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2.2 Global Configurations

Global configurations make changes site-wide that affect the functionality of Joomla. It’s important to know what these settings permit us to do, such as debugging, security, and formatting.

2.2 Global Configurations

Hi guys, welcome back to a Beginner's Guide to Using Joomla. And in this lesson we want to take a look at the global configurations of Joomla. So in order to edit the global configurations, what we need do to is go to the Control Panel, and it's here in the left hand side. Or we could drop down the System menu and click on, Global Configuration. We have multiple tabs across, so we have Site Global Configuration, System, Server, Permissions and Text Filters. So we're gonna start out with Site. Also you'll notice this left hand side navigation, now we'll be going through all of these different component settings at a later date, but right now we're just interested in the Global Configuration. So firstly we have the ability to change the site name, which is simple enough. I'm just gonna change it, hit Refresh, and we can see the change right there. Now also we can set the site to go in offline mode. So currently no, it's not in offline mode, but if I say Yes and save it, the site will go offline. We won't see the front end, we'll just see a little bit of information and a log in form. Now, with the offline mode you can display an offline message, and you can say, Use the Custom Message. The custom message is defined here, and you can also include HTML in the custom message. And that's where this message is being shown. But you can also hide that message, and go ahead and save it, and hit Refresh. So now that message is gone, and we can also say Use Site Language Default Message. So I'm just gonna say Use Custom Message, and I'm gonna take it off the offline mode. Now also with the offline mode you can display an image if you wish. So a little image would appear up here, so just Under Construction or something like that. But now I've switched it to online mode so now the users can see the front end. Now we also have mouse-over edit icons for, you can either have Modules, Modules and Menus or None. So you have no mouse-over edit icons. Now currently, when I go to the front end we can't really find any edit buttons. When I hover over certain modules in my page, I don't get any edit link. Now we'll talk more about modules later on in this course. But the most important thing to remember, is the fact that your page consists of different aspects of modules, plug ins, components and so on and so forth. And it can be very tricky when you have a very extensible template that has lots and lots of modules, to try and go and find that in the back end. So Joomla came up with a great idea to come up with the little edit icons over modules, but unfortunately, we don't see that here. Now even though we're logged in as Administrator in the back end, we're not actually logged in on the front end. So in order to see those edit icons we need to log in on the front end. So I'm gonna click on Author Login, and you may also find it at the bottom of your page as well. And we can log in and we're gonna say admin, admin, and log in. So now we're logged in as Administrator on the front end. Now you'll notice when we hover over the menus, the menus are classed as modules, so you have the menu module and the position. So depending upon the position, it will be in a different place, so this is position 1, and these modules are in position 7. But you can see now, when we hover over the modules, we get the name of the module, the position, and when we click on Edit, it will take us to the settings for that module in the back end. Now you don't just have to have the Edit module settings, you can also say Modules & Menus, so menu items. So if I go ahead and save this and hit Refresh, we hover over the menu, yeah, we've still got the Edit. But now we start hovering over our menu items and we can easily click on that Edit button, which will allow us to edit that specific menu item in the back end. Very useful and it stops us searching around in the back end to try and edit certain parts of our template, very easy indeed. Now I can also go back to the Author Login and log out, like so. So now we are viewing our front end as the average Joe Public. Now on top of that, we also have the Default Editor. So the Default Editor is currently set to TinyMCE, typically you'd want to keep it like that. But again, you could have the editor by default set to None or CodeMirror. But again, we're only setting the default. When it comes to the actual user, they can edit their account, if you remember in the last lesson, and they can change their editor to whatever they want it to be. Also we can set the Default Captcha. Now Captcha is underneath the Plugin Managers, it's an extension to the Joomla installation. You do need to provide the API information for that plugin to work. So we won't go into Captcha, but Captcha is there for form security and helping to get rid of spam. Now on top of that you can set the Default Access Level. So whenever I create new content, menu items, and other items on my site, by default their access will be set to Public. So when I create a new article you can see here I'm actually the public now on the front end, and I have access to this article. But I'm only setting the default Access. Now what you can do is, let's say I create an article, so I create this article right here. And I can actually change the access level to be only, let's say administrators or registered users can actually see this article. So don't think that just because you're setting the access level here, that you can't change it for individual articles, and menu items, and so on and so forth. You can change them for individual pieces of content, but we're just setting the default. Then we have the Default List Limit. So throughout the back end you'll find a lot of data is presented to you in a table. So what we're doing here is setting the default amount of rows that are gonna be displayed before we get the pagination at the bottom. However, this can be changed on the fly by that particular user, we're just setting the default number. We have the Default Feed Limit. So when you have an RSS feed, you have lots and lots of items that represent the articles or blog posts, as many people like to call them. And so what you can do is limit that amount, so I can say only show 20, or only show 5, or however many I want. Now with the RSS feed, it can actually include your email address. So the Author's Email address of the RSS feed, the Site Email address, which is the default email address for the entire site, or we could say No Email, so don't include any email address with the feeds, which you may want to make sure that you set that to No Email. Now on top of that we have the Metadata Settings. So we have a general description