Creating New Joomla Modules

Creating New Joomla Modules

  1. Open the Module Manager

Go to Extensions > Module Manager.

  1. Create a new Module

Click new in the top right corner of the Module Manager.

  1. Select module type
  2. Click the radio button for the module type you want to create.
  3. Click the ‘Next’ button in the top right to continue.
  4. Define Module Parameters

Each module type has a different parameters screen. The following screenshot shows the Polls module parameters screen.

The left side of the screen is the same for every module. The right side of the screen will be specifically for that module type. Look at the tutorial for a specific module type for instructions on parameters for the right side of the screen.

  1. Title: Put in the title of your module here.
  2. Show Title: If you want the module title to show when the poll is displayed on the site, select ‘Yes’. This has nothing to do with the Poll title that you put into the Poll component.
  3. Enabled: Do you want this module to show or be hidden? If you want it to show, select ‘Yes’.
  4. Position: This is the module position on your template. If you are not certain of how to find the module position, read How to Preview Your Joomla Template tutorial.
  5. Menus: This tells the system what pages on your site you want the module to appear. You can have all pages, or you can select specific pages. Note that the pages are based on menu items that you created.
Tips to Design a Business Card for Auto-Detailing Business

Tips to Design a Business Card for Auto-Detailing Business

Automotive detailing is the business where the interiors and exteriors of an automobile are cleaned, shined and protected from the elements. Today it is a lucrative choice for many and the competition is intense. If you are into this business you need to brand yourself to stand ahead of the competition. Business cards are one of the ways in which you can brand yourself as it offers you publicity and also encourages your customers to come back to you. Whenever one of your executives hands over a business card to a client it is a great marketing opportunity for the future. Here are a few tips in which you can design an attractive business card for your auto detailing business.

Custom Cards

If you visit the website of any business card printing company you will come across many templates based on your business area. You can customize these templates to achieve your business card. However, we suggest you to design one from scratch and themed around your business as it gives you more option of exercising your creativity. This makes it powerful as your business card powerful on the virtue of its uniqueness.

Car Themed Card

One of the best ways to do so is theme it around the business as this is one of the most used concepts when it comes to designing attractive cards. You can use a car graphic that features the exterior of a car. For this you can make use of a car photograph from the image library. On else you can also make use of a graphic design that delivers the message to the customers. What this does is makes your card be easily recognizable when put in a card holder. This will help you grab the attention of the customers when they have different auto detailing business cards.

Be Bold With Colors

Colors are one of your best play areas in business cards. Look into your card holder and you will see that most cards have lighter shades of background color with most of them using a white background. You will also notice that the ones in brighter shades of color tend to grab your attention. There you have it the key to a successful business card. You need to choose bright shades of color such as red, blue etc. for the background of your card and make use of contrasting colors for the text as this makes the card visually attractive.

Information Is Vital

A business card isn’t merely for printing your name and contact information. As we have mentioned already it is a powerful marketing tool and hence you should deliver as much information on the card as it permits. For this double sided business cards would offer you more marketing space on the card. List the different kinds of services that you offer. Highlight the USPs of your business and why a customer should choose you over your competitors. Make use of fonts that are easy to read as this is important. For your brand name make of large fonts along with your logo to make it easily recognizable. With these ideas you will achieve a business card that stands ahead off competition and gives your business the maximum marketing mileage. You need to hire the service of a good business card printing company to get a high quality card. Discuss your ideas with them in detail and take inputs from them. Remember they are experts in this trait and hence they will give your valuable inputs to make your card a powerful marketing tool.…

Using More Than One Template on a Site

Using More Than One Template on a Site

It is possible to use more than one template on the same site. This is commonly used to keep the same design theme between the home page and internal pages but allow different modules for content on internal pages. It may also be that you have different divisions for your company, and you want a different design for each division.

Templates are assigned to pages by way of their association with a menu. (Joomla creates a unique URL for content in the process of linking the content to a menu. See Step E in Chapter 4 on page 53.) The default template is used for all pages that aren’t assigned a different template.

To assign a template, other than the default template, to a menu item or series of menu items:

01Login to your Joomla administrator backend.

