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How To Create Web Pages In Joomla 2.5, Part 3

Brian Austin
Brian Austin Joomla

This article is in 3 parts. Continued from Part 2. You're currently on page 3 of 3:

You can create a basic, minimal Joomla web page in 4 simple steps: (1) add a title, (2) add some text, (3) choose a category, (4) save your page. However, this more detailed, 3-part article is jam-packed full of extra hints and tips, is about how to create beautiful, engaging, search engine friendly Joomla web pages. 

Create A New Content Item / Joomla Article in 11 Steps

To create a new article, perform the following steps:

Step 01: Add A New Article

After you have logged in the back end of your Joomla website, on the Joomla administrator home page, choose or click the icon called: "Add New Article".

Alternatively, on the main menu, you can also go to: "Content" > "Article Manager" > "Add New Article", to get the same effect as clicking the "Add New Article" button.

Step 02: Create A Meaningful Title For Your Article

In the "New Article" section, in the box called: "Title", type a new title for your article / content / blog entry. Consider the following guidelines that may help:

  • Try to keep your number of words to fewer than seven or eight. That's a "happy medium". Too few words and your title has limited meaning or value. Too many words and your title become unwieldy, clumsy, less interesting, and with reduced impact. Think carefully about your title. Your article title is probably your most important single component value item.
  • By all means, keep in mind search keywords and phrases that people might use to search for your article, but don't stress too much about whether you think you're getting these right or wrong. Most importantly: just focus on writing content that helps your website visitors, while at the same time, ensuring that search engines can "understand" your web page.
  • Resist the urge to play search engine games, or use "black hat" tactics. Why: today, you don't need any of that nonsense: just focus on creating high quality, high value website content.
  • Whenever possible, or whenever your writing makes sense to do so, consider, making the first word of your title the main keyword for the article. However, sometimes, that approach simply doesn't work well for your topic. Use your good judgment, then move on to your next step.
  • Avoid hyphens, quotes in your titles. Why: if your Joomla article title is used to form part of the web address or URL for your new content item, then you want to keep your URL as search engine friendly as possible. Just use carefully selected words to meet that goal.
  • If possible, also avoid question marks unless they are placed at the end of your title. Why: your article title as entered here, can be used to form the final part of the web address for the page, when you save the item or attach the content item to a menu button. Having a question mark in the middle of a URL may not help your search engine optimization efforts.

Step 03: Choose Or Create A Joomla Category

Still in the "New Article" section, from the "Category" drop-down list, choose the article category into which you want to place your article. Ideally, every content item needs to be placed inside a suitable, matching article Category.

For example, here at InternetTIPS.com, when creating websites, we often create a Category names called "Articles" and "Blog". Yes, the names may be unimaginative, but they are accurate, meaningful, concise, and when content items that reside within them are saved, the final web address or URL makes sense to search engines, by providing a kind of "breadcrumb trail of meaning".

So, if your content item is an article, you might want to choose the "Articles" Category. If your content item is a new blog entry, you could choose the "Blog" Category.

If you don't yet have any Categories, create at least one - the one you want for this current article. Then come back to continue Step 04.

Step 04: Hide Your Article From Public View Temporarily

If you want to check your new article before you make it public, for now, under "Access", choose "Special: from the drop-down list. Why: "Special" ensures that only system administrators can see and access this new content page when logged in at the website front end.

Later, once you are happy that the content quality and look of your new page is correct, you can come back to this setting and under "Access", choose "Public".

Key point: as soon as you choose "Public" for the access level, and save the page, this new web page / content item / article / blog entry becomes live, visible to all website visitors.

Step 05: Start Creating Your Content: Type Or Speak

Still in the "New Article" section, choose or click inside the "Article Text" box, and start typing your first paragraph for your new content item / article. Press the ENTER / RETURN key on your keyboard to finish creating the first paragraph.

Next, choose or click the "Read More" button, to insert a "Read More" link or button on your web page front end.

Continue entering or typing your article content. As you check your article on the front end, if you have too much vertical space between paragraphs, use your BACKSPACE key to remove excess paragraph separators.

