What Kind of Website?

What kind of website?

There are many purposes for a website and it is important that you discuss your requirements with any web design agency in detail. Between you, you should define who your target market is, the purpose of your website, what you hope it will achieve and how you are going to turn people visiting your website into customers.

Another important decision to make is whether you require a static HTML website or a content managed website. With a static website it is more difficult to alter menus, images and content, unless you know a little about coding in HTML. However, with a CMS (Content Managed System) website it is very simple indeed for you to be able to alter content, add your own pages, create new menus, add images and a whole lot more without any skills other than being able to use a word processing system similar to MS Word.

To give you an idea of what “style” of website you may be looking for we have compiled a list of examples of styles of websites that you can look through and maybe help you ascertain what you would like if you don’t know already:

  • Business or Professional
    • We are hereTell the public what you do and how to contact you
    • Product CatalogueDisplay product information
    • Technical informationSave time for you and customers with technical information on-line
    • Take orders and sell on lineeCommerce, Shopping cart, On-line store
  • Sports OrganisationPublish the year’s timetable and program on line.Enrol members on-line
  • Recreational, Cultural or CommunityPublish your eventsEnrol members on-lineRun discussions on-line
  • EducationalProvide knowledge of your subject
  • Family or PersonalDisplay photos and information for far-away family members.
  • ArtisticBe careful to leave room for text for the benefit of search engines.
  • OrganicLet it grow naturally…

Extensions

Joomla! CMS Extensions

Out of the box, Joomla! CMS does a great job of managing the content needed to make your Web site sing. But, for many people the true power of Joomla! CMS is in the application framework that makes it possible for developers all around the world to create powerful add-ons that are called Extensions. An Extension is used to add capabilities to Joomla! CMS that does not exist in the base core code. Here are just some examples of the hundreds of available Extensions:

  • Dynamic form builders
  • Business or organisational directories
  • Document management
  • Image and multimedia galleries
  • E-commerce and shopping cart engines
  • Forums and chat software
  • Calendars
  • E-mail newsletters
  • Data collection and reporting tools
  • Banner advertising systems
  • Paid subscription services
  • and many, many, more

You can find more examples over at our ever growing Joomla! Extensions Directory.

Types of Extensions

There are five types of extensions:

  • Components
  • Modules
  • Templates
  • Plugins
  • Languages

You can read more about the specifics of these using the links in the Article Index – a Table of Contents (yet another useful feature of Joomla! CMS) – at the top right or by clicking on the Next link below.


Component - Joomla! Extension Directory Components

A Component is the largest and most complex of the Extension types. Components are like mini-applications that render the main body of the page. An analogy that might make the relationship easier to understand would be that Joomla! CMS is a book and all the Components are chapters in the book. The core Article Component (com_content), for example, is the mini-application that handles all core Article rendering just as the core registration Component (com_user) is the mini-application that handles User registration.

Many of Joomla!’s core features are provided by the use of default Components such as:

  • Contacts
  • Front Page
  • News Feeds
  • Banners
  • Mass Mail
  • Polls

A Component will manage data, set displays, provide functions, and in general can perform any operation that does not fall under the general functions of the core code.

Components work hand in hand with Modules and Plugins to provide a rich variety of content display and functionality aside from the standard Article and content display. They make it possible to completely transform Joomla! CMS and greatly expand its capabilities.


Module - Joomla! Extension Directory Modules

A more lightweight and flexible Extension used for page rendering is a Module. Modules are used for small bits of the page that are generally less complex and able to be seen across different Components. To continue in our book analogy, a Module can be looked at as a footnote or header block, or perhaps an image/caption block that can be rendered on a particular page. Obviously you can have a footnote on any page but not all pages will have them. Footnotes also might appear regardless of which chapter you are reading. Simlarly Modules can be rendered regardless of which Component you have loaded.