02Open the Template Manager

Click on Extensions and then click on Template Manager.

03Assign templates to menu items

Click on the name of the template that you want to assign to specific menu items.

  1. Click on the radio button titled “Select from List” in the menu assignment area. This will activate the pick list underneath.
    b. You can use the Control key in combination with your mouse to select multiple menu items for the template selection.
    c. Click Save when you are finished.

04Assign to non-default pages

If you want the default template to apply to the menus you did not select, there is nothing else you need to do.

05Assign other templates

If you have multiple templates to apply, repeat this process until you are finished. The default template will apply in all other situations.…

3 Tips for Building Links with Content Marketing Strategies

3 Tips for Building Links with Content Marketing Strategies

There is a lot of buzz going around the world regarding content marketing and how it can help various businesses on the internet to get more traffic. Many online business owners around the world believe that they need better marketing strategies that can allow them to improve their opportunities and get better results that can boost their business in the future.

Content marketing is usually important in online marketing because it builds brand awareness, brings lot of traffic to the site and generates natural link popularity for SEO. Hence, it is very important that online business owners look out for building links through their content marketing.

Always Aim for Brand Awareness

When you are planning to build links with content marketing you need to make sure that you are providing more information about the brand that you want to promote. This is very important because that is one way to engage more customers and get better online traffic in a short period of time.

Every blog or article that you write on the site should be focused on your brand and that will be a right way to reach your target audience as that will allow them to make their decisions and follow your brand in the future to stay updated about the new products and services that you introduce in the market. While you are writing more blogs and articles and even commenting on various sites make sure that you also provide your audience with visual content like small video files where they can find more information about your brand and everything related to it.

Flow with the Traffic

It is really hard to chase the traffic all the time and even harder to make it pull towards you in a short period. The trends that are set online are not set by single website all the time. Hence, when you are blogging or writing articles or even uploading your backlinks to the social bookmarking sites you need to see the trends and the flow of traffic. You need to write content that is very much with the flow of the traffic and then you can divert it towards your brand which is the best way to build links with content marketing.

Do not force the target audience to buy your products and services just tell them about what you offer and that will do the magic for you. When you write better content add some high quality site links that will redirect the traffic to your site.

Go for Link Bait Options

When you are trying to build links with content marketing you can also try out the link bait strategy that allows users to provide more information about the company and the brand along with the content that has gone viral or has become popular.

If the content that you have provided through blogs, pictures and videos has become popular you can definitely add another link on your site that speaks a lot about your brand and the company and attract more visitors to your site making your site a high authority site gradually.…

4 Tips to make your eCommerce Website a Winner

4 Tips to make your eCommerce Website a Winner

There are a number of eCommerce websites in the market, which are highly successful. The success of such websites can be attributed to some novel methods, which helps them increase the potential customer base and conversion ratio. Let us take a look at four unique tips the use of which can make your eCommerce website a clear winner like other successful websites.

Persuade them subtly to buy your product

A lot of eCommerce websites indirectly persuade their users to make a purchase by convincing them that they have a need for the products being sold on these sites. They do this with the help of various videos, which are related to the products sold on the site.

Suppose your site is about household gadgets like vacuum cleaners. So, what you can do is upload a video tutorial related to the gadget such as a ‘How to’ video, which shows users how they can assemble the vacuum cleaner and use it in different corners of their house. Or if your site is about kitchen appliances, you can upload videos of easy-to-make recipes, which can be made by using these appliances. In this way, the users will be able to relate to your products and feel the need to buy them from your site.

Give them a detailed product description

Always give a detailed description about the products on your website. Suppose you have an eCommerce website, which sells books. In this case, you can give a detailed description of the books.

For instance, you can mention whether a particular book is hardbound/paperback, the edition of the book, a brief introduction about the book, the number of copies sold till date and ratings. I would like to give you another example here (although it is not from an eCommerce website); I recently visited this website of a renowned car company. It had an option wherein I could take a virtual tour of the car’s interior. Each part of the interior of the car was well-labeled with a description in text box, which gave me a fair idea about it.

You can think of doing something similar in your site as well; this will help your customers take an informed decision in favor of your website.

