wooden-blocksJoomla is a very extensive CMS, Content Management System, that is capable of creating very simple websites to elaborate websites. The many options and settings can be overwhelming and intimidating to the first time user. We believe that it is best to start with the simple concepts and then when those are understood, to expand into other features on an as needed basis.

The most basic thing that you need on a web site is content. Next comes a way to access that content with some sort of navigation

Steps to Get Started

You may be creating a brand new website or revamping a site that has been around for some time. Before starting out on creating a Joomla web site, you need to have a few basics set up:

  • Purchase a domain name: this is the URL for your site, AKA the web address. You purchase this from a hosting company such as GoDaddy, InMotion, etc. 
  • Set up a hosting account: you need to be sure that your web hosting account meets the minimum requirements for Joomla. Click here for the list of requirements.
  • A basic layout for your website: header, columns, functionality, navigation
  • Content: it is easier to be sure a website looks right if you have some content and pages in which to test it
  • Images: your logo, graphics, etc.

The user-friendly interface of Joomla utilizes web languages and code in the background. This would be HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQueryPHP and a MySQL Database to present your content and arrange it on a web browser in just the way you want. It is possible to use a Joomla site, edit content, create new pages, upload images, and create navigation without knowing the web languages and code. In order to set up a site from scratch, it is good to have a working understanding of these concepts.

Install a Joomla 3+ website

To get started working with a Joomla 3+ website, you must have it installed on a hosting server or your local computer.

Read this article for instructions on: Installing a Joomla 3 site

Front End vs Back End

Front End

The front end of your Joomla site is what the visitor sees when they type in your domain name in a browser address bar or click on a link. The front end includes all of the pages that you can navigate to from the menus or other links as well.

Logging into the front end

There may be a need for certain people to log into the front end of a Joomla site. These people may be:

  • Registered Users log in to see restricted content or to make comments
  • Contributors log in to add or edit content
  • Administrators log in to add, edit, delete or publish content

Logging into the back end

The back end or Administrative Interface of your Joomla 3 site is where site administrators control the workings of the site. This is where content is added, global configuration settings are controlled, extensions are installed, templates are enabled and controlled, menus are created, contact information is added, and users accounts are controlled, as well as many other functions.

To get to the administrative side, open up a browser window. In the address bar, you type in your domain name followed by a forward slash followed by the word administrator. For example:

http://mydomainname.com/administrator

Next: Understanding the Admin Menu