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Working with Components

A number of components have been installed on your site for increased functionality. In this section you will learn how to work with those components to add a Contact Us page and a Poll. Using these components is optional and can be applied to your site when and if you desire. The components do not have to be added in any particular order. If you do not wish to apply the component functionality to your site at this time, skip this section.
Contact us page

1. From the control panel in the back end of your site, and the row of menu items across the top, choose Components < Contacts < Contacts.


1. Click the new button.

2. Type in a Name and select the category, Contacts.

3. Type in the Information you want for your contact at your discretion.

4. From the Contact Parameters section on the right hand side, choose to hide or show the fields listed.

5. Click on the Email Parameters section and modify as desired.

6. When satisfied, click the Save button.

7. In order for your Contact component to show on the front end of your site you must publish the menu link that has already been established for it.

a) From the Control Panel and the row of menu options across the top, choose Menus < Main Menu (Supported, Managed and Custom sites may choose another menu option to place the Contact category in).

b)  Locate the menu item Contact Us .
c) Click on the red x under the Published column to turn it into a green checkmark. This will effectively publish the menu item so it will appear in the menu listing on the frontend of your site.
8.Go to the front end of your site. Refresh the window and see your Contact Us link.



A poll is added to your site by first creating the poll then module for it to display in on the front end of your site.


Create a Poll

1. Login to your administration site
2. From the Control Panel and the horizontal Menu Bar, choose Components < Polls
3. Click the New button
4. Under the Details section, type in a Title (ie. What do you like about our site?) for your poll and choose ‘published’
5. Under the Options section, type the options to the question (ie. nice layout, easy to use….)
6. Click the ‘Save’ button


Create a Module for Poll

1. From the Control Panel and the horizontal menu bar, go to Extensions < Module Manager

2. Click the ‘New’ button

3. From the selection listed, choose ‘Poll’

4. Click the next button

5. In the ‘Details’ section, type in a Title for your poll and choose a position for your polls module using the module layout diagram as your guide

6. From the ‘Parameters’ section, choose the poll you created from the ‘poll’ dropdown box

7. Click the ‘Save’ button

Go the front end of your site. Refresh and see your poll.


Working with Modules

The Module positioning of your Joomla website is defined by the Joomla template you currently use. Below you can see a screenshot that represents the basic items, added by the default Joomla template. This will help you understand better the structure and key concepts of a Joomla website Module positions and how to change it.

In this article we will show the positions from 1 to 10 in one of Joomla’s default templates which are included in the official installation package. To change the position of a certain module, you can access it from the Extensions -> Module Manager Page and then change its “Position” setting.


Some of the most commonly used position names are top, user1 to user6, left, right, header, footer, breadcrumb, and newsflash.

1. In the “top”  position of the Joomla website the “Banners” and “NewFlash” modules are placed by default.

The Banners module allows you to upload images that link to a desired URL. You can define your banners from Components -> Banners and then display the selected items by publishing the “Banners” module from the Extensions -> Module Manager page in your Joomla administrative area.

The Newflash module displays a single random article, or a number of articles in a horizontal or vertical configuration. From your Joomla administration area you can select a category of articles that will be displayed by this module.

2. The “Top menu”  module is published into the “user3″ position by default. You can easily create and manage menus from the Menus->Menus Manager  page. You can then set your “Top menu” module to display the menu you have just created.

3. The “Breadcrumbs” module is placed into the “breadcrumb” position. It is a convenient navigation method which displays the current page you are on and the full “path” to it. If you are in a page called “Sample Page” that is under the main menu, the “Breadcrumbs” will display Home -> Sample Page. Using Breadcrumbs is very useful especially when you have multi-level menus.

4. The “Search” module is published in the “user4” position of the template. It gives your users the option to search within the content of your website.

5. Several modules are published into the “left” position of the template. In this position you can publish vertical menus, login forms and many other modules depending on your particular needs.

6. The “Latest News” module is published into the “user1” position of the template. It displays the most recently added articles from the selected category or from all categories. In addition, you can specify the number of displayed articles depending on your preferences.

7. The “Popular” module is published into the “user2” position of the template. It will display a selected number of articles that are visited the most. You can either select a category from which the articles will be displayed or you can set the module to display the most visited articles in the entire site.

8. This is the main part of your website. Here are the newest articles you have set to be displayed on the front page.

9. A “Polls” module is published into the “right” position of the template. You can create the actual polls from the Components -> Polls page in the administrative back-end of your Joomla application. Once you have created your Polls, you can choose which one to be displayed on your website by editing the preferences of the “Polls” module from the “Module manager“.