Get rid of clutter on your web pages

You must have heard the adage ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’; similarly, too many options on your site confuse online shoppers. Don’t go overboard and give your users a hundred options (thinking that this will impress them), when you can do with only four or five options. Instead, make it a point to use a clutter-free, clean layout on your web pages and give your users limited but well-researched options, taking into account their needs. This will help them take a decision quickly without getting confused.

Personalize their shopping experience

Give your customers a personalized shopping experience, when they visit your site. For e.g. I know of a leading sports shoe brand, which gives its users the option to walk-in to their stores and order custom-made shoes. All that the users have to do is choose each and every part that makes up the whole shoe be it- the sole, laces, pattern or the color of the shoe, and place their order.

You can follow this approach on your website i.e. let your customers decide what they want. For instance, if your website sells furniture, give them an option to assemble their own furniture. Or if the site is about wallpapers, give them a virtual room, and let them apply various wallpapers on the walls, to help them decide, which ones they want for their homes. This method helps engage the users and makes your website popular amongst them.

Summing it up

These are four tips, using which you can make your website different from numerous run-of-the-mill eCommerce website and emerge as a clear winner on the market.…

What are Components?

What are Components?

Components are like mini-programs that can be added to Joomla to do something specific on your website.

For example, perhaps you want:

  • a calendar to track upcoming events
  • an image gallery to organize and share photos
  • an online document management system
  • a way to organize and display FAQs
  • a shopping cart for an e-commerce site

Who creates components?

There are standards for developing Joomla extensions, which gives developers guidelines for creating these mini-programs. Some components are very robust and trouble-free, and some may be problematic. This is why it’s important to review all extensions in the Joomla Extension Directory when deciding whether to install on your site.

The most popular shopping cart component is VirtueMart. It is an example of a robust component. It is an “industrial strength” “killer app” in its own right, and has many supporting extensions that extend its functionality. It has a licensing fee and is developed and supported well.

Other types of components don’t require as much technical time to develop and are usually done by people as a hobby.…

Adding Text to Joomla Articles

Adding Text to Joomla Articles

When you place content into your article, you need to consider how it will be displayed on the current site.Unfortunately the editor for articles does not present the text as it will really display on the site. This takes some adjusting for people because it’s not a real WYSIWYG editor (what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor).

When building your articles, click the Preview link to open a tab that displays your site so you can view the pages as you put them together.

Add text to an article:

  1. Go to the Content menu and select Article Manager 
  2. Select an article to edit

From within the Article Manager, click on the name of the article you wish to edit. You can use the drop-down menus or filter box to narrow your search for a specific article. Choose one of the articles that you linked to in your dummy framework. Clicking on the name of the article opens it up so you can edit it.

  1. Add article content
  2. Either type directly into the article editing panel, or copy and paste the text from a document on your computer.
  3. If you copy and paste the text, especially from Word, it may retain some of the formatting from the originating program. In order to erase the formatting, first click the paste as plain text icon and paste your text into the pop-up window. This will paste the copy into your article and and assign it the paragraph format, and it won’t bring in any of the styling from your editing program.
  4. When you’re adding content, if you’re not comfortable with the small window size, you can drag the bottom right corner to make the window bigger. You can also click the toggle full screen button for editing, then click the same button again to bring back all the article parameters.
  5. Remember to periodically click Apply when working on your articles. This will save the work done so far, but not close the article screen.
  6. Click Save when you are done. This will save all your work, close the article and take you back to the Article Manager.
  7. Create a Style Guide for formatting text

Your template will come with some built-in styles which allow you to format and space your text without having to utilize the additional formatting buttons. It’s important to use these styles in order to retain consistent design across the site. We suggest creating a style sheet so you can see the styles that are available in your template.

  1. Open one of your dummy articles that you created in 3: Create the Framework, and input the text shown.
  2. Then highlight each line of text and use the Format drop-down menus to select different styles for the text.
  3. Now save your article, and click preview to view the page on your site (you may have to navigate to the page since the preview button automatically takes you to the home page).
  4. Now take a screen shot of this page. On a Mac, click command+3 and a screenshote will be saved on your desktop. On a PC, press the Print Screen button, then open up Word or similar program and select Paste. Your screenshot will be pasted into your document.
  5. Now you have a visual style guide to use when formatting the rest of your articles.
  6. Using the tools to format text

You can use the following tools to format text in your articles. Just remember to always start with a style from the Style drop-down menu, and then customize from there. That way if you bring in a new template, the type will adopt the new styles from the new template.

