Set Up a Basic Blog in Joomla
Recently I read a question on the Joomla Facebook group about how to set up a blog on Joomla, and comparing the process to Wordpress.
For background, Wordpress started life as a fairly simple blogging platform and evolved into a CMS, and the bones of it still revolve around blogging. In comparison, Joomla started life as a full CMS, of which blogging is just one component.
If you only ever want a simple blog, and will never want anything else apart from a blog, Wordpress might be your best bet.
However, it's also pretty easy to configure a blog in your Joomla website, no coding required. This blog is Joomla - here's what we did:
1. Create a Category
- In the backend, click on Content / Categories.
- Create a new category. We call ours Blog but you may prefer News or something else. (Whatever you choose, will become part of the URL - for instance https://www.websolutionz.com.au/blog - so it pays to choose carefully).
=> Drag this category to the top of the category list. This makes it the default category.
2. Create a dummy Article
- Click on Content / Articles and create a new article.
- Give the article a Title, type some text, and make sure the Category is set to Blog. (If you've dragged it to the top in the previous step, the category should have defaulted to this).
=> This is your first blog article. It's useful to have this for configuration purposes, but it can be deleted when the blog is ready to go live.
3. Create a Menu
- Click on Menus / Main Menu and create a new menu link.
- In the Menu Title box, provide a name for the menu link (ie Blog - this is what appears on your site).
- At Menu Item Type, click the Select button, then choose Articles / Category Blog (this determines the layout).
- At Choose a Category, click on the Select button and select your new category.
- Click on Save & Close.
=> Go to the frontend. Refresh the site and you should see a new menu called Blog. Click on this menu, and you should see the dummy article you created earlier.
Congratulations - you have now created a blog in Joomla!
Configure Blog Layout
Many configuration tweaks can be made in the Blog menu item to finetune the layout. For example, in this blog we have set:
- Show Tags: Show
Blog Layout tab
- # Leading Articles: 5 (this determines how many blog posts appear per page)
- # Columns: 1 (this determines how many articles appear across in Desktop view)
- # Links: 5 (these are the title-only links at the bottom)
- Article Order: Most Recent
- Pagination: Auto
- Pagination Results: Show
- Show Author: Show
- Show Create Date: Show (or you may prefer to use Modify Date, or Publish Date)
- Show Navigation: Show (this provides the Next/Back buttons below each blog post)
Most blogs have a number of additional characteristics which make it a blog, such as a search bar, tags, links to previous or popular posts, comments, and more. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Add some modules
In our blog we've published modules to the right sidebar position. (In your template it may have a different position name, or you may want to place the modules in a different place).
- Module - Search OR
- Module - Smart Search (depending on which search system you choose to use in your site)
Display Latest Articles
Display Popular Articles
- The Joomla core does not include in-built commenting, but there are a variety of third party extensions at the JED which provide this functionality.
User Info Box
- If we were doing this today, we'd probably use Joomla Custom Fields to achieve this functionality.
- There is a free plugin called AIB - Author Info Box by Viktor Vogel, which plugs into the User profile.
- As we only have a small number of authors on this blog, we created a custom HTML module and assigned it to the Blog category.
Editing your blog
There are 2 ways to manage a Joomla website - via the backend, or via the frontend. We configure sites in different ways depending on a variety of factors.
Backend Content Editing
Frontend Content Editing
- Editing Articles from the Front End (Joomla 3)
- Better yet - we've created a modified/simplified Frontend editing experience which is documented here.
Please get in touch with any queries, or feel free to comment below.