Alright, now that we’ve installed Joomla! 2.5 on our local server, it’s time to learn the basics of Joomla!. Keep in mind that Joomla! has many, many features, too many to go over in one post, and for now I’m only going to point you in the right direction. There are more important things for me to cover, so I’ll give you some resources to help you learn the many features of Joomla! on your own.
Since you’re working on a local server, to access the administration panel you have to point your web browser to localhost:8888/administration AFTER starting up MAMP. Here you enter your login credentials to get into the Joomla! backend, where all the website magic happens. (Remember, MAMP is your server simulation, so if you close MAMP while working you will encounter access errors immediately)
Again, there is just so much stuff back here that at first it’s overwhelming. However, by examining one piece at a time it will become clear how much power you really have. Looking at the top navigation bar, let’s start with the most important, the content menu (ironically placed in the center of the bar). Hover over ‘Content’, and click on ‘Articles’.
Unless you installed the sample data in the last tutorial, the next page will look like the image. ( —-> ) Most of the content creation pages should be blank, which means that you don’t have to delete junk. Before you go crazy and create a ton of articles, you must have a way to organize them. Drag the mouse back over the ‘Content’ menu and select ‘Categories’ to get to the Category area (notice that it’s very much like the Article area). Create a category called ‘Home’, and then you can create several articles and put them under the ‘Home’ category (another way to make sure they show up on the home page is to make them ‘featured’ articles, but the ‘Home’ category will help you discern easily what goes where).
I think the best way for you to learn Joomla! is by digging in and experiencing it for yourself, but there are a couple of things I recommend doing:
- Create a category for every page you want your website to have (if you are nesting pages you can parent categories under other categories)
- Create multiple articles in each category (this will allow you to re-arrange your content easily)
- Use the following resources to learn on your own how to use Joomla!
Use this educational resource to help you figure out what Joomla! can do for you on a piece-by-piece level. Do as I did and consult it when you’re not sure what something is, and you’ll find that in no time you’ll have Joomla! all figured out. Also, this other great resource is a good place to find answers to more specific questions. If you ever want to see what a completed and functional Joomla! site looks like, feel free to check out SoPoweredProductions.com. If I could do it, you can too!
If you have any questions about what we’ve covered here, please comment on this post! Not only will it help answer your questions, but also the questions of other readers. Next up: moving to remote servers!
Posts in this tutorial series:
Step 5: Remote Servers, Part 2
Step 4: Remote Servers, Part 1
Step 3: Exploring Joomla!
Step 2: Installation
Step 1: Setup
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