Your Step-By-Step Guide
It’s closer to drupal than WordPress in terms of scope, though it takes its own approach in some areas, and that’s what this book will teach.
Joomla is a content management system that can trace its history back at least to 2005. Currently, at version 1.7, it allows users to build websites that display content on the web. If you are familiar with other PHP CMS, then it’s closer to Drupal than say WordPress in terms of scope, though it takes its own approach in some areas and that’s what Joomla! Explained will teach you.
First, the book is aimed at non-developers, the first two chapters of the book cover Joomla’s history and the different ways to install Joomla. Chapters that follow cover setting up users, creating and organizing content and navigation. If you’ve set-up a Drupal site, a lot of this will be quite familiar.
Starting with chapter seven, Extensions are covered. Some of these are built-in, but many more are findable at the Joomla website. When it comes to extensions, Joomla breaks them down into three groups: Components, Modules, Plug-ins. Components include things like photo-galleries, banners and others that are like mini-applications, usually with an administrator and public parts. Modules are smaller parts that typically appear on the site in boxes on the layout, examples of modules found on most sites include: the footer, log-in or a block displaying the newest content items. Finally, plug-ins are extensions that react to events (possibly triggered by other components or modules) and can be used for things like filtering out swearing from user comments or adding social-bookmarking buttons to articles. One of the things this book does well is introducing readers to some of the better-known extensions and how to find and evaluate their suitability for a project.
Of course, no CMS would be complete without a theming system. Templates are explained in chapter 10. Readers are shown how to modify templates but not create one from scratch.
After 11 chapters on the workings of Joomla, there are two chapters on putting together a simple personal and business site using some new extensions. The book then wraps-up with three chapters on users management, languages and site administration.
For a reader new to Joomla, this is a good book to explain how to get going understand how the whole system fits together and putting together a simple site.
Book’s website: http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321703782
Extensions explained: http://docs.joomla.org/Tutorial:What_Are_Extensions