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Creating New Content Articles in Joomla 2.5

Create New Joomla 2.5 Content ArticlesJoomla 2.5.x is an advanced content management system (CMS) offering site administrators full control over their web sites. Everything from creating and editing content articles on pages, to modular content (ads, calendars, tag clouds, etc.), to menus and site architecture can be managed from within Joomla's administrative system. This tutorial covers the process of creating new content articles for blog roll use within the Joomla 2.5 generation CMS with the JCE editor installed (Joomla Content Editor).

I recommend writing your content in word processor software and preparing your images to your needed specifications before creating your new content article  in Joomla. Consult with your site designer/developer for the image size specifications for your Intro (thumbnail) and Full Article Images. Templates differ and each may require a specific workflow for achieving the desired display.

CREATING A NEW CONTENT ARTICLE IN JOOMLA 2.5:

1. Open your article text in your word processor software.

2. In your web browser, login to your Joomla Administrator area.

2. In the Main Menu, choose Content/Article Manager/Add New Article.

3. In the Article Manager, starting in the New Article section in the left column, type in your Title, an Alias for display in your search engine friendly URL, select your content Category appropriate for filing the article in the CMS.

In the Alias text field, type the meaningful words of your title in lowercase, separated by hyphens.

Title example: "Following the Wild Animals of Africa"
Alias example: following-wild-animals-africa

3. Status — Default is Published. Other options are Unpublished, Archived, or Trashed. After a year or so, you might consider archiving your old articles. You'll need to make a new Archived menu item for the public to access them. Leave it set to Published.

4. Access — Usually set to Public. If you have registered member only content, you can choose Registered. Starting with Joomla 2.5, admins can create custom user groups and control access to content more specifically. This is advanced. Please consult your web designer/developer for more info.

5. Featured — If set to Yes, the article will appear on the Home page, and in other modules which are set to display featured articles.

6. Language — Default is set to All. By default, Joomla comes with British English installed. Other language packs are available and must be installed separately. If installing other languages packs I recommend setting other languages through the site Global Configuration settings and leaving this set to All.

7. In your word processor, select and copy your article text. Switching back to Joomla's Article Manager, place your mouse cursor in the Article Text editing window and then click on the down arrow of the Paste tool icon (it looks like a clipboard) and select the Paste as Plain Text option. This will remove proprietary text formatting added by word processing software which causes problems in Joomla.

Format your article text as desired using the various WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing tools provided. In general, the procedure is to select the text you want to affect and then click on a tool icon and enter your settings.

Insert a Readmore link after the first sentence or paragraph of text by placing your mouse cursor after the paragraph and clicking the Readmore button beneath the Article Text editing box. This will result in a truncated article display on your blog roll with a link to read the full article text. You might have to adjust the paragraph spacing after previewing the article.

HINT: Hovering your mouse cursor over a tool icon will display a small tooltip telling you what that tool's function is.

A general suggestion regarding article formatting/styling  is to keep it simple. Avoid multiple font families and strange garish colors. Most of your styling is covered by a site-wide stylesheet. Try to stick to it.

8. Setting Parameters - Right Column Items

HINT: Rolling your mouse cursor over the setting heading will display a tooltip about the setting.

Publishing Options Parameters — In the right column under Publishing Options, you can either leave these fields blank and accept the defaults which will be generated by Joomla, or set your own info.

Article Options Parameters — These settings control the display of various information elements on your article page. (These settings can also be controlled across the entire site via a global setting available through the Article Manager: Article listing page's Options icon.)

Generally, you'll want to set them globally as an overall stylistic choice and not set them on an article-by-article basis. But in some cases, you might want to hide or show certain information on single articles. Some site owners choose to hide the viral icons, i.e., Print, Email. Others hide the date related info, or the Voting and Hits information. Again, these can be set globally.

Read More Text — If warranted, you can choose to display text other than "Read more" after your truncated blog roll Intro text, i.e., Learn More, Read Full Article, etc. (Optional).

Alternative Layout and Key Reference — These are advanced settings not covered in this tutorial.

