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Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:58 am
by rleggat
DISCUSSION FOR: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla!,47524.0.html


" Start by taking Joomla! out on a test ride using ."

So I do just that, and very first step doesn't work, which is an awful put-off!   :(

I've used Dreamweaver for websites, which is all I know, but I'm told that the html days and static websites are drawing to a close, and that Joomla! is the answer. Trouble is, I'm totally at sea, feeling I'm meeting up with high-flying technical experts. The local bookshops have not head of Joomla, the video courses (I've purchased two on-line) race through too quickly, and there isn't within fifty miles any college or whatever that offers a course.

Am I doomed?!  :'(


Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:36 pm
by Tzirel
What now? Well, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get busy. Start by reading the "Joomla! Quick Start" . This is an easy to read, 20-page manual that gets right to the heart of the matter. Walk through the guide with your own Joomla! implementation in front of you. Do not worry if things seem a little fuzzy, at first.  ??? As you keep studying, it will become clear. You will find yourself saying "Huh?", “Oh!” and “I see!” during this phase.

Is there a v1.5 equivalent Quick Start tutorial available?  Is v1.5 similar enough to v1 that this manual will be accurate? ???

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:06 am
by Terp
Coming from the DNN community, I must say that this is more documentation than the entire platform from which I am migrating.  Good stuff, guys.  Many thanks.

I just installed Joomla tonight and still in shock and awe (again, consider where I am coming from and the work it takes to get a handle on installing that platform). The polished documentation and installation process makes me smile.  :) to roll my sleeves up and take Joomla! for a ride. I love what I see so far.

I'll digest all of this stuff this week, which should answer the few questions I have...and then some.

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:03 pm
by madamep

There are warnings that 1.5 is quite different than 1.0. So remember that when looking at tutorials and other documentation. I would look around for the tutorials listed around the web(see below).

I tried playing around with 1.0.12 about 9 months ago, since 1.5 was still in beta. I found the Joomla user manual to be very difficult to understand. Mostly because I didn't understand the concepts of components/modules/plugins and menus (but also because the manual was difficult to understand, and I was sad to have spent the $40 on another (to be left unnamed) joomla 1.0 book (from Packt) that was useless to me  :(  )

This site is very helpful for defining Joomla terms

I also recommend Barrie North's Admin Manual

(his online tutorials are good too)

It wasn't until I understood how menus link everything together that I started to understand the mental map of Joomla. One must abandon the notion of "pages". The power of joomla seems to be its flexibility, but that can make it hard to understand. When you are working solely with HTML pages, there is an inherent inflexibility that just isn't there with Joomla. Perhaps that's what makes it hard for us newbies.

Joomla documentation isn't very streamlined, but I have found that things are getting better than when I first discovered Joomla last spring.

I'm still getting my head around it myself. So I say the above with the understanding that I am a blind mouse in the Joomla maze, but maybe one eye is seeing the light. I hope that is helpful to you, however.


Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:20 am
by ozmic
I've never built a website, and I would like to.

Where do I start?

I can't view the demo of Joomla, so this is a little confusing to me as a complete novice.


Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 12:25 pm
by wizeguy
I was a complete novice not too long ago myself. It helps to understand what a simple web page is and how the internet basically works. The kewl thing about Joomla and building websites is that you can learn how to drive without learning to be a mechanic, and just come to to community when you have a specific problem; but where to start can be defined better by "where do you want to go?"
If you want to build a website just to say you built a website, start by making a webpage right in Notepad and save it as an .html instead of .txt then open with your browser to publlish the contents on your computer.
If you want the rest of the world to see it, do you want them to connect to your computer? Well, you would have to give them your i.p. address. So put in a "rented" computer instead and now you have "hosting". But an i.p. address is hard to remember, so you go to see if is available (ie., and register it so now you own a domain. Now all you need to do is send your html file to the hosting company pc, and they will make sure that anyone that types connects to your page. So you can't just "email" it to the hosting company so you use ftp.
Lotta work huh?!?
Here's where Joomla comes in. You use that ftp to put a copy of Joomla 1.0.xx (I would wait for 1.5 while the bugs get worked out), on the hosting pc just like the tutorials say. Once you ftp everything, you can jump into the driver's seat and basically ask questions along the way until the website is upto your satisfaction.
This stuff is very, very basic and elementary, but with so much technical jargon goin on, I sure would have liked to read something like this right after I had my first idea of building a website... Good luck

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:45 am
by Josie64
Please help. The installation of Joomla! 1.5 was really easy.  I read the guide on downloading templates. I read the Joomla 1.5 template tutorial.  Bad news it was Greek to me. I am a dreamweaver 8 user and I get that these are not pages but I don't get where do I start the template.  I downloaded wampserver. Lost! I'm not sure as to where I am supposed to do the template.  OK I am really a beginner I want to use Joomla! 1.5 but where is the users guide.  I want to be able to take a free template and change the background colors and insert one of my logos in place of what is there.  Someone please help.

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:06 am
by madamep
Hi Josie64!

You'll need to do some studying. I don't know how savvy you are with WAMP but you'll need to understand server stuff. If you don't know how to do all that, you'll need to get help from someone who can set you up on your server, whether on your website server, or as localhost (on your local machine).

Templates in Joomla are a completely different concept than templates in DW.  You'll need to understand some PHP as well at least so you know where to put the PHP calls in your template, should you want to create your own template.

If you want to use a premade template, then you'll have to install it and then change your style sheets, which is I think what you are hoping to do.

Try reading the tutorials. Another good book on Joomla is Beginning Joomla by Dan Rahmel.

I would also try reading the instructions at the Joomla Forum on how to make a post. I don't think you will get much help telling people you are a beginner. Everyone was a beginner at some point, but all that means is you have to do your part searching the forums and putting in some time reading. There is information if you look for it.

(Also: there are plenty of people who read >please help!< as an invitation not only NOT to help but to frustrate. You can minjimize this by being specific with your questions.)

The bad news is Joomla 1.5 is still not an official release, so there is little documentation about it, but it's coming.

Joomla is not easy to learn, unless you have an inclination to program and think like a programmer. I hope the community responds to people who are not programming-inclined and won't have to learn programming to use Joomla. We are at a point in history where there 's a lot to do to make it more user-friendly, which may not help you where you are right now.

I took a class in Linux so I could understand servers better. I also took a class in PHP and mySQL. So it will take some commitment on your part to get up to speed.

Don't give up on Joomla, it's a great service to web developers, but you'll have to meet Joomla halfway until more people get on board and make it friendlier.

Good Luck!

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:35 am
by Josie64
Your right I did do some research in the forums and it there is help.  This is really a great community.  I got my hands on the Beginning Joomla and it's great.  I also start classes next week and signed up for some programming classes.  Joomlashack is a great place too.  Thanks for your advise.  I am really excited about Joomla.

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:13 am
by Scott-scd
Thanks for the guide. I've been kind of confused about some aspects but for a beginner it genuinly is the asset I need.

Gotta love open source communities  ;D

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:21 pm
by herb200mph

Re: Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! (updated)

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:18 pm
by herb200mph
Update to previously posted url for J!1.5 reference material: