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Joomla! provides plenty of flexibility when displaying your web content. Whether you are using Joomla! for a blog site, news or a website for a company, you'll find one or more content styles to showcase your information. You can also change the style of content dynamically depending on your preferences. Joomla calls how a page is laid out a layout. Use the guide below to understand which layouts are available and how you might use them.
Joomla! makes it extremely easy to add and display content. All content is placed where your mainbody tag in your template is located. There are three main types of layouts available in Joomla! and all of them can be customised via parameters. The display and parameters are set in the menu item used to display the content your working on. You create these layouts by creating a menu item and choosing how you want the content to display.
Blog layout will show a listing of all content items of the selected blog type (section or category) in the mainbody position of your template. It will give you the standard title, and Intro of each content article in that particular Category and/or Section. You can customise this layout via the use of the content parameters, (See Content Parameters) this is done from the menu not the section manager!
Blog Archive layout
A Blog Archive layout will give you a similar output of content as the normal Blog Display but will add at the top two dropdown boxes for Month and year plus a search button to allow users to search for all archived content from a specific month and year
Table layout will simply give you a table of all the titles in that particular section or category. No intro will be displayed just the titles. You can set how many titles will be displayed in this table by Parameters. The table layout will also provide a filter section so that users can reorder, filter and set how many titles are listed on a single page (up to 50)
Wrappers allow you to place stand alone applications and 3rd party websites inside your Joomla! site. The content within a wrapper appears within the primary content area defined by the "mainbody" tag and allows you to display content to display them as part of your own site. A Wrapper will place an IFRAME into the content section of your website and wrap your standard template navigation around it so it appears in the same way a content item would.
The parameters for each layout type can be found on the right hand side of the editor boxes in the menu item configuration screen. The parameters available depend largely on what kind of layout you are configuring.
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Out of the box, Joomla does a great job of managing the content needed to make your website sing. But for many people, the true power of Joomla lies in the application framework that makes it possible for thousands of developers around the world to create powerful add-ons that are called extensions. An extension is used to add capabilities to Joomla! that do not exist in the base core code. Here are just some examples of the hundreds of available extensions:
- Dynamic form builders
- Business or organisational directories
- Document management
- Image and multimedia galleries
- E-commerce and shopping cart engines
- Forums and chat software
- Email newsletters
- Data collection and reporting tools
- Banner advertising systems
- Paid subscription services
- and many, many more
You can find more examples over at our growing Joomla! Extensions Directory. Prepare to be amazed at the amount of exciting work produced by our active developer community!
A useful guide to the extension site can be found at:
Types of Extensions
There are five types of extensions:
You can read more about the specifics of these using the links in the article table of contents (another useful feature of Joomla!) at the top right or by clicking on the next link below.
A component is the largest and most complex of the extension types. Components are like mini-applications that renders the main body of the page. An analogy that might make the relationship easier to understand would be that Joomla! is a book and all the components are chapters in the book. The core content component (com_content), for example, is the mini-application that handles all core content rendering just as the core registration component (com_user) is the mini-application that handles user registration.
Many of Joomla's core features are provided by the use of default components such as:
- Front Page
- Mass Mail
- RSS Syndication
A Component will manage data, set displays, provide functions and in general can perform any operation that doesn't fall under the general functions of the core code.
Components work hand in hand with Modules and Plugins to provide a rich variety of content display and functionality aside from the standard article and content display. Components make it possible to completely transform Joomla and greatly expand its capabilities.
More information on components is available from the Joomla! help manual: Components
A more lightweight and flexible extension used for page rendering is a module. Modules are used for small bits of the page that are generally less complex and able to be seen across different components. To continue in our book analogy, a module can be looked at as a footnote or header block, or perhaps an image/caption block that can be rendered on a particular page. Obviously you can have a footnote on any page but not all pages will have them. Footnotes also might appear regardless of which chapter you are reading. Simlarly modules can be rendered regardless of which component you have loaded.
Modules are like little mini-applets that can be placed anywhere on your site. They work in conjunction with components in some cases and in others are complete stand alone snippets of code used to display some data from the database such as Content (Newsflash) Modules are usually used to output data but they can also be form items to input data (Login Module and Polls as an example)
Modules can be assigned to module positions which are defined in both your template and backend under the Site/Template Manager/Module Positions menu items. For example, "left" and "right" are common for a 3 column layout.
Each module is assigned to a module position on your site. If you wish it to display in two different locations you must copy the module and assign the copy to display at the new location. You can also set which menu items (and thus pages) a module will display on. You can select all menu items or you can pick and choose specific menu items by holding down the control key and selecting multiple menu items one by one in the Modules Edit screen
Note your Main Menu is a Module! When you create a new menu in the menu manager you are actually copying the Main Menu module code and giving it the name of your new menu. When you copy a module you do not copy all it's parameters you simply allow Joomla to use the same code with two separate settings.
NewsFlash is a Module which will display content items from your site in an assignable module position. It can be used and configured to display one category, all categories or to randomly choose content items to highlight to users. It will display as much of an article as you set, and will show a "read more" link to take the user to the full page.
The Newsflash component is particularly useful for things like Site News or to show the latest content item added to your site.
More information on Modules is available from the Joomla! help manual: Modules
One of the more advanced extensions for Joomla! is the plugin (formerly called a mambot). In previous versions plugins were known as mambots. Along with the development of Joomla! 1.5, mambots have been renamed to plugins and their functionality has been expanded. A plugin is a section of code that runs when a pre-defined event happens within Joomla! Editors are plugins, for example, that execute when the Joomla! event "onGetEditorArea" occurs. Using a plugin allows a developer to change the way their code behaves depending upon which plugins are installed to react to an event.
More information on Plugins is available from the Joomla! help manual: Plugins
New to Joomla! 1.5 and perhaps the most basic and critical extension is a language. Languages are packaged as either a core language pack or an extension language pack. They allow both the Joomla! core as well as third party components and modules to be internationalised.
More information on languages is available from the Joomla! help manual: Languages
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As with previous releases, Joomla! provides a unified and easy-to-use framework for delivering content for websites of all kinds. To support the changing nature of the Internet and emerging web technologies, Joomla! required substantial restructuring of its core functionality and we also used this effort to simplify many challenges within the current user interface. Joomla! 1.5 has many new features.
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If you're new to web publishing systems, you'll find that Joomla! delivers sophisticated solutions to your online needs. It can deliver a robust enterprise-level website, empowered by endless extensibility for your bespoke publishing needs. Moreover, it is often the system of choice for small business or home users who want a professional looking site that's simple to deploy and use. We do content right.
So what's the catch? How much does this system cost? Well, there's good news ... and more good news! Joomla! 1.5 is free released under an Open Source license.
Had you invested in a commercial alternative, there'd be nothing but moths left in your wallet.Joomla! is set to change all that ... Joomla! is different from the normal models for content management software. For a start, it's not complicated. Joomla! has been developed for everybody. It's licensed under the GNU/GPL license, easy to install and administer and reliable. Joomla! doesn't even require the user or administrator of the system to know HTML to operate it once it's up and running.
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- Completely database driven site engines
- News, products or services sections fully editable and manageable
- Topics sections can be added to by contributing authors
- Fully customisable layouts including left, center and right menu boxes
- Browser upload of images to your own library for use anywhere in the site
- Dynamic Forum/Poll/Voting booth for on-the-spot results
- Runs on Linux, FreeBSD, MacOSX server, Solaris and AIX