Configure Edit Screen Parameters — These settings govern publishing options and whether some editing tools are are made available or not. If you have this parameter area, you have higher level editing permissions. In general, leave these at the default unless you know what you are doing.

Images and Links Parameters — If you haven't already uploaded your image(s) to the server using an FTP client, you can use the built-in image upload feature in JCE's Insert/Edit Image tool. All images for use in your web site must be located on your site's web hosting server in order for them to display in your content.

Intro Image — Click on the Select button to open the directory popup window and navigate to the appropriate directory where your image exists, or where you wish to upload your image to. Since this example is for a blog, we'll select the "blog" directory by clicking on its folder icon. You should now see the contents of the "blog" directory.

Uploading Images — In the Upload Files section of the directory popup, click on the Browse button and navigate to and select the image file(s) you wish to upload. You can select more than one image to upload by Command clicking (Mac) or Control clicking (PC) on each image. Click Open to finish. In the directory popup, click the Start Upload button. The directory popup will refresh and you'll be able to see the file(s) you just uploaded.

Select the desired Intro image by clicking on it, and then click on the Insert button at the top right.

Image Float — This will vary depending upon your site design. Left or Right are typical choices which would align them to the left or right edge of the paragraph of text.

Alt Text — Type in a brief three to five word description of the image's subject. Use keyword phrases if you can for search engines.

Caption — If your design calls for a caption, type in your caption here.

Full Article Image — See the above section on Uploading Images. Click on the Select button to open the directory popup window and navigate to your desired Full Article Image. Set your Image Float as desired. Enter your Alt Text and Caption text.

Metadata Options Parameters

Meta Description — Enter a short 25-word sentence describing the essential idea of the content on the page. Try to use relevant keywords or keyword phrases (2-3 word combinations which someone might enter into a search engine) in your prose. Describing your content accurately will help people find information they seek. Cheating with an inaccurate description could lead to more bounces in your site statistics as people visit, don't find what they wanted and leave.

Meta Keywords — Enter the same keywords, or keyword phrases describing your content separated by commas.

Robots — Leave set to Use Global. Search engines send robots to scan your page and index it. If you don't want the page indexed by search engines, or to follow the links on the page, change it as needed.

Author — You can type the author's name here and it will show up in the code.

Content Rights (Optional) — Enter the type of intellectual property rights you are granting to the reader. (All Rights Reserved., etc.)

External Reference — Optional link to external reference(s). Enter the URL or leave blank.

9. Article Permissions — For most sites, you can leave this area with the default settings. If you have content available only for registered users and wanted to set article-specific restrictions, you could do it here.

BASIC TOOL ICONS

Depending upon your JCE configuration as setup by your web designer/developer, your toolset may differ. These are just some basic tools you can start off using right away to style your text. Anyone who can use word processor software can edit content articles in Joomla.

• Return Key: Insert carriage returns where you want paragraphs
• Soft Return: Press Shift Key + Return Key — Inserts a line break
Bold Tool IconFor Bold text
Italic Tool IconFor Italic text
Align Tools IconsText alignment (Align Full/Justified, Centered, Align Left, Align Right
Paste as Plain Text Tool IconPaste as Plain Text — Recommended to remove MS Word and other proprietary formatting characters.
icon orderedlistOrdered List (numbered)
Unordered ListUnordered List (bulleted)
icon anchorAnchor — Inserts a named anchor wherever you insert it. You can create a regular link to the anchor elsewhere and the visitor will jump to the named anchor after clicking it.
Insert/Edit LinkInsert/Edit Link — Can type text, select it, and make it into a link. Or select an image and link it to a page or anchor within a page.
Insert/Edit ImageInsert/Edit Image — Place your cursor where you want the image to be, click this icon, choose your image, set its attributes and click Insert to finish. This can be used as an option to the Images and Links parameters. Certain templates require you to use the Images and Links parameter to function properly. Please ask your web designer/developer.

Happy Editing!

Joomla Templates and Joomla Extensions by JoomlaVision.Com
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