Joomla! Articles & Categories Managers

Simon Grange.

 

The site is now installed and we just took a quick tour of it.

In this chapter, we will see how we can organize articles and categories. This chapter could have been entitled "Content Management", but in Joomla!, the content is not made of articles only.
If you wish to publish a photo or a video gallery, this is also considered as content. Similarly, a forum or a guest book can be considered as content even though they are not managed through Joomla! article manager but for example, through third-party extensions instead.

To organize your articles, you first create categories and then you sort your articles into these categories. Joomla 3 offers the possibility to have an infinite number of nested categories.

For a better visualization, let's take the example of a cooking website, in which categories and articles are sorted this way:

Appetizers

———————Hot Appetizers

—————————————————Soups

———————————————————————————Cabbage soup

———————————————————————————Carrot soup

———————————————————————————Soups from around the world

—————————————————————————————————————Bortsch (Russian Soup)

—————————————————————————————————————Chinese soup

———————Cold Appetizers

—————————————————Salmon gazpacho

—————————————————Meat platter

—————————————————Salads

———————————————————————————Nicoise salad

———————————————————————————Ceasar salad

———————————————————————————Shrimp salad

Main Course

———————

Cheeses

———————

Desserts

———————

 

Categories can contain articles, but they can also contain other categories which themselves can contain articles (or other categories, etc.).

The categories Appetizers, Main Course, Cheeses and Desserts are the "Root" categories.

It is very important to clearly define this tree view beforehand. The organization of your website relies on this structure. Instead of immediately creating these categories in Joomla!, a good way to efficiently work on the organization of your website is the old fashioned way: with pen and paper.

This tree view should not be decided too hastily, it is essential that you take time to think it through. If you forgot to create a category, it's of course still possible to do it afterwards, but the more organised you are, the more time you will save in the long term.

 

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Category Manager

Let's see how to create your categories.

To access the category manager, select Content → Category Manager. You will see the following page:

Joomla! categories manager

Category Manager

1 - You can see all your categories. Here, you see the categories installed with Joomla! sample data.

2 - The toolbar allowing you to create, edit, publish, unpublish,... your categories.

3 - Different filters so you can search for specific categories. As is the case for all managers, if you sort by ordering (a), you can sort your categories by dragging and dropping.

4 - Three tabs directing to the article manager, the category manager (this page) and the featured articles (more information at the end of this chapter).

To create a new category, hit the New button and you'll be taken to the following page:

Editing category

New Category

1 - Enter a title for your category.

2 - You can enter an alias (which will appear in the URLs) and if you don't, Joomla! will fill in a default value.

3 - You can add a description to your category.

4 - Choose a parent for your category (in order to organize your architecture). If you don't choose a parent, this category will be a "Root" category of your architecture. You can also configure its status, its access level (more info in the User Management chapter) and its language (see the Multilingual Site chapter).

5 - You can enter the name of the category's author.

6 - You can add an image to your category.

7 - You can configure your category's metadata.

8 - Eventually, you can manage the permissions settings for the category (More information in the User Management chapter).

 

Once everything is set up as you want, click the Save & Close button. Then, all that remains is to create all your categories!

 

Article Manager

Once all your categories have been created, you can start creating your articles and sort them into these categories.

To access the article manager, select Content → Article manager. You will see the following page:

Joomla! Articles manager

Article Manager

1 - List of all your articles. Here you see the articles installed with Joomla! sample data.

2 - The toolbar allowing you to create, edit, publish, unpublish,… your articles.

3 - Different filters so you can search for specific articles. As is the case for all managers, if you sort by ordering (a), you can sort your categories by dragging and dropping.

4 - Three tabs directing to the article manager (this page), the category manager and the featured articles (more information at the end of the chapter).

To create a new article, hit the New button and you will be taken to the following page:

Joomla! article editing

New Article

1 - Enter a title for your article.

2 - Select a category in which your article will be sorted.

3 - Thanks to the text editor, create the content of your article as you would do with any other kind of editor. You can of course work on the layout of this article.

4 - With these 4 buttons, you can:

  • Create a link to another article. To do so, select the text to link, then click the Article button and finally select the target article.
  • Insert an image. Place the cursor exactly where you want to insert the image, click the Image button, select your image in the Media Manager and click the Insert button.
  • Insert a page break (very useful for long articles). Place the cursor exactly where you want to insert a page break and click the Page break button. You will then be able to enter a title for this page.
  • Insert a Read More link (useful if you want to publish your articles in a blog layout). To do so, place the cursor where you want to insert a Read More break and click the Read More button.

5 - You can configure your article's status, its access level (more info in the User Management chapter), its language (see the Multilingual Site chapter) and you can also choose if you want this article to appear as featured.

6 - In the publishing options, you can configure your article's alias (which will appear in URLs), its author, its creation date and the start and finish publishing dates.

7 - In the article options, you can manage different parameters such as displaying or not the title, the author's name, the various dates, the Print and Email Icons, the votes, etc.

8 - In the creation/edit options, you can manage various parameters in Frontend/Backend.

9 - Enter the article's metadata.

10 - Eventually, manage the permissions. (More information in the User Management chapter).

To avoid losing your work because of a mistake, a disconnection, a power cut,… it's recommended that you regularly save your article while you're editing it. To do so, click the Save button.

Once you're done, you can click the Save & Close button.

All that remains is to create the other articles of your website.

 

Featured Articles

When you're in the article or in the category manager, you can see a Featured Article link. Similarly, when you are editing an article, you can select if you want it to be a featured article.

The Featured status is used by the menu item article featured in a blog layout. This allows you to show into a blog layout articles from many different categories: the featured articles. By clicking on the menu item featured article, you will see a list of all featured articles. You will be able to change the publication order (provided that the menu item is correctly configured).

 

Content versioning – Keep and restore previous versions of content

Since the version 3.2 of Joomla!, it is now possible to keep different versions of your content.

In short, each time a user (you or another user with permission to edit articles) edits an article, Joomla! will save the content as it was just before the modification.

Therefore, you will be able to access these different versions and to restore them if need be.