I started using Joomla a few years ago and I must admit that it is not one of the easiest Content Management System especially for beginners. It does not comes with step by step manual that teaches you how to create a website from scratch. The user manual (even at the time of writing) is based on functional aspect rather than looking from the users' perspective.
Over the years, I found that it only take 5 steps to create a basic website using Joomla Content Management System. I am sharing these 5 steps below to help you if you still can not figure it out after looking through the manual. Please note that these steps will only help if you first look at the official user manual provided by the Joomla Developers.
The first step is to draft out your site map (in three levels depth) on a piece of paper. Take a Beauty and Spa website for example, assuming the top level is Home, then it branches to two children each namely services and products. Services will then branch off to another two children namely Massage and Facial. Products will branch off to Toner and Cleanser. After you have three levels of site map, you can now classify Home as Section, services and products as Categories and four of the rest as articles. Articles are also known as web pages in Joomla context.
The second step is to create section ( s) in Joomla Content Management System. For this example, you will only have one section – the Home. You can create new sections by going to Content – Section Manager. Next is to create categories under your section. One thing to note is to remember to tag the category under the correct section. You can create and tag the categories by going to the Content – Category Manager.
The third step is to create articles, which is the web pages for your web site. You can do this through Content – Article Manager. Joomla comes with a powerful editor that allows you to create content for the pages easily without knowing the codes.
The fourth step is to create a menu for your link to appear. This step is necessary if you want people to click on a link to view the articles. You can create the menu by using the Menu option. Once in the option, create a new menu and put in links to the menu.
The fifth step is to enable the menu . Many people forget this step and this is precisely the reason why the menu does not show. This is because we have yet to tell Joomla where should the menu appear. Therefore, you should go to Module manager and find the menu name then enable it. The module manager is where you can choose where to position your menu.
To be exact, this is not the last step yet as you can further customize the layout and add on additional extensions. However, these 5 steps should solve most of the people's confusion when they started Joomla.