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5.5 Configuring the Articles Component

Let’s continue learning about the articles component and how its configuration affects the front-end. We’ll delve into the global settings for category display, featured layouts, blog or list styled layouts, permissions and more.

5.5 Configuring the Articles Component

Hi guys. Welcome back to a Beginner's Guide to Using Joomla! And in this lesson we want to continue on with the configurations of the articles component. So you can see here we're gonna continue on from where we last left off, and now we are on the Category tab. So firstly we have the ability to choose the default layout for our category page, but please do note that when we create the menu item types for the article categories. You can determine whether you want the Blog or the List layout, depending upon which menu item type you select. Next up, we can decide whether we want to show the subcategories header. So if I go to the home page, which is the Blog category, and scroll down. I can see the TutsPlus category is a subcategory. And you'll see a little heading saying subcategory. So I can switch that off if I want to. Then I can determine whether I want to show the category title, the category description, and the category image by default on the category page. So for this next part real quick. What I'm going to do is create another articles category and I'm gonna give it the title of Envato, a little description, give it an image. And also I'm gonna set the parent to TutsPlus and now we have three levels, blog, then we're going to TutsPlus, and then we go into the Envato category. Now the Envato category is class as an empty category, where it has no associated articles and also it has no subcategory. So if it has a subcategory, then that category isn't empty. So, in our case, Envato doesn't have any articles associated with it, and it doesn't have any subcategories associated with it. So it's an empty category. I'm gonna tell it to show, and then what I'm going to do is take a look at the subcategory level rendering. So, first of all I can say none. That means don't render any content from the subcategories of the current category that we're looking at. So, if we're looking at the blog category, it won't render the TutsPlus information, and also won't render the Envato information, either. But however, I can set this to All, which means it's gonna render all of the subcategories no matter what level they're on. Now there is a bit of a problem here because it doesn't actually do that. What it does is it only renders the TutsPlus category, and it doesn't render the Envato category as expected. So this, I believe, is a bug, and according to their documentation, it states that it should render all levels, and unfortunately that's not the case here, so I do believe that this is a bug, currently, within Joomla. And then we can go in nice easy steps. So I can say go to step one, which means go in one level. So that will render the TutsPlus category but it won't go any further than that, but however, I could say right, go in two steps, so what that means is, is going to render the TutsPlus category and then it's gonna go in another step and it's gonna render the Envato category, and it won't go any further from there. Now let's say we have a category such as Envato that has no articles associated with it. Well, now we get to decide whether we show or hide the no articles message on that category page. Also we have the ability to say whether we want to show or hide the subcategory's description on the parent category. We can also define whether we want to show the number of articles associated with a category. So I can also associate tags with the categories of the articles, and also the articles themselves. So I'm gonna take the TutsPlus category, I'm gonna associate the lessons tag with that category, and then I can show or hide it. So in this case I can hide it, disable it so it won't show up. Now also, with all of these options under the category tab here, they can be overridden when we create a menu item type of either article, category blog or article category list and when you create those menu item types, you will then be able to override these options through the category tab on the menu item. And then you're able to change the default layout and style. And now what we can do is move on and take a look at the categories tab. So these options are here for the List Categories page, where we list out all of the different article categories that we have. So the first option we have is the top level category description, and whether we want to show it or hide it. Now, what is the top level category? Well, let's take a look at the menu item, first of all, which is List Categories. And again, it has the type of article, list categories where we're listing out all of the article categories, specifically. And we get to set the top level category, so we're setting the level that we want to start from and so, when you drop that down you have the ability to say root, which, if it is root, then you have to provide a description in order for it to actually show up the top level category description. So I'm gonna change root to blog so now what I want to do is take a look at the list category page and go ahead and refresh it and now we can see a very significant change in the content on that page. Now the top level category description is set to show, but however, when I look at the page, all I can see is the TutsPlus category and the description right there for that category. I don't see the top level category description which don't forget we set it to blog. So why don't we see this? Well, that's because the Blog category doesn't actually have a description defined so it's not showing anything. So let's go ahead and put in some content for the description of the Blog Article category and then refresh the List All Categories page on the front-end, and see if that description shows up. And of course you can choose to optionally hide that top level category description if you want. Next up, we have the ability to set the amount of subcategory levels we'd like to render. Now again, even though we have the value of all and you'd be expecting it to render all of those different levels. Again, it doesn't do that. All it does is render the categories that are directly a child of the top level category that was selected. So it will only render TutsPlus because that's the direct child of the category blog. So now I'm gonna change that value to 2. So this is gonna go in two steps. So we have the blog which is obviously the level one. And then we go in a step so that's TutsPlus. And then we go in another step which is Envato. Now when we look at this page, you'll notice that Envato is still not being rendered