10. “Banners” and “Footer” modules are displayed in the “footer” position of the template. You can use the “Footer” module to display useful links, your copyright and other useful information at the bottom of your page.


Viewing Joomla 1.5 Module Position in browser

To know module position in a Joomla template, we only need to append a query string tp=1. For a example:



Adding Content Using Modules

In addition to the primary content area on your site which displays articles, you have several module positions available to display information.

A module position is a designated space in which you can put content. Module positions are generally smaller spaces suitable for advertisements or announcements. The module positions on your site are labelled in the layouts above:

When there is no content in any one module position, the position collapses freeing space for main page content or other modules. To add module and position it:

Now login to your administration site;

From the control panel and the horizontal menu bar at the top, choose Extensions < Module Manager

  • Click the ‘New’ Button You will see that there are number of module types you can choose from some of the module types are formatted for specific components like polls or Newsfeeds. Other modules perform specific functions. Mouse over each one for a description of the module type.
  • If you wish to create a custom module in which you can insert text, an image or html code, choose the module type, Custom HTML
  • Type in a name for the module
  • Choose yes or no to show the title of your module
  • Choose the position in which the module will display. Refer to the site layout above to see which positions are available and where they are located on your site.
  • In the text box below, type in the text or insert the image by clicking on the insert image icon at the bottom left of the text box. This will display all the images from those you have previously uploaded into the Stories folder of the media manager.
  • Click the ‘Save’ button on the top right.

We highly appreciate your valuable comments. Also if you have any issues in joomla you could email to harsha@vishmitha.com or Supporting Forum to get our assist.

The next article will discuss about working with Joomla Templates.


Accessing Your Web Site

You have just received notice that your new Joomla website is available to work on and you are wondering, “how do I begin?’

Let’s begin by opening up your site.

a) The frontend

Type your url into the address bar of your web browser as below:


http://localhost/joomla  for a local installation>

Your site will look like this:


b) The backend (administration site)

Important Note: For best results always use Mozilla Firefox web browser when doing site administration. Firefox is a free download available at: getfirefox.com >

In a new window or tab, open up the backend of your site by typing your url with the suffix, /administrator into the address bar of your Mozilla Firefox web browser as follows:


http://localhost/joomla/administrator/  for a local installation

This is where you, the administrator, will develop and edit your website.

The menu bar at the top of the administration site (the row of words beginning with ‘Home’) and various button links arranged in two rows below is where you will access the features and functions of your site to create and make changes.

It will look like this:

One of the first administration tasks you will do is change your administration password to a secure password known only to you. Follow the directions below:>

From the row of menu items along the top, choose Site < User Manager



  • Click on the user, Administrator
  • Type in a new password. The password must be a minimum combination of six letters and numbersNo spaces and no special characters.
  • Click the Save Button.

It is recommended that you have both the backend and frontend of your site open at the same time in different tabs or windows on your browser when you are working on your site. This will allow you to readily go from tab to tab to refer to the article, develop your site, and see the changes you are making.

You are now ready to develop your website. For best results follow each of the steps outlined sequentially.

Proceed to Step 1

Step 1: Change Your Site Name>

The name of your website displays in the title bar of your browser, the copyright at the bottom of your site, and a few other miscellaneous places. Your site is presently named Digit.lk. To change your website name:

  1. Login to the backend of your site using the username and password you have set up for yourself.
  2. From the control panel, click on the ‘Global Configuration’ icon
    (last icon on the bottom row).

in the ‘Site Name’ text box, type in the name of your organization

  1. (blog name, company, etc)


  1. Click the Save button.

Proceed to Step 2.


Step 2: Choose Your Site Colours and Header Options>

Site Header (Logo)

The header position is at the very top of your site where your name is. You have the option to create a header image for your site and place it in that position. It will replace current joomla logo is in the illustration below.



Here are the parameters for creating a header

  1. Create a name with (mw_joomla_logo.png) image and save it on your computer.
    A recommended height would be between 75px and 298px according to the current sample template.
  2. From the FTP programme or in your local folder, open the ‘Template’ folder in your joomla installation.
    Click on the ‘images’ folder in default template (rhuk_milkyway).
  3. Upload and overwrite ‘mw_joomla_logo.png’

When the upload is complete, go to the frontend of your site and refresh the window.
The image will automatically display in the header space of your site.

If not visible please clear your browser cookies.


Site Colours 

Now decide which colours will best match your header and reflect your organization.

