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Joomla! 2.5 Beginner\'s Guide by Eric Tiggeler
In principle this book is 'only' a beginner's guide. But its heft is a good indicator that it can suffice for many developers who pick Joomla 2.5.
Perhaps the key chapter might be number 4, which explains who to put up a basic website in 1 hour. Of course, it presupposes that you've covered the earlier chapters on the basics on installing Joomla and in learning its interface. Chapter 4 then takes that as the starting point for a quick gin up. Via Joomla, it is a trifle to maintain a consistent look across the site's pages. All the while, it is easily possible to customise the logos and other aspects to make your website unique.
One characteristic of Joomla is the use of categories. Each is a container of a topic's content, instantiated as webpages. The consistent look is done via CSS stylesheets. It is well worth your time to make a detour before starting this book, to learn about CSS if you don't already know them. Chapter 4 adds to the realism by having article pages, with text and images. Sounds like what you want for your website?
Another chapter delves into higher level aspects. Notably if you have a lot of data, how to effectively group or organise your data. Do this first in a top down approach, before cranking out webpages with that data, and you have likely to have a better website in the final formulation. Note also that categories under Joomla can have subcategories recursively. Permitting a fine grained classification of your data.
The book's advice also extends to cautionary notes about not trying to do too much in the main menu. The latter is what most users of your website will often use. And new users will surely see and want to use this as part of their initial experience. Its importance is manifold, and you must resist the urge to put too many items into it. Clarity and a minimalist methodology are recommended. For one mistake made by many newbie website designers is to bung as much as possible into the top menu, or into the home page, for that matter. Take guidance from the book and ask yourself how much should users really need to experience on entry to your website.
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