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Basic Website Content Management: Joomla Training

Website Content Management: Daily Tasks

This section covers basic website content management tasks on a Joomla website that an average business/organization would be performing on a regular basis; most of our Ottawa web design clients request this information, so we created a special web page for this purpose. But before we begin let us address what matters most - quality of your website content.

  • First of all, at Joomla Bliss we advise all our Ottawa website design clients that the main rule to remember is that "content is king" so when you write content for your website do not copy and paste portions of your press releases on different pages. Write unique content for each page on your website.
  • The next thing is to make sure that your content is useful to your readers and visitors. Granted, you need to describe your company and your services in the About section. But if you have a Blog, do not write about how great your team lunches are. Your visitors do not care about that. They care about their needs, and this is the main reason why they are on your website, so you need to anticipate your customers' needs and address them while writing content for your website, especially your Blog. It is better not to have a Blog than have a meaningless one that is present there only as a check mark. Make your website content useful to your readers.
  • If you have a forum, it is better not to have a forum at all than have an empty one. So if you launch a forum and there are no content contributors within a month, you need to start promoting it heavily, and if it does not work, it is better to disable the forum. The main reason why forums stay empty is censorship on the part of the website owner and tedious login process. If you want your forum to thrive you need to allow for opposing opinions, conflicts and even risky statements. If the nature of your business prevents this, then you need to make sure to present this as a disclosure in a very visible way. If this is the case, then the other way for you to populate your website's forum is to provide valuable advice to your website visitors in the area of your expertise.
  • Update your website content regularly, make sure that your readers see a date stamp on your pages. If users provide their comments, reply to their comments as much as you can. With websites the principle is the same as with restaurants: people will discover good quality and will come back for more.  If your restaurant is empty, hire a new chef. If your website does not attract visitors, create new content. Your website content needs to be useful and interesting to your visitors first and foremost.
  • Ensure that formatting of your website pages is done nicely. Add white space between sentences and sections, do not clutter your text. Do not use long sentences, split them up in shorter ones. Use a lot of images. Use humour. Make it easier for your customers to read and perceive the content on your website.  
  • Ask for feedback and reviews. We ask all our Ottawa website design clients for their opinions and try to incorporate their feedback as much as possible. Below is a list of most common website content management tasks that our clients perform on a regular basis. The information is based on Joomla 3. 

Table of Contents

  1. Design Layout: Locate Required Items on Your Website
  2. What Not to Do When Managing Your Website
  3. Basic Website Content Update Tasks
    1. Website Contact/Registration Management
    2. Edit Your Existing Articles
    3. Add a New Article to Your Website
    4. Main Menu on Your Website: Add or Rearrange Items
    5. Edit Existing Modules on Your Website (Contents on the Side Bars)
    6. Upload a New Image
    7. Replace an Existing Image with a New One
    8. Copy and Reuse Elements in Your Website
    9. Email List Management (ACYMailing)
    10. Image Galleries (Phoca Gallery)
    11. General SEO / iJoomla SEO
    12. Backup Your Website: Akeeba Backup
    13. Other Installed Features
    14. Keeping Your Website Updated
    15. Additonal Security Measures

I. Design Layout: Locate Required Items on Your Website 

To view your web design's layouts and module positions, you can go to Extensions > Templates > Options > Templates tab and switch 'preview module positions' to 'Enabled'. Save the setting. If you have implemented caching on your website, clear your cache. (If you don't have any additional caching plugins installed, the standard one is in System > Clear Cache) Now, if you type ?tp=1 on any frontend page of your website (e.g. abc.com/?tp=1), you would be able to see all the module positions your website template is using: 

Note that Joomla uses "Article" instead of a "Page" to define a content element on your website. The most common items that you would need to locate inside your website are identified below:

  1. To find the right Module, login to your Joomla admin panel and go to Extensions > Module Manager > then filter by "Position" (or other attributes such as "Status" or "Type") using the drop down boxes on the left.
  2. Most static pages are under Content > Article Manager (locate the article by using drop-down filters or the search box).
  3. The Menu items are under Menu. Generally speaking, your main menu on the website would default to names like "Main Menu" or "Top Menu".
  4. Most images used in website content can be found under Content > Media Manager (treat PDFs as images).
  5. If you are using the default Joomla contact functions, the Contact Form Information is under Components > Contacts. Contact Form submissions will be sent to the email address specified. Warning: It is not advisable to make serious changes to the contact form on your own if you are not an experienced Joomla user. Additional contact page conent are often added via modules too; find the module position and search for those modules in Module Manager to edit those contents.
  6. Note your Joomla version. Login to your site and look at the bottom right. If you need to provide more information (for example, to the website server host), you can go to System > System Information for more details. The first tab gives you basc info like your PHP and MySQL database versions. In the Folder Permissions tab you can find out if all your web folders are correctly and writable for Joomla; and the PHP Information tab gives detailed information on the server; potentially useful when you are tracking down whether you have the correct server modules installed to run some particular third party extensions.