1. From the administration site, go to: Extensions < Template Manager.>

2. Click on the template name, rhuk_milkyway’.

3. From the parameters section, select the colour scheme of choice.

Go to the frontend of your site. Refresh the page and see your changes.
Revisit the parameters if desired to make further changes.

Proceed to Step 3.


Step 3: Adding Content to Your Site Using Articles

Next you will learn how to create content (articles) on your site and link them to menu items.

Articles are contained within Categories and then Sections, or they are ‘uncategorized’. To best understand this concept, think of a Section as a filing cabinet, a Category is a drawer within the filing cabinet and an article is a document in the drawer. Uncategorized articles are

like documents outside of the filing cabinet. With this illustration in mind, you will probably want just one section and a couple of categories to start.

The Articles you create can either be designated to “show” on the front page (the page that shows when your site opens) or be linked to menu items (other pages of your site).

The next steps will help you create a section, a category, an article and finally a menu link. You will also learn how to have your article “show” on the front page.



  1. From the control panel in the administration site, click on the Section Manager icon.
  2. You will see that there is one section already there called ‘news’. You might decide that one section is adequate to start or that you would like to create another one. If this one is sufficient skip to Categories below.
  3. To create a new Section. Click the New button. Type in a Title. Click the Save button.


  1. From the control panel in the administration site click on the Category Manager icon.
  2. You will see there is one category already there called Miscellaneous. You might decide this one category is adequate to start. If so skip to the next section called Articles.
  3. To create a new Category, click the New button. Type in a title for the category. Click the save button.



Now you are ready to add articles (content).

The Control Panel in the administration site click on the Add New Article icon.

1.Type in a Title for the Article.

2. Choose a Section and Category for the Article to go in, or choose Uncategorized.
3. At this point you will choose if you want your article to appear on the front or home page of your site, or if you want your viewers to click on a menu item to access the article. If you want this article to be on the front page of your site, Click “yes” on the “show on front page” option. If you want this article to be linked to a menu item under the Main Menu, click “no”.

4.Type the content of your article in the text box below the text editing tools. You may also copy/paste content into the text box but please be aware that when copy/pasting anything other than plain text – such as tables, lists or text with unusual fonts – from another application such as MS Word, you will most likely experience formatting issues. For this reason we recommend that you produce articles with lists or tables directly in the text box rather than copying them from other sources. Feel free to utilize the Text Editing Tools to enhance your content.

5. If you would like to insert an image into your article, please see the directions in the section called Inserting Images.

6. Click the save button when you have completed your article.


Menu Links

If you have created an article and not chosen to show it on the front page, you will need to create a menu link so that the article will be accessible on the front end of the site by clicking on a menu item.

From the Control Panel and the row of menu options across the top,
choose Menus < Main Menu (Supported, Managed and Custom sites may choose other menu options to link the article to).>


1. Click the New button.

2. Click on the word, Articles then Article Layout>

1. Type in a title for your menu link. Make the title the same as the article name that you are linking it to.

2. In the Parameters – Basic box, click on the Select button.

3. Choose the article you want to link to from the selection.


  1. Click the Save button.


You have now created a Section, Category and Article with a link to a menu item. Go to the frontend of your site. Refresh the window and see your addition.

Editing Sections,  Categories,  Articles and Menu Items.

You may edit the names and/or content of Sections, Categories, Articles and Menu Items at any time by going to the administration site and clicking on the appropriate item.


Proceed to Step 4

Step 4: Reordering Front Page Content and Menu Items>

At this point you have developed one or more front page articles and one or more articles linked to menu items. In this step you will learn how to reorder these items.

Front Page Articles

Any of the articles that you have designated to “show” on the front page can be rearranged so that they show in a particular order on the front end of your site.

1. From the control panel in the back end of your site, click on the Front Page Manager icon. You will see all of the articles currently on the front page of your site.

2. Under the Order column, order by number each of the articles in the order you wish them to appear. Then click the little Save icon next to the word Order.

Menu Items

1. From the control panel in the backend of your site, and the row of menu items along the top, click on Menus < Main Menu. You will see all of the menu items currently showing in the menu bar of your site on the left hand side.

2. Under the Order column, order by number each of the menu items in the order you wish them to appear. Then click the little Save icon next to the word Order.


We highly appreciate your valuable comments. Also if you have any issues in joomla you could email to harsha@vishmitha.com or Supporting Forum to get our assist.

