Joomla Jump Start guide
Whether you are building a website for yourself or want to create sites for others, Joomla will have many of the features you'll need in a content management system.

Letís see how to create content in Joomla. However, unlike WordPress, you cannot create pages and have them automatically appear; you won't see anything until menus are created, but menus won't work without content. We must, therefore, create website content that can't actually be seen. These could simply be dummy pages that can later be deleted or edited, but they're needed to help you test the site's design and make sure it is working.
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Create The Content

Joomla's Content menu has several functions and it will be a place you often visit once the site is running. Before creating any web pages you must create some categories, so click Content> Category Manager. Categories are straightforward; for example, if you were creating a cookery website with recipes you might go with 'Starter', 'Main' and 'Desert' categories so that every time you create a web page with a new recipe you could assign it to one of them. You can also add subcategories, so 'Main' could have 'Vegetarian' as one of its component parts.

It's therefore important that, before starting to create pages for your site, you work out what categories this content will be organized into. To start to define this in Joomla, click the New button in the Category Manager. The title you add at this point will become the category name, and is essential. The description box is optional, however, and can be ignored. Near the top right is Parent, and setting this to No Parent will make your new addition a top-level category, but setting it to another category would make it a subcategory. The Category Manager screen lists the categories that have been created and the Status column has green ticks against categories that are published, Published and unpublished options appear throughout Joomla indicating items that appear on the site and items that are hidden. You don't need to delete something to prevent it from appearing on a Joomla website, you just unpublished it.

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Go to the Content menu again and this time select Media Manag.er. This provides access to a file manager that is used to upload and store images and other files you want to use on the site's web pages. Before creating a new web page you would typically visit the Media Manager and click the Upload button to upload any images or files it needs. There are thumbnail and detail views, and options to create folders, view images, delete items you no longer need and so on. Ignore the sample images bundled with Joomla and go to the root folder in order to create whatever folders you need for your images. You could create a folder for each category for example, and this would help to organize them.

Finally, letís create a web page. Article Manager on the Content menu shows all the pages that have been created for the site. Joomla calls web pages articles, but they can be news stories, blog and comment posts, features, and so on. A website must have a home page, though, and one sample page is provided. That's the one you see when you access your site.

Click New to create an article and enter the title in the box at the top. Most of the screen is then taken up by the editor that operates like a simple word processor. Entering text and formatting it is straightforward, but if you want to insert an image into the text, ignore the image button in the toolbar at the top. Instead, click the Image button at the bottom of the page. This provides access to the Media Manager so you can select a previously uploaded image.

Most websites have an extract of a post on home page or news feed, with a link to the main article. To create this, position the cursor at the end of the first paragraph and click the Read More button at the bottom of the page. To the right of the edit area is the category selector and it is important to select one. Add keywords to the Tags box so people can easily find the page.

The Status on the right is set to Published by default, but set it to Unpublished if you don't want the article to go live straight away. Think of it as saving a draft. There are numerous options on tabs above the edit area, but ignore them for now. Click Save and Close. Create several articles for your site (dummy ones will do), such as half a dozen blog posts and an About page. Set them all to Published.

Create The Menus
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Joomla can be frustrating to learn, because it doesn't always work as you would expect. If this is your first time with Joomla, you will be surprised to discover that even after creating several pages for your website, only the sample page that was installed with the CMS can be seen. Where are your pages? Well, in order to see the articles that were created, you must create a menu.

Go to Menus> Main Menu and click New. If you have created an About page for your site, to make it accessible create a menu that displays a single article and link it to the About page. Click the Select button next to Menu Item Type and click Articles in the pop-up list. Click Single Article. Below Menu Item Type is Select Article. Click Select and choose the About page. Set Menu Title to About and click Save and Close. If you check your website you will find that there is now an About menu and clicking it displays the About page.

More articles can be added as menus in the same way, but obviously there is limited screen space. We need something different for busy news feeds and blog posts. Go to Menus> Main Menu and click New to create a new menu. For the menu title, enter the name of a category created earlier. Click Select next to Menu Item Type, expand Articles and select Category Blog. Save and close, and then take a look at the site. There is new menu named after the category you specified and clicking it lists all the posts assigned to that category. You can create a menu for each category to enable people to view all the posts in them.

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Here's another type of menu, one that displays featured articles. Go to Menus> Main Menu and click New. Set the title to Features or something similar, then click Select next to Menu Item Type. Expand Articles, select Featured Articles, and then click Save and Close. Click Content> Article Manager to list all the articles. In the Status column is a star and clicking it makes an article featured. All the starred items are displayed when the Features menu is clicked.

You now know how to create news and blog-type articles and featured articles, and display them on menus. The sample home page can be deleted in Menu Manager and you can set either your blog feed or featured articles feed as the home page by clicking the star in the Home column.