II. What Not to Do When Managing Your Website 

  1. Do not click "upgrade Joomla" version (under Components) without comprehensively reviewed how the upgrade may change your Website. Depending on the upgrade or what customizations you have made to Joomla, This can break the site, or corrupt the website design. Upgrades are different from version to version, so please contact Joomla Bliss first. If you decide to risk it, make sure to backup the site first and save it offline on your hard drive.
  2. Under Extensions > Template Manager – there will be some other templates, do not delete any of them, even if they seem unnecessary.
  3. Do not leave blank spaces in the image file names.  Examples of the correct image file names:
    • “umbrella_consulting.jpg” or
    • “umbrellabc01.jpg” but not
    • “umbrella consulting 1.jpg”
  4. Although officially no longer required, it is safer to use small letters for image file names. Correct examples:

    "yourproduct_keyword1.jpg" or "your-product-keyword2.jpg".

    Do include your most important keywords in your image file names.
  5. For the first few months, do not delete anything under Modules or Components. Use the “Unpublish” button instead. Simple articles are safe to delete, however. In Joomla 3, there is also the 'Version' funciton that you can turn on. Go to Content > Article Manager > Options. Then in the Editing Tab, select 'Yes' for Enable Versions. When this is activated, every save you make in an article will be stored as a different version and viewed by clicking the 'Versions' button in the editing view, so you can easily revert changes that you don't like.
  6. Before making any serious changes, make a backup of the site and store it offline (Components > Akeeba Backup).
  7. (Breezing Forms Component) Before making changes to the contact form fields, buttons or module parameters or other significant changes, save the previous file under a different name (filename and filename1) and then make changes to the filename. If something happens, you can delete filename and then rename filename1 back to filename – hence restoring the situation at the start.
  8. While inside articles and forms, try not to use the "Back" button, use "Cancel" and "Close" instead. Using the "Back" button in your browser will "lock" the article. (This check-in/out feature is Joomla's way to prevent multiple admins editing the same article at the same time. 'Cancel' or 'Close' tells Joomla you finished editing the article, but 'back' in a browser doesn't) To unlock you need to open it again and then Save & Close; or click the 'padlock' icon in the articles view.

III. Basic Website Content Update Tasks

3.1 Website Contact/Registration Management

  1. Login > Users > User Manager. There should be only one superuser. A superuser has a complete ownership of the site, they can delete the site and can take it down, so be careful giving the superuser access to external parties or creating another superuser.
  2. Contact/Enquiry submission details: emailed to admin
  3. If your website has Form components installed, for example Breezing Forms or RSForms Pro, you can also view the submitted entries in the admin backend.

3.2 Add a New Article to Your Website

  1. Login > Contents > Article Manager
  2. Select an existing article that would be similar in formatting to your future article.
  3. Open it > Copy and Save (to right)
  4. Rename the Title > Add new text > Save

3.3 Edit Your Existing Articles

      1. Login > Contents > Article Manager,
      2. Select the article/item you need to edit and click on it.
      3. Make changes, do not forget to use the Style tags instead of setting up font sizes manually, and Save.  Save in the right category. This may come in handy when you want to add articles to your website's archive pages as well.
      4. Note, for search engines, the two most important tags are: Page Title and Meta Description. Joomla won’t let you create an article without a Title but do not forget to add Meta Description.


