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How to Change the Layout on the FrontpageA question that comes up often of new users is "How do I change the layout of the content on my frontpage?". To be more specific, the question is often about how to change the content layout from Joomla!'s default 1 column leading / 2 column intro / links layout. Fortunately, Joomla! makes this really easy to do.

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Kyle Ledbetter - JoomlaPraise.com

JoomlaPraise.com, started a little over a year ago by the guys at PixelPraise.com, is a relative newcomer to the Joomla! template club industry, and they've carved out a niche for themselves developing simple yet appealing templates that are not only attractive, but also what I like to call "developer friendly," meaning that they are easy to customize and easy to work with. JoomlaPraise's most recent endeavor is the release of AdminPraise 2, an updated and improved version of their first Joomla! administrator template, AdminPriase.

The original AdminPraise template really pushed the boundaries of what a Joomla! administrator template can do, and AdminPraise 2 has taken the concept even further. I have asked Kyle Ledbetter from JoomlaPraise.com to write the first ever guest post on HowToJoomla! to explain some of the top features of AdminPraise 2 and how it can benefit you in your efforts to administer your Joomla!-powered website because I believe this is a revolutionary new way to think about Joomla! administration.

If you've ever wanted more control over your Joomla! admin panel's appearance, shortcuts, menu, or acl, JoomlaPraise's AdminPraise2 is just what you need.

At first glance, AP2 is just a drastic change in the overall appearance of the admin site, but once you dig into it you'll find it's a very powerful tool.

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| Installation

Update July 15, 2010: I should have posted this a long time ago, but the BEST way to move your Joomla site to a new server is to use Akeeba Backup.

The most popular article on this site covers How to move your Joomla! site to a new server, but it does not cover all of the details for moving your Joomla! 1.5 site to a new server. This how-to discusses the process of moving your Joomla! 1.5 site to a new server. The information contained in this how-to also happens to be an excerpt from my upcoming book, Beginning Joomla!. (Due out in early April)

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| Templates

As promised, here is an article about one of the things I learned while upgrading How To Joomla to Joomla! 1.5. I have been using JomComment on How To Joomla for quite a while. You may have noticed that besides having the usual "Add Comment (2)" link at the end of each article introduction, I have also added a comment counter and link along with the "Written by...," date, section, and category, as shown in this image:

JomComment Counter

With the ability to override Joomla!'s core content output in a Joomla! 1.5 template, you can do virtually anything within your template. This tutorial demonstrates how to use template overrides to insert a JomComment comment counter anywhere you want to add it in your articles.

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I am happy to announce that I have just put the finishing touches on a Joomla!-specific search engine at resources.howtojoomla.net. HowToJoomla! Resources started as a way to easily search Joomla!-related sites that offer useful resources to the Joomla! community. Using traditional search engines to search for terms like "templates" or "components" won't turn up Joomla!-related information, but using this search engine will because it only searches sites that offer services and resources to the Joomla! community.

If you have a site that you think should be included in the list of resources, please feel free to submit your site for consideration. Not all sites will be accepted. Only sites that provide Joomla!-related services and resources to the community will be considered.

| Templates

One of the greatest things about Joomla! is the ability to customize anything you want. It even enables you to change the template that you use for the administrator back end of your site, just as easily as you can change the template for the front end of your site. The default template for the Joomla! 1.5 administrator is the culmination of countless hours of design work by Andy Miller, and it provides a great interface for managing your site. However, the brilliant minds behind Joomla! recognized that there would be possible reasons for modifying the look of the administrator interface, so they used the same template system for the back end as they use for the front end. Read on to see how to change the administrator template.

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There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a web host. Usually the first things we look at are price, storage, and bandwidth, but I would argue that storage and bandwidth are mostly irrelevant as criteria for choosing a host. Buying a hosting service because it offers a huge amount of storage and bandwidth is like buying a car because it has tires. Every web host offers tons of storage and tons of bandwidth for a reasonably low price, so that really takes those two things out of the equation. Price is important, but I would also argue that it should not be the most important factor either. Read on to get some tips for what to look for in a Joomla! host.

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One of the most annoying things about Joomla! (in my opinion) is that the default images directory (or folder, whatever you want to call it) is yoursite.com/images/stories, and the default directory for the media manager is yoursite.com/images. That makes no sense to me. Read on to find out why this makes no sense, and how you can easily fix it.

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I recently read an article over at blog.joomlatools.eu that shared an ingenious method for creating a site map in Joomla! using your existing menus, menu modules, and the built-in Joomla! plugin that enables you to load a module position within a content item.

Super Secret Sitemap Trick - by Mathias Verraes

Thanks for the tip, Mathias!

Update: (12/26/2008) The JoomlaTools team have changed their TLD from .org to .eu. The links in this article have been changed to reflect this new TLD. Thanks, Alpine, for the heads up.

| Joomla

Joomla! comes with a plugin/mambot called GeSHi that comes in quite handy if you have a site in which you share code snippets with your readers. I recently tried to use GeSHi on a Joomla! 1.5 site, and I found that it works differently in Joomla! 1.5 than it does in Joomla! 1.0. Read on to see how to use it in both.

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Here is a neat little trick I picked up last Friday at the Joomla! 1.5 bootcamp in Austin led by Johan Janssens.

In Joomla! 1.5, if you simply want to display your component without any modules and without your template styles, all you have to do is add "?tmpl=component" or "&tmpl=component" to the end of the URL, depending on whether or not there are already other parameters on the end of the URL.

For example, if you just want to view the component on the home page of the new community.joomla.org site, you simply add "?tmpl=component" to the URL like this: http://community.joomla.org/?tmpl=component.

This trick is really useful for template designers because you can isolate the HTML used in a specific component, so you can determine how best to set up your CSS for styling that component.


OK, I admit it. This isn't exactly a "How-To" article, but I wanted to draw everyone's attention to an upcoming event in Austin, TX that I will be attending. It is called "Joomla! 1.5 Bootcamp," and it will be held on Friday, July 18 from 8am to 4pm CST (GMT -6) at the Doubletree Hotel Austin. I want to strongly encourage anyone who can make it to come to this event. The keynote speaker/teacher for this event will be none other than Johan Janssens, one of the lead developers of Joomla! The event is being put on by Chris Justice (a.k.a. MegaJustice) from Sparksight.com.

Click "Read More" to see more information about the Bootcamp.

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