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Joomla Glossary
A Glossary of terms related to the Joomla CMS (Content Management System)
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Term Definition

Admin Templates

Templates used to define the layout of the Administrator (Back-end) area of your Joomla! web site.


A User level within Joomla! with access to some Administrator (Back-end) and all Site (Front-end) functions.

Alt attribute

Author-defined alternate text for an image. The browser displays this text rather than the image, and it describes to the reader what he or she is missing on a page. It is a good practice to include the alt attribute for each image on a page to improve the display and usefulness of your document for instances in which the browser cannot load images, for users unable to view images due to sight impairment, or for people who have text-only browsers. See also: Image Tag


Content Items can be archived and managed through the Administrator (Backend). The Archive Module provides a way of displaying archived items on your web site.


Discrete piece of content within the Joomla hierarchy, which may be associated with a particular Section/Category combination or may be a Static Content Item; usually displayed in the main body of your page. Within the Content hierarchy, Section is the top level and is a container for Categories. Category is the next level and is a container for the third level, Articles. See also: Content Item.


User level within Joomla with access only to Site (Front-end) functions. See also: Editor, Publisher, and Registered.

Back-end (Administrator Backend)

Administrator’s Control Panel, where site Managers, Administrators, or Super Administrators log in to manage all aspects of their web site, including both features and content. See also: Front-end (Site Front-end).


A Joomla core Component, which allows you to manage and display banner ads for your web site. In the Administrator (Back-end), you can set up banners, input and associate clients with their specific banners, and specify impressions as a number or unlimited. The number of impressions seen and clicks are recorded and displayed in the Back-end under Components/Banners/Manage Banners. Banners are displayed on the Site (Front-end) using the banners module.


A style of content presentation within Joomla, displaying some or all of the Content Items in a certain section or Category. The title may appear as a link or both the title and the introductory text, with a Read More link displayed. Often the News page is written in Blog style.


A Software program used to view and interact with various types of Internet resources available on the World Wide Web. FireFox, Internet Explorer, and Safari are three common examples.

Cascading StyleSheets (CSS)

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) provide the ability to separate the layout and styles of a web page from the data or information. Styles such as fonts, font sizes, and margins can be specified in one place, then the web pages feed off this one master list, with the styles cascading throughout the page or an entire site. Cascading Style Sheets are contained in a .css file.


Collection of related Content Items; for instance, the Category Airplanes may contain the Content Items Biplanes, Fixed wing, and Jets. Within the Content hierarchy, Section is the top level and is a container for Categories. Category is the next level and is a container for the third level, Articles. See also: Article and Section.

Category Name

The long name to be displayed in headings, e.g. Contact Our Corporate Headquarters in Virginia.

Category Title

The short name to appear in menus, e.g. Contact Us

Check Out (an item)

When a user edits a file, they check it out. This prevents other users from being able to edit the item at the same time, thus preventing loss of data upon saving.


This function, available from the Site (Front-end) for Registered users with editing privileges, allows a user to make the items they were working on, previously locked and un-editable, available again. See also: Global Check-in

Client-side Scripting

Class of computer programming on the web, which is executed client-side by the user’s web browser, instead of server-side (on the web server). This type of computer programming is an important part of the Dynamic HTML (DHTML) concept, enabling web pages to be scripted; that is, to have different and changing content depending on user input, environmental conditions (such as the time of day), or other variables. See also: Server-side Scripting.


Acronym for Components, Modules, and Templates.


Acronym for Components, Modules, Templates, and Plugins.


Content elements or applications that are usually displayed in the centre of the main content area of a template. This depends on the design of the template in use. Components are core elements of Joomla’s functionality. These core elements include Banners, Contact, News Feeds, Polls, and Web Links. Members of the Joomla community produce third party Joomla components on a continuous basis. They are freely available to download from and a number of other web sites. See also:Modules.

Configuration File

The configuration.php file, found in the root directory of your Joomla installation, contains global variable information specific to your own Joomla installation, such as database user name, admin password, etc.

Content Item:

A Content Item is an item within the Section, Category hierarchy. See also:Static Content Item

Content Management System (CMS)

Software for dynamically managing web site content directly on the server.

Core Zip-file

This contains the official standard Joomla installation. This may be downloaded from and various other web sites. The Joomla Core software contains some built-in CMTP’s, but can be extended with third-party developer’s add-ons.


An organised collection of records that you can search, sort, and analyse rapidly. Joomla is database-driven software, which means you can add, edit, or delete content that is stored in Joomla’s database. See also: Record

Document Object Model (DOM)

Form of representation of structured documents as an object-oriented model; the official World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard for representing structured documents in a platform- and language-neutral manner. DOM is also the basis for a wide range of application programming interfaces, some of which are standardised by the W3C. See also: DOMIT


An xml parser for PHP based on the Document Object Model (DOM) Level two specifications. It is lightweight, fast, and written purely in PHP. See also: DOM.

Dynamic HTML (DHTML)

An extension of HTML, enables, among other things, the inclusion of small animations and dynamic menus in Web pages. DHTML code makes use of Style Sheets and JavaScript.


User level within Joomla with access only to Site (Front-end) authoring and editing functions. See also: Author, Publisher, and Registered.


Components, Modules, Templates, Plugins or Languages that extend your Joomla installation. These elements can already be bundled into the core or they can be third-party elements.

Front-end (Site Frontend)

Web site that is seen by your visitors (or Registered users. See also: Back-end (Administrator Back-end).

Frontpage/ Front Page

Built-in Component, which shows all the published Content Items from your site marked with the parameter Show on Front Page. You may configure the display of the Front Page by editing the menu item associated with it, usually the Home menu item. The ordering of your Frontpage Content Items is done using the Frontpage Manager option under the Content menu option.

Global Check-in

When an item is checked out and it is not saved or cancelled correctly (such as with a connection error or the use of “back” on the browser), it will remain checked out, and thus un-editable for all other users. Performing a Global Checkin will make those items available again. This option is only available in the Administrator (Back-end) or as a User Menu item for logged-in users.


Collection of user levels, classified as either Site (Front-end) or Administrator (Back-end). See also: Administrator (Back-end), Site (Front-end).


Short for Hyper Text Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. See also: JavaScript, PHP

Image tag

In HTML, images are defined with the tag. See also: Alt attribute.


A menu option allowing access to Component, Language, Mambots, Module or Templates screens from which zip files can be uploaded for installation on your Joomla Web site. This option is only available to Super Administrators.

Intro Text

Required field that must contain content when creating a new Content Item or editing an existing Content Item. If text has been added to the Main Text field and the Content Item is checked to Show on Front Page, a Read More link will be shown, pointing to the full Content Item. Intro Text and Main Text are used in Content Items in the Section/Category hierarchy but not in Static Content Items. See also: Main Text


An Item is a discrete piece of content within the Joomla hierarchy. An item can