The next article will discuss about working with Components and Modules.>


Out of the box, Joomla! does a great job of managing the content needed to make your Web site live. But for many people, the true power of Joomla! lies in the application framework that makes it possible for developers all 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
  • Calendars
  • E-mail newsletters
  • Data collection and reporting tools
  • Banner advertising systems
  • Paid subscription services
  • and many, many, more

You can find more examples over at our ever growing Joomla! Extensions Directory. Prepare to be amazed at the amount of exciting work produced by our active developer community!

Types of Extensions

There are five types of extensions:

  • Components
  • Modules
  • Templates
  • Plugins
  • Languages



A Component is the largest and most complex of the Extension types. Components are like mini-applications that render 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 Article Component (com_content), for example, is the mini-application that handles all core Article 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:

The “Banner” component allows the user to manage banners by Categories and Clients. The “Banners Manager” has three tabs, “Banners,” “Clients,” and “Categories.” Each banner is managed individually with various parameters for essential information such as “Impressions Purchased” and “Click URL.”


The “Contacts” component allows the user to manage a Contacts directory with regard to the contacts within the web site.
The “Newsfeeds” component enables the most recent articles from external web sites feeds (e.g. RSS) to be linked to for further reading.
The “Polls” component displays a list of all active (published or unpublished) polls on your site. “Polls” are easily managed with parameters such as “Lag” (time between votes) and “Options” for which visitors may vote.
The “Search” component provides statistics on searches performed using the Joomla! Search Plugin. The component provides the statistics as a simple list containing “Search Text” compared to “Times Requested,” and by default sorted by “Times Requested.”
The “Weblink” component lists and provides management controls for controlling Web Links displayed in the Front-end of the web site.

A Component will manage data, set displays, provide functions, and in general can perform any operation that does not 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. They make it possible to completely transform Joomla! and greatly expand its capabilities.


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. Similarly 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 Articles (Newsflash) Modules are usually used to output data but they can also be interactive form items to input data for example the Login Module or Polls.

Modules can be assigned to Module positions which are defined in your Template and in the back-end using the Module Manager and editing the Module Position settings. For example, “left” and “right” are common for a 3 column layout.

Displaying Modules

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 by holding down the control key and selecting multiple locations 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 (mod_mainmenu) code and giving it the name of your new Menu. When you copy a Module you do not copy all of its parameters, you simply allow Joomla! to use the same code with two separate settings.
Archived Content
The “Archived Content” module allows the positioning of a display of Content Items that have been Archived by a Publisher or above. The Content Items are available behind a Month/Year directory list.

Banners and Feed

Both the “Banners” and “Feed” modules are the front-end display mechanism for their

respective components. Both can be configured to display specific items on specific pages.


Custom HTML
The “Custom HTML” module allows the creation of a custom module. “Custom HTML” modules may contain any HTML based content, including text, images and links.


The “Breadcrumbs” module allows the addition of breadcrumbs to the websites front-end.

Breadcrumbs are a navigation aid commonly used in user interfaces. The breadcrumbs give users a way to keep track of their location within the web site.

The “Footer” module shows the Joomla! Copyright information in the following form.

“Copyright © YYYY [Site Name Here]. All Rights Reserved.”

“Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.”


The “Login” module displays the required fields to login, without navigating to a new page. Default visible fields include “Username,” “Password,” and “Remember Me.”


The “Menu” module displays a menu that is defined from within the Menu Manager. All Joomla! web sites have a “Main Menu” which cannot be deleted. The “Menu” module allows new menus to be displayed in other positions.
Most Read&Latest News
Both the “Most Read” and “Latest News” modules display a list of links to either the most read articles or the most recently added articles.
News Flash
The “Newsflash” module displays Content Items from a specific Section/Category list. Standard module parameters such as “Menu Assignment” and “Details” are available.
The “Polls” module is the front-end display mechanism for the “Polls” component. Together, the “Polls” module and component can be configured to show specific polls on specific pages.
Random Image
The “Random Image” module displays a random image from the contents of a specific image folder. This folder is set via the parameters dialogue. Standard module parameters such as “Menu Assignment” and “Details” are available in addition to certain “Advanced Parameters.”
Related Items
The “Related Items” module utilises the meta-data associated with each piece of content. The module will display content items with the same keywords, and therefore of a similar subject, giving the user added value to the amount of detail that are able to obtain from a web site.
The “Search” module provides the user with the ability to instantly perform a basic search from their current location and to be taken directly to the results. This removes the need to navigate to a search dialogue.
The “Sections” module shows a list of all Article Sections configured in the your web sites

database. If the parameter “Show Unauthorised Links” is set to No, the list will be limited to the Sections the User’s access level permits them to see.
The “Statistics” module displays a basic list of information about the server and Joomla!

