Website and Content Configuration

Joomla! has different levels of configurating options. These options are transmitted from the highest to the lowest level.

  • Global configuration
  • Options for articles, components, modules, plug-ins, languages and templates

Global Configuration

In the Global Configuration section you can define all the settings that are valid for the entire website. Most values of the variables are saved in the configuration.php file. Vital information like user name, database name and password for the database server, for instance, and 'lesser' parameters such as the pre-determined length of displayed lists are stored in this file. The work area is divided into five tabs:

  • Site Settings
  • System Settings
  • Server Settings
  • Permissions
  • Text Filter Settings

The work area of every tab consists of dozens of fields, check boxes, switches and text areas.

The easiest way to get a glimpse is to move your mouse across the labels to read the help text, which appears in a small yellow tooltip (Figure 1).

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Figure 1: Tooltips

Most of the options are self-explanatory. I'll mention a few settings that are new since Joomla! 1.6 with greater detail.

Site Settings

The Site settings have a new field for setting the default access level for new users. Configurable access levels are a new feature (see chapter Users and permissions) and the default offline page is now configurable with an individual message and an image.

The Metadata settings contain the option to add Content Right data. Joomla! will add your data to the meta declaration rights in your HTML code. Depending on your search engine optimization (SEO) 'religion', it is good or bad to have this declaration in your meta profile. Now Joomla! serves both :-)

<meta name="rights" content="© 2011 cocoate.com EURL, France" />

In SEO settings, the new options are

  • Unicode Aliases 
    You set aliases for article titles. With this feature, URLs like http://example.com/所有一起 are possible.
  • Include Site Name in Page Titles
    With this feature the site title will appear in the browser's document title bar.

Cookie settings are a wonderful feature for evaluating a cookie on different sub domains. You will need this feature if you have a site (example.com) and one or more sub domains (blog.example.com) and you want to offer your users the service to login on example.com and post on blog.example.com. Without this feature, the user should login again to post something on blog.example.com.

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Figure 2: Site settings

System Settings

The user and media settings are no longer in this area. You will now find them in the User and Media Manager.

The cache settings are different because the underlying cache system was rewritten and now provides more possibilities. In general, a cache makes your sites faster by storing parts of the HTML in files. The web server can deliver these files extremly fast. It is possible to cache pages, component views and modules. You can purge and clear the cache in Site Maintenance.

Server settings

All the server settings are the same as in Joomla! 1.5. Nevertheless, I'll mention the option Force SSL. This option is getting more and more attention. You can offer your users a completely secured traffic. It is necessary to have SSL configured in your web server and you need a SSL certificate.

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Figure 3: Server settings - SSL

Permissions

Here is the place to set your global permissions for your user groups. Fortunately, it is not always necessary to change the default settings. If you change the setting for a group, it will apply to this and all sub groups, components and content. Basically you allow, deny and inherit the permissions Site Login, Admin Login, Super Admin, Access Component, Create, Delete, Edit, Edit State, Edit Own and Offline Access. Every group has their own set of permissions (Figure 4). 

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Figure 4: Global group permissions

Text Filters

The text filters are a concept, which allows you to search contributed text for patterns like HTML tags and filter them (Figure 5). It's possible to set different filters for different groups. Let's say a registered user is allowed to post text with HTML tags inside but without an iframe. Only your individual group 'iframers' has the right to post iframes! These filters are active for content of the whole website.

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Figure 5: Text Filters