How to Make a Joomla Website -This is a tutorial that will show you how you can build a Joomla website in just a few minutes.
Joomla belongs to a growing group of website management tools called Content Management Systems (CMS). Content management systems that include other popular options, such as WordPress and Drupal, take the complexity out of making a website.
Most CMS have their unique appeal. The most popular CMS, WordPress, offers its users ease of use and plenty of add-ons to enhance the platform.
Joomla on the other hand offers extreme customization and adaptability. Even though the platform boasts of an extensive array of options to drive its ability to offer users extreme customization, it does not sacrifice ease of use.
Accordingly, individuals, organizations, and businesses of all sizes adopt Joomla as their preferred CMS platform to build websites for just about any purpose. Follow our step-by-step guide below.
Hosting Your Joomla Website
When you decide to use the Joomla CMS to make a website, the very first thing you have to do is find a place to host your website. This can be a regular web host, or even your PC (localhost).
Both options are easy to use and you can use either depending on which is more convenient for you. Still, there are reasons why you may want to choose one option over another.
One reason is cost. Using your PC to host comes at no extra charge to you, whereas using a regular web host does carry a price tag. Make no mistake though, you would inevitably have to use a regular web host (in most occasions), when your website is ready to go live for anyone on the web to access.
In any case, using your PC to host your website while you work on or build it is convenient and is the cheaper option.
Using a Regular Web Host
- Choose your preferred, reliable web hosting company
- Purchase an appropriate web hosting plan
- Use 1-click installer to install Joomla in your control panel
- Choose admin details and login to your administrator control panel
These steps are applicable for most popular web hosts. For some hosts however, setting up Joomla can be a bit complicated. Nevertheless, the customer service of the web host can be of invaluable help in such scenarios.
Using Your PC (localhost)
- Download and install WAMPSERVER for windows to your PC
- Download Joomla, unzip the downloaded package, then copy the unzipped content into the WWW sub-folder in your PC’s WAMP directory
- Launch the server by doing the following:
- Double-click the icon of the server on your desktop
- Left click the icon of the server in your notification area (default location is the bottom right of your screen)
- Click on “Start All Services” in the dropdown menu that pops u
- Wait for the “dial” to turn white
- Right-click on the icon of the server in your notification area, then click on “Localhost”
- The above action should lead you to the default server’s page on your PC’s web browser
- In the server’s page, edit the web address in the address bar of the PC web browser from http://localhost to http://localhost/joomla/adminstrator and press “Enter” on your keyboard
- In the “Main Configuration” page that loads, fill out requisite information, especially the admin details you would need to login to your administrator control panel
Building Your Joomla Website
Now that you have set up Joomla on a host (either localhost or a standard web host) and have logged into your administrator panel, you are ready to start building your Joomla website from the scratch.
Plan Site Structure
The very first step to take when building your Joomla website is to have a plan of your site structure. You do not have to use a complex organization software like Visio, all you really need is the good ol’ combination of pen and paper to make a rough outline.
Furthermore, you need not be fanciful. Your structure should be clear, logical, and intuitive. Your site structure is the skeleton of your website, and having it makes further development a breeze.
With your site structure established, you should proceed to adding the content (flesh) of your website. All content on a Joomla site are stored in the “Articles” section of your Joomla administrator panel.
- Create relevant categories
- Navigate to Content, then Category Manager in your admin panel
- Use the default “Uncategorized” category for static pages like Our Services, About Us, Contact Us
- Create an appropriate category, if you intend to have multiple related posts/articles: For example, “Latest News” categories to contain all news bits articles
- You can also create multiple categories if you so desire: For example, “Technology” category for technology-related articles, “Lifestyle” category for lifestyle-related articles, “Finance” category for finance-related articles
- Create articles to populate the categories you have earlier created
- Navigate to Content, then Article Manager
- Click the “New” button. In the page that loads,
- Enter your article title (e.g. About Us, How to Use A Fitbit Tracker)
- Select the appropriate category (e.g. Uncategorized for About Us, Technology for How to Use A Fitbit Tracker)
- Enter the body of the article/article text
- Click “Save”
You have your content up on your website based on your site structure. That is great.
Now, you have to think about how your visitors can easily navigate or move from one end of your site to another. This is where a navigation menu comes into play.
A menu is a collection of links to vital pages of your site, which helps your visitors navigate your site with ease and clarity.
- Navigate to Menus, then Menu Manager
- Create menu items in the default “Main Menu” (for example, a menu item called “About Us” that links to your About Us article)
By default, each menu item will display featured articles in a blog layout. For example, when you navigate to the menu manager, you would find a ‘default menu item’ that links to your home page that exhibits this behavior.
However, you can change the menu item to display a static page or single article. For example, you may want to make the ‘default menu item’ display a single “Welcome” article as your homepage.
Follow the steps below to do this:
- Click on the menu item (for example, “Home” that is the default menu item)
- Then click on “Select” that is next to the Menu Item Type field
- Click on Articles, then Single Article in the popup window that appears
- Click on the “Select/Change” button located on the right under ‘Required Settings’
- Choose the article you wish to display as the static page or single article in the popup window that emerges
You may also want to create a menu item that links to a category. For example, you can create a menu item “Latest News” that links to the “Latest News” category. Therefore, clicking the Latest News menu item will direct the visitor to the articles in the “Latest News” category.
To do this all you have to do is choose the menu type when you navigate to Article, then Category Blog.
Position the Menu
You are almost done now. You only have to position your menu appropriately on your site and voila you are done.
An important point to note about positioning menus on Joomla is that Joomla templates use modules to arrange content in various positions on a page.
- Create the module for the menu
- Navigate to Extensions, then Module Manager
- Click “New” on the Module Manager page
- Select “Menu” from the Module Type popup window that appears
- Append a title for the Menu and then click on the ‘Hide Title’ button
- Select a position for the module you created
- Note that the description for each of the positions varies between templates: For example, the top position may be labeled “top” in some templates, or “position-1,” or some other less apparent label in others
- After setting the position, set the ‘Status’ to Published
- Under the Basic Options, select the appropriate menu name (for example, Main Menu if you are positioning the Main Menu)
- Click on “Save & Close”
You can create modules for other menus that can exist anywhere on the page. If you want a module you created to display on just one or a number of pages (for example, on only the Home Page).
To do this, follow the instructions below:
- Navigate to the Menu Assignment section for the module
- Select the option ”Only on the pages selected”
- Under the tab that pops up, uncheck the page(s) you do not want the module to appear on and leave the page(s) you want the module to appear on
- Click ‘Save’
What Next – Joomla Website Was Built
There you have it. Your site is now up and running. You can choose to customize your website more, for example changing the logo or editing site information, or changing templates.
However, at the current point, your site is set up. If you hosted the website initially on a standard web host, your site is now live and you can sit back to relish the feeling of finishing the build of your online real estate.
If you did all of this on your PC or localhost. You do have to upload your site files to a standard web host for your website to be available on the Internet, so that visitors can access your website easily.