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7.2 Managing Plugins, Templates, and Languages

Moving forward we need to manage specific extension types such as plugins, templates, and languages. Firstly, plugins offer added functionality and if necessary increase the security of our Joomla site. Then we have the template extensions that are managed in the back-end and the front-end. Finally we have language extensions, which help users access the necessary parts of the CMS.

7.2 Managing Plugins, Templates, and Languages

Hi guys. Welcome back to A Beginner's Guide to Using Joomla. And in this lesson we want to continue on learning about managing the different extension types. Previously we looked at the Module Manager. But now we wanna move on to the Plugin Manager, and from here we can see a list of all the plugins, and we can see their status. So you can either temporarily disable a plugin, or enable the plugin. On top of that, we also have checking in for plugins that have been checked out. And on top of that we have filtering to help us search through the plugins, such as select by status, enabled or disabled, select the type of plugin whether it's to do with content, authentication, and so on and so forth. Or show plugins of a certain access level. Now let's take a look at the global configurations for the plugin manager component and from here we can simply set the permissions for this component. On top of that we now want to go back and take a look at enabling the capture plugin. Now in order to use this plugin we need to first sign up to a service. And that's why the capture plugin by default is disabled. So if you go to recapture.net you'll be diverted to a Google page where you can sign up and create a public and private key so that you can use this plugin. Once you have the public and private key you can go into the plugin and paste the public and private key or site key and secret key. Then you can choose a theme and on top of that you can set the status to enabled and once we have that we can set the access level such as public so everybody can view the Captcha, which is good. And then on top of that, we can set the ordering. And we can get a few pieces of information, such as the plugin type and the plugin file. Once we have this, we can say, save and close. And now Captcha is ready to rock and roll on our site. And now what we need to do Is drop down the system menu and go to Global Configurations in order for the capture to show up on the front end. Because when we scroll down, you can see the Default Capture option and nothing is selected. So if we drop it down now, we can see the Capture option. Once we've done that we can go ahead and say, save and close. And then we can hop on over to the front end. And here we have the registration form for users. And if we hit refresh now, you will notice that we now have the Captcha that shows up. Now it's also important to note that you cannot uninstall plugins from the Plugin Manager. Instead, you have to go to the Extension Manager, then go to Manage, and then you can drop down the type. Select Plugin to show and filter just plugins. And then you can tick the plugin you want, and uninstall it. So now I'm gonna go back to the plugins manager and we're gonna take a look at the global configurations and from there you can set the permissions for this component. So now I'd like to exit out of those global configurations and take a look at the Template Manager. So now we have a list of templates that we can choose from. And select the default template for the back end and also for the front end. And you may only have one default administrator template and one default site template or front end template. We can target these templates and set them as default. Edit them, duplicate them in case we want to modify a particular theme and work off a theme. And also we can go ahead and delete them. Now I have found that delete doesn't actually do much. What I have to do is go to the Extension Manager. Then we select the type and that will be Templates. Once you've done this you can then target the template. And then hit Uninstall and it will uninstall the template. Simply hitting delete for me just doesn't work. So now I'd like to take a look at the Isis default Administrator template. And the first thing we can do is set the star name that appears in the template manager. But then also we can find out details about this particular template provided by the author such as the original template name. The location of this template, the description. Also whether or not this is the default template for the administrative back end. And then also we have the Advanced tab where we can change the styles. So here we can choose the nav bar color, the header color, the side bar color. We can also provide a logo to replace the default logo in the administrative back end. We can also collapse the administrator menu, display the header or not to save real estate space. We can change the status module position so it can either be fixed at the bottom or we can send it to the top. Also we can choose to have a sticky tool bar which has our save, save close and as we scroll down the page it sticks to the top of the page. But you can turn that off so it remains at the top of the page when you start scrolling down. Also, please do note that under your User Account Preferences you can override the Default Administrator back end Template if you wish. Now let's go back to the Template Manager, and now I can take a look at the protostar front end template and from here we can set the star name which shows up in the template manager. I can see the author's given details which is the name of the template, the location of the template, a description of the template, and the default assignment. So this can be All, which means it's assigned to all pages by default. Whether its set to no which means it's not set to any default for any pages. Or what you could do is, you do have the ability to set the default template for a specific language assignment. So let's say you have a French version of your site. You can set the template to be the default for that version of your site. If you have a Spanish one, you can have another default template. And so on and so forth for all the different language assignments. Then we have the advanced options to customize this template. Now with your templates they all come with advanced options but some come with more and others come with less. It really depends upon what template you have. And you will have all sorts of different options available to you. And the same goes for back end templates as well. But what you can do very quickly here is play around with these options and find out what they do. And also with front end templates you get to modify the advanced options on the front end. So all you need to do is login on the front end and go to the Template Settings page, and from there you can modify the front end right on the front end. Then we have the Menu Assignment tab. This gives us all of the menus and the menu items associated with the menus. Now this will tell us if this protostar theme, or whichever theme we're