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Joomla 3.X – Global Configuration – Part 1

Once Joomla is installed on your web host its time to configure Joomla. To facilitate this, the Joomla 3.X Administration User interface offers a site owner a very convenient, user friendly, way to pass specific website information to Joomla so that Joomla CMS behaves exactly as the website owner wants.

To access the Joomla’s Global Configuration, User interface log into Joomla as administrator.

In the Joomla Admin User interface displayed in the Browser, locate the top menu item System. Click System. From the drop down list of menu items click Global Configuration as shown in diagram 1.

diagram1 Diagram 1

On Click of Global Configuration the Joomla 3.X Global Configuration User interface is displayed in the Browser as shown in diagram 2.

diagram2 Diagram 2

The Joomla Global Configuration User interface has three main sections, named:

  1. Site Settings
  2. Meta Data Settings
  3. SEO & Cookie Settings

Under each of these Sections there are Text boxes, or Drop down list boxes or Text areas via which the site owner can either type in global configuration information or select global configuration information to be passed on to Joomla CMS.

Joomla 3.X – Site Settings

site_settings Diagram 3

Site Name: Enter the website name in the text box adjacent this prompt. This will be the website name that Joomla will display to the world when any visitor accesses the website using their Browser.

Site Offline: This is essentially a toggle switch via which the site owner can tell Joomla to take the site offline or take a site set offline online once again as shown in diagram 4a and 4b.

diagram3 Site Offline is set to No hence the website is Online and responsive to site visitors.
Diagram 4a

diagram4 Site Offline is set to Yes hence the website is taken Offline by Joomla.
Diagram 4b

Offline Message: This is a drop down list box that allows the website owner to inform Joomla what message to display to a site visitor if they hit the website while it is offline.

The choices are:

  1. Hide
  2. Use Custom Message
  3. Use Site language default message

Use Custom Message:

If this is selected via the drop down list box then just beneath the Drop down list box is a Text area which has the prompt Custom Message. The Text area also displays a message that reads:
This site is down for maintenance.<br /> Please check back again soon.

Simply select this message and then overwrite this with any message of your choice OR accept this as the custom message that will be displayed to the site visitor if any hit the website when it’s been taken offline.

Use Site Language Default Message:

When Joomla was installed, the very screen in its installation process required the installer to choose a language in which Joomla would run. We chose English United States.

This causes a bunch of language files to be loaded at the time of Joomla installation.

Within this language file is an attribute that holds a Default site offline message that will be displayed to a site visitor when the Use Site language default message is selected in the Drop down list box.

  1. The language files are located at :/languages/en-GB
  2. Within this folder are a multiple Joomla language files.
  3. The name of the language file that holds the Site offline message is: en-GB.ini
  4. The attribute in the file is named :JOFFLINE_MESSAGE
  5. The message is :This site is down for maintenance.<br /> Please check back again soon.

If so desired you can go directly to this file and change the Joomla offline message here directly. This then will be offline message displayed to a site visitor.

Offline Image:

If required one can display a Site Under Maintenance image to a site visitor if they hit the website when the site has been taken offline.

To do this Click Select as shown in diagram 5.

diagram5 Diagram 5

On click of Select, a pop up window is displayed via which one can select a Site Under Maintenance image from within image folders in the Joomla website or from the local hard disk as shown in diagram 6.

Bottom Section: Navigate Hard disk folders for images.

Top Section: Navigate Joomla folders for images.

diagram6 Diagram 6

The top section of the pop up window allows you to navigate folders and files within the Joomla website to locate and set a Site Under Maintenance image as shown in diagram 6.

The bottom section of the pop up window allows you to navigate folders and files on your local hard disk to locate and set a Site Under Maintenance image as shown in diagram 6.

Default Editor:

This is a drop down list box that allows you to select an Editor that you can use to create articles ( i.e. web pages ) for the Joomla website. There are 3 choices available, TinyMCE, CodeMirror, None.

TinyMCE

TinyMCE is a WYSIWYG editor. ( i.e. What You See Is What You Get editor ). TinyMCE is an editor that can be used whenever articles and other web page content need to be created.

CodeMirror

Additionally there is another Editor also installed named CodeMirror. CodeMirror is an editor that can be used whenever articles and other web page content need to be created.

None

Select this option if you do not want to use any of Joomla’s built in editors. This normally means that you will create the article content in your favorite editor and then Copy / Paste this HTML code in the Editor box within Article creation.

Default Access Level:

Set the default access level of website content i.e. Public, Registered, Special and Customer. Normally this is set to Public.This ensures that any site visitor who hits the website using a Browser will be delivered website content.

Default List Limit:

This is a setting used within the Joomla Administration User interface. The value entered into the text box adjacent to the prompt Default List Limit is used to control the number of items that will be displayed in various administrative control sub screen such as when viewing Article lists or the Modules installed and so on. By default, this is set to 20.

Default Feed Limit:
The number of website content based items that will be shown in website’s RSS feed(s). By default, this is set to 10.

