The Joomla!® Content Management System (CMS) lets you create web-pages of various types using extensions.
There are 8 basic types of extensions;
The default installation of Joomla includes the extensions you need to create a basic website in English, but thousands of additional extensions of all types are available.
Each of the extensions has a specific function.
If you take a look at the UsingJoomla.com menu near the top of most pages you will see a menu item for each of the following:
Each of these menu items explains a bit about each of the default Joomla components, modules and plugins.
Components tend to be the most complex of the Joomla extensions and have two "parts":
- A site (front-end) part and
- an Administrator part;
An extension can comprise of any one or more of the following: component, plugin(s), and/or module(s).
A component may include its own plugins and/or its own modules.
Or an extension can simply be only a plugin, or only a module.
Modules are small blocks of content that can be displayed in positions of a web-page.
For example, the menu and site logo of UsingJoomla.com are modules that occupy module positions.
The core of Joomla includes 24 separate modules ranging from Login to Search, to random images.
If a module is not needed on any page it can simply be unpublished. Alternatively, if a module is to appear on one or more specific page - the Module Manager in the administrator area can be used to assign the module to the required page(s).
Module positions are usually determined by your template and the naming of those positions are not necessarily "universal" - what one template calls "sidebar-a" another might call "left".
Multiple modules can usually be assigned to a module position, and the order of multiple modules can be determined by you - your website designer/administrator.
Plugins are small task orientated extensions that enhance the Joomla framework.
Most plugins are associated with particular, specific extensions - perhaps best seen as "event handlers" - when an event is triggered the associated plugins will then handle that event such as filtering words, installing or uninstalling a plugin/module/extension/component/package/template.
Confused yet ?
Do not despair - as you become more familiar with Joomla you will soon be showing and teaching others how to use this great Content Management System - or simply using it for yourself with much more confidence.
A package is an installable extension which comprises at least two of: component, plugin, module.
A template is a type of Joomla extension that determines the look and feel of your web site.
There are two types of template:
- Front-end templates;
- Back-end templates.
Front-end templates determine the look and feel of your website as shown to and seen by your website visitors.
Back-end templates on the other hand determine the look and feel of the administrator area of your website.
The default install of Joomla comes with one or two templates for each of the front-end and back-end giving you something to start your journey with.
Joomla installs in English but translations of the interface, sample data, and help screens are available in dozens of languages.
If there is no language pack available for your language, instructions are available for creating your own translation, which you can contribute to the community by starting a translation team to create an accredited translation.
Translations of the interfaces are installed using the extensions manager in the administrator interface.
If you have two or more languages installed you may enable the language switcher plugin and module (both the plugin and the module must be used together). By default the plugin and module are disabled.
If you create multilingual content and mark your content, menu items or modules as being in specific languages and follow the specific instructions your visitors will be able to select a specific content language using the module.
Libraries tend to be PHP libraries that bring extra functionality for a module, component or plugin to work correctly.
A file is a single page file that is installed - usually as part of a component, module, plugin or package installation anywhere within Joomla but is usually strategically placed within the corresponding component, module or plugin.