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If you are looking to create a website using Joomla!, then this is really a must have.

Book Review – Beginning Joomla! by Dan Rahmel

Joomla! is a free, open source content management system (CMS) for publishing content on internet and intranets. It is a full featured management system that contains the ability to manage RSS feeds, blogs, polls, printable versions of pages, news flashes, and has language internationalization. It came about in 2005 as a fork in the development of a CMS named Mambo.

Beginning Joomla! is aimed at guiding you through nearly every aspect of the Joomla! system from basic deployment to writing your own extensions. The goal of this book is to get up and running and to allow you to do almost anything a manually designed website can do in a fraction of the time. Beginning Joomla! is 496 pages divided into 13 chapters.

Chapter 1, "Introduction to Joomla!," begins with an overview of Joomla! and what a content management system is, and about how they are becoming more popular because of their ease of use. Also discussed is what are the benefits of using Joomla!, its features, and how it works. Chapter 2, "Quickstart: Setting Up a Joomla! Site in 20 Minutes," will show you where to get Joomla!, how to extract the files, and get everything set up. It will also guide you on how to modify the installation, add articles, changing graphics, and create a poll. This chapter is meant to show you how easy everything is.

Chapter 3, "Installation and Configuration," goes into a more detailed installation and configuration setup. Here you will learn how to install with XAMPP, install individual the servers, install the Joomla! files, and trouble shoot the system if you have any problems. Chapter 4, "Adding Content," describes how to plan your content, set up your sections and categories, and add articles. You will also see how to add menus to point to your content, install a new template, and collaborate with outside contributors.

Chapter 5, "Administering Joomla!," will guide you on the ins and outs of Joomla! administration. In this section you will learn about content administration which includes articles, sections, categories, front-page, media, and trash management. You will learn about System administration which includes configuration, user, module, and other system management, as well as back up management. Chapter 6, "Creating Your Own Templates," will show you how to create new templates, modify existing templates as well as how to validate the template code.

Chapter 7, "Joomla! Extensions," explains the difference between modules, components, and plug-ins. It also looks at the default site modules such as random image, banners, syndication, and feed display. Chapter 8, "Web Community Features," will show you how to profile a site visitor, look at your community, show you how to build your web communications, let you figure out just how much interaction that your site needs, and how to retarget your site.

Chapter 9, "Site Statistics," is all about web analytics. Here you will see how to parse web logs, work with stand alone log analysis packages, and Google Analytics. Chapter 10, "Photo Gallery," examines what it takes to set up a photo gallery from within Joomla!. The galleries explored are FTP Server galleries for Linux, Mac, and Windows. Easy gallery, and Gallery2. Here you will learn how to install and activate these products.

Chapter 11, "Joomla! E-commerce," describes what you need to do to set up a virtual store front within the Joomla! system. These include the system requirements and the download options. Also discussed are the various configurations such as taxing, creating categories, creating products, working with a shipping module, and order management.

Chapter 12, "Search Engine Optimization and Joomla!," examines SEO and how it works on a Joomla! site. This involves configuration, setting up titles, Meta Descriptions and Keywords, using sitemaps, and setting up an SEF Joomla! template. Chapter 13, "Creating Extensions" will show you how to write a front end module, write a missing Metadata Administrator module and how to structure the suggestion box component.

Beginning Joomla! is very easy to read, concise and to the point. There is a step-by-step approach for installation, design and the maintenance of a Joomla! site. The concepts are well explained and will be of benefit to beginners and more experienced users alike. Unlike the online documentation, this does not assume you have a lot of experience with content management processes.

Beginning Joomla! will show you the nooks and crannies of working with Joomla! The author explains his thoughts on website design and organizational tips as well as how to get up and running quickly and easily. If you are looking to create a website using Joomla!, then Beginning Joomla! is really a must have. This book is highly recommended.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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