Insights From: "The Official Joomla! Book" (Part 1)

Written by | 01 November 2010 | Published in 2010 November
During Joomla!Day West 2010 Pearson Publishing announced the release of Joomla! Press. The mission of Joomla! Press is to enhance the Joomla! experience by providing useful, well-written, and engaging publications for all segments of the Joomla! Community from beginning users to framework developers. Titles in Joomla! Press are authored by leading experts and contributors in the community.
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The Official
Joomla! Book

The Official Joomla! Book is the authoritative, and comprehensive Joomla! reference for every administrator, developer, designer, and content manager. Distilling the extensive experience of two long-time Joomla! contributors, it teaches exactly what you need to know, through practical example sites and crystal-clear explanations. 

If you’re new to Joomla!, you’ll learn how to quickly create usable, effective sites. If you’re an experienced Joomla! user, you’ll learn how to make your sites more flexible, feature-rich, visually attractive, and useful. And whether new or experienced, you’ll learn how Joomla! really works, so you can fully leverage its power whenever you’re ready. You'll also get to know the Joomla! community by hearing from twelve community members through in-depth interviews, and you’ll learn how to participate in the Joomla! project in ways that make sense for you.

Click here to learn how each purchase of this book helps the Joomla project and community!

The Insights

Excerpt from Chapter 2

Where Do I Begin: Before You Install Joomla!

A lot more than installing and configuring Joomla! goes into creating an online presence, and over our years of contributing to Joomla!, there are a number of questions and subjects that have come up repeatedly that aren’t Joomla! specific but are more about the basics of where to begin or how to correct a mistake that may have been made before Joomla! was even installed. This chapter aims to answer those common questions and address some of the issues that may be quite confusing for those very new to running their own Web site. Experienced users may also be inspired to take a look at their Web strategy to see whether it needs an improvement or update.

Identifying Your Purpose

One of the most important groundwork items you can do before you get started creating your Web site is to identify the purpose. Why do you need a Web site, what do you want it to say to people, and do you want people to take action based on what you are communicating to them? Answering these questions can be tedious and frustrating, and sometimes the answers can be irritatingly elusive. The good news is that this step will help you avoid stuffing your Web site with items and functionality you don’t need, making it easier to maintain and retain focus. Joomla! on this point is an excellent choice as a framework to base your Web site on because of the flexibility it offers. At any time you can reevaluate your needs and extend Joomla! to meet any functionalities you may want to offer your Web site visitors in the future.
Here are questions to ask yourself and then answer as specifically as possible.

  • Why do I need a Web site?
  • What do I want to offer to visitors of my site?
  • What information do I want from them?
  • What actions am I expecting visitors to take while on my Web site?
  • What actions am I expecting visitors to take after they leave my Web site?
  • What kind of communication path do I want to use?

– A one-way communication directed outward from me to visitors?
– A two-way communication between myself and visitors?
– A collaborative communication environment where visitors communicate not only to me through my Web site but also with each other?

As you refine your answers to these questions, you can begin to list the functionality you will need for your Web site. This step is vitally important to help you choose appropriate extensions for your site that work well together. It can also help you avoid using too many extensions or having unused extensions installed on your site.




One of the main ways people expose their sites to security vulnerabilities is to keep unused and/or out-of-date extensions installed on their Web sites. If you aren’t using an extension, uninstall it, and check to make sure that all files and folders for the extension have been removed. Keep your extensions up-to-date. This is the time to pick your extensions wisely. Make sure extensions you have picked have an active developer or development team. Other helpful things to look for that make an extension stand out are a user forum, available documentation, and responsive communication availability with the developer or development team. 

Copyright 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.  Excerpts republished with permission.

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Matt Lipscomb

Matt Lipscomb

Matt Lipscomb is a designer and developer focusing completely on the Joomla! CMS. Hailing from Gadsden, Alabama, Matt's former background is hotel development and management with a focus in online reservation systems. Since 2006 he has been building commercial websites based on the Joomla platform and in 2008 opened up Joomla Web Design by USAFL.  He is a member of the Joomla! Leadership Team, and co-manager of the JED and JRD.  Matt also serves on the Joomla! Community Magazine as Feature Stories Editor.