  • Emphasis
    To bold, italic or underline, highlight text and click the appropriate button.
  • Headlines
    To create headlines and subheadlines, select the type you want to turn into a headline, then choose the appropriate style from the format menu (see “Using Styles to Format Text”). For usability purposes it is better to break your content up into headlines, subheadlines and short paragraphs since this allows the user to scan the page.
  • Bulleted Lists
    Highlight the copy you want to bullet, then click the bullet icon at the top of the screen.
  • Font Style, Size and Color
    Do not use these drop-downs if you want your content to conform to your template styling. Once in a while when you need to add emphasis they are okay, but if you use them throughout your site, it will be very laborious to make sure everything matches. Much better to use the format drop-down and use the pre-defined styles so that everything across your site will match.
  • Alignment
    If you want to center or right justify your content, highlight the text and click the appropriate button. Note that the justify button does not work well on the browser side, and it can create some pretty odd layout issues, so avoid using the justified alignment.
Joomla Article Parameter Definitions

Joomla Article Parameter Definitions

Global Parameters and Menu Link Parameters

Parameter Name description default
Show
Unauthorized Links
If you article is set to only be viewed by registered users, then this parameter can overide this. In other words, if Show Unauthorized Links is set to yes, then all links that are suppose to be viewable by registered users only, will be viewable by anybody who visits your site. No
Show Article Title If set to yes, the title that you put into the Title field will show at the top of the article page. Yes
Title
Linkable
This parameter applies when you link to a group of articles. If set to yes, all articles listed on the page will have linkable titles which lead to the full article. No
how Intro Text This option has to do with setting up a “Read more…” link. You are able to indicate the introductory text that should appear on the page with the “Read more…” link. The link would then take you to the full article. If “Show Intro Text” is set to show, then when the user gets to the page with the full article, the introductory text will show on this page. If set to hide, it will not show.

The advantage here is that you can have an introductory article that is not necessarity the leading paragraph in your article, and then you can hide it on the full article page.

Show
Section Name This parameter lets you determine if the section name should show at the top of the screen. Hide
Section Title Linkable If you set the above Section Name to Show, this parameter lets you determine if you want the Section Name title to be a link to all the articles in that section. No
Category Title This parameter lets you determine if the category name should show at the top of the screen. Hide
Category Title Linkable If you set the above Category Name to Show, this parameter lets you determine if you want the Category Name title to be a link to all the articles in that category. No
Author Name This parameter lets you indicate if you want the author’s name to show below the article title. Show
Created Date and Time This parameter lets you indicate if you want the created time and date to show below the article title. Show
Modified Date and Time This parameter lets you indicate if you want the modified time and date to show below the article title. Show
Show
Navigation
When the user is viewing a group of articles, the Show Navigation feature allows you to turn on forward and back links between the articles. Hide
Read More… Link When linking to a group of articles using the Read More feature, this parameter lets you determine if the Read More link should show. Show
Article
Rating/
Voting
Joomla has a built-in rating system for articles. If you set this to Show, users will be able to vote on articles using a 5-start system. Login is not required to vote unless the article is set to be viewed only by registered users. Hide
Icons In the top right corner of your article (near the title), the system can show image icons for print, PDF and email-to-a-friend features. The Icon parameters lets you indicate if you want these icons to show or be hidden. Show
Print Icon The print icon allows the user to easily print the page. You can decide if you want this to show or hide. It will not show if the Icons parameter is set to hide. Show
PDF Icon The PDF icon allows the user to generate a PDF of the screen. You can decide if you want this to show or hide. It will not show if the Icons parameter is set to hide. Show
Email Icon The Email icon allows the user to email the page to a friend. You can decide if you want this to show or hide. It will not show if the Icons parameter is set to hide. Show
Hits Joomla tracks how many people have visited articles and pages. If set to show, the Hits parameter will show the number of visits that have made to that particular article. Note that if you are working on your site, and previewing pages, your visits to specific pages will be counted as well. Show

Article Parameters

The following parameters are found in the Edit Article Parameters section of the article window.