      5. The Joomla Meta Description contents will be displayed on the Google search results here:

3.4 Main Menu on Your Website: Add or Rearrange Items

  1. Login > Menu Manager > Main Menu
  2. Click on the arrows near the top left of the items grid. The page should refresh and allows you to drag the left most dots for each item. The order is automatically saved when the drag completes. Note that items cannot be dragged across different levels; you will have to edit their parent menu item in the details view first.
  3. To create a new menu, click New and follow the flow. Define the menu item type (most of them will be "Single Article").
  4. Define a “parent” item (i.e. the main menu above the one you are working on). Each new item will be added at the end of its corresponding level.  
  5. Select an article to attach to the menu item, click Select Article (top right), select the article you want to "attach" to this menu item.
  6. To simplify, you can also Copy one of the existing menu items and then rename it. Select an existing menu item that has similar parameters (similar category) open it and then “Copy and Save”. Rename, Make changes as needed, Save.
  7. Leave all other parameters as they are. They are seldom needed.

3.5 Edit Existing Modules on Your Website (Contents on the Side Bars)

  1. Extensions > Module Manager
  2. Select the module you need to edit and click on it.
  3. Make changes and Save.
  4. Some modules parse and streamline contents from Articles or from other functional components. Look inside the module parameter box, find the source of its content, go to the respective item, locate the items you need, edit and save.
    The Page Title will be displayed as the very first hyperlinked line, right above the URLs.

    The contents of those two fields (tags, in Joomla terminology) are very important! It is recommended to use clever Page Titles and Meta Descriptions:
    • Add your keywords as often as possible
    • Make sure that when users see your link, those lines make sense to them.

3.6 Upload a New Image

  1. Login > Contents > Media Manager
  2. Create a New Folder. Best to create an individual folder for each Main Menu tab (Products, Features, Illustrations, etc.)
  3. Click Upload button at the top left, upload the image from your hard drive into the desired folder.
  4. Go to the respective article or module in which you would like to add this image.
  5. Click on the article or module, open it, place the cursor where your image needs to be inserted.
  6. Click on the Image icon inside the Editor panel (next to the link icon). An image panel will appear on the same page. Drill inside the drop-down menu on the left to find the right image, select it, insert it.
  7. Save. Open another browser and check to see that the image looks good.

IMPORTANT:

  • Joomla can shrink images. However, it cannot stretch them. Please note the minimum allowed size for your images.
  • You can use a sample image and paste the content over it in Paint/Photoshop/Gimp to better measure the position the image would come out.

3.7 Replace an Existing Image with a New One

  1. Upload the image you need and note the image name and its location as an Image Location Path:
  2. Open the desired Article or Module where this new image is going to replace the old one.
  3. Click Toggle Editor right above the Editor Panel (Or 'HTML Code' mode for any editor you may have installed)
  4. Locate the image source under the tag <img src”..> and replace the old image name with the new one. Make sure the spelling is exactly the same as the actual file name of the new images you had just uploaded (low versus caps, no spaces, etc.).

IMPORTANT: The most common errors with images not displaying are:

    • Empty spaces between words inside the image file name
    • Spelling errors
    • Capital letters versus low-case letters
    • Image extension (.jpg versus .png)
    • Wrong folder or subfolder specified (check the entire Image Location Path; Toggle Editor)

3.8 Copy and Reuse Elements on Your Website

One of the beauties of a CMS is that you can reuse its individual elements on various page designs and sections of your website with remarkable ease.

For example, you have a nice home page slider with rotating images. You can copy the slider module you are using on the homepage design, give it a different name, streamline different images into it and showcase it on other pages on your website. We will take this Slideshow module as an example:

  1. Locate the slider under Extensions > Module Manager (In this particular case, the module ‘Homepage Slideshow’)
  2. Open it and Save as Copy
  3. Rename the Title using meaningful names. For example, if you need a slider on the Products section, call it Slider Products.
  4. Create a similar folder in your Media Manager. Upload the desired images in this folder.
  5. Set the Image folder to the one you just created.
  6. Edit the details as you see fit.
  7. Assign this new module to the required section on your website. Inside this slider module, click on the Menu Assignment tab. Check off the desired sections where you would like to place the new slider. Save.

3.9 Email List Management & Newsletters (ACYMailing)

  1. Components > Acymailing.
  2. Manage each subscription list’s welcome/unsubscribe messages: Lists > Select a list > click ‘plus’ icon next to welcome/unsubscribe messages.
  3. Users to manage which user subscribed to which lists; Newsletter to create newsletters, then publish them to be sent to the subscribed users.
  4. Statistics to check general stats, percentage of opened newsletters, etc.

