As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m attempting set up a news website in the next couple of months. Innovation in College Media has quite a useful guide on choosing a CMS and where to host it. I went with the option of hosting it externally, just so I can have a bit of control over it. I’ll talk to the IT people about getting hosted on the uni servers pretty soon, but the aim is to get it up and running quickly.
I’ve found the following useful:
I) An absolute beginners guide….
Those new to it will find the absolute beginners to Joomla! post in the Joomla! forum really helpful.
a) If you need to install Joomla!, there are links to sites that can walk you through it.
b)I set up a free account on Jhost.co.uk and printed out Netshine Software’s free Joomla! Quickstart Guide (available in Word and PDF – it’s about 20 pages). It takes you through the process of applying a template (it seems in jhost you can only use its installed templates) and setting up all the main menus. As with any CMS, you have to think about how your site is constructed first before adding content. In many ways this feels a bit like putting a cart before the horse, particularly if you’re still unsure about the content you want.The guide only acts as an intro, but is easy to follow. It ends when you get to the point of adding content or any non-basic features.
2) Getting some hosting
Using Jhost is going to be too limited, so I need a host. It was a toss up between GoDaddy and ZZhosting – both are American and both pretty cheap for us Brits (you can pay monthly).I went with ZZhosting because it offers Fantastico Deluxe which allows you to install Joomla! at the click of a button. No difficult configuration. I also want to host WordPress and a wiki using the system. Hopefully I will have enough MySQL databases available.
With ZZhosting you need a domain, so I registered one with it for just a couple of pounds. It seems that ZZhosting is acting as a reseller of GoDaddy’s domains as the sign-up processes are very similar.
3) The next step will be to locate a decent template.
The excellent JoomlaShack has quite a lot and they can be tailored to individual use.There are also many useful tutorials.
4) Further reading
I went to Foyles the other day, but the section for Joomla! is pretty tiny. One book it didn’t have was Joomla Admin Manual: A Step by Step Guide to a Successful Website by Barrie North of JoomlaShack. This seems to be one of the better books for novices and it was written by a college professor. It’s on Amazon (see the link in paperback) and on Lulu.com (paperback and download)