Statuses, Trash and Check-Ins

In Joomla! your content can have several statuses. Depending on the type of content there can be a minimum of three statuses: published, unpublished and trash. What does that mean? After saving your fresh content for the first time, it exists in the Joomla! database and depending on its status, it will appear (or not) in different areas of your website.

The usual life cycle of content in Joomla! is:

  1. unpublished until you are finished with editing and reviewing
  2. published or scheduled (and possibly featured on the frontpage)
  3. still published but may be removed from the frontpage
  4. archived

Sometimes it is necessary to unpublish content and sometimes you may put it into the trash. The content itself will, of course, continue to exist. It has not been deleted. You can filter most of the tables in the administration interface by the desired statuses and assign different statuses to your content as often as you would like.


No website visitor is able to see the content. It is the phase in which you edit and review your content.


It depends on the users’ and visitors’ permissions whether they will be able to view the content but generally the content on your website should be visible because it has been published!


The featured 'feature' is a switch you can use for your most important and latest content and is usually shown at the frontpage. It is an additional status because it is only relevant to articles. This is why it is possible for an article to be unpublished and featured.


There will come a time when you'll start thinking about an archive for your articles. Just set the status to archived and you've almost created an archive. Joomla! knows the creation date of your articles and offers an archive module to be shown on your site. The archive module is included in the example data. If it is not available, just create one in Modules New Archived Articles. Your articles will then be shown like in Figure 1. Read more in chapter Modules.

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Figure 1: Joomla! Archive


The second last status is trash. If a content item ends up here, it still exists and can be retrieved. You can place modules, menu items, categories, articles, contacts, and even more content in your trash. You can see the contents of your trash can by filtering it (Figure 2). In the filtered view the Trash icon changes to Empty trash. This is your opportunity to delete content.

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Figure 2: Trash


The Check In icon in Joomla! may not be the kind you know from Foursquare or other location-based services. It is a security feature for editing your content. As soon as a user starts editing content, Joomla! locks this content for all other users. The advantage of this behavior is that changes cannot be overwritten by another user. That's a very convient feature. One big problem, however, appears when the user editing the content accidentally closes the browser window, allows the session to expire or the power plant shuts off the power or ... you get my point :-).
Then the content is locked and no one else can edit it!

No one else (except a user with proper permission, e.g. you as the administrator) can check in the content again to allow others to edit it. Unfortunately, you will only notice unchecked content by a small lock being displayed near the title (Figure 2) or by a cry for help from one of your users :-).

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Figure 3: Check In