out of 5. Joomla needs to know where to put the menu and for that it needs to be assigned to a Module which in turn, as part of its creation, needs to be in a set POSITION on any page on which it is to appear. (Not all menus have to appear on all pages!) Module Manager is where you add and edit Joomla Modules. All Joomla websites require at least 1 Menu Module. All other Module Types e.g. News, Banner, Polls are optional. Every Menu requires a Menu Module - e.g. mod_mainmenu. Multiple occurrences of similar Module Types are permitted. Right, that's enough of that!

4. TO CREATE A NEW MODULE. > EXTENSIONS > MODULE MANAGER > NEW Opens a new window of options from which to select the Module Type - in this case Menu. Once a Type is selected the window closes and you return to Module Manager: Module Menu. Enter a Title which could be 'latest'; enter its Position. In the dialogue box select the correct template from the options in the drop-down box (top right) to display the positions that are available and select which you want. At the bottom of the Module Manager window are options for Menu Assignment which determines which pages [Articles] will display the new Menu. Options include display of the new Menu Module on all pages, on no pages, on selected pages or excluded from certain pages. > SAVE > VIEW SITE and your new Menu should be up and running. If it isn't summat's amiss. If all's well > SAVE & CLOSE

DELETING AND UNINSTALLING It's all very well creating stuff but getting rid of it is a knack. Joomla 1.6 and later appears to make a distinction between Deleting and Trashing. Selecting any Menu in Menu Manager and deleting it does just that. Delete it and it's gone. Do the same with Articles, Categories or Modules merely removes items from view - or Trashes them in Joomla-speak. To delete permanently, when in Article, Category or Module Manager select by Status for Trashed items and the Trash icon will change to an Empty Trash icon. Selecting any or all Trashed items and clicking Empty Trash will remove them permanently.

To delete/trash Modules go through a similar process to removing Articles and Categories when in Module Manager but there is a final hurdel to complete which is the similar to that needed to remove Plugins, Templates and other Extensions. Go to Extension Manager which opens by default on the Install tab. Click the middle, Manage tab where everything installed is listed alphabetically. Search for the offending Module, Template or other Extension, select it and click the Uninstall icon. Done.

If you haven't found what you want here, try the HELP option from CP. The JOOMLA HELP is OK but the DOCUMENTATION WIKI seems currently [July 2011] a waste of time. Plenty about 1.5 but for 1.6. it announces COMING SOON. Can't wait! (At the time of writing there's no mention of 1.7 even though it is released and installed. Joomla documentation lags behind Joomla itself.) Failing that, you can try the Joomla website or the Joomla Forum.

 

snake