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Joomla! A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website 1st Edition

65 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-6092043997
ISBN-10: 0136135609
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The First Easy-to-UseGuide to Joomla!-The World's #1 Open Source Content Management System


If you want to build sophisticated websites that can be easily edited and updated, you need to master Joomla!-the world's #1 open source content management system. Now there's an easy-to-read, easy-to-use guide to Joomla! foreverysite manager, administrator, and developer. Leading Joomla! consultant Barrie North covers all you need to get results: installation, administration, site organization, template development, content updates, and a whole lot more. You'll find never-before-published tips, tricks, and troubleshooting solutions, as well as three start-to-finish case studies.


New to Joomla? No problem! This book starts with the simplest design and system concepts, and builds your expertise step-by-step. You'll rapidly master Joomla!'s power, even if you have no content management, scripting, or CSS expertise. Experienced with Joomla!? You'll turn to this book constantly for its authoritative, plain-English, example-rich Joomla! 1.0 and 1.5 reference content.


·   Understanding content management, what Joomla! does, and how its components fit together

·   Building Joomla! sites from scratch, and systematically customizing them to your needs

·   Organizing content with sections, categories, blogs, and tables

·   Creating dynamic pages and effective navigation

·   Working with Joomla! modules and components

·   Search engine optimization for Joomla! sites

·   Start-to-finish case studies: building a school website, an e-commerce site, and a blog

·   The most valuable Joomla! extensions and add-ons: finding them, and using them

·   Key differences between Joomla! 1.0 and 1.5, and what they mean to you

The accompanying site for theJoomla 1.5 book, provides five fully functional Joomla! sites with live follow-along examples from the book and up-to-date information on Joomla! The site also includes

  • An active forum where you can ask questions specific to chapters from the book from a Joomla expert 
  • 5 fully functional Joomla 1.5 live follow-along examples from the book. You can browse the sites and their backends live online.
  • Downloads of 5 free websites for Joomla 1.5 based on various chapter of the book. These are SQL dumps you can import to instantly give you a completed Joomla site. 
  • 4 free tutorial templates and 3 free templates fromjoomlashack.comincluding the popular commercial template - JS Aqualine!

About the Author

Barrie North has over 15 years of experience with the Internet, as a user, designer, and teacher. He has spent over eight years in the education fi eld, becoming steadily more involved in web technology and teaching web design classes to students and

technology integration to teachers. Most recently he worked as an IT consultant for two new schools pioneering in the use of technology. As well as web design, he has provided web marketing/SEO, usability, and standards compliance expertise to his clients.

He is a partner of Joomla!, providing templates and custom services. He also maintains a blog about all things Joomla! at When not working, he can frequently be found on the Joomla! community boards, and he has written many free tutorials for using Joomla!. His combination of Joomla! expertise, educational skills, and engaging writing has produced a book accessible to everyone.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (December 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0136135609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136135609
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,408,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barrie M. North has more than 20 years of experience with the Internet as a user, designer, and teacher. He has spent more than 8 years in the education field, becoming steadily more involved in web technology, teaching web design classes to students and technology integration to teachers.

He is a founder of Joomlashack, one of the oldest and most popular Joomla template providers, and Simplweb, a service that provides Joomla as a Service. He is the author of the best-selling book "Joomla - A User's Guide", and the comprehensive Livelesson Joomla Video series, both published by Prentice, and maintains a blog and shares his sailing passion at

Recently, Barrie has turned back to education and is helping prepare tomorrow's principals and teachers at the Upper Valley Educators Institute. Barrie lives in South Strafford, Vermont.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Vicky L. Thomas on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I recommend to every Joomla user who is less than "expert level" -- read this book! I have been working with Joomla 1.0 for about 5 months, so already had a basic understanding of many of the terms: component, module, etc. I purchased this book just before Christmas and took it with me to read on the holiday roadtrip. You know you are reading a great computer-related book when you can read and understand and make copious notes in the book margins...without sitting in front of a computer! Not only did it "fill in the blanks" about much of my understanding re: Joomla (any version), but I felt excited, and much more confident, about using Joomla 1.5. Great overview of Joomla, great details, great tips! A well-written user's guide. Thank you!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Stefano G. on March 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a professional web developer (mainly J2EE and PHP/MySQL); this book really helped me to take a decision: switch to Joomla!

The book starts with an introduction to Joomla! (and CMS in general) and then helps you to start your own site from scratch (fresh installation with NO sample content).

Then you'll learn how to develop a pure CSS template and after that there are three chapters devoted to the development of three different kind of sites: school, restaurant and blog.

Along with a dedicated site and forum (where Barrie replies to ALL our "stupid questions" ;) )... what else should I say?

Highly recommended!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Damon Chance on February 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was a very good guide for getting your Joomla! site not only up and running, but running effectively. Barrie goes through a lot of information on how to get people to your site and hopefully have them come back. There are several examples throughout the book on how to organize a site and why you would want to organize it that way. I had created several Joomla! sites before getting this book, I wish that had happened the other way around. I'm much more efficient now and I was able to use the information in the book to sell 2 websites within a week of reading it.

The only chapter I had any trouble with was the Templating chapter. Since that's a subject that could (and should) have its own book, I wasn't expecting to be able to go design my own templates after reading it. I did read another book on CSS/XHTML afterwards and I'm going to go back and re-read the template chapter as I think it will make much more sense to me now.

I'd definitely recommend this book. It has a lot of information that will make you much more efficient and effective at designing your Joomla! sites.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By 7hyme on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm a web designer and programmer who bought this book in the hope that it'd reduce my time spent on forums and disorganized blog posts trying to hunt chunks of useful information on Joomla! , yet the book was far from fulfilling my expectations.
The book doesn't provide clear definitions , doesn't cover the necessary subjects thoroughly....makes a lot of assumptions and fails to communicate the structure of joomla clearly . Especially the last three chapters are a grandeur failure ( SEO+template making being the most important chapters if you really want to learn how to have some control over joomla and how to make your site efficient and accessible)

If you're really curious about the book, download the pdf version.
I highly recommend saving your money for smthing more useful and meaningful than this book.
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54 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth on February 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am fairly new to the CMS arena. This was the first book I got about Joomla. I had no problems installing Joomla (AND Drupal too, the latter of which I found far more easier to understand structurally & logically than Joomla) on my iMac G5/Leopard. But as someone new, I wish the book was more thorough. As the author has said elsewhere in the book he does not cover every option/setting in the back end. Therein lay me frustration. A user guide I think should thoroughly cover all the relevant options/settings and explain what each of those do, why they should be set or not set, how they work etc. The book is lacking a bit in this area.

Moreover I found the book to be full of errors, wrong references etc. So I think the book wasn't thoroughly proofed. (this is especially painful to beginners as beginners tend to rely heavily on the accuracy of the content - once you get to the intermediate or advanced stages you may be able to spot these errors and know that they are errors.) The templates included in as supplementary study material had problems.

When I went to access the companion website, I found problems at the site too. (When trying to retrieve a lost username/password, it will bring you back to the same page with no comment/error message or suggestion of any kind! Finally I was able to go to the forum and tried to retrieve the login info. there. It worked but instead of taking me to the appropriate page. I was told the page could not be found!). On a different occasion when I tried to post a reply to a comment, it produced an error!

The point is, I found this kind of sloppiness (for lack of a less stronger word) throughout, in the book as well as in the supplementary material.

I am planning on supplementing this book with another book on Joomla 1.5. Still searching...!
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