Parameter Name description default
Author The name of the person who authored this file. If you are creating the file but did not author the content, you can switch the name in the drop-down menu. This information only shows up if you have Author Name set to show. Name of user who created the file.
Author Alias If the name in the system for the author is not what you want to show, you can put in an Author Alias. If the Author Name is set to show, the Author Alias will show instead of the Author’s system name. blank
Access Level This determines if the article is:
  • Public (anybody can view it)
  • Registered (only registered users can view it after they log in)
  • Special (anybody with editing capabilities in the system)
Public
Created Date The system automatically inputs the date you created the article, but you can edit the creation date to any date in the past. Date article is created in the system.
Start
Publishing
By putting in a future date, you can control when an article will appear in the system. Created Date
Finish
Publishing
By putting in a Finish date, you can allow the system to turn off your article when it has expired. Never
Content
Language
When using the multi-language feature in Joomla, this parameter allows you to indicate which article this article is. English
Key
Reference
This parameter only comes into play if you have set up a help documentation system on a remote server. By putting in a key reference, you are telling Joomla which help file to pull from that remote server. blank
Alternative Read More Text If you are setting up articles with read more text, the default button link will say “Read more…”. If you want it to say something different, such as “continue >”, you can enter that alternate text here.
Create Dummy Pages

Create Dummy Pages

Dummy Pages are articles that serve as placeholders in order for you to create your menu structure. It is our opinion that it is best to create dummy pages with temporary content so that you can put together your framework quickly, and then come back and input the real content after your framework is complete.

If you have an item in your information architecture that will be linked to a component, create a dummy page for that as well. This way we can create the full menu, and we can change it to the component once that is installed and set up.

Dummy pages are also excellent if you have more than one person working on your site. You can use the content portion of your dummy pages to put in notes about what content will be there, or even who is suppose to put it there.

  1. From the Content menu select “Article Manager”
  2. Create a new article

In the Article Manager Joomla will display a list of all the articles that have been defined for the system (if you haven’t created any, then the list will be blank). To create an Article, click the New button in the top right corner.

  1. Define Article Details

Joomla will display the Article window and it will be blank.

  1. Start by putting in a Title for your article. Use your information as a guide to choose the titles. In this case, we’ll create the About page.
  2. The Alias operates the same as the sections and category alias. If you leave this field blank, Joomla will auto-generate an alias from your title. Otherwise you could fill in the alias. So for example, your title might be About Our Company, while the alias may simple be ‘about’.
  3. Choose a section and a category for your article. It is important to choose the section and category that this article will really belong in so you don’t have to recategorize them later.
  4. If this will be content you wish to appear on the home page, you would mark the Front Page radio button as yes.
  5. Enter some content into the body area. Joomla will not let you save the article without having entered the content. You can simply put “content goes here…”, or if you have notes about the content (i.e. pull from bio page on old site or John is writing this article), you can put those notes here.
  6. Click the Save button in the top right corner.

Repeat steps 1 to 9 until all your dummy pages have been created.

  1. Review Article List

Once you have created all your articles, you can view them in the Article Manager to make certain none have been left out.

Dummy Pages are articles that serve as placeholders in order for you to create your menu structure. It is our opinion that it is best to create dummy pages with temporary content so that you can put together your framework quickly, and then come back and input the real content after your framework is complete.

If you have an item in your information architecture that will be linked to a component, create a dummy page for that as well. This way we can create the full menu, and we can change it to the component once that is installed and set up.

Dummy pages are also excellent if you have more than one person working on your site. You can use the content portion of your dummy pages to put in notes about what content will be there, or even who is suppose to put it there.

  1. From the Content menu select “Article Manager”
  2. Create a new article

In the Article Manager Joomla will display a list of all the articles that have been defined for the system (if you haven’t created any, then the list will be blank). To create an Article, click the New button in the top right corner.

  1. Define Article Details

Joomla will display the Article window and it will be blank.

