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on 27 October 2011
I've been using Joomla for about a year now, self-taught and using the Joomla forums for help. I've produced some nice sites but always struggled with a bits and pieces and a few basic concepts. I thought I'd buy this book to try and fill the gaps and learn properly how to do things. I'm really impressed. This book is for beginners but people like myself with limited experience can also benefit. I like the approach taken: You install Joomla without any sample data and then you start building the site from the beginning, step by step. The author also has created a site where you can quickly copy content for articles, which allows you to concentrate on doing the important stuff - learning Joomla. The book is for Joomla 1.6 but I'm using Joomla 1.7 and to be honest, I haven't noticed any difference between versions. I would cerainly recommend this book.
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on 17 July 2012
It's taken me a long time to get around the complexities of Joomla. Things like "what are the differences between Components, Modules and Plugins"; menus and menu positions; creating Categories before adding Articles; etc.

This book is a very good step-by-step guide which you follow in creating a site for a fictitious town, Joomlaville. It gets you into the simple 3-step process of adding content to the site, and follows this through to the end, so if you complete the example website you should be very familiar with this process and hopefully continue to use for future sites you develop.

One minor criticism raised previously is that the book covers version 1.6, whereas the current version (July 2012) is 2.5. There are no real significant differences - at least for a newcomer to Joomla - so don't let this put you off.

One thing I missed, which is a real pity. I was on the last section of the book and happened to read the back cover. There it tells you that you can access the "Free Online Edition" of the book. This is for 45 days only, but should be sufficient for you to build the Joomlaville site. If you have an iPad or other tablet, as I do, then you can read this by the side of your computer whilst building the site. Such a big help.

Another thing to be aware of - there are a few typos and other errors in the book, which is probably on par for most books. So DO check the Joomla Explained Errata and mark up your book BEFORE you start the course.

Important issues covered, and suggested links, are for downloading templates (both free and commercial) and the most useful extensions, including the very important ones such as backup and security. The number of extensions for Joomla is enormous (nearly 10,000) and the author guides you through how to choose the most suitable ones for you.

If you go through the book step by step, you should become reasonably confident to work on your own sites and continually improve your knowledge of Joomla. Because of the complexity of Joomla itself, the learning curve is quite steep, and it does need a lot of perseverence to become reasonably adept at the whole process.
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on 25 October 2011
Being new to Joomla and the use of this sort of technology for building websites this book was a great help. It certainly covers the basics and lets you get started. As with all these areas the more you learn the better you understand that there is far more to learn that you ever beleived necessary from the marketing material. The book is a great starting point and lets you make progress and if thats what you're looking for then you will find it well written and easy to follow. If you are looking for a reference manual that lets you dip in for an answer for every circumstance then it will be far too superficial. For that you do need to resort to the on-line documentation.

You do need access to a Joomla environment to make use of the book - but provided you have a PC then you can download and set up the environment fairly easily and use it to follow each of the chapters in the book as you move along.
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on 14 August 2011
An excellent choice for everyone who wants to learn Joomla!

I started with no knowledge and this has really got me moving fast.

Steve Burge's tone is light, informative and accessible without being condescending - just a pity he's from Portsmouth (Come on you Saints!).
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on 20 February 2012
This book is a very good beginners guide, though I already knew quite a bit of the process , having the book confirm i was on the right track was reassuring .
I would recommend to anyone setting up their first Joomla site
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on 29 June 2013
If you are are new at using Joomla for building your web sites and you want to have a book by your side while you are learning what all the options are then you can't go wrong with this one. I bought it at the same time as their book on template construction and the two of them are perfect for understanding what Joomla does, how it does it and how to make it do what you want in the way you want it too. I am coming to this from hand built web applications and using Wordpress and the way Joomla works is a bit different. If the user wants to add their CSS or PHP code then this book explains where to find the bits you need to change to get it looking how you want. All in all a great, helpful book.
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on 7 July 2012
This book has been reviewed by others and so far I would agree with the majority that the book is a very useful one to have if you are completely new to Joomla! I have not yet completed the whole course that the book sets out but so far it meets my requirements for 'getting into' Joomla! and I trust that the experience to come will be useful too.
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on 13 December 2011
First the good news: This book is up-to-date and covers Joomla! 1.6. Since the current version of Joomla!, 1.7, is broadly similar to 1.6 you can consider this book current. Another good aspect of this book is the way that it takes you through what it calls the "cash workflow" process. It's a good example of where this book adds value over what you could work out easily for yourself. The problem is that there were too few examples of this.

Pay attention to the subtitle of this book - "Your step-by-step guide". This book is aimed at raw beginners with little technical knowledge. The problem that I have with this is that the vast majority of people setting out to use Joomla! will have some technical knowledge. If you don't, WordPress is probably a much better bet for a content management system.

Let me give you an example: the book devotes no less than nine pages to explain how the content editor works. Is there really anyone out there who needs to be told that if you click on a bold "B" icon the text in the editor will become bold, or how to produce bullet lists? Yes, be prepared to spend a long time reading this book.

So, for me, this book has stayed on the shelf largely unread.
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on 15 June 2012
I needed help to try and create a web-site and this book certainly helped a lot BUT be aware: Joomla has been updated (the recent versions went from 1.6 to 1.7 and then to version 2.5.4 - guess there is a good reason!).

This book, which is based on 1.6, explains how all the 'bits' work and certainly helped me understand some concepts and notions that were totally new to me but the mis-match between versions does sometimes mean you have to engage brain rather than follow the steps laid down.

The book is well written and very clear although a glossary of 'Joomla terms' would have been helpful because some words take on very specific meanings which are not necessarily obvious to novices like me.

Overall, a good place to start but, solely because of the constant program updates, it is now likely to be of declining use.
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on 21 June 2012
So many computer books take you through the basic, but never seem to hold my attention.

This book is different, it takes you gently by the hand, and teaches you the basics, whilst walking you through a number of real world examples.

I'm an experienced IT professional, but still found Joomla daunting to start with. The structure can be awkward to get your head around.

Having read this book, I feel much more confident and able to move on to produce sites.

The only negative, is that the book covers the 1.6 edition so it is not the most up to date.

I think the book is useful for the beginner or intermediate user and that you will learn a great deal from it.
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