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2.1 Control Panel and User Settings

After logging in to the administrator interface, we first visit the control panel. This is where we have a general overview of statistics for monitoring our site. Next we’ll look at the user settings to tailor our experience with Joomla.

2.1 Control Panel and User Settings

Hi guys welcome back to a beginners guide to using Joomla. And in this lesson we want to take a look at the control panel and also we want to take a look at the user settings. So first of all when we set up the Joomla installation, we created a user account. This user account allows us to gain access to the backend of Joomla and change the settings, functionality, looks and so on and so forth. But how do we gain access to it? Well currently, we're in the frontend of our Joomla installations where the users interact. But now if we want to gain access to the backend, we need to go to the location of our Joomla installation, and say /administrator. This will give us a login form and we can log in to the back end. So, I'm just going to log in. The username was admin and the password was admin, and when we log in, we are now logged in as the super user, which means we have ultimate control over the content management system. Now the first thing you'll notice with the backend to Joomla, is the main menu that runs along the top. This will allow you to gain access to any part of the backend, providing that we have permissions to go into that part of the back end. So as I am the super user, I can go anywhere in the backend. Now, on top of that we also have the link over here that will take us to the frontend, like so. And also, we have a nice little gear icon and this is the user menu which we'll come back to in just a second. Then also we have some nice information running along the bottom, so we can view the side, again, it will flick it over to the frontend. And also we can see how many visitors are logged in on the frontend. And we'll talk about that a later date. Then also we can see how many people are logged in on the backend or in the administrator area. And then also you can see how many personal messages this user account has. And we can also log out from here as well. And you can log out there from the user's menu. Now let's take a look at the control panel itself. So first of all, we have the quick links over to the left hand side. This takes us to the most important parts of the content management system and it's just a diluted version of the menu system up here. Such as Create New Article, Menu Manager, User Manager, Global Configuration and so on and so forth. Now we have this nice blue box here, that's telling us that we have some post installation messages. So let's go ahead and review those messages. So right here, we can see that we have Two Factor Authentication message. Now currently we're not going to cover over this. So what we're gonna do is hide this message from the control panel. Then we have another message that says, Welcome to Joomla. And this gives us links to the beginner's guide. Which I recommend you have a quick read through. And also the Joomla forum. So I can also hide this message as well. So now we have no post installation messages in our control panel. We can also reset these messages at a later date. Now if I want to go back to the control panel, all I need to do is click on this icon in the top left corner, that will take me straight back to the control panel. Now, it's also important to note that if you are ever stuck in a certain part of the backend, this button is always going to be enabled. But these menu items may be disabled depending upon where you are in the back end. So for example, if I was to create a new article, and let's say I create this but I've decided I don't want to continue. And I don't click cancel or anything like that, and I just want to go to a different part of the backend, you'll notice these menu items are now disabled. Because it really wants is to say well, do you want to save this, do you want to cancel. So that you don't click on these menu items and potentially lose the work that you've just created. But however, let's say I just want to quickly just go to the control panel, I'm not bothered about those changes. I can just click on that button, and it will take me straight back to the control panel, and all of these menu items will be re-enabled. So now let's take a look at these gray boxes. We have Popular Articles, first of all. And give us the name of the article. So even if, let's say, we have the About page, we would think that that is a page, but it's actually classed as an article in Joomla. So what we have now is 91 Hits. On the About article, and I can hit refresh and that will soon go up to 92 hits. This tells me what's relevant, what's doing well and again, if you're ever unsure about a number or a ticker cross, or a particular piece of information or a setting, you can usually hover over that setting number ticker cross. And find out what it means and what it is by the tooltip that comes up. So I can see thatthere's hits. I can also see right here that, that is the date in which the article was created. Also we can see recently added articles. So for example we can see the most recent was, Welcome to your blog, the tic represents whether it's published, a cross will be unpublished. So it's sitting in the backend and it's waiting to be published to the frontend. And who it was created by and also the date that it was created on. Then we have Logged-in users. This is good for security, I can see who's logged in to the backend and also who's logged in to the frontend as well. So I can see the admin, which is me. I can see the ID, which is unique to my account. And I can see where they are, so their location. So if it says administration, it means they're logged into the backend, which is what we're in right now. And if If that was to say, site, it would mean that, that user was logged in on the frontend. Now, Joomla is a little bit different to