Installation. Information displayed includes Server OS, PHP Version, MySQL Version, Time, Caching, GZIP, Members, Content, Weblinks, and Content View Hits.
The “Syndicate” module displays a pictorial list of all the Feed types that are available for the web site. The module works in conjunction with the Syndicate Component where the actual feed details are configured.
Who’s Online
The “Who’s Online” module provides a basic display of the number of Guests (Unregistered Visitors) and how many members (registered users that are logged in) are connected to the web site at the time the web page was queried.

The module can be set to display the names of the Members who are logged in.


The “Wrapper” module wraps another web page directly into the website at a specific location determined by the module position. The web page is inserted as an inline frame into the web site layout template.


One of the more advanced Extensions for Joomla! is the Plugins. In previous versions of Joomla! Plugins were known as Mambots. Aside from changing their name 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.


Authentication (Joomla!, LDAP, OpenID, GMail)

The “Authentication” plugins add different form of user authentication to your site.

The Joomla! Authentication plugin involves initially registering at the web site and then

confirming your identity through a confirmation email.

The OpenID and GMail Authentication plugins use pre-existing databases to authenticate the user. By signing in with a GMail or OpenID account, steps will be eliminated from the registration process.

By default, only the Joomla! Authentication plugin is enabled.



The “Cache” Plugin provides page caching functionality. This reduces server load and lag.


Code Highlighter (GeSHi)
GeSHi is an Open Source syntax highlighter program that helps illustrate different code languages such as PHP, JavaScript, HTML, each in a different colour, to assist with the readability of a code entry in a Content Item. This code entry must be encased within a <pre>…</pre> element that defines a block of preformatted code.


Email Cloaking

The Email Cloaking plugin adds a layer of security to email addresses contained inside Content Items and Contacts. The plugin uses JavaScript to effectively hide the email address when an email address appears.


Editors (TinyMCE 2.1&XStandard Lite for Joomla!)

Both the TinyMCE 2.1 and the Xstandard Lite for Joomla! plugins are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors. They allow for the creation of Content Items and editing descriptions among other tasks.



The “Legacy” Plugin adds Legacy support for Joomla! 1.0. This Plugin allows existing

components, mambots, templates and modules to function in Joomla! 1.5.

By default, the “Legacy” Plugin is disabled, but can be enabled if required.


Editors-XTD (Image, Page break, Read more)

These Plugins add important functionality to the front-end for viewing content and the back-end for enabling and configuring this functionality.

The Image Editor-XTD Plugin displays a button to make it possible to insert images into an Article. The button causes a popup to be displayed allowing you to configure the image’s properties, and to upload new image files.

The Page break Editor-XTD Plugin provides a button to enable a page break to be inserted into an Article. A popup allows you to configure the settings to be used, such as “Title.”

The Read more Editor-XTD Plugin enables a button to be available that allows you to easily insert the “Read more…” link into an Article.



The “Search” Plugin adds the functionality of a reader rating system to the Content Items in the Front-end of the web site. This is the sequence of 5 image objects that are “lit up” in accordance with the selections made by the Users in the Front-end.

By default, this Plugin is not enabled.


Search (Categories, Newsfeeds, Sections, Contacts, Content, Web links)

The various “Search” Plugins enable the Search component to search all types of content on your website. The different plugins are for each type of content, allowing the enabling and disabling of searching the different types of content.



The “SEF” Plugin adds Search Engine Friendly functionality to the URL links of content items. It operates automatically once published and enabled in the Global Configuration. The plugin operates directly on the HTML code and does not require special tagging to be added by a user.


XML-RPC (Blogger API&Joomla! API)

The “XML-RPC” (Extensible Markup Language – Remote Procedure Call) Plugin adds XML-RPC functionality to Joomla!

The “XML-RPC Blogger API” allows third party applications, such as w.bloggar, to talk to Joomla!, giving the user the ability to remotely edit, add, delete and publish content items.

The “XML-RPC Joomla! API” adds further Joomla! specific functionality through compliant third party applications.



New to Joomla! 1.5 and perhaps the most basic and critical Extension is a Language. Joomla! is released with multiple Installation Languages but the base Site and Administrator are packaged in just the one Language en-GB – being English with GB spelling for example. To include all the translations currently available would bloat the core package and make it unmanageable for uploading purposes. The Language files enable the entire User interfaces both Front-end and Back-end to be presented in the local preferred language. Note these packs do not have any impact on the actual content such as Articles.

