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Joomla! A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website Paperback – 11 Dec 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (11 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0136135609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136135609
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 928,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Barrie North has over 15 years of experience with the Internet, as a user, designer, and teacher. He has spent over eight years in the education fi eld, becoming steadily more involved in web technology and teaching web design classes to students and

technology integration to teachers. Most recently he worked as an IT consultant for two new schools pioneering in the use of technology. As well as web design, he has provided web marketing/SEO, usability, and standards compliance expertise to his clients.

He is a partner of Joomla!, providing templates and custom services. He also maintains a blog about all things Joomla! at When not working, he can frequently be found on the Joomla! community boards, and he has written many free tutorials for using Joomla!. His combination of Joomla! expertise, educational skills, and engaging writing has produced a book accessible to everyone.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 May 2008
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What a pity - this is an excellent first book on Joomla 1.5 - probably the best but now it has been relegated to nothing but a course in frustration. The book [not unreasonably] is based on Joomla 1.5. Since then Joomla progressed through 1.5.1, 1.5.2 to 1.5.3 [at the time of writing]. Sadly 1.5.2 was quite a big update and changed many Joomla admin menus etc. making the book quite out of step to a current downloaded copy of Joomla.

But here comes the tragedy. The once active forum has virtually fallen into disuse - checkout the posting frequency and dates. The author seems to have fled from cyperspace and his recent responses are notable by their absence. A suggestion that it would be useful to find a source of Joomla 1.5.0 installation has gone unheeded for a week and even a request to the author to know if in fact it is that version that was originally used.

I think we all appreciate it can take at least six months to get into print. Meanwhile a rugged growing youngster like Joomla will have a degree of metamorphosis but not to have recourse to forum support is a distinct disadvantage. The book merits five stars - if the Joomla version it was based on was available. Whilst it isn't one wonders if one should buy it at all. Only you, dear reader, can decide. If you do, get a few Sherlock Holmes primers in the same order is my tip.

Update: 31/05/2008 - after a short[ish] delay of a week, the forum finally got a lead from the author on where to get a copy of the 1.5.0 [book] version of Joomla. This makes all the difference - thank you. However, the author then appears to use registrations on the forum to promote other books and services by email. Is this SPAM or just agressive marketing? You decide.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Philip Ingram on 14 April 2008
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I read the reviews and bought the book on the strength of them. It has certainly enabled me to make progress with a Joomla! powered website in a way that I would have found difficult from web documentation only.

1) the book has been poorly edited. It's not just that there are odd misplaced apostrophes and occasional sections where the meaning is clear but the words are jumbled. More seriously, in one place a "note that" has been presented as "not that", which makes the passage highly misleading. There are also errors in the sample code.
2) the mega-chapter on templates gives some very useful advice and some very subtle code examples. Helpfully, the code associated is freely downloadable under a "Creative Commons" licence. The example is great if you can work within the screen layout the author is using but if you want to change the header depth, for example, I could see no explanation of how to do this. In addition, the example text implies that to make Joomla! use some of the special features in the template, it is necessary to change settings in the normal Joomla! backend. OK, I found how to do this, but it would have been better if the example had shown which parameter to change.

In summary, this is a useful book for those who want to try setting up a Joomla! based web site. It will enable people to build useful sites based on standard templates. It gives some pointers into template design but don't expect to be able to design your own template without some knowledge of HTML, PHP and CSS. I hope there will be a second edition that fixes the editing problems and expands some of the explanations.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazoney on 11 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is an utter waste of time and money. The book is written in a very tedious manner. Joomla has been released in its 1.53 version, and many things the author presents in the book does not tally with the situation today. No effort is done to give updated information on the website, either. The least a beginner should be worried about learning is whether what he/she is learning is relevant or correct. You can waste hours trying to find out.

The forum which the product description /synopsis refers to as an active forum, is just almost dead. There is no updates of the new releases of Joomla on the book's website, which could be expected when they market the book as having its own website and forum. The author keeps making sad excuses, in the forum, but this book is outdated. If he was serious about really teaching, he would have posted guidelines where things differ.

I can't understand why anybody would write a book on Joomla at the state when this book was written, because the developments go fast and there is no way a book can give that type of information.

The whole book is in black and white - and this is supposed to be a book which is partly about designing? The least the author could have done was to have the diagrams in color.

The book seems to be put together in an enormous hurry. If you want to learn Joomla in a painless way - use and the internet. What ever you do, don't buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KM on 4 Feb 2008
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I like this book a lot. I have also bought Joomla Template design and Beginning Joomla: From Novice to Professional, but this is by far the best.

Firstly, the quality of the pages and print is high (not the case with Joomla Template Design at £27!). The diagrams are helpful and the text and language clear. I am a newcomer to Joomla and I find that the author's explanations of categories, sections and articles are very helpful. Barrie North has taken care to explain and introduce each chapter well, including where he will be going into greater depth in later chapters. Tips and notes are sprinkled throughout.

The author goes through the steps needed to create a couple of simple sites using different methods, such as one using uncategorised content and one with secions and categories. The book would be worth buying just for the clear explanations of these, which are really helpful for a novice Joomla user.

The version of Joomla that this book refers to is the latest (1.5)

Another very useful part of the book for me is the section looking at examples of real sites that use Joomla. This gave me some good ideas for extensions to use on my own sites.

Overall an excellent resource in my opinion
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