Technology Intersection Blog
|Doing More with Modules in Joomla 1.5|
|Written by Bruce R. Copeland|
|Monday, 16 February 2009 14:50|
Modules can help solve a wide range of problems in a web site that uses Joomla, but many Joomla site designers do not really know how to fully utilize modules. Eight months ago when I began designing the CyberSym Blogs site, I had some definite ideas about what I wanted. At that time I was fairly new to Joomla, and Joomla has a rather long and steep learning curve. Nevertheless after one somewhat false start, I managed to come up with a reasonably straightforward Joomla 1.5 design for the site.
A few things have however been headaches. The default Joomla 1.5 Syndication module doesn't allow customization to give any feed URI besides the root web site address, and a multi-blog site needs to have different blog feed addresses for different blog sections of the site. Moreover the CyberSym Blogs use burned feed URIs (e.g.
As it turns out, each separate blog section on the CyberSym Blogs site has its own template. A lot of Joomla geeks would therefore simply suggest hard coding the necessary link into the
<link href="http://feeds2.feedburner.com/tech-intersection" title="Technology Intersection Blog" rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" />
Modules are central to Joomla. Each menu has a module; there is a login module; there is a module for most popular articles, etc. Part of the power is that you can configure each module to work or show up on only those pages you want. Most of the time you position these modules somewhere visible on your page(s) by choosing from one of the roughly 6-20 locations predefined for whatever template(s) you are using (e.g.
Some of you may not realize it is possible to define and use new module positions. Want a banner at the top of your blog article area? Find a line like
<jdoc:include type="modules" name="componentbanner" style="xhtml" />
just before it. Next go to the Module Manager in your Joomla backend and create a new Custom HTML module. In the combo box for Position, type in a new position called
This approach is not limited to visible positions on your pages. Herein lies the solution to my feed and OpenID links problem mentioned earlier. In the
<jdoc:include type="modules" name="pagehead">
There are myriad other variations on where and how you can use Joomla modules. You can even get modules into your articles (see How to include modules in content item for Joomla 1.5.x). Maybe these ideas will help you solve some of your own site design headaches.