Introduction to Joomla 3

Simon Grange.

 

Welcome to Joomla! 3 The Book For Everyone! 

Who is this book for?

This book is aimed at both beginners and users of previous Joomla! versions who wish to build and manage a website without writing code. Thanks to this book, you will be able to build a website on your personal computer, to move it online, to maintain it, to create and publish content, to install extensions with new features, to back up and update your website and much more!

 

What is Joomla!?

Joomla! is a free and open source Content Management System (CMS). A CMS allows you to create a website without needing to have knowledge of languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP...

You can create and organize your content thanks to a simple and user-friendly administrator interface and Joomla! handles the rest. Therefore, you will only have to manage this administration in order to build your website.

 

History of Joomla!'s versions

Joomla! came into being in August 2005 with the release of its first version 1.0 and is available today in 2 stable versions : Joomla 2.5 (LTS) and Joomla 3.0 (STS).

  • Joomla 1.0 was released in September 2005 and is no longer supported since July 2009.
  • Joomla 1.5 (LTS) was released in January 2008 and is no longer supported since September 2012.
  • Joomla 1.6 (STS) was released in January 2011 and is no longer supported since August 2011.
  • Joomla 1.7 (STS) was released in July 2011 and is no longer supported since February 2012.
  • Joomla 2.5 (LTS) was released in January 2012 and will be supported until Spring 2014.
  • Joomla 3.0 (STS) was released in September 2012 and is no longer supported since April 2013.
  • Joomla 3.1 (STS) was released in April 2013 and is no longer supported since November 2013.
  • Joomla 3.2 (STS) was released on November 6, 2013 and will be supported until Spring 2014.
  • Joomla 3.3 (STS) was released on April 30, 2014 and will be supported until July 2014.

 

Ads

New Release Strategy

On April 7, 2014, the Joomla! Production Leadership Team (PLT) issued a new release strategy of Joomla! versions. From now on, the STS (Short Term Support) and LTS (Long Term Support) concepts are given up in favour of the Major Version and Minor Version concepts.

The diagram below illustrates this new release strategy:

Joomla! new strategy This illustration is a translation of the original image created by software-lupe 

 

Major Version and Minor Version

Joomla! versions cycle was modified on April 7, 2014. Since then, we need to remember and adopt the following two terms:

  • Major Version (e.g. 3, 4, 5)
  • Minor Version (e.g. 3.3, 4.0, 5.1)

The last Minor Version of a Major Version now has 2 years of support (starting from its release date), regardless of the release date of the next Major Version.

As of today, the available version is version 3.3. It is a Minor Version of the Major Version 3.
The last Minor Version of the Major Version 3 (we will call it "3.y" as we don't know its number yet) will get support for two years from its release date.
This means that you can build your website today with version 3.2, then you'll upgrade to version 3.3, then to 3.4 and until 3.y. And this version 3.y will get support for at least two years.

To sum up

  • Joomla 3 → Major Version
  • Joomla 3.3 → Minor Version
  • Joomla 3.3.1 → Corrective Patch (security updates, bug fixes, etc.)

 

 

Which version of Joomla! does this book cover ?

Joomla! 3 The Book For Everyone covers the version 3.x of Joomla!. Initially designed for version 3.0 of Joomla!, this book has been modified for version 3.1, for 3.2 and now covers version 3.3.

 

Which version of Joomla! should you choose?

If you start building a new website today (beginning of 2014), you have two options: the version 2.5 (LTS) or the version 3.2 (STS).

There are many differences between these two versions but your choice can be made easier with one simple question: what features do you want on your website?

Joomla! natively includes many features (which will be addressed throughout the chapters of this book) but if you think that they are not enough, you will have to install third-party extensions.

Most third-party extensions are listed in the JED (Joomla Extensions Directory)

If the features that your website must have are natively included in Joomla! and/or are complemented with extensions that are compatible with Joomla 3, then you can build your website with Joomla 3.

Conversely, if the features that your website must contain are not natively included in Joomla! and if only extensions compatible with Joomla 2.5 offer these features, you can:

  • Build your website with Joomla 3 and wait for the necessary extensions to be compatible with Joomla 3.
  • Build your website with Joomla 2.5.

 

What will you be able to achieve with this book?

Thanks to this book, you will be able to build a website with Joomla 3, to manage content, to configure the parameters of Joomla 3's native features, to add new features thanks to third-party extensions, to put your website online, to maintain and keep your website secure... and much more.

 

This book's version

As Joomla! is constantly evolving, this book will be regularly updated in accordance with the new features added to the CMS and with the new tutorials.

This book was initially designed for version 3.0 of Joomla!, it was then modified for version 3.1 and now covers version 3.2. It will be kept up-to-date until the next LTS version (Joomla 3.5) is released (expected in Spring 2014).

History of the book's versions:

  • March 18, 2013: Release of Joomla! 3 Le Livre Pour Tous version 1 (available in French only) written with the version 3.0 of Joomla!. 
  • April 15, 2013: Release of Joomla! 3 Le Livre Pour Tous version 2 (in French only) reviewed with the version 3.1 of Joomla!. Addition of the Chapter Tags.
  • November 6, 2013: Release of Joomla! 3 Le Livre Pour Tous version 3 (in French only) reviewed with the version 3.2 of Joomla!.
    Addition of the chapter Post-installation Messages.
  • April 28, 2014: Release of Joomla! 3 The Book For Everyone version 4.

 

The Joomla! Community

This book will allow you to understand the basics of Joomla! but you will probably have further questions.

If so, no problem! Joomla! is a wide community with members from all around the world. You will most certainly find the answers to your questions in the various and regularly published articles and tutorials, as well as in the official Joomla documentation (Joomla! documentation) and, above all, in the comprehensive and responsive support forums:

The Joomla! Forum: The Joomla! official forum.