Intro to ccag in Joomla

Posted on July 15th, by rooify in Uncategorized. No Comments

 +++++++++++ not to appear on web site+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

IMPORTANT – make SURE this article is  definitely NOT Front Page ( ie red white cross adjacent showing) , as displayed in Content, Articles listings.

if it is published, it can appear on the web site to a site vistor!!! But it must be published to be visible externally by eg accessing by direct link. Also if published, it can be found by a site search. It is set to require User Log in.

This is a very much a work in progress . As of 1/7/09, ccag.org.au was migrated from Joomla Ver1.0.x to Joomla V1.5 and rehosted, after a full rebuild.  Google ‘Joomla’ for info. In the course of this, site directory structure was altered to clean up and simplify legacy files. Consequently all image and pdf links needed to be reset or checked for accuracy. There may be more elegant ways of site maintenance I have yet to discover.

The following is a very simple description of the set up and maintenance of CCAG web site, from the perspective of a standard ‘administrator’ log in. Using the current setup, article creation and module updating should be straight forward.


This web site is setup and managed via Joomla!, a popular free content management system (CMS)  and is currently hosted by Quadra Hostings in Sydney under Linux as from 1st July 2009. Joomla provides a simple, programming free environment to establish and maintain web sites.

Site domain name expiry due 1/5/2010. Do a WhoIs query for other details. Therein I am named as site contact.


All data except images and pdfs, is stored in a mySQL database automatically. Administrative access via the normal PHPmyAdmin. Internally on the site, pathways for images is ‘ /images/stories/pictures/’ and for pdfs is ‘/images/stories/pdfs/’. This maps externally  to URL’s ‘https://ccag.org.au/images/stories/pdfs/mypdf.pdf’ etc.  In normal usage, file uploading (image and pdf) is done at article creation time, and there is no requirement to touch databases etc. Access of this type, as well as site backup, requires log in to host platform and use of cPanel for file level maintenance.


Site – Site is php / html coding backend, but this is only touched for fine tuning. The site content is modified by a super administrator selected ‘template’ which predefines the CSS and hence site layout, colours, menu style and fonts. The template used currently is js_weblogic_green. Note access to templates and site configuration is restricted to Super Administrator level.

This site is effectively the display of ‘modules’ and ‘articles’. A ‘module‘ (eg Food Fight) is a special case system module that is defined currently for this site as  ‘text restrained typically within a side column’. Modules can be positioned in a variety of locations on a page .  An ‘article‘ here is typically a front (or internal) page story. A simple Main Menu links all internal pages, by use of an ID numeric schema. All text can be ‘linked’ to other content internally or externally. Consequently ccag.org.au is a simple blog or portal site for information dissemination. Other menus have been disabled.

Creation of a new article aka front page story-

Log in to site as www.ccag.org.au/administrator with Log in name and password for admin privileges. From top menu (Site, Menus, Content, Components, Extn etc) select Content, Articles then New.
It is mandatory to enter a Title, thence Section and Category.
For Section- Select ‘Uncategorised ‘for pages to be explicitly linked to other pages only.
               Select ‘Front Page Stories’ for an Article that can appear on the front page, and subsequently as former front page story when it gets pushed down by new stories.

                Select ‘Published’ =Yes to allow article to be visible& availlable on site
                Select ‘Front Page’ =Yes if article is to be front page.

                 Select (optionally) Parameters as desired.

Enter text as desired in this body area. Allow default formatting except for highlighting ie Bold. In previous Joomla, I first copied all received text documents (doc’s) to Windows Notepad to strip residual formatting, then copied off Notepad into New Article window. Else unpredictable results, and screen garbage. This still seems good practice in this new version.

To insert an image,  Select the Image button on bottom left of this page; A new window opens; in the drop down box directory, Select /pictures and when centre window is populated, select the desired image, and insert. Alternatively, if needed, use the browse button to select an image on your own PC, then Upload, then proceed as above. If you just want to insert a Link to an image, copy the link url in the pop up box and paste into the Link box appropriately. 

To insert a pdf link,  proceed as above, but these links cannot be automatically inserted ( that I’ve yet found in this Joomla version). Upload a new pdf as above, but note the name. Revert back to this (new article) screen, select the desired link text and use the Link icon above, manually entering the pdf path and name ie /images/stories/pdfs/newpdf.pdf in the pop up box. Select also ‘Target: open in new window’. I nominally use Aerial for all modules for consistency.

Hint: images and pdfs uploaded this way lose their Case and revert to all lower case. The path settings ARE case sensitive.
Hint: Use the Preview icon, top right, AFTER the Apply icon, to check if your path worked. Note, Save icon = Apply + Cancel.

Hint: Do not anticipate screen reload/refresh upon updating – you can get locked out – wait ’till refresh finished. When encountering hair pulling difficulties, use the HTML icon adjacent to Links above, to inspect code. It is more unfriendly than last Joomla version, but it’s there, and use for editing.

When happy with the edit, use top right Save icon.

Module Modification (ie Quick Links, Event Horizon etc). Basically the same as editing an article. Select from menu, Extensions, Module Manager and then desired module. Edit as with new text and upload images etc. and set up links as above.

Hint: resist temptation to edit/modify other system modules. Don’t change Enabled status, or Order, unless you totally stuff up. Un-enabled means it will not display on page, but will still be there physically. Selecting other than Caroona in menu layout box will alter proportionally.

General Info:

Layout of URL when linking to other internal, already published articles: First get ID # off article listings, then link as

 An article and module will only display on site if Published =Yes , and Front Page=yes (where appropriate)

Also normal media management can be done via Main menu above, Site>Media Manager for uploading via http. FTP is available by admin back end, but for occasional uploads, the above method is fine.

 When finished, it is smart to double check results in ‘the other browser’, IE. There is sometimes significant differences.

Images – it is usually necessary to resize images by handles, and preselect  alignment (left, right work best).

Rotating front page images. These are composite images saved as jpgs, living in special folder ‘/rotate_pics’. I have set up images  to display by virtue of being in that folder. Note standard image size, for consistency, is 1024 x 160 pixels. I usually down res so resultant image is around 60 to 70k, to help with image load times for the visitor. I similarly down res images in stories and elsewhere if appropriate to just acceptable levels. 

If you do get locked out of this maintenance activity ( screen freeze, no response), abort Joomla. Wait some 10 min, and relaunch. You should be able to get back in then.

This article is set to Uncatagorized, published and Not Front Page. There are no internal links pointing to it. So it should NOT and NEVER be visible on site.

Rod – 15th July 09