Categories, Sections, Confusion

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Lenora
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Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Lenora » Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:40 pm

I'm a little confused about the sections and categories, about the differences between them.  It almost seems redundant to have both, but that's because I don't fully understand.  I have some sections and categories, but I think I'm going to have to delete them and start over.  I think I tried to do everything in the wrong order.  Is there a walk-through somewhere that outlines a sample setup of menu, section, and categories?  I didn't see it in the help section. 

Should I have set them up like this:  menu, then sections of each menu item, then categories for each section?  Do the visitors see sections, or categories, or both?  If it's all in help, I'll just take some time in a few days and read it more thoroughly.  Okay, thanks to anyone who can help.  The site is at http://heartsgold.com./eden.  I'll take off password protect for a little while, then I'll have to put it back.

Lenora

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby BetterThanJimbo » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:29 pm

Hi Lenora,

I had trouble with all the menus and sections and stuff when I started two months ago as well.  Hopefully I can shed a newbie persepctive with you that will help!

Don't worry about menus right now, just look at all the content you have.  Most likely you can organize this content into different groups.

Sections contain categories.  Categories contain content.  Content is where the "meat" of your website is.  Consider a grocery store to be an example.

- each aisle is a section (groups of foods that are similar)
- each aisle has many levels (each section has many categories -- each row has specific foods grouped together)
- each row has products (each category has content -- a row of similar foods contains different brands, flavours, etc.)

Hope that helps.  Don't worry about menus and the like yet.  It may turn out that your menus will be exactly like how you have organized your content into categories into sections, but Mambo purposely separates the two so you don't necessarily have to do it that way.

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Lenora » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:52 pm

Okay, I will follow your suggestions.  I'm not an extremely organized person.  Organization confuses me.  ;D

Thanks for the suggestions.

Lenora

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Starting to get it now

Postby Lenora » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:52 am

Okay, I took a piece of paper and wrote some sections, then some categories coming off them.  In other words, the sections were single parents and the categories were chldren of the parents.  I ran into a snag when I tried to make menu names for them, so I deleted all the menu names that I had made.  Then, I started to add articles, making menu names on the fly. 

I'm going to add a second article and see how it goes.  I'm posting this in case someone has the same problem I had and doesn't want anyone to know. :-[

Lenora
Last edited by Lenora on Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Another Way

Postby Lenora » Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:31 am

Lenora wrote:Okay, I took a piece of paper and wrote some sections, then some categories coming off them.  In other words, the sections were single parents and the categories were chldren of the parents.  I ran into a snag when I tried to make menu names for them, so I deleted all the menu names that I had made.  Then, I started to add articles, making menu names on the fly. 

I'm going to add a second article and see how it goes.  I'm posting this in case someone has the same problem I had and doesn't want anyone to know. :-[

Lenora


That didn't work.  It causes the same menu name to be listed more than once.  So, I went to the sections and linked them to menu names.  Now, I'll just link the articles to the sections, and see if that will work.  Tomorrow. ;D

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby mcsmom » Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:04 am

It's  still confusing to me after months. THe problem is that category and section are synonyms in English but not in mamb*ish. Better to think of categories as subsections.  Most likely if you are coming to this from an existing non-cms site what you really have are a lot of content items.  For whatever reason, I find it easier to work backwards, think about what section items I have, then how I would group them into categories. Then pretty often I have to make a section with just one category. Use the category and sections pages to actually make pages. introducing the section.

In terms of menu links, you do not need to link everything. You can link sections, categories,content  items, whatever makes sense for moving users through your site the way you want..
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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby cforg » Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:18 am

Hi lenora,

maybe a different explaination will help. Sections and catagories are used by modules to determine what kind of content you will load into the module. You catagorize the articles, or content, by how you want that grouping to be. For instance, you may have your blog that you want to appear in the newsflash module, and at the same time, a news article to appear there as well. you would add both to the same section, but they have different catagories, and they can appear together. At the same time, you may want the blog with your newsletter, they are catagorized the same, but with different sections. In that case you can have those two together in the module, because of the groupings. This gives Xambo the versatility of dynamic content.