  1. Start by putting in a Title for your article. Use your information as a guide to choose the titles. In this case, we’ll create the About page.
  2. The Alias operates the same as the sections and category alias. If you leave this field blank, Joomla will auto-generate an alias from your title. Otherwise you could fill in the alias. So for example, your title might be About Our Company, while the alias may simple be ‘about’.
  3. Choose a section and a category for your article. It is important to choose the section and category that this article will really belong in so you don’t have to recategorize them later.
  4. If this will be content you wish to appear on the home page, you would mark the Front Page radio button as yes.
  5. Enter some content into the body area. Joomla will not let you save the article without having entered the content. You can simply put “content goes here…”, or if you have notes about the content (i.e. pull from bio page on old site or John is writing this article), you can put those notes here.
  6. Click the Save button in the top right corner.

Repeat steps 1 to 9 until all your dummy pages have been created.

 

  1. Review Article List

Once you have created all your articles, you can view them in the Article Manager to make certain none have been left out.…

How Joomla Organizes Your Information

How Joomla Organizes Your Information

The specific tools are discussed in the Joomla 1.5 Tutorials section. Before we tackle the specifics, let’s consider some basic design ideas so that you understand how Joomla addresses them.

What goes where?

Think of a home page you like. Imagine the person who created this staring at a blank screen and just beginning to create a website. What would be their first decisions in creating the website? In non-technical terms, they would decide:

  • What words should go on the home page?
  • What graphics should be part of the design?
  • What should be the balance between graphics, text, & functionalit?
  • Do I need to use searches or can I organize the information effectively without relying on searches?
  • What navigation should the site have?

These are some of the questions that are key to what developers call user interface design. It involves thinking about how much to communicate in words (information architecture) and how much in graphics (graphic design). To do this well, you need to think as your website visitor thinks. What will communicate your message most effectively?

Why is User Interface Design important?

These questions are important regardless of whether you are using Joomla, of course, but for Joomla, it is important to have the user interface design completed so that you can define the other pieces of the site effectively.

Joomla allows you to dynamically change the menus and content but if you “create things on the fly” or make too many changes later, it will affect how your graphics and other style elements display in relation to the text and menus. In addition, by pre-planning you can determine what added extensions you might need to manage your content.

This doesn’t mean that you must have all the content done. One of the easy workarounds for pages is to create placeholders and populate them later (See chapter 4). However if you don’t have your user interface design documented, you can’t work efficiently or effectively.

Notice we didn’t say “thought about” or considered” these question. Effective developers put this down on paper so that they can work with it in an organized manner.

Planning for additional functionality

When you know your interface design, you will also know what pieces to add to the basic Joomla system. As an example, if you want to have a large number of frequently asked questions, you might choose to add Joomla components and modules that allows Joomla to manage this content efficiently. By establishing your user interface design early, you will work with the best tools from the start and not waste time building your site more than once to get the desired functionality.

Content is separate from style in Joomla

Another important benefit of Joomla, like any true CMS, is that it handles content separately from formatting. If you have used another web authoring tool or hand coded web pages, you may be familiar with cascading style sheets (CSS) as a way of standardizing format of text and graphics. Joomla uses CSS, but instead of storing this information in the content files, it is stored with the template files. On the other hand, the content (text, images, etc) is stored in the MySQL database that runs Joomla. For all practical purposes, this means:

  • There are fewer opportunities for simple coding errors within each html file.
  • The html files don’t need to be hand coded but can be edited through an WYSIWIG interface that has standard word processing icons. As an example, to bold text, highlight the text and click on the B icon. There are exceptions but very few.
  • The css files are standard css files and can be edited by anyone who knows css. As a result, even if you don’t know css yourself, there are many people who do, which makes it likely that you can keep your development costs low.
  • If you are building your own website, you can use templates made for Joomla and avoid editing the css files. However if you need something that a template does not have, you will need to hire someone to adapt the template to your needs. See page for more information on template structure and strategy.
  • If you are used to building sites in Dreamweaver, Frontpage or any of the other popular web authoring programs, you will find a short learning curve with the Joomla interface. In addition, your code will be free of any extra code often added by these programs.