With some practice and experimentation, you can soon learn what is needed to create the finish you want.

Writing Tip:

I suggest, keep paragraphs short to help make your web pages more readable. Sometimes, given the greater challenges of reading online, one to three sentences for each paragraph is usually enough for most users.

Aim to start a new paragraph as soon as is reasonable to do so. Check your article on the front end to better gauge whether you think a new paragraph is called for.

Key "Full screen writing" Tip:

When creating your article / web page / content item, if you want to focus better on your writing, and have fewer distractions, buttons, etc., on view, you can easily choose to make the writing area fill most of the screen, using a toggle button. I use this option constantly, to provide a superb writing environment.

How: on your JCE web page editor toolbar, choose or click the "Toggle fullscreen mode" button - usually situated at the leftmost edge of the default / top toolbar. Choose or click once to have your content page fill the entire window. When finished, choose or click the "Toggle fullscreen mode" button once again to return to normal view mode.

Key Document Save Tip:

As you work on creating your new web page, I recommend that you click the "Save" button regularly to make sure that you save your changes.

In time, autosave will become automatic, but for now, at the time of writing, if you’re in fullscreen editing mode, to save your page, you’ll need to click the "Toggle fullscreen mode" button once to come out of fullscreen mode, then click "Save".

Choose or click "Toggle fullscreen mode" button once again if you want to re-enter fullscreen editing mode.

Important Editing Observation Tip:

Do not be too concerned if the style, format, or appearance of the text in your web page editor window does not look exactly like the text on your website front end of your website.

Your web page editor is primarily about inserting content; the look or style of text is just an approximation. Most important: do not be tempted to start trying to make your web page text, headings, sub-headings look like you think they should look.

Why: if you start using formatting buttons to change the text, a greater SEO mess will almost certainly be created on the front end of your web page when made live. Simply carry out the steps outlined in this guide and your web pages will automatically be formatted correctly.

Follow the guidelines in this guide, to focus on your web page content and a few other key settings, so that you can allow your website template and associated CSS stylesheets to automatically manage the look and feel of your text on the web site front end for you.

Talk Your Article Content Into Joomla

Some people create web page content using their favorite speech-to-text converter, such as the renowned Siri application on Apple iPads, or software like Dragon Naturally Speaking that comes in a range of formats.

The latest Apple Macs come with basic dictation software built in. If talking aloud your thoughts and ideas is a method that works for you, then you can "talk" most of your article content and create your web page with minimal typing.

When ready, you'll need to copy and paste your raw text content into the JCE editor window, and format your article further as outlined in this document. Yet much time can be saved by talking your article content, instead of typing. Try, test, and do what works for you.

Adding Special Text Effects: Icons, Boxes, Borders

Paragraph after paragraph of text can overwhelm visitors and users or your web pages.

To help break up the flow of continual text, I suggest, look for ways to provide contrast, to draw attention to specific points, insert tips, techniques, and provide additional advice, in ways that stand out from your normal web page text.

As you examine this web page and other web pages throughout InternetTIPS.com, you can notice that at various parts throughout the pages, we include special text and graphical effects.

To meet these goals, we use options built into the Joomla template. That way, inserting these boxes, icons, and borders becomes an easy process. We'll cover how these were achieved in another companion article.

Don't Forget To Add One or More Great Images 

Ideally, add at least one superb image for your article. Usually, this can be placed at the top / start of your article. Use as many images that your article requires to serve its purpose. In Joomla, you can use a method to choose your image.

This article was created using the remarkable free Joomla K2 Component from those wonderful folks from JoomlaWorks, so choosing an image in this instance, is even simpler. We'll cover adding images in Joomla in another article since the topic is remarkably powerful with lots of options and choices.

Adding Video To Your Web Page

A YouTube video or video hosted on your own website can complete your article, so feel free to add one or more videos to your web page.

Today, a YouTube video can be inserted into a Joomla web page with a single line of "rich text": no code needed. Including video is shockingly easy. I installed the video below in about 10 seconds. We'll cover this item in depth in another article.