These dynamic, or revolving contents, are changable at any time by updating the content of the newsletter or blog or what have you. I have found the static content handles single non-movable, information-only type articles a much better choice for menu operation. The static content is neither sectioned or catagorized. For instance, if you want an 'about us' content that won't be changed, use the static and set up a menu item for it...  I hope this helps.

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby TomT » Sat Aug 20, 2005 6:38 am

Hi Leonora, the sections and categories are a remainder of the original 'portal' setup of Mambo. People used it as a navigation means. I've never done so, and nowadays it's hardly ever used in this way.

The way is I set up a site is:
When there is just one article on a page a use a content item. When there are more articles on a page I use a category.

I start by making a scheme of the site Than create sections to organise the content in the admin (and it's essential if you are going to use SEF advanced). Than I create categories. And than of course create the items with the actual content.
Than I go to the menumanager to create any extra menu's I need. And in the menu('s) I'm going to add the links to the categories and items, according to the scheme I made.

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Lenora » Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:11 pm

TomT wrote:Hi Leonora, the sections and categories are a remainder of the original 'portal' setup of Mambo. People used it as a navigation means. I've never done so, and nowadays it's hardly ever used in this way.

The way is I set up a site is:
When there is just one article on a page a use a content item. When there are more articles on a page I use a category.

I start by making a scheme of the site Than create sections to organise the content in the admin (and it's essential if you are going to use SEF advanced). Than I create categories. And than of course create the items with the actual content.
Than I go to the menumanager to create any extra menu's I need. And in the menu('s) I'm going to add the links to the categories and items, according to the scheme I made.


So you have each category on a separate menu item, right?  Is it true that if you link the categories themselves to the menu, then you cannot link more than one category to each menu button? 

For instance, let's say I have Section: Fruit,  containing categories Apples, Pears, and Oranges.  If I want each category to be under the same menu button, I have to attach the section to the button, right?  When I tried to connect categories to the same menu names, that created duplicate buttons.  I'm thinking that if I want Apples and Pears to be under one button, and Oranges to be under another, then they have to be in separate categories.  Hope I'm not overlooking some of what y'all are saying.  Thanks for everybody's help and time.

Lenora

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby TomT » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:57 am

Yes. all you say is correct, except one thing: if you want apples and pears connected to one button, they must be in one section and the oranges in another section. Or apples and pears must be in one categorie.

In general you get a better sitestructure if apples and pears are under seperate buttons.

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Lenora » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:10 pm

I'm starting to understand it somewhat better. 

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Lenora » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:18 pm

Oh wait a minute.  You deliberately set it up so that each category is sort of like a section... so that each category would naturally get a separate link.  So even though you do have sections, navigation pretty much ignores them, or seems to. 

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Joomlales » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:45 pm

Hi Lenora --- Mambo is about organization. The cool part is you are only limited on how you organize by your imagination. In other words I have found many ways to do the same thing - which can be confusing for the more regimented folks out there.

Checkout this link: http://forum.mamboserver.com/showthread.php?t=43240

Anna has done a (really) good job of explaining the Category - Section - Content thing in regular English. Even I got it!

Good luck!

Les

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Lenora » Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:53 pm

mamboles wrote:Hi Lenora --- Mambo is about organization. The cool part is you are only limited on how you organize by your imagination. In other words I have found many ways to do the same thing - which can be confusing for the more regimented folks out there.

Checkout this link: http://forum.mamboserver.com/showthread.php?t=43240

Anna has done a (really) good job of explaining the Category - Section - Content thing in regular English. Even I got it!

Good luck!

Les


Okay I'll check into it when I get this brand new Adsense-not-showing-in-template problem worked out.  Thanks!

Lenora

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Joomlales » Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:57 pm

NP - It really helped me - and countless others.

Great avatar!  8)

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Lenora » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:08 pm

mamboles wrote:NP - It really helped me - and countless others.

Great avatar!  8)


Thanks!  It's the artist in me.

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Re: Categories, Sections, Confusion

Postby Joomlales » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:16 pm

"Cheese"  ;D


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