More information on languages is available from the Joomla! help site: Language Packs and Localised Releases http://help.joomla.org/content/view/1651/243/


A RHUK Milkyway

The “RHUK Milkyway” template is the default template for a Joomla! Installation. The clean

design of this template makes it very lightweight and fast.

The template has three parameters for setting the “Colour Variation,” “Background Variation,” and “Template Width.”


The “Beez” template is a template that has been designed with particular attention to the

standard conformable code, accessibility and flexibility.

This template is an example to demonstrate the new accessibility features in Joomla! 1.5. It

serves as a basis and can be modified and extended as much as you wish.

We highly appreciate your valuable comments. Also if you have any issues in joomla you could email to harsha@vishmitha.com or Supporting Forum to get our assist.

The next article will discuss about Joomla Administration.


Hello there! Today, we are going to walk you through setting up your first Joomla! Website. This article quickly leads you through installing Joomla 1.5. It details both a local installation for testing (if you do not have a Joomla hosting account or have a slow internet connection) and a real web server installation.

Joomla is a complex series of PHP scripts that run on a web server. When you browse a Joomla site, these scripting are being generated on the fly and creating what you see on the pages of the site. The key words here are web server.


Running and Testing Joomla without a Hosting Account

You cannot download Joomla and try to run it on your computer like an exe file. It has to have a web server, which means you need to have a hosting account.

There is something else you can do first. You can actually run a web server on your local computer, in other words, your desktop or laptop. This is known as having a localhost. It may sound like I just contradicted myself from the previous paragraph, but not quite. You can’t “run” Joomla itself on your own computer, but you can install a localhost web server for it to “run on”.

What you need to pull this off is some software that runs Apache, PHP and MySQL on your computer. These are the same software packages that power websites.

Developing your website locally before actually uploading to your host makes sense for a large number of reasons. Before actually going live you need to:

  • Learn how to administer and deploy a Joomla! website
  • Brand the template you have chosen
  • Organise your sections and categories appropriately
  • Ensure that any 3rd party components you will install will not break any other parts of your site. You also need to ensure that are correctly and fully configured
  • Configure email settings, contacts, registration / login settings, decide on users which will be given front-end / back-end access
  • Lots of other settings to ensure that your site has been fully optimized

To be able to design and test you need a local installation of your website on a standalone server. The following server(s) and suites enable you to easily and install your development site.


Wamp Server

Wamp Server is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache, PHP and the MySQL database. It also comes with PHP MyAdmin and SQLite Manager to easily manage your databases.

Wamp Server also has a tray icon to manage your server and its settings.



Installing Wamp Server

Double click on the downloaded file and just follow the instructions. Everything is automatic. The Wamp Server package is delivered with the latest releases of Apache, MySQL and PHP.

Once Wamp Server is installed, you can add other releases by downloading them on this website. They will then appear in the Wamp Server menu and you will be able to switch releases with a simple click.


Wamp Server’s functionalities are very complete and easy to use so we won’t explain here how to use them.

With a left click on Wamp Server’s icon, you will be able to:
- manage your Apache and MySQL services
- switch online/offline (give access to everyone or only localhost)
- install and switch Apache, MySQL and PHP releases
- manage your servers settings
- access your logs
- access your settings files
- create alias

With a right click :
- change Wamp Server’s menu language
- exit

How to start Wamp Server

When you install Wamp Server, a “www” directory is created (generally c:\wamp\www).
Click on the link “Localhost” in the Wamp Server menu or open your browser and open the http://localhost address.

Now open a browser and go to localhost(no “www”)



You should see the following page:

If you are not seeing this then you should stop and figure out why. You have to get this page before you can proceed. The WAMP site has some helpful troubleshooting FAQ’s and a forum.

Joomla! 1.5 Installation

Download &Unzip Joomla!

To install Joomla!, you need the source code. Download the Joomla_1.5.zip package (Current version 1.5.9) and save it on your system.




Unzipping the files

You need to unzip, or unpack the Joomla files you have onto your server. If you are running as a localhost, your server would be the WAMP directory mentioned above. If you are on a web host, you will need to upload the file and then unpack it. Use your file manager to upload the zip file to public_html (or whatever you have on your host).


Installing Joomla through a Web Browser

If you have got this far that means you have unzipped the Joomla package to either a remote web host or your local computer. Now for the fun stuff!

There are a number of options open to you in this process:



Using your browser of choice (Firefox of course), navigate to the location of all the localhost/Joomla. You will see the first installation screen.

Step 1: Language Selection

Choose Language is the first of a total of seven installation steps. Select the desired language and click on the Next button.