some content management systems, such as WordPress. Because even though I'm logged in on the backend, I am not logged in on the frontend. If I hit refresh, I am not logged in on the frontend. So this is something very important to know. Whereas with Wordpress, you log in on the backend, you'll also be logged in on the frontend. So for example now, I'm going to login on the frontend as the superuser. So I'm going to the Author Login and then I'm going to login with the same details, admin, admin and login. And then I get some nice profile information and some basic settings, and we now have more menu items to create, to post, and so on, and so forth. So now, I'm logged in on the backend and on the frontend. Let's refresh the control panel. And now I can see, we are logged in as admin to the site, so the frontend and with this little cross right here, I can log them out automatically right here from the control panel. So, I'm going to click that and that user is now logged out, myself. When I click on home, you'll notice I've been logged out. So, that's really nice. And then also, I can see the last activity of that particular individual. Then we have some site information, such as the OS, we're with the OS Darwin, so I guess I'm a Darwinian. We have the PHP version, MySQL version, the time, we have the caching, that will tell us whether it's disabled or enabled. The same with GZip compression, whether that's enabled or disabled. How many users we have, how many Articles we have. How many Web Links we have as well. So we can just get this general information very, very quickly. So now, let's take a look at the user profile. So if we drop down the gear icon, and say edit account, we can now start to edit the information about our specific user account. Now, do note that what ever change we make here it's to our account, not anybody elses. So, first of all I can change the display name. So, I can say, I want Lawrence to be my display name. Now the login name, the name that we use to login with, we cannot change. You can see there that this field is uneditable. So, we can't change that. We can change the password. You're gonna need to type in a new password and then reconfirm that password and then hit save to change the password. Also we can change the email address. We can take a look at the registration date, which again, is a read only field. It's here for informational purposes only. So when was this account registered and at what time. When was this account last logged into. And also, what the idea of this account is. So this is specific to my account. Now also I can change the basic settings. You've got the tabs running along the top here. So with the Basic Settings, I can change the Backend Template Style. So this is the Backend Template that I currently have, and I can change that. Just like the frontend, I can change the template to change the look and feel of it. Well, I can do that with the Backend. So currently I've only got two themes installed, Hathor and Isis. Now Isis is the default theme which is right here. But let's say I want to change that to Hathor. I can go ahead and click that and save it. So now I'm using the Hathor for my template style for the backend. Now please do note, this won't effect other users. The other users will be using whatever template you've set as the default for the backend. But if I decide to change it to a different theme, then it's only going to affect my account, making this really customizable. So now I can change it back to Isis. So I'll just say use default, as Isis is the default. Then also I can change the backend language. When we installed Joomla, we had the option to install multiple languages. So this is really great if you have lots of administrators from all over the world that speak different languages. So I could have the backend language set to Chinese, the My User and it won't affect the other users. They can stay on English for the backend. Now it's important to note, when you change the language on the backend or on the frontend, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to translate your content. What it actually means is it's going to either show specific content that's related to that language, and we'll talk more about that later. Or for example, let's say I change the language for the administrator, the backend. Well you'll see a huge difference on the options, and menu items, and buttons will all be translated. The reason being is because obviously that allows the user to operate the backend or the frontend. But however, it will not translate the content. That's something entirely different. To translate your content, you will need a third party plugin to do that. And you could do the same for the frontend as well. So you can have the language change on the frontend. Again, you can take a look at the installed languages. Which currently, I only have English (United Kingdom). Now on top of that, we can change the default editor. So for example, we create a new article, and it comes up with an editor. Now currently, it's set to TinyMCE, which is the default. But however, we could change that to CodeMirror. So if we want to do more HTML syntax Coding. Then we want to go with CodeMirror instead of TinyMCE. And if we just want things real plain and simple, we can set the editor to none, which is just a text area. Again, this will only affect our specific account. Then we have the help site, which could be English GB, or the French help site. And also we can change the Time Zone for this particular user. And we have this nice search, so we can search for different areas and change the time zone accordingly instead of using the default time zone, that was set up when we installed Joomla. So this is really customizable and very, very powerful. So, I'm gonna say Save & Close, and now you can see my display name has changed. So thank you for watching me in this lesson and please join me in the next lesson where we'll take a look at the global configurations.

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