Joomla! 1.6 First Look review

Joomla! is an open-source award-winning PHP/MySQL based content management system (CMS). Since its available under the GPL license it`s free to download, modify and use it for your website.

Version 1.6 introduces many improvements for front-end users and administrators. New features in Joomla 1.6 include

  • Finer access controls for viewing and editing content with configurable user groups and viewing levels
  • A user-defined category structure, from simple one-level to complex multi-level categories
  • Installation improvements allowing for multiple extension installations in one package, updatable with a single click
  • Expanded language support for easy production of multi-lingual sites
  • Start and end publishing times for modules with more control over where they display,
  • Fresh new templates and semantic markup to please the eye as well as the search engines
  • More creative control through template styles
  • Hundreds of additional features, streamlining workflow and productivity

The book guides you trough changes including  the new interface, articles, menus, access control levels (ACL), templates, extensions and SEO features.

This book is written for users, developers and designers who are familiar with Joomla 1.5 and want to know what’s new in Joomla 1.6.

Packt has asked me if I’m interested in reviewing this book by the famous Dutch Joomla expert Eric Tiggeler.

I’m Ramon van Belzen (Ramoonus), a 23 year old webdesigner from Vlissingen, the Netherlands. I’m surfing the web since 1997 and I`ve been programming HTML since 1998. I currently run over 10 websites, most of them as webmaster and webdesigner. I use WordPress, Joomla! or  Drupal as the CMS for most of my sites. I use web technologies like HTML 4, HTML 5, XHTML 1.1, CSS2 / 3, JavaScript, AJAX, jQuery, PHP/MySQL and XML. You can visit my website at

Chapter one starts with upgrading  from Joomla 1.5. It tells you everything you should know about upgrading (regarding theme and extension compatibility) and how to migrate content. Following this is a quick overview of  all changes, which contains references to different chapters of the book.

The second chapter starts with a security measurement to make sure your installation is safe. next are all the changes in the backend, including the changes in the article and category manager. The chapter ends with how-to change the layout of your administration area using the Joomla! 1.6 themes and colour schemes.

Chapter three is about organizing and managing content. It explains the changes in category structures, adding category notes and meta data, new ways to display content, the updated article editor and how to create an article archive. Joomla! 1.6 features an improved article categorization which leads to increased usability and archiving. Along with the improved article manager are the improved menu items, which allow easier and more flexible content. Along with the improved article manager is the media manager.

As I’ve said before Joomla! 1.6 features improved menus. How this works is explained in chapter four. It begins with the new menu management screen and is followed by menu modules and types.

User access control and management is chapter fives content.  The chapter begins with user levels, permissions and groups. Next up are more advanced tricks like user access only for specific articles.

Templates is chapter six’s content. The chapter begins with the new templates, the template manager and styles. It also explains how to assign templates to menu items. The chapter ends with doing slight modifications to the theme and installing new templates.

If you use Joomla! There is a big chance that you use extensions. Extensions is what chapter seven is about. The chapter begins with the extension additions and changes since 1.5. it also explains how the new extension manager works. Further on it explains scheduled modules and posts and ends with the search of 1.6 compatible modules.

The final chapter explains the newly introduced search engine optimalisation (SEO) improvements. The chapter begins with the newly introduced semantic markup and is followed by adding meta data for the site, menu, categories and articles. Following this is adding a sitemap, search engine friendly URLs, an XML sitemap add-on, using the new redirect manager and it ends with information about SEO.

The book guides you trough changes including  the new interface, articles, menus, access control levels (ACL), templates, extensions and SEO features – just like it promises.

In the beginning I  of this review I mentioned all new features in 1.6. There is one thing I missed in this book and that’s the expanded language features.

I really liked this book since everything was explained clearly. And like I just said, everything is explained, not skipping certain parts. Sharp images with clear marking show what’s relevant and something the old and new layouts.

The book doesn`t explain Joomla! 1.6 theme development or extension use, but that’s content for different books. (Just take a look at reviews I`ve done earlier:  Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook review, Joomla! 1.5 Templates Cookbook review )

The things explained in this book are everything you would need to know to get started with Joomla! 1.6 as 1.5 administrator & user.

If you’re interested in reading a sample chapter OR buying the book (both paper and/or digital as eBook) or just interested you should take a look at the books website;

Language : English

Paperback : 236 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]

Release Date : March 2011

ISBN : 1849513422

ISBN 13 : 978-1-84951-342-5

Author(s) : Eric Tiggeler


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