Feed Email:
RSS and Atom news feeds include the author’s email address. There are 3 types of Feed Email IDs that can be set:
Author Email:
Select Author Email to use each author’s email id (obtained from the User Manager) in the RSS news feed.
Site Email:
Use the Site Email id as the site’s Mail from email address for each article.
No Email:
Do not add any Email in the news feeds

This completes the Joomla Global configuration settings that can be done is the Site Settings sections of the Joomla Global Configuration User interface.

Joomla 3.X – SEO & Cookie Settings

diagram7 Diagram 7

The SEO and Cookie Setting section of the Joomla 3.X Global configuration User interface is shown in diagram 7.

Search Engine Friendly URL’s:

diagram4

This is a switch via which a site owner informs Joomla whether to use search engine friendly URLs or standard Joomla, URL’s. At install time Joomla sets this switch to Yes. Hence by default Joomla will use SE friendly URLs.

Set this to No if you want to use Joomla specific URLs.

For example, the normal Joomla URL: www.example.com/index2.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=24.
is set to the SE friendly URL: www.example.com/alias.html.
When Search Engine Friendly URLs is switched on.

NOTE: Most of the items created in Joomla have an Alias box where a search engine friendly URL can be inserted.

Use URL Rewriting:

diagram3

At installation time this is set to No. Switch this to Yes, to use the web server’s rewrite engine to catch URLs that meet specific conditions and rewrite them as directed. Available for IIS 7 and Apache web server.

NOTE: Apache users must rename the htaccess.txt to .htaccess before activating this

NOTE: IIS 7 users must rename web.config.txt to web.config and install the IIS URL Rewrite Module before activating this

Add Suffix to URL:

diagram3

At installation time this is set to No. Switch this to Yes if you want Joomla to add a suffix to the URL based on the document type

Unicode Aliases:diagram3

At installation time this is set to No. Switch this to Yes Joomla will allow the use of non-Latin characters in the alias and Page Title. If set to No, a Page title that includes non-Latin characters will produce a default alias value of the current time and date (for example, “2012-12-31-17-54”) instead of the non-Latin characters used.

Include Site Name in Page Title: This is a drop down list box that has three choices.
No: The site name is not included in the Page title.
Before: Appends the site name before all page titles.
This is what you see in your Browser tab Eg. Site Name – Page Title
After: Appends the site name after all page titles.
This is what you see in your Browser tab. Eg. Page Title – Site Name

Cooking settings:

Cookie settings are a wonderful feature for evaluating cookie content from different sub domains. You will need this feature if you have a site (e.g. site.com) which has one or more sub domains (eg: blog.site.com) and you want to offer your users the feature of logging in to site.com but posting information on blog.site.com. Without this feature, the user would have to login again to post something on blog.site.com.

Cookie domain:
Enter the Domain name to be used in the text box adjacent this prompt when setting session cookies. Precede the Domain name with a period (.) to make this valid for all sub-domains.

Cookie path:
Enter the path for which the cookie is valid in the text box adjacent this prompt.

Metadata Settings

diagram8 Diagram 8

The Metadata Setting section of the Joomla 3.X Global configuration User interface is shown in diagram 8.

Site Meta Description:
Enter the global site description of the website in the text area adjacent this prompt.

The global site description entered here is normally extracted and saved by search engines when they index the website. This description should not exceed 155 characters. Search engines have this limit set to Site descriptions when they index the site.

NOTE: This can be modified at article level if so desired. Then when a SE indexes the Article it will extract and save a different site description in its index.

Site Meta Keywords:
Enter the keywords to be used for the website in the text area adjacent this prompt.

Keywords describe the site content to search engines. These are the global site keywords. Separate each Keyword or Key phrase with a comma (,) when multiple keywords or key phrases are entered here.

Robots:
Enter specific instructions for Search engine robots/spiders in the text area adjacent this prompt. Joomla will deliver these instructions to Search engine robots/spiders each time they attempt to index the website.

Content Rights:
Enter specific instructions in the text area adjacent this prompt that describes what rights others have to use this web site content. This is associated with who owns the intellectual property rights to the website content.

Show Author Meta Tag:

diagram4

Set to Yes when Joomla is installed. Hence, all Author information is available to Search engines when they index the website’s articles. If Author information must not be provided to Search engines set to No.

NOTE: This can also be set at individual article level when the article is being created or edited.

Show Joomla Version:

diagram3

Set to No when Joomla is installed. Hence the Joomla version will not be visible in the Generator meta tag. This is wise from a website security point of view. There is no special reason to tell the world what Joomla version is being used to deliver website content.

NOTE: The Generator meta tag is visible in the page <head></head> section to anyone who right clicks the web page and chooses View Source from the sticky menu that is displayed in the Browser.

Set to Yes if it’s necessary to display this information in the Generator meta tag within the <head></head> section of the webpage to everyone.

This completes an explanation of the Site Tab of the Joomla Global Configuration User interface.

April 5, 2016
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