Joomla! is one of the world’s most popular open source Content Management Systems (CMS) for creating websites. It is designed to make it easy for multiple users with varying levels of responsibility to add and manage Articles, content, images and other content items – all within an easy-to-use interface.
Joomla! uses a hierarchical tree-like structure for content organization. This tree is made-up of one or more Sections – which then contain one or more Categories, made-up of one or more Content Items. The system is entirely flexible as-to the number of and names of the Sections and Categories.
- Content Item
- Content Item
- Content Item
The visibility of all Joomla! content is under the control of a permissions-based system that allows the system administrator to determine who is able to view and access the specific Content Item, Category, and Section. This feature allows content to be reserved for authorized readers.
While a Joomla! site may be comprised of a multitude of modules and various components – the basic building block of Joomla! content is the Content Item or article. These Content Items are composed by the contributor and entered into the system using a fully-featured WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Content Editor. Content Items may be of any length and may span multiple pages. The content author may determine where page-breaks are placed and how the content within the article is formatted and presented. A permissions system controls work flow – so Content Items may be submitted by one person, then reviewed and edited prior to publication on the site.
Categories provide a means to group Content Items together that share similar subject matter or classification. Category listings may be presented as a list – or all Content Items within a specific Category may be displayed in a ‘blog’ format. All content must be associated with a Category, although that Category may not be associated with a menu item. Permissions control who may view the contents within this Category.
Sections are the top level of the hierarchy and provide the means to group one or more Categories together. All content must be associated with a Section, although that Section may not be associated with a menu item. Permissions control who may view items within this Section.
Menus are made-up of links to Sections, Categories, individual Content Items, system components (calendars, discussion forums, etc), other menus, and external links. Any number of menus may be defined on the system and we can define where and when the menu will be visible. The visibility of menu items is also controlled by the Permissions system – allowing for menu items to be hidden from unauthorized users.
Content Planning Worksheet
We have prepared a simple Excel worksheet that can help you plan your Sections, Categories, and Content Items – which you can download here. Use this planner to organize your Sections, the Categories within them, and the major Content Items you’d like to include in your initial design. Indicate which menu, if any, the element should appear on. Some sample data is included, which should be removed prior to use … but feel free to add rows and columns to the sheet to fit your needs.
Still have a question? Feel free to contact us using the “Contact Us” form. Current DCP Partners clients should submit a Help Desk Ticket to receive a priority response. We’ll be happy to answer your question.
Joomla! for Dummies – Please don’t be put-off by the title – as this entire series is great for the beginner on most subjects. Part II (Chapters 4-6) of this book provides details for creating content and navigation. While the remainder of the book discusses subjects that we would normally handle as part of our administrative and management services – such as installing modules and components, templates, and implementation … it does provide some great background material, if you’re interested. Available at many larger book stores.
Joomla! 1.5: Beginner’s Guide (Eric Tiggeler) – Looks like a terrific reference for the beginner thru proficient Joomla! user and administrator. The Table of Contents lists chapters on the basic building blocks and creating content, adding and editing articles, creating attractive home pages, managing menus, and other great topics. Again, this book contains information on some of the basic tasks we provide as part of our management services – but it provides the user with the ability to explore some of these topics and gain familiarity with how we’re managing the site. It looks like a great tutorial and reference. Available from Amazon.com , Barnes & Noble, and others.