on this List Categories page. And that's because we are not allowed to show the empty categories. So now what I'm gonna do is say, show the empty categories. And now you'll be able to see that when we click the little plus button, the Envato category is now being rendered. Now we can also decide whether we want to show or hide the subcategories descriptions. Also, we can show and hide the number of articles that are associated with that category. And again, with the categories tab, all of these options can be overridden, we're just setting the default when we create a menu item, with a type of articles list all categories, and then you will have the categories tab in which you can override these options here. Next up, we have the Blog/Featured Layouts tab. In here, we can change the options for the layout for the featured articles page and also for the category pages that have the blog layout. And from here, we can sort of define how these pages will be laid out. And again, we're just setting the defaults here. You can override these defaults by having either the menu item type of Category Blog and then clicking on the Blog Layout tab. Or you could have the Featured Articles menu item type, and then just click on the Layout tab. And again, you can override these settings. So I'm gonna be using the TutsPlus category page with the blog layout. And I'm very quickly just going to modify that menu item and make sure that all of the layout options are set to use the global configurations instead of its own. So let's first of all take a look at the leading articles. So the leading articles show up right at the top. They're the full width of the page. And we only have one leading article, and then below there you go into your intro articles. So you can specify to have more leading articles by default. Also, you can specify how many intro articles you would like on a page. Currently, we have four intro article right there. And then, we go into our pagination. So if I set this to 2, now. So what will happen is, we're now limited to two intro articles per page. And then we have a few links here and our pagination down at the bottom. Now on top of that we can also specify how many columns we have for our intro articles. So currently I have two. And then also we can say how many links we would like to display. So these are the links here, so it's allowing us to view some more links for the other intro articles. I can set that to zero, and then of course, those links will disappear, just like so. Then, on top of that, we could set the multicolumn order, so we have two columns and it's going down, so I'm just gonna change the intro articles back to four. And save this, and then I'm gonna hit Refresh. So what happens is, we have the newest article over to the left hand side in the first column. And then we go down, this is the next article. Then we go to this article, and then we go to this article. Now you can set that to Across. So we have the most recent article again in the top left. And then we have the next article, which was the second one that was published, yet another article, then the third most recent, then the fourth, and so on and so forth. So you can have it in the downwards order or across. Then on top of that you can also say whether you want to include subcategories, and what this will allow you to do is actually render the articles from a subcategory. So if I say 1, and then it will start rendering the articles associated with the Envato category. Unfortunately, we don't have any articles associated with that category, so nothing will actually change. So that is the blog and featured layouts. Now let's take a look at the list layout. And then what I want to do is go into the TutsPlus category page but this time with the list layout. So, we can see here the data is laid out completely different, where we have the articles being arranged in the table. Now, right here we have the display select drop-down that allows us to say how many rows we'd like to display in our table before we get some pagination at the bottom. Now you can optionally hide this drop-down by simply changing it in here to say Display Select, Hide. So now that drop-down no longer displays. Next up, I can choose to optionally show a filter field. So, if it's set to high, there'll be no filter field. I also have the option of choosing title, author, or hits. Let's go ahead and say I want to show the title filter field, which now I can search for about and it will return all the articles with about in their title. Then I can show and hide the table headings. The table headings explain what the column's data is all about. Then I can optionally show the date column. And we can specify which date we want to show, such as create, modified, or the published date. And this will add a column into our table with that information relating to the articles. Next up, we can specify a date format. So, I could say d-m-y, which stands for date, month, year, and it will show up differently in the column. Again, you're gonna need to refer to php.net's manual, and look at their resources in order to find out how to get the date format that you want. Optionally, we can show or hide the hits column and also the author column, as well. Next up, we can take a look at the Shared Options, so first of all, we can say what category order we'd like our categories to show up in, in the list categories page. So do we want no order, title alphabetically, title reverse alphabetically. Or do you want it in the order you specified it in, in the category manager? On top of that we can also order the articles in a certain way such as most recent first, most hits, or least hits, or the ordering that specified within the articles manager. So I can say least hits right there, on top of that, if we are ordering by a date with our articles, we need to say which date we're going to be ordering by such as the most recent published article, or modified article, or created article. Then also if we need multiple pages to display our content, we can say the pagination is auto, so only show it when needs be. But you can permanently show it or permanently hide it. On top of that you can also display or hide the pagination results, such as so many pages of so many pages. And then also we have the integration. So we'll talk more about this when we talk about the feeds component. We also have the permissions tab, which again allows us to target a user group and say are they allowed to configure the component, access it in the administrative interface, create content within the component such as articles and article categories, and so on, and so forth. So thank you for watching me in this lesson and please join me in the next one where we'll take a look at banners component.

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