Step 2: Pre-Installation Check

Next, you will see the Pre-Installation check. This check should help you determine whether your server environment is suitable for a Joomla! installation.



A critical part in the installation process, this checks if all the minimum system requirements are met.

The first set are required minimums, if they are red (not met) then you need to find a new environment (change hosts), talk them into changing their environment (upgrading PHP for example). Note that the last item is a permissions issue on a file (configuration.php) that is much easier to rectify. This file is created at the end of the installation with its customized values. You can usually change permissions through the Cpanel provided by your host. This tool is generally an industry standard.

The second set is recommended settings. If you don’t meet them you can still install Joomla but it may create problems with functionality and security.

If you are working with the Wamp Server under Windows, your screen should like the previous screenshot. Click on Next and you are in the licensing step.


Step 3: Licence

Every piece of software is licensed under certain conditions. Joomla! uses the GNU/GPL licence, version 2.0.



After you read this license click on Next.


Step 4: Database Configuration

In the fourth step, Database Configuration, your database parameters are queried. You can set up as many databases as required in Wamp server environment and you have a MySQL user with the name root (without a password). The user root is the MySQL administrator and can do everything in the MySQL system. An installation without a password is a significant security risk. In the beginning, locally, in order to get the system up and running as quickly as possible, this is not a problem.





Enter the following parameters in a local Wamp Server installation:
Host Name: localhost

User Name: root

Password: leave this empty—but be aware of the security risk!!

Now select a Database Name. An unlimited number of databases can be set up in a local Wamp Server environment since the user root has the right to do that. In an active environment with a provider, you presumably will have a set allocation of databases and the access data for the databases are usually preset.

Because of this, We can also enter a name of a database that does not exist yet in the installer. Here digits is the database name used.


Step 5: FTP Configuration

In order to stop problems with access rights and a possibly activated PHP Safe Mode in their track, you have the option of using PHP’s FTP functions for uploading and handling of files starting with Joomla! 1.5. This is not necessary in the local Wamp Server installation. But if you install Joomla! on the virtual web server of a provider, enter here the FTP data that your provider has given to you. If your provider permits these functions, it is advisable from a security perspective to set up different FTP accounts for yourself as user and for Joomla! and to activate the Joomla! FTP account only for the respective Joomla! Directory.




Step 6: Configuration

This main step of the configuration is divided into three parts.

The first part of the configuration has to do with the name of your website. This name appears in the header of the browser window when somebody accesses your website. This name is also used in other places, for example, with confirmation emails to registered users. We have chosen the name Digit.lk for our example site.





In the second part, you are asked to enter the paths of the website, the administrator email address, and the administrator password. This will be the first user in the site and automatically gets that super administration status. Write the password on a piece of paper (but don’t stick it on the monitor or the keyboard!).

In the third part the Main Configuration page determines how you will insert content into your site. You have two choices:

  • Install Sample Data
    This installs the default Joomla content that you have probably seen all over the web with Welcome to Joomla. Note that is also includes all the menus, navigation links and sections/categories. If you are learning how to use Joomla this is highly recommended. Its easier to adapt and revise than to start from scratch.
  • Migration from previous versions
    This is a special function that is part of a process to migrate a Joomla site running on 1.0 to 1.5 and requires a special component to do so.

Click on the Install Sample Data button. The installer loads the data into your database and changes the display. The process is a little unimpressive but necessary for the installation of sample data. The button disappears and a small text window appears.

Now click on the Next button and your data are stored.


Step 7: Completion

The seventh and final step congratulates you on a successful installation. Let us congratulate you as well. There is a notice in bold text that prompts you to delete the installation directory. Take good heed of this notice, because your Joomla! website will not run without this step.


Before proceeding to view the results of your efforts you need to open the root directory of your Joomla! installation and delete the Installation Directory (highlighted in the following image)



The installation is now complete and you have a choice between the buttons Site (to view your homepage) and Admin (administration interface). To take a look at your newly created homepage, click on Site. If you haven’t deleted the installation directory as of yet, you will get a friendly reminder to delete it and to check out your page after you’ve done that.



The next article will discuss Core Features of Joomla.


Many types of websites can be built and maintained more easily using a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS provides a web-based interface for creating and organizing content. The content is stored in a database, and then consistently presented according to a set of templates and preferences, which eliminates the need to handcraft each page in HTML. Joomla! is a popular, easy-to-use, open-source CMS built in PHP. It has near-limitless functionality, thanks to its community of extension developers.


What is JOOMLA?

