Screenshot of the Global Configuration title bar

Screenshot of the Global Configuration: Site TabClick on image for an expanded view

The Site tab under Global Configuration has many very important settings for your Joomla site. You can get to Global Configuration by going to the top bar and clicking on the System dropdown menu, or on the Control Panel / Dashboard select Global Configuration from the list under Configuration.  

Site Settings

Site Name: This will be what Search Engines use as the title for your site.  It is also what is put as your site name in the browser window. You can choose whether to have the Site Name before or after the title of the page or not shown at all in the SEO Settings section.

Site Offline: During site development or major site reorganization or times of trouble, you can take your site offline. What Joomla does is replace the landing page for your site with a brief message and login and password text boxes. You can still access the Front End of your site for viewing, but you must log in first.

If the site is offline and someone tries to access the site, a login box with the Custom Message will appear. This "OFF-LINE" page can also be customized in appearance.

NOTE: You can choose to not display a login form when your site is down by creating a file named offline.php and placing it in the root of your template files. You can customize this page to appear however you wish. Find out how to install a custom offline.php file here.

Offline Message: Here you choose if you want a message to appear above the login box when the site is down.

Custom Message: This message will appear to visitors if your site is offline. You can choose to not have any message, to use the Custom Message that you enter into the text box, or to use a default message from Joomla in the default language for your site.

Offline Image: You can upload or specify and existing image for the page that shows up when the site is offline.

Mouse-edit icons for: In earlier versions of Joomla, there was no way to edit modules from the front end. With Joomla 3.2, this is now possible. If this is set to Modules or Modules and Menus, AND someone is logged into the front end of the site, a small icon will appear in the upper right corner of the module. The user can then click on this icon and edit the module.

Default Editor:  By default this is Editor - TinyMCE.  The other options are None or CodeMirror. None will give you a plain text box where you can enter HTML markup code. If you install a third party text editor like JCE Editor, this is where you can set it to be the default editor for the entire site. 

Default Captcha: For form submission and other uses, you can set if there will be a Captcha (the little annoying squiggly words that you have to enter so spambots can't submit the form) and which Captcha will be used.  Captcha Recaptcha is installed with Joomla and can be selected here.

Default Access Level: This is set to Public. If for some reason, you want to review all content before it is made public, you could set this to a different level, then changed for each item of content on an individual basis.

Default List Limit: This sets the default lengths of lists in the Control Panel for all users. What this means is that if you go to Articles, Joomla will, by default, show 20 articles.  You may want it to show more than 20 articles to save an extra stem or to show more articles at a time for Category Lists. 

Default Feed Limit: This controls the number of content items to display in Feeds, such as News Feeds, RSS Feeds, etc.

Feed Email: If someone is using your site for Feeds, there may be an email address associated with it.  This sets if you want the author's email address associated with each feed, or if you want the overall site email address associated with each feed.

SEO Settings

Search Engine Friendly URLs: This makes it so the urls for each page of your site uses the alias that you have set up when you create the page or if it uses a PHP generated page name. It is better for SEO to have the urls of your site be readable to average humans, and it is better for site security to protect from bad-guys that can read PHP.

Use URL rewriting: This is not for everyone.  If you don't have this capability or don't need this capability, leave this set to NO. The allows URL rewriting for those server's with rewrite engines that catch and rewrite URLs that meet a certain condition.  This option is available for Apache and IIS servers.  For Apache users only, be sure to rename the htaccess.txt file that is in the root directory of your site and comes included with a Joomla installation to .htaccess. For IIS users only: rename web.config.txt to web.config and install the IIS Rewrite module first.

Add suffix to URL: If set to yes the system will add a suffix to the end of the url depending on the document type.  This suffix would be something like .html or .php.  Generally speaking, leave this set to NO unless you have some particular reason you want a suffix added to all you page URLs.

Include Site Name in Page Titles: Options are "Before", "After" and "No". This gives you the option af having your site name added to the browser page title.  You can have it set to come before or after the title of the individual page. 

Cookie Settings

Leave these blank if you aren't setting cookies.

Cookie Domain: The domain to use when setting session cookies.  If you want cookies sent there from all sub-domains, proceed domain name with "."

Cookie Path: The path for which the cookies should be valid.

Metadata Settings:

Site Meta Description:  What goes in here will be the meta description that goes on every page of you website, unless you overwrite it when creating menu or category items. SEO experts recommend that you do not duplicate the meta description for every page, so generally speaking, it is best to leave this blank and add unique descriptions for each page.

Site Meta Keywords: What goes in here will be the meta keywords that go on every page of you website, unless you overwrite it when creating menu or category items.

Robots: Robots go around the internet indexing the pages of websites and following the links that are present on on that page. Polite robots will only index the pages that you want them to. Impolite robots will look anywhere on your site and do what ever they can. On every page generated by Joomla there is a <meta> tag such as this: <meta content="index, follow" name="robots">. This setting in the Global Administration will set this tag globally. You can overwrite this for individual pages on the site. Your options are to index, follow or no-index, follow or index, no-follow or no-index, no-follow.  When you are developing the site, or if you have a rather private site - you might want to turn this off if your site is online.  Just be sure to reset this global setting back to index if you want search engines to find your site.

Content Rights: If you have something to say about the content rights of this site, put it here.  Again, you can add this on an individual basis page by page as well.

Show Author Meta Tag: If this is set to Yes, each page of the site will have a <meta> tag in the head with the name of the author.  The "author" in this case is the user name that you set up in Joomla's User Manager for your site's contributors.  This is not something that shows up on the browser page itself, but search engines will see it and so can anyone that views the source code for the page.  This may be important if someone wants credit for writing an article and/or wants a web presence.

Show Joomla Version: By default this is set to NO. This will insert a meta tag with the version of Joomla that created the site.  There could be security risks with setting this to Yes in that if a certain release of Joomla has a know security risk (rare, but things happen), some malicious person could search the internet for that specific Joomla version and know exactly how to get in and hack the site.

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