More help manuals can be found at http://www.acyba.com/support/documentation.html

3.10 Image Galleries (Phoca Gallery) 

  1. Components > Phoca Gallery
  2. While you can edit the names again in Phoca Gallery, it is prudent to make sure all your images have proper names (refer to Section II) and correct formats (usually .jpg or .png)
  3. Tags to add new tags that can be assigned to images individually.
  4. Create new gallery section: Create new category > Publish category; you can created multiple categories under a parent category. A easy way to understand them is to treat categories as 'albums'.
  5. In the Image tab, choose 'Add' or 'Multiple Add' to add new images and assign them to categories. In the details screen, you can either upload images or select existing images on the server. The concept is similar to section 3.6. While not a must, creating corresponding folders and putting you gallery images into each of them is a good practice. After you added the images and save, Phoca Gallery will try to generate thumbnails to all of them. You can also click 'regenerate thumbnails' in the images screen should the need arise.
  6. There are several ways to display your categories/albums. The easiest way is to embed them into a Joomla Article. If you have the Phoca Gallery Content plugin installed, you should see a button called "Phoca Gallery Image" in your article edit screen. Click that and you can select the gallery to be shown. 
  7. The Plugin in button will add a line of code with the options you chose to the article content. A quick way to show different galleries while keeping all the other graphic options the same is to copy that code, for example, {phocagallery view=category|categoryid=14|limitstart=0|limitcount=0}, and change categoryid=XX - the category ID (which you can find in Phoca Gallery's categories view).
  8. Alternatively, you can create a Menu Item of Type 'Phoca Gallery Category' to show a gallery.

3.11 General SEO / iJoomla SEO

  1. Mass edit articles meta-tags and description: Components > iJoomlaSEO > metatags
  2. Edit tags of images individually in Phoca Gallery
  3. Site-wide METAs: Site > Global Configuration. It is advisable to set individual METAs on each article, i.e. Google detects identical tags, so at least a minor change is advisdable.

IMPORTANT: Use this component with caution. Do not change more than 10-15 meta sets per day.  In our experience, after changing 100+ meta sets in one day, our ranking on Google dropped. There is no 100% proof that this was the factor in a dropped ranking but caution is advised. You can uninstall this component if not used. It is a commercial component, so a new version will require licensing fees.

3.12 Backup Your Website: Akeeba Backup

  1. Components > Akeeba > Backup Now > after completion > Administer backup files. Set up your Outlook calendar to remind you to do it once a week or once a month, depending on the volume of content updates.
  2. Tips on automating the backup process: https://www.akeebabackup.com/documentation/akeeba-backup-documentation/automating-your-backup.html
  3. Make sure to save the backup file offline, on your hard drive.

3.13 Additional Features

  1. Edit Resources Archives: any articles created in the ‘blog’ category will be shown in the archive page.
  2. Edit the ‘Latest News’ module in position ‘bottom-b’ to edit the Latest News module on the homepage
  3. Set the ‘Recent Tweets’ module’s username to start displaying tweets on the homepage.
  4. Edit Homepage Slideshow: Component > Widgetkit > Slideshow > Frontpage Slideshow. (970px x 400px)
  5. Edit Homepage Testimonials: Component > Widgetkit > Slideshow > Frontpage Testimonials to edit/add testimonials to the rotation.
  6. Edit the ‘Footer’ module to change footer social icon links in code mode. For the homepage icons in the middle, edit the ‘Contact Us’ module instead.

3.14 Keeping Your Website Updated

  1. Joomla Core: Components > Joomla Updates
  2. Addons: Extensions > Extension Manager > Update > Find Updates

3.15 Additional Security Measures

  1. If you have Admin Tools installed, you can use the Quick Setup Wizard to add a secret key to your Admin Url. (The resulting url will become abc.com/administrator/index.php?secretword) This helps prevent some bot scripts to automatically attack the website admin.

CAUTION: Make sure the new updates are compatible with your Joomla version. It is best not to update complex functional components independently. Simple components like Extplorer, JCE editor (for article management) are generally safe to upgrade.

IMPORTANT: Upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x is a separate project. It cannot be performed independently. Further versions, i.e. after Joomla 3.0 can be upgraded with relative ease. But please do not click “upgrade” on the Joomla version by yourself. It can break the site. If you decide to risk it, make sure to backup the site and save it offline on your hard drive first. 

Author
Joomla Bliss Support
Date Created
2016-03-05 06:30:07
Date Updated
2016-03-05 06:30:07
Views
354
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