You have made the most important choice so far, by selecting Joomla! 1.5 as your choice of CMS. Joomla! is currently one of the most popular and effective Open Source projects and has won a number of prestigious awards in its short, but illustrious existence.

Joomla! 1.5 is the second, main incarnation of the Joomla! series of releases. The original Joomla! 1.0 series being a direct derivative of the Mambo CMS which many of the current Joomla! Developers helped create. Joomla! 1.5 is a major step forward from 1.0, with many new features and a far more integrated framework.


From a Business point of view:

  • It allows you to manage your website and empower others within your company to contribute, administer, etc.
  • It provides a platform that is open to almost any specific need


From a Development Point of View:

  • JOOMLA! Shouldn’t be just viewed as a way to administer content.  It provides a framework from which to build any application you may need.
  • Because of its flexible templating engine, a re-design of your site won’t constitute a complete re-do of every web page.  Simply change the template and a few minor things and you will have a whole new look.
  • Joomla’s framework includes many features such as built in security, user management, easy extendibility…..thus enabling the development of your site to stay focused on your specific needs / applications.
  • Joomla has a well documented framework and a very active community


Open Source

A lot of people think “second class” when they hear “open source”.  This is probably justifiable depending on what they have used.  However, Joomla! ranks within the premium products of the Open Source community; showcasing a world-class team of developers and a thriving community.

Building a system from scratch similar to Joomla would cost tens of thousands of dollars. Thus by selecting Joomla as your CMS / Development, you eliminate large chunks of start-up costs and lets your budget focus specifically on the immediate need of your site / application.

Joomla is the most popular GPL (General Public License) CMS in the world.  Its community can be found in almost every country, and the system is translated in many languages including Sinhala, Tamil, and can be used to fit almost any need.


Joomla Features

The Joomla! CMS is no rookie in the market!  It has been deployed by companies and organizations such as United Nations, Harvard University, Citibank (Financial institution intranet – Not publicly accessible) to provide their website backbone.  Joomla’s content publishing allows you to quickly create content for websites, control access to your documents, administer user created content, and more.

The modules in Joomla provide easy to move blocks of code. Moving something on your site now doesn’t require you to change every page on your site.

The Joomla components allow you to install mini-applications in your site; thus allowing you to install applications such as e-commerce / shopping carts, photo galleries, form builders, forums, and more!

The user manager provides extendible control over registered and special users from simple public access, to control over authors, publishers, and administrators.


The following is a listing of Joomla! features in point form:

  • 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, centre 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


Extensive Administration:

  • Change order of objects including news, FAQs, articles etc.
  • Random Newsflash generator
  • Remote author submission module for News, Articles, FAQs and Links
  • Object hierarchy – as many sections, departments, divisions and pages as you want
  • Image library – store all your PNGs, PDFs, DOCs, XLSs, GIFs and JPEGs online for easy use
  • Automatic Path-Finder. Place a picture and let Joomla! fix the link
  • News feed manager. Choose from over 360 news feeds from around the world
  • Archive manager. Put your old articles into cold storage rather than throw them out
  • Email-a-friend and Print-format for every story and article
  • In-line Text editor (WYSIWYG) similar to Word Pad
  • User editable look and feel
  • Polls/Surveys – Now put a different one on each page
  • Custom Page Modules. Download custom page modules to spice up your site
  • Template Manager. Download templates and implement them in seconds
  • Layout preview. See how it looks before going live
  • Banner manager. Make money out of your site


Technical Requirements for Joomla!

You will need to ensure the following minimum requirements are in place before installing the Joomla


ü Do not use PHP 4.3.9, 4.4.2 or 5.0.4. These releases have known bugs that will interfere with installation. Zend Optimizer 2.5.10 for PHP 4.4.x also has serious bugs and you should ask your host to upgrade to a newer version.

ü Joomla is not yet compatible with MySQL 6.x.

ü  In order to use SEO URLs, you will need to have the Apache mod_rewrite extension installed.

Joomla is optimized for Apache, but also runs on Microsoft IIS (though not officially supported). Depending on your setup, you may need the following:

Microsoft URL Rewrite Module – Required for SEO URLs only. For more information, click here. For information about using ISAPI, click here.

This series of articles seeks to provide you with the necessary information you need in order to safely install the basic core package onto an existing, fully operational, Web server.

We trust you will enjoy the process and can then look forward to tailoring Joomla! to your own specific requirements.

Installing and using Joomla! is generally straight forward, getting your perfect Web site takes a lot more effort but there is much, as you will discover, that has been done to make the process easier along the way.

The next article will discuss installation of Joomla!