A module is a content element that can be positiond next to an article. A menu, for example, is a module. The small registration block on the left side is also a module. You can create as many modules with smart functions as you need and position them on the predefined area in the template.
Modules are design elements in every template. Most of the time the search and the breadcrumb module have predefined positions in a template. This is also true for the navigation module in the header area, often called "top" position.
Similarities of all modules
Every module has
- a title which can be displayed as a headline or hidden,
- a position in a template,
- a switch to publish the module,
- an ordering index for sorting modules at the same position, usually used in sidebars,
- a scheduling feature with a start and end date,
- the option to assign a language to it. Will only appear when the user selects the language the module is offered (see chapter Multi-language websites)
- the option to add a note to the module
- the same menu assigment system as in templates. You can limit the appearance of the module.
In Advanced Options, you can
- choose from different template layouts if the template offers this feature.
- add a module class suffix, which adds a text to the CSS class of the module. This is useful for individual styling.
- use the cache system by switching it on or off and set a time before the module is re-cached
The Joomla! 2.5 package contains 24 different module types. I will list and shortly describe them in alphabethical order. (The descriptions are partly taken from the Joomla! help).
- We already used the Archived Articles module in the chapter Statuses, Trash and Check-Ins, which offers a list of months and is linked to the archived articles.
- Articles Categories displays a list of categories from one parent category.
- Articles Category displays a list of articles from one or more categories.
- Articles - Newsflash will display a fixed number of articles from a specific category or a set of categories. You can configure ordering, number of articles, read more link and many more
- The Articles - Related Articles module displays other articles that are related to the one currently being viewed. These relations are established by the Meta Keywords.
All the keywords of the current article are compared with all the keywords of all other published articles. For example, you may have an article on "Breeding Parrots" and another on "Hand Raising Black Cockatoos". If you include the keyword "parrot" in both articles, then the Related Items Module will list the "Breeding Parrots" article when viewing "Hand Raising Black Cockatoos" and vice versa.
- The Banners module displays the active banner, which we already used in chapter Banners.
- The Breadcrumbs module display the navigation breadcrumbs, which were used in chapter Navigation.
- The Custom HTML module allows you to write your own HTML code and displays it in an appropriate module position. In Basic Options this module, has the useful Prepare Content feature. Joomla! offers the possibility to apply additional functions to article content, like email cloaking, via the plug-in mechanism. If you turn on the Prepare Content, the HTML content you added to the module will be treated as any article content.
- The Feed display module enables the display of a syndicated feed. We used it in chapter Newsfeeds.
- The Footer module shows the Joomla! copyright information. You are allowed to deactivate it but your are also invited to keep at on your website!
- The Language Switcher module is new in Joomla! 1.6 - It displays a list of available content languages for switching between them. Read more about this feature in the chapter Multi-language websites.
- The Latest News module shows a list of the most recently published articles. Filtering options are: by category, author and featured articles.
- The Latest Users module displays the latest registered users. You can link to the user profile, limit the amount of users and you may choose between different types of user information to be shown.
- The Login module displays a username and password login form. It also displays a link to retrieve a forgotten password. If user registration is enabled (User Manager → Options), another link will be shown to enable self-registration for users. It is possible, for example, to add additional text to the form, to redirect your user after login and logout, and to encrypt the login form using SSL, which has to be provided by the web server.
- The Menu module is a container, which displays menu items of an existing menu. A menu can consist of nested menu items. You can filter these items by the start and end level, e.g., all the links from the second and third level. It is also possible to decide whether the sub menu item should be shown or not.
- The Most Read Content module shows a list of the currently published articles, which have the highest number of page views. You can filter by category and limit the number of articles.
- The Random Image module displays a random image from your chosen directory. Usually, you will use the media manager to stores these images. You can configure the file type of the image, a URL to redirect to if the image is clicked upon and you can adjust the width and the height of the images. However, be careful with the last option. Joomla! does not resize the original image; it only sets attributes in the img tag.
- The Search module displays a search box. You may configure the design of the box, the position and the text of the button. We already covered the search module in chapter Search.
- The Smart Search is an alternative to the Search module and displays a search box. It offers, in addition to the settings of the module Search, the ability to define filters. We already covered the Smart Search in chapter Smart Search.
- The Statistics module shows information about your server installation together with statistics on the website users, number of articles in your database and the number of web links you provide.
- The Syndication Feeds module creates a syndicated feed for the page where the module is displayed. It displays an icon. You can enter a text to be displayed near the icon and choose the feed format (RSS 2.0, Atom 1.0).
- The Weblinks module displays weblinks from a category defined in the Weblinks component.
- The Who's Online module displays the number of anonymous users (e.g. guests) and registered users (ones logged in) that are currently accessing the website.
- The Wrapper module shows an iFrame window at a specified location. You configure the URL where the external website is located, switch scroll bars on and off, define the width and the height and give the iFrame a target name.