How do I get started with building Joomla extensions?
That's a common question we get from people who join OSTraining for the first time. They want to know about the skills they will need, and what kind of classes they should take.
Here's an overview of everything you need to get started with Joomla development.
The Skills You Need for Joomla Development
Members are often surprised when we recommend that new Joomla developers sit through our beginner and site-building training.
Unfortuantely, it is very common to find Joomla sites that were built by talented designers who had no Joomla knowledge. A good understanding of Joomla's user interface and key concepts is absolutely critical. Being a good developer is not enough. You need to know about articles, components, menu links, module placement, and more.
You should know that an in-depth knowledge of Joomla is at least as important as any other skill. So, if you're new to Joomla, I recommend you start with these classes:
- If you don't know WordPress yet, get started with these classes: The Joomla Beginner classes plus the Joomla site building classes.
Joomla extensions are written in PHP, so if you've not used this language before, you will need to get up-to-speed.
- If you're new to PHP, check out this series of 5 classes.
Classes to Learn Joomla Development
The four major Joomla development classes here at OSTraining are ordered logically, from the smallest and simplest type of extension, up to much bigger projects.
- Build a small Joomla module
- Build a plugin. Now that you know the basics of Joomla development, you'll learn how to build plugins. These powerful extensions act on Joomla's trigger events.
- Build the admin area of the extension. This class follows on from the previous two. You'll learn how to build the administrator area for Joomla extensions. Cory shows you how to build the file, folder and database structure for your component.
- Build the frontend of the extension. You'll finish building the todo list component that you started in Part 1. Cory shows you how Joomla uses the MVC pattern for component development. You'll learn how to build Models, Views and Controllers in the recommended Joomla way. You'll also see how to create router files and language files, plus how to package your work for distribution.
Here's an introductory video from class 3 on that list, when you start building the admin area of an extension:
Additionally, there's a class on Component Creator, which allows you to build extensions using a stylish user interface.
All-in-all, those four classes have over 100 videos with step-by-step instructions. Follow along with those four classes, and I promise you'll be prepared to start modifying and building your own Joomla extension projects.
Joomla Development Summary
If you want to start learning Joomla development, click the links above and get started.
If you're interested in other topics, check out these getting started guides:
- Videos to get you started with WordPress theme design
- Videos to get you started with Drupal development