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Organize your content

Joomla requires you to organize your content into categories and sections. A section contains categories, and categories contain articles, as shown in the figure below.

Joomla's section-category hierarchy

For example, you might have a section called Events. Within that section, you might have the categories Training, Broadcasts, and Conferences. Within each of the categories, you can have multiple articles.

Organizing content into sections and categories is important for two reasons. First, you can configure your menus to show all items within a section or category. Second, when you have large numbers of articles, this two-tiered organization helps you find your content.

Think about the sections and categories your content can be organized into, and then start creating sections and categories for your content

Create sections

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To create sections for your content:

  1. Go to Content > Section Manager.
  2. Click the New button in the upper-right corner.
  3. Add the title.
  4. If desired, add a description and an image. The description and image appear in the article content area (not the menu) only if you configure your menus to show them when clicked. See Add Links to All Articles in Sections or Categories for details.
  5. Click Save. Although I’ve now created the section, it won’t appear on the site unless I configure a menu to show that section. Configuring menus is explained in a later tutorial.

Create categories

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Categories are subgroups within a section. A section can have multiple categories, but each category can only belong to one section. Later, you can configure your menus to show a list of articles within a category

To add a category:

  1. Go to Content > Category Manager.
  2. Click the New button in the upper-right corner.
  3. Add the title.
  4. Select the section that the category belongs to.
  5. If desired, write a description and add an image. This text and image will appear at the top of the page when you view a list of articles from the category.
  6. Click Save.

Similar to sections, categories that you create do not just automatically appear on your site. You have to configure your menus with the categories you want to display. But now that you’ve created categories and sections, you’re ready to start adding articles, assign the articles to categories and sections, and then configure your menus appropriately.

Move your images in bulk

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Before you migrate your page content, you may want to move all of your images in bulk to Joomla. Moving the images will make it easier to create the articles later, since your images will be readily available to insert into your articles.

To move your images in bulk:

  1. Download all your images from your existing site. Most likely you have an FTP client such as Filezilla that allows you to download files from a directory on your web host.
  2. In the Joomla administrator, go to Components > Joomla Flash Uploader > Upload.
  3. On the left side, drill into the Images > Stories folder.
    The Stories folder is the folder that appears by default when you add an image to an article, so you want to upload your article images here. To create new subfolders to organize your images, click Options and select Create Folder.
  4. Click Add Files. In the dialog box that appears, select all the files you want to select (by holding down the Shift or Control key as you select them), and then click Open.
  5. Click Upload. The files are now uploaded to the Stories folder. You can view them through the Media Manager (Site > Media Manager).

Now when you want to insert an image into an article, the image is readily available to insert. Go to Content > Article Manager and click New. To add the image, click the Image button. Here you can see that the images you uploaded are ready for me to select.

Upload images one by one

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You can upload images when writing an article (Content > Article Manager > New). While writing an article, click the Image button and browse for the image you want to upload.

You can also upload images and other files one by one using the Media Manager.

To upload a file:

  1. Go to Site > Media Manager.
  2. Click the Stories folder to go into it. The Stories folder is the default folder that opens when you insert an image into an article.
    Tip: You can also create a new folder by clicking Create Folder and organize your images in the folders you want.
  3. Click the Choose File button at the bottom, select the file you want to upload, and then click Open.
  4. Click Start Upload. The images you selected are uploaded into the image repository.

Note: You can only upload one file at a time. If you need to upload files in bulk, go to Components > Joomla Flash Uploader.

Create articles for your content

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Joomla calls each page of content on your site an article. After you have your content in Joomla as articles, you can organize the articles into sections and categories and determine how those sections, categories, and articles should fit into your site’s menus.

To create an article:

  1. Go to Content > Article Manager.
  2. Click the New button in the upper-right corner.
  3. Enter the information in the fields at the top. See the following descriptions of each field.
    • Title: The title of the article.
    • Alias: The link path. By default, your page title becomes the URL path for the article. If you have a long title and want to shorten the URL, type a shortened version of the page title in this field. For example, if you type manti-fireside into the Alias field, your URL will be something like
    • Section: The section for the category. This is how your content is organized in Joomla (see Create Sections for information on creating sections). If you haven’t already set up your sections and categories, select Uncategorized.
    • Published: If selected, means the article is visible on the site. Leaving the article unpublished is useful if the article is still a draft.
    • Front Page: If selected, makes the article appear on the front page.
    • Category: The category within the selected section (see Create Categories for information on creating categories). If you haven’t already set up categories for your content, select Uncategorized. You can always return to the article later and assign a category and section.
  4. Add your content into the main article area using the buttons of the Web editor to format and style the content.
    • To upload an image, click the Image button at the bottom of the screen. By default, images within the Stories folder are shown. You can select an existing image or upload a new one. Then click Insert.
    • To insert a page break and table of contents for a long article, click the Pagebreak button. You’re prompted for a page title and table of contents alias. The page title is the subtitle that appears on the page when you’re viewing that page. The alias is how the page will be named in the table of contents.
    • To insert a "Read more" link, which breaks the article’s display into two sections, click the Read more button. This is essential if you’re including the article on the front page.
  5. To set dates when the content should appear and expire, expand the Parameters (Article) section on the right and select the Start Publishing and Finish Publishing dates. Alternatively, leave these as the default to publish immediately and never expire the article. Note that the Access Level drop-down box is irrelevant because the front-end (where users with different privileges might log in) has been disabled.
  6. Click Save. Now when we refresh the home page, we can see the article. It appears on the front page because we selected the Front Page option. When we configure the menus, we’ll also be able to access the article from one of the menus.

Note: Even though you publish an article, it won’t appear on the site until you configure your menus (see About customizing the menus). To see the article on the site outside of the menus, assign it to the front page.

Wrapping text around images

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After you upload an image into your article, you can choose how you want the text to wrap around the image.

To set the text wraps around an image:

  1. Go to your post (in the editor view), and select the image.
  2. Click the Insert/Edit Image button in the toolbar.
  3. In the Alignment drop-down box, select Left or Right. You can also set a border and add vertical or horizontal space.
  4. Click Update. You can see the alignment and other properties applied to the image.

Pasting content from the web

As you migrate your content, you may be copying and pasting from Web pages. To insert the raw HTML code from a Web page into an article in Joomla, don’t insert the code directly into the article area. Instead, click the HTML button in the toolbar and insert the code in the pop-up window that appears.

Pasting content from word

As you’re migrating content, it's often tempting to paste text directly from Microsoft Word. Before you paste content from Word, click the HTML button in the toolbar and insert the content there. This method will strip away Word’s inline formatting.

You can also paste your content into Notepad before pasting it into the Web editor.

This page was last modified on 7 January 2010, at 16:50.

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