of the site, not for a specific page or article, just as a general way, describe your site here. Then you have your Site Meta Keyboards, again, just in a general way. And you separate your keywords out with the commas, and also you can have phrases as well, but again, you need to make sure you separate them with commas, easy enough. And then you have the Robot, so you can say index the page and follow the links, don't index the page and follow the links on the page, index the page but don't follow the links. And then we can say, don't index the page and don't follow the links, so you want to remain and hidden to the search engines. So that's completely open, that's completely closed, and then you have the in-between. So I'm just gonna say Index and Follow. We can also say the Content Rights, so just copyright, all right reserves or copyleft. Then also you can say Show Author Meta Tag, which may be interesting if you're an author and you do lots of blog posts, you may want to keep that in there. And you can also say Show Joomla Version, but that's not really gonna help you with any SEO, so I recommend leaving that as No. You also have a few more SEO settings over here such as Search Engine Friendly URLs. I can say Yes so when we go to About and what not you can see that this is a bit more user-friendly. But however, we can also say Use URL rewriting, So if I hit Yes and save it, we will have a problem right now. Where if we start going through the site, it found the home page just fine but then when you start going into articles and so on and so forth, you will get this, it's not found, so this will cause errors. So all URL rewriting is, is simply getting rid of the index.php, so it's shortening the URL a little bit by rewriting it. But however, you may need to change the configuration for your site through the .htaccess file, so you're changing the way your site is configured on an Apache server. I can also add a suffix to the URL. So it's currently set to No, which means that we don't get any suffix on the end there so we don't get the .html or whichever file type it is. So if I say Yes and save it, we will then get that suffix on the end. Typically you wouldn't want that so I say Home and then About again, and now you can see we get the suffix.html, and we'll set that to No. Unicode Aliases, so to dumb this right down, if your URL contains special characters such as Olivia, or beta, or gamma, then you would need to set this to Yes. But if your URLs are predominantly English, then you won't need to bother, most people will have that set to No. Then we also Include the Site Name in Page Titles. So for example, we currently don't, so we don't have the site name Joomla 2 in that title right there. But we can add it after or before so if I say After, and we just save that, and then of course, we just hit Refresh. And let's go ahead and click on About, there we go, and now you can see we have that in the title. So I'm just gonna set that back to No, right there. And also we have some Cookie Settings, so we can set the Cookie Domain. Now if we want the Cookie Domain to be with all of the sub-domains, cuz we can have multiple sub-domains, we just put the dot in there. If not then you can put your HTTP in and so on and so forth, and also the cookie path. I'm just going to leave them blank. Then we have the System Settings. So the first thing we have is the Path to the Log Folder. Now this can be good for debugging and finding errors, and I recommend that if you transition your local installation of Joomla over to the cloud, you check this directory because the logs can be good for system administrators. And they need to know where to find it, and it needs to be pointing in the right directory. Now, on top of that you have the Help Server. So we can have English (GB) or we can have the French version. We also have the Debug Settings. So whenever creating an extension or a theme for Joomla, it's recommended that you switch debugging on to give you diagnostic information. And also if you get SQL errors trying to extract information from the database. Now on top of that you can have the Debug Language which makes the error a bit more expressive and can help you try to find the error quicker. So I recommend you switch that on. Now for live sites, you really don't want to be showing any debug information whatsoever. On top of that we have the Cache Settings. So the caching is good to help speed up the site, but however if we are to develop a theme or an extension for Joomla, it's best to switch the caching off. The reason being is because the caching can get in the way where we constantly need to update files cuz we're developing them all the time and the cache just keeps getting in the way. So I recommend switching the caching off when you are developing something for Joomla, and then switching it back on for the live version of the site. Now you have two different versions, you have conservative caching and progressive caching. Now I won't go too much into detail, but conservative caching is the better option. And that's because it doesn't take such a performance hit, in fact it helps increase the performance of Joomla. Progressive caching is actually quite sluggish, so you really don't want to go with progressive caching. You can do if you want to, but conservative caching is recommended. I'm gonna leave that off. Then also we have the Cache Handler. So we can either have a cache File, or we can have the Cache_Lite, I'm gonna choose the cache File. And then also we can set the timeout for the cache, so this is set in minutes. So I've set this to 15 minutes before the cache expires, and then it needs to reload the cache. This will help keep the cache at least relatively up to date. So 15 minutes old or greater, the cache will get refreshed and the browser will give the user the latest version of the site. So it can be very useful. And also we have the Session Settings. So we have the Session Lifetime, again we define how many minutes. So let's say I log in to this control panel, this back end end, and I go off and I do something for 15 minutes or greater. And somebody decides, oh, we're on this back end, I want to start playing around with a few of these settings. Well, as soon as they do that and try to save their settings and so on and so forth, it will actually log them out straight away and those changes won't take effect until they log back in again. So if they don't have your information they can't log back in so it's kinda like a security feature to make sure there's no unauthorized access. And on top of that we have the Session Handler. So we have the Database as a Session Handler, or None, so we have no Session Handler at all. So I'm gonna leave it as Database. So, thank you for watching me in this lesson, and please join me in the next lesson, where we'll continue on looking at the global configurations.

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