The different functionalities offered by a CMS can be split up into a number of categories. These categories together form the structure of a CMS.
- Front End and Back End - A CMS consists of a front end and a back end. The front end is the website—what the visitors and the logged-on users see. The back end, on the other hand, contains the administration layer of the website for the administrator.
Configuration, maintenance, cleaning, creation of statistics, and new content creation are all done in the back end. The back end is at a different Uniform Resource Locator (URL) than the website.
- Configuration Settings - Settings that apply to the entire website are specified using the configuration settings. These include the title text in the browser window, passwords for search engines, switches that permit or forbid logging on to the site, switches that switch the entire page offline or online, and many other functions.
- Access Rights - Whenever we talk of management, we talk of the clever administration of existing resources. In a CMS, usernames are assigned to people involved and these are provided with different access rights.
This ranges from a simple registered user through an 'author' and 'editor' up to the 'super-administrator', who has full control over the domain. Based on the rights, the website then displays different content, or the user works in administrative areas apart from the website.
- Content - Joomla! handles all kinds of content; in the simplest case, it is text. But content can also be a picture, a link, a piece of music, or a combination of everything. To keep an overview of the content, one embeds it in structures, for example, texts of different categories. The categories, of course, are also content that needs to be administered.
- Templates - A template is a kind of visual edit format that is placed on top of content. A template defines the colors, character fonts, character sizes, background pictures, spacing, and partitioning of the page—in other words, everything that has to do with the appearance of the page.
- Extensions (Components) - Every system has to be expandable and be able to grow with the requirements. Functionalities that belong to one context are also covered by the term components. For example, typical components are an online shop, a user manager, a newsletter maintenance system, or a forum.
Components contain the business logic of their page. Modules within the components are used to integrate content in the desired form into templates.
For example, a recent news module supplies the headings of the five most recent pieces of news to the template. Another module delivers the number of users that are online at the time, or the meteorological data for your current town or city.
- Workflow - By workflow one understands a work routine. The bureaucratic set of three (mark, punch, and file) is an example of a workflow. A recipe for baking a cake is a workflow. Since several people usually work with CMS content, well-organized workflows are a genuine help.
In this connection, one sometimes speaks of work supplies that a certain user has. For example, the editor sees a list of posted pieces of news that he or she has to examine for correctness.
After examining, the editor marks the pieces of news as correct and they appear in the work supply of the publisher. The publisher then decides whether to publish the piece on the front page.
Joomla! is a kind of construction kit that lets you create and maintain your website once it is installed on the server. Joomla! is like a house that you build on a property of your choice and that you can furnish gradually. Thus, to a certain extent, it is real estate.
Stop! I was talking about mobility all the time and now I'm asking you to build real estate? Have no fear, the real estate you build is physically at one place (your server), but is accessible from every place. To make a piece of real estate habitable, you need necessary services such as heating, electricity, and water supply.
That is the reason your Joomla! is deposited at a server that is as safe as possible and where, hopefully, the electricity will never be cut. Think of the abbreviation 24/7. Just like your house, you also have a certain room layout in Joomla!.
You have a room for presentations, for cooking and talking, for working, and a completely private one that you only show to good friends. Perhaps you also have a large room that integrates all areas. It doesn't matter which room layout you decide on.
You have to furnish your house, lay a beautiful floor, paper the walls, hang a few pictures, and of course, clean it regularly. The numerous guests leave traces that are not always desirable. To find your house the visitors need an address. This address has to be familiar to as many people as possible.
Since there is no residents' registration office on the Internet, you have to be the one that takes care of the topic, "How can I be found?" Perhaps you also have a garden that surrounds your house and has different entry gates. There is an official entrance portal, a back door, and perhaps another small, weathered garden gate for good friends.
And perhaps you don't like such houses and would rather use trailers, tents, mobile homes, hotels, or maybe prefer community living and are glad to pay rent and don't want to think about all the details.
If you apply the last few ideas to your website, then you are already noticing how important it is to know what you want, who you are, and how you want to look at your community. One cannot not communicate! One can, however, be quickly misunderstood. So plan your website on the Internet properly.
Put thought into the texts, into possible interactive elements like a calendar or a forum, and of course, areas that only registered users are allowed to see. Think about what prompts that move and don't patronize users.
Take a look at how others do it. Talk with the people you want to address through your website and invest your heart and soul into those things that are absolutely crucial for the success of your entry.