in, has been purposefully selected for a specific menu item. Now even though the protostar theme that we have here is the default for all pages on our Joomla installation, it doesn't mean that it was specifically assigned, it's just a default. Now what I'd like to do is go back out to the template manager and we can see Bees3 has a little tick where we have the assigned column. This means that this template has been assigned purposefully to one or more menu items. So in this instance, when I created the list web links category menu item under the test menu, I specifically said don't use the default template, I want you to use the Bees3 template. This then specifically says that I want to use the Bees3 template, not the default. So what this will do is override the default template. So it's no longer prone to start as Bees3. And when I click on that menu item on the front end it will now show in the Bees3 template, not the Default protostar. So now I'd like to take a look at the Templates section of the Template Manager. And this now presents us with some more information about the templates in the tubular data. So we get a nice thumbnail of the template, we get the template name and also description. We get the location, version, the date that it was created, and some author information. And when we click on one of these templates, we have some options available to us, such as copying the template so we can make modifications to the copy without affecting the original. We can preview the template without affecting the front end. We can also manage the folders and then also we can add in a new file or upload a new file into this template. And also, we have the Editor which allows us to view the directory structure and all the files that exist within this template directory. And we can click on certain files and edit them, such as PHP files. And from here we can create a new file which duplicates our modified file without affecting the original. On top of that, we can also rename the file. We can delete the file, and we can close the file without saving any changes. Now comes in Joomla's wonderful ability to override and customize. So if we close out of the file, we go to Create Overrides, you can create overrides for all different types of Modules, Components and also Layouts as well. And then finally we have the Template Description. Now let's take a look at the global configurations for the template manager component. And from here we have the Templates tab, which we can enable Preview Module Positions. This allows up to append the tp=1 onto the end of any URL on the front end, and it will give us a preview and allow us to see the positions of certain modules within the template. Also, when we enable preview module positions it provides a preview link in the template section of the template manager on the back end. Our administrator templates, unfortunately, don't have that link but with our front end templates they do. So we can preview the module positions without actually enabling it in the front end. Then we can specify an upload size in megabytes for how large the files are allowed to be uploaded. So, any files over two megabytes will be rejected cuz they're just too big. Then we can choose the supported file formats, such as the image formats, the source formats and also font formats as well. Be careful what you allow to be uploaded because some file formats can be quite dangerous. Finally, we can set the permissions for the template manager. Now very quickly, I want to show you how to install a template. So what you need to do is first of all, decide what template you're going to install. It doesn't matter whether it's a back end or a front end template, the process is the same. So I'm gonna download the latest Isis back end template. And unfortunately on MAC OSX it automatically unzips the archive that's downloaded. So what I'm going to do is re-zip that file. Then we go to the Extensions Manager. Then we install a new extension from our hard drive. So we choose a file, we go to the downloads directory, we select the zip file, upload it and then it will install it. Then we can enable this back end template in the Templates Manager. Now I'd like to move on and take a look at the Language Manager component and how languages work in Joomla. Languages in Joomla are separated into two paths. You have the administrative back end language and also you have the front end language as well. So now let's take a look at installing another language onto our Joomla installation. So I can click on Install Language and then what I can do is if nothing shows up I can click on the Find Languages button. Then we're presented with all of the different language packages. Then we can select multiple language packages and click on Install. This will automatically download and install the selected language packages. Also do note that they are packages because they contain both the front end and the backend language translations for the interface. Please do note that if the language pack does not match the current Joomla version, some strings may be missing, so some buttons and menu items may not be converted. Once instilled we can go back to the language manager. Then from there you can see we have now our newly installed language packs. And form there we can select the default language we'd like to choose for the back end and also for the front end as well. Then the user can choose their preferred language if they don't want to go with the default. And now that we have multiple languages for the administrator interface, the next time we come onto the admin login page it will allow us to temporarily change the default language and convert the administrator interface into another language for that particular session. However, if the user wanted to keep that setting what they need to do is change their user preferences. Also it warned us about installing the Afrikaans Language pack, as it was not fully compatible with our version of Joomla. And you can see that a few strings have not been converted with the menu items under the user's menu in the administrator interface. So please do bear that in mind. Also, that same user can log in on the front end, and then change the default language on the front end to Afrikaans. So we're overwriting the default English UK. And now you'll notice that a limited amount of strings are being converted, so the user on the front end can at least understand in their own native language, settings and so on and so forth. So again, it's very limited, it's not a translation service that's translating your content. What it is doing is it's simply allowing the user to operate the Joomla installation. And so that goes for the front end and more so for the back end because on the back end it will translate menu items and so on and so forth, and it doesn't do that for the front end. However, it's just there to allow the user to operate but it will not convert your content. So thank you for watching me in this lesson, and please join me in the next lesson where we'll continue on learning about language management in Joomla.

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