How to create a new website Joomla 1.5 tutorial for beginner

Joomla can be quite confusing for a new user. This tutorial will explain Joomla in a simple way so that a new user understands the basic Joomla. This tutorial considers Joomla has been successfully installed and you must have 'super administrator' privilege account.

Joomla basics

For a new user, there are two parts in Joomla that you should understand. The first one is 'Content' and the other one is 'Menus'. You can check them by login into the administrator control panel.

Joomla Content management

Joomla has three-tier content management system. The first tier is called 'Section'. The second tier is 'Category' and the third tier is the 'article' itself. Here is the explanation:


  • Can contain numerous 'categories'.
  • Only for articles
  • Section example: Pets


  • Can contain numerous 'articles'.
  • Use by other 'Components' as well such as Banners, Contacts, News feeds and Weblinks.
  • Categories example: Cats, Dogs.


  • Pages.
  • Articles example: Articles about cats and dogs.

If you are still confused about Joomla content management (Section, Category, Article), here is another example. The Joomla's Section, Category and Article is like the Ubuntu file system structure. Let's say you want to store a file named Ubuntu-tutorials.txt in your computer. In Ubuntu, you store your data in the Documents directory. The Ubuntu Documents directory location is in the user's home directory (hostname). So, the whole directory structure would be:


That's the same as how we organize our articles in Joomla using Section and Category:

  • hostname = Section.
  • Documents = Category.
  • Ubuntu-tutorials.txt = Articles.

Now we can create new section, category and article. First let's create a new section. Click 'Content' and choose 'Section Manager'. In the Section Manager, choose New. Named the new section as 'Pets'. See the example screenshot image below:

Create a new section in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image

Next, we can create a new category. Click 'Content' and choose 'Category Manager'. In the Category Manager, choose New. Let's name the new category as 'Cats'. See the example screenshot image below:

Create a new category in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image

Finally, we can create a new article about cats. Click 'Site' and choose 'Control Panel'. In the Control Panel, choose 'Add New Article'. See the example screenshot image below:

Create a new article in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image

Let's name the new article 'Title' as 'Siamese cats'. Choose 'Pets' from the Section drop down list. The Cats category automatically appears. That's because it is the only category for Pets section at the moment. Write a content for Siamese cats in the editor. On the Front Page option, choose 'Yes' to put our article in the front page. See the screenshot image example below:

Create new article in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image

Save when you are done. Click preview to see the new article.


We can see the article but where is the 'Pets' Section and 'Cats' category that we've just created? Continue reading the next section, Joomla menu and you'll understand.

Joomla Menu management

If you installed Joomla 'Sample data' during the Joomla installation, you can see a sample website. The sample Joomla website has a section, category, articles and menu examples. Physically, you can only see articles and menus. Section and category are invisible. Why? Because that's the way we manage our contents in Joomla cms. The section and category are not a menu. So, if we want to view a section or a category in Joomla website, we must create a menu for them.

In Joomla sample data website, we have Top menu (horizontal menu), Main Menu (Vertical menu), Other Menu and User Menu. To create a new menu or to edit an existing menu, click 'Menus' and choose 'Menu Manager'. In the Menu manager, choose New:

Create new menu in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image

In the new menu text boxes, type:

  • Unique Name = pets
  • Title = Pets
  • Description = Pets
  • Module Title = Pets

Do not put white space in 'Unique Name'. When you are done, click Save.

Click Extension menu and choose Module manager. Search for the name of the new module you've just created and click on the name to edit. Edit details:

  • Position = Left
  • Order = Choose where do you want to put the menu.

Edit 'Assignment'.

Edit 'Parameters'. The Module Parameters:

  • Menu style: List

Edit 'Parameters'. The Advanced Parameters:

  • Module class suffix: _menu


Add item for the new menu

Create new menu item using 'Menus - Menu Manager'.

Click 'Edit Menu Item' to add item (article) for the new menu we just created. See example screenshot image below to see where you should click:

Add menu item in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image.

We are now at the 'Pets' menu item manager. You can also open this menu using 'Menus - Pets'. Click 'New' to create a new item. Select menu item type using 'Internal link - Articles - Article - Article layout'. See example screenshot image below:

Add menu article in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image.

In the new menu item, select article for the menu using 'Select Article' in the 'Parameters (Basic)' section. Choose your article section and category section, in this example, Pets and cats respectively. Select 'Siamese cats' article. See example screenshot image below:

Select article for new menu item in Joomla 1.5 screenshot image.

We'll be back at the new menu item again. Fill in the title for the new menu item in the 'Menu Item Details'. Normally, the menu title is the same as the article's title. So we put 'Siamese cats' for this example. Leave the 'Alias' blank. Click 'Save' when you are done.

Now, check the new menu in the front page.

New menu item in Joomla 1.5 front page screenshot image.

That's all.

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