In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create simple presentation site with a few presentation pages, a blog and a contact form. First of all you’ll have to install Joomla and then follow the outlined steps.
I won’t use any third party modules as this is a simple site and our objective is achievable with what Joomla offers.
Part 1: The clean-up.
1. Now that all the extensions are installed, the first thing you should do is erase all the content items that remain from the Joomla installation. You can do this by going to the menu, hovering on “Content” and then clicking “All Content Items”. After the page loads check the box on the left of the “Title” field and then click on the “Trash” icon in the top right of the page.
Go to the same menu but now click on “Static Content Manager” and delete all the items there.
To complete the deletion you must go to the administration index page, click on “Trash Manager” and delete the pages from there also.
2. You should erase the categories and sections too (in this order) unless you plan to use them with their current names. Although you could always rename them I find it much easier to delete the categories I don’t need and start fresh. Erasing the categories and sections is the same as with the content: hover over “Content” and then select either “Category Manager” or “Section Manager”; after the manager loads you can delete all or just the ones you don’t plan on using.
3. Time to clean up the menus! Go to the administration index page an click on the “Menu Manager” icon.
Here we are going to do multiple modifications:
- click the radio button next to the “othermenu” and then click delete in the top right part of the page. This menu has links to various Joomla sites that might be less than interesting to many visitors.
- back at the Menu Manager click on the icon to the right of “mainmenu”. Now check the boxes for every item except “Home” and “Contact Us”.
- do the same as above for the “topmenu”, but delete the “News” and “Links” items.
4. Let’s unpublish some modules now; note that we’ll unpublish them, not delete, because they might prove useful. In the administration backend hover over the “Modules” menu and then click on “Site Modules”.
After the Module Manager loads check the boxes next to the following modules: Banners, Login Form, Polls, Who’s Online, Latest News and Popular. After the boxes are checked click the “Unpublish” icon in the top right menu.
Part 2: Site layout and pages.
Ok, now that we have a practically brand new installation it’s time to build our site. First, let’s think about what pages we need: Home (index), Services, Products, Blog, About Us and Contact Us. The “Blog” link will lead to a part of the site that acts as, well, a blog and “Contact Us” will be a form. The rest are simply pages, with no special functions or abilities.
1. We need to create a section that will hold the content categories, and then create the categories which will hold the content. In the administration index click on “Section Manager” and then the “New” icon to create a new section. In “Title” and “Section Name” you can write Content for example; click the “Save” icon and then return to the administration index page.
Next we create the categories. Click on “Category Manager” and create a category named “Blog”.
2. To create the pages go back to the administration index and click on “Static Content Manager”. After the manager loads click on “New” in the top right part of the page. Create the pages we talked about earlier: Services, Products, Blog, About Us and Contact Us.
After you write the content (but before you save it) the best thing to do is to link these static pages to the menu. You do this by selecting the “Link to menu” tab that’s to the right of the text editor, selecting “mainmenu” and filling in a menu item name (this should be the name of the page you are creating). Click on the “Link to Menu” button and then save the page.
Note: there are differences between static content and other content types, but the main one is that static content exists outside the typical Joomla taxonomy (sections and categories).
3. Creating blog entries is just as easy as creating static content – the difference is that in the administration backend you have to click on the “Content Items Manager” icon and then create new pages. Also, when creating non-static content you have to select a section and a category to which that content will belong (in our case the section is “Content” and the category is “Blog”).
4. The contact form is an important part of all sites and ours is already made. If not, it is easy to create a new one. Go to Components -> Contacts -> Manage Contacts. After the Contact Manager loads you should see one contact form; click it and then edit the text boxes so the details that you want appear on the form.
When creating a new form you have all the same options as when editing one, and it is a breeze to edit or create them as all the fields are self explanatory. One more thing: the form will email the results to the email address that is specified in Global Configuration -> Mail.
5. The newsflash module will list the last x number (this is configurable) of items from a specified category. To edit the options go to Modules -> Site Modules and then click on the “Newsflash” module. I suggest modifying the category option (choose “Content/Blog” in our case) and then the number of options (5 or 6 should be enough).
This is the end of the tutorial – I hope it has helped you understand Joomla better!