Some day you may want to make a website yourself, and you want it to be powered by Joomla CMS. However, the problem here is that you are newbie; you really don't know anything and don't know where you should start. So I will bring you a little bit of a surprise, a review of "Joomla 1.7 Beginner's Guide". It's a good Joomla book for beginners.
The book's hard cover
Before I read this guideline, I also knew nothing about Joomla or how to use it to create a website. However, I spent my time to explore this guide and I feel that it's really useful. So, now I make a Joomla book review to share it with you based on my own perspective.
Before I show you the main content of this review, I would like to introduce you to the chief author and co-authors who contributed to this guideline.
The chief author is Hagen Graf. He's 46 years old and he lives in Fitou, France. His work consists of many different activities such as teaching, advising, listening, testing, programming, understanding structures, developing new applications, questioning and always trying something new. He not only works online but also is on the road to meet clients in different countries with different languages. So, his office is located where he is.
Beside Hagen Graf, there are co-authors who helped a lot in writing this book. They are Angie Radtke (Chapter: The Beez Template), Andreas Kolln (Chapter: Must have Extensions), Henk van Cann (Chapter: Earning respect and money with Joomla), Jen Kramer (A Joomla 1.7 Website from Scratch). Thank them again!
This is opening part. In this part, they give an overview about what you will read. I recommend that you read it, because you yourself need to ensure that you are reading a book suitable for your needs. Let the author Hagen Graf tells you about the advantages of reading his guide. If you are Joomla beginners, you are the target customers of this guideline. In addition, this free e-book is available in English and 3 other languages: Russian, Danish and Spanish, so, you can find a version suitable for yourself. Some showcases which the author chooses to show you maybe become a choice for your upcoming website. It does not take you a lot of time, so let's begin with it first!
Book review - Showcase chapter
This is obviously the first thing beginners have to do. You need to install successfully to get started with it. You will learn the way to install it step by step, very clearly with attached images. What minimum system requirements do you need to have for your local host? Will you install it on Windows, Linux or Mac OS X operating system? What is your production environment? - A rented virtual server or your own server? You will get all the answers you need in this chapter.
After you make a successful installation, you will need an overview about what Joomla consists of. So, the next chapter of this amazing Joomla book was ordered logically to give you a basics understanding of the structures and terms of sample website. It will explain to you about front-end, back-end as well as tell you about the elements of template which you have to work with in the administration area.
My recommendation is that beginners should read it if you need to understand more because it might be quite complex to people who are totally new. However, you can also find out useful information about the user group and the community. One thing you can be sure of, you will learn a lot from the community. After that, you can take a look at what's new in version 1.7.
Content is the most important part of a website because its source of the information the visitor gets from your website. So, with this book, you will learn the way to create and display, as well as manage, the article in your website. It is easy to understand because it's not only full but also detailed, with particular screenshots. Some information that beginners will be provided is about typical article, the way to create a new article and link it as menu item to show on your front page. For example, how to create an "About us" menu item and put it in the top menu to get a visitor's attention.
Managing content - How to create an "About us" page
Book review - Demo "About us" on the website
You need categories to manage your content if you don't want to mess it all up. Thanks to categories, visitors will find your website easy to navigate. They will easily find information that they need to read. A website which is easy to use means an effective website. For instance, your website is online shopping website, your products are shoes, bags, purses, watches, jewelry etc..., and so you will need separate categories for each product. In this chapter you will learn about three types of category layout and you can decide which your favorite is and what the most suitable layout for your intended design is. A combination of the three is not bad. So, read it and try!
This Joomla guide introduces you about the ways you will control your elements such as articles, categories, contacts, menus, menu item... You can choose to have them published or unpublished and you also can throw them in trash if you want. In addition, you will know what "featured" means and when you put your items in the "archived" or "check-in" position.
The 8th chapter of this Joomla book will give you knowledge about the configuration options from the highest to the lowest level. You will start with the concept of "Global configuration" where you can define all the settings that are valid for the entire website. You will clarify your understanding of detailed configuration using Site Settings, System Settings, Server Settings and Permissions. Finally, you will know how to use the "options" function which you will find in every manager.
Hagen Graf brings you a full introduction about Joomla templates. He shows you the way to see the positions which each template provides for each module. That's interesting! You also learn about the core template in your current sample website as well as what you can do with the "Style" function to create and use different versions of one template. How wonderful!
Do you know what "breadcrumbs" mean? Of course, it's not interpreted literally. So, try to find out its meaning in this chapter! The beginners will learn how to create your menu and link all categories with articles. There are two examples here for you to refer to. You will be instructed step by step so don't worry, you will learn a lot from this.
Sample example from the book
There are 3 things you will learn about in this part: "Registration and Login", "Users groups" and "Access levels". Of course, in your own site, you will be an administrator (or super user) with the highest level of administration. There are a lot of different kinds of users for your website such as public, registered, manager, author, editor etc... You will decide their access levels. You will learn the way to configure users in Users Manager- Options. It's very useful!
Users and Permissions- Registration and Login
The next chapter of this book, everything is about Extensions: managing, updating, installing and finding extensions. Things like banners, contacts, messaging, newsfeeds, search, and web links all belong to core extensions. For example, if you want to earn money from advertising a client, so you have to know how to create and display your client's banner in a suitable position in your website. Similarly, to look more professional, you will need a search box, newsfeeds and web links. In the "must have extensions" chapter, there are some very interesting things for the beginners to make your site better. Consequently, don't miss it and read this guide carefully, you will obtain a lot of essential information.
If you know nothing about what a "modules" is, you absolutely need to read this section now. What's a module? What's its role? Why do you need it? How can you configure a module or create a new module? All this will be explained clearly for you in this Joomla book.
The information provided in this chapter is quite a lot. So, I recommend you that you should read this part step by step. In my opinion, it's fairly difficult to understand; however, the author makes it easier for you to understand-just read it slowly and carefully!
Book review : Content Plug-ins
This is a very interesting problem because you always want to be seen on the first search results page in search engines like Google and in social networks like Facebook. The author of this Joomla book will show his analysis and give examples for you to consider how to optimize your search engine results.
If you want your website to be accessible to people all over the world, you will have to build a multi-language website. It's amazing because it eliminated language barriers. People with different languages can understand your website. It is the same with your products which can be sold around the world. It can get the visitor's attention and make them feel comfortable to stay on your site. The beginners can learn how to configure your language extensions here. I guarantee that it's good for your website.
If you are using version 1.5 or 1.6 and you don't know how to upgrade it to 1.7, you will get the answer here. Just follow the steps and you can update from version 1.6.5 or migrate from version 1.5.
Upgrade from older versions
This is the last part which I think it's essential for you to read. "Joomla 1.7 Beginner's Guide" gives you important information for your reference. The author provides you with the most popular websites that you might need in various fields such as community, documentation, security checklists, joomla extension and joomla template, hosting, commercial support... It's is essential whenever you need to find any related thing.
Book review - Resources
The information above is the most basic and essential things you might experience with "Joomla 1.7 Beginner's Guide". However, it's just a brief review of this Joomla book. For more detailed lessons, I recommend that beginners should read the full. You can click to download the English, the Spanish, the Russian and the Danish version. It's totally free with e-book (PDF documentation). However, if you want to own this handbook, you can purchase it for your study. I hope that you get the basics of this guide from the useful knowledge above.
If you have any question or comment, please feel free to share with us!