{youtube}Qjnc0H8utks{/youtube}

Step 06: Create Your First HTML H2 Sub-Heading

Repeat Step 5 for as many paragraphs as you want to create. During your text entry, if you want to create a sub-heading, type your text for the sub-heading, then from the web page editor toolbar, click the "Paragraph" drop-down list item, and choose "Heading 2", to instantly convert your heading text into the correct HTML H2 format for excellent SEO of your article.

Press your keyboard ENTER / RETURN key to automatically start another body text paragraph and continue typing the text.

Step 07: Create More HTML H2 Or H3 Sub-Headings

Ideally, include several H2 sub-headings in your article - as many as makes sense for what you are seeking to do. More sub-headings are better than few.

A mix of well constructed sub-headings in combination with the main title for your page, can provide a short-hand "breadcrumb trail" version of what your web page is about, both for people, and for search engines.

Want To Check Your Spelling?:

Google and other smart search engines place value on the quality of your web page - including grammar and spelling.
 
JCE web page editor comes with a built-in spell-checker: therefore, if you haven't already checked your web page for spelling errors, I suggest do use the "Toggle spellchecker" button just before you finish your content creation, to check all text in your new web page.

Step 08: Insert An Author For Your New Article

To set the author of the new article, under "Publishing Options" on the right side of the window, in the "Created By" box, choose or click the "Select User" button, to choose the author of the article. For most instances, choose your own profile, unless you want to set the author to someone else.

For a correctly set up website, when you choose an author in this step, the author name can appear on the front end of the website toward the top of the page with the text: "Written by [author name]".

Step 09 (Optional): Add An Author Alias If Your Article Is Written By Someone Else

If your content item or article was written by someone else - for example: "The American Psychological Association", in the "Created by alias" box, you can type the true author of the article. When you save the page, this author alias will appear in place of whomever you chose for Step 8.

Step 10: Create Your Content Article META Description

In the "Metadata Options" on the right side of the screen, within the "Meta Description" box, type a new short, unique description that summarises what the page is about; 160 text characters is ideal - that’s about 3 lines of text in the box area.

The meta description is used by search engines to display some introduction text in the search results, so give this some careful consideration. To get some ideas, examine the meta descriptions of some existing pages that score high in the search engine search reults. With a little practice, creating an honest, concise, compelling, short meta description becomes easy.

Step 11: Save, Evaluate, And Publish Your Article

Choose the "Save" button at the top right of the page.

If in Step 4 above, you initially choose "Special" as the access level, now you click the "View Site" button at the extreme top right of the Administrator window, to have Joomla open up your live website front end in a separate second browser tab or window.

In that second live web site browser tab, you can log in the front end as a System Administrator, go to the section where your new web page / content item / article / blog entry is published, and check your page.

If all appears to be as you expect, as outlined in Step 4, back in your Joomla Administrator tab window, you can now set the access level to "Public", and click the "Save & Close" button to save and publish your new content item article and close the "Article Manager: Add New Article" window.

In your live website tab, you can now log out of the front end, go to where your website page is now published live, and verify that your new web page is published.

Congratulations! With a little practice, you can be writing and publishing articles in under 30 minutes. However, longer articles - like this one - can take several hours.

Enjoy the process and repeat with additional articles, blog entries, web pages. Your efforts can reward you for years to come simply by serving both people and search engines with unique, helpful web pages.

Final Thoughts: Invest In Up-to-Date Website Publishing Technology

While the guidelines in this article can help you create "code-clean" useful, shareable, articles, content items, and blog posts, for maximum effect and deeper impact within search engines, your website should ideally be constructed well for today's web.

That means, in most instances, using responsive web design, mobile friendly construction, HTML 5, use of Schema tags, and other modern web developments, plus, the application of compression methods that help load your web pages as fast as possible.

For new websites we create, we also include some additional, hand-picked, essential Joomla extensions: components, modules, plugins, that further enhance search engine optimization and which build better interaction with social media channels.

We strive to apply those traits, and more, with great care and the results seem to make a difference. You can do so too! Why not start today?

Read Again? Go To Part 1 of 3