Modules are like little mini-applets that can be placed anywhere on your site. They work in conjunction with Components in some cases and in others are complete stand alone snippets of code used to display some data from the database such as Articles (Newsflash) Modules are usually used to output data but they can also be interactive form items to input data for example the Login Module or Polls.

Modules can be assigned to Module positions which are defined in your Template and in the back-end using the Module Manager and editing the Module Position settings. For example, “left” and “right” are common for a 3 column layout.

Displaying Modules

Each Module is assigned to a Module position on your site. If you wish it to display in two different locations you must copy the Module and assign the copy to display at the new location. You can also set which Menu Items (and thus pages) a Module will display on, you can select all Menu Items or you can pick and choose by holding down the control key and selecting multiple locations one by one in the Modules [Edit] screen

Note: Your Main Menu is a Module! When you create a new Menu in the Menu Manager you are actually copying the Main Menu Module (mod_mainmenu) code and giving it the name of your new Menu. When you copy a Module you do not copy all of its parameters, you simply allow Joomla! CMS to use the same code with two separate settings.

Newsflash Example

Newsflash is a Module which will display Articles from your site in an assignable Module position. It can be used and configured to display one Category, all Categories, or to randomly choose Articles to highlight to Users. It will display as much of an Article as you set, and will show a Read more… link to take the User to the full Article.

The Newsflash Component is particularly useful for things like Site News or to show the latest Article added to your Web site.


Plugin - Joomla! Extension Directory Plugins

One of the more advanced Extensions for Joomla! CMS is the Plugin. In previous versions of Joomla! CMS Plugins were known as Mambots. Aside from changing their name their functionality has been expanded. A Plugin is a section of code that runs when a pre-defined event happens within Joomla! CMS. Editors are Plugins, for example, that execute when the Joomla! CMS event onGetEditorArea occurs. Using a Plugin allows a developer to change the way their code behaves depending upon which Plugins are installed to react to an event.


Language - Joomla! Extensions Directory Languages

New to Joomla! CMS and perhaps the most basic and critical Extension is a Language. Joomla! CMS is released with multiple Installation Languages but the base Site and Administrator are packaged in just the one Language en-GB – being English with GB spelling for example. To include all the translations currently available would bloat the core package and make it unmanageable for uploading purposes. The Language files enable all the User interfaces both Front-end and Back-end to be presented in the local preferred language. Note these packs do not have any impact on the actual content such as Articles.

Joomla! CMS Overview

Joomla! CMS Overview

If you’re new to Web publishing systems, you’ll find that Joomla! delivers sophisticated solutions to your online needs. It can deliver a robust enterprise-level Web site, empowered by endless extensibility for your bespoke publishing needs. Moreover, it is often the system of choice for small business or home users who want a professional looking site that’s simple to deploy and use.

Joomla! CMS is different from the normal models for content management software. For a start, it’s not complicated. Joomla! has been developed for everybody, and anybody can use it with very little computer experience. It is easy to use and administer, and is reliable. Joomla! CMS doesn’t even require the user or administrator of the system to know HTML to operate it once it’s up and running.

The beauty of Joomla! CMS comes in the vast array of extensions (add-ons) that are available that give you the ability to create any functionality you could ever dream of and more add-ons than you could ever use. It also the most popular CMS solution on the market and has huge support with over 210,000 active registered users on the official Joomla! CMS community forum and well over 6,000,000 downloads of Joomla! CMS since 2007, therefore it is future-proof and you never have to worry that it will go out of date or cease to be supported months or years down the line.

Joomla! CMS Features

Joomla! CMS Features

  • Completely database driven site engines
  • News, products, or services sections fully editable and manageable
  • Topics sections can be added to by contributing Authors
  • Fully customisable layouts including left, centre, and right Menu boxes
  • Browser upload of images to your own library for use anywhere in the site
  • Dynamic Forum/Poll/Voting booth for on-the-spot results
  • Runs on Linux, FreeBSD, MacOSX server, Solaris, and AIX

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