Many business owners are still unaware of how CMS works. In this guide, I will not go to the details of explaining how and what cms is. An introduction of various open source CMS can be found at my previous article: Using open source cms solutions to manage your website.
In short, CMS is a more advanced software solution to building and managing a website compared to traditional method that your web developer may use currently.
Joomla is an award winning software that is probably one of the most powerful cms software available on earth. Yet, its sometimes difficult for newbies to learn Joomla, even for web developers. IT savvy web developers may learn the software in a few days, but end users sometime have to struggle through when they start to maintain their websites.
Do not believe many who say that Joomla is extremely simple to use. Since the software is so powerful, you will need some time to understand and appreciate it. It is best to have someone to guide you on how to use the software. If not, I provide some simple tips to help you get started. This tutorial will be more suitable for business owners who intend to build the site on their own, or newbie web developers:
a) Software Installation: About 30% of users will first be stucked at the installation itself. While it is not difficult to install Joomla, there are sometimes system incompatibility issues that you need to check prior to installation. System requirements can be found at Joomla official site.
Database connection configuration is a bit tricky and you sometimes need to get help from your web hosting company.
It is best to start with Joomla 1.0 as it is the latest stable release.
b) Building a static website: After the installation is done, we comes to building the website itself. A person new to the software will be overwhelmed by the amounf of features. In fact, a simple website do not require so much features. You may login to the administrator restricted area to unpublish those modules that you do not require. Common modules that are not required include the syndicate, user login, banner etc.
The next step is to start creating new pages and inserting your content into the database. Here, users sometimes can find it difficult to understand that the actual content is stored in the database, compared to the normal traditional way of non cms websites where content is embeded in the document itself.
Once a new page is created, it need to be linked to the menu and published online so that it becomes visible to the general visitors.
c) Design customization: The default Joomla template will be a ready made solution that is not customized to your business at all. You will need some basic html and css skills to edit the templates, which can be found at "Site >> Template Manager >> Site Templates". Editing these files will include modification to the source files, which you will need to be careful.
d) What about programming and web applications? A programmer will ask if he / she can do any custom programming on the website. Well, Joomla comes will many addon ready made components which you can download and install from the extensions directory. This helps us to minimize the effort of custom programming.
But of couse, web developers can still develop custom scripts that can be used together with the Joomla system.
e) Database and file backup: Similar to any development work, it will be good for you to backup your database and files often so that you do not lose anything in case the development work goes wrong and you become lost. Often, you will not need to modify the source files so nothing is likely to go wrong.
Register a Domain Name and Choose a Hosting PackageTo build a Cms enabled website, you will first need to have a suitable domain name and hosting account activated so that you can install the software. As mentioned previously, It is important to note that the web hosting package that you choose must meet the system requirements for successul Joomla installation.
Singaporewebdesigner.com - Offers Sg domain name registration and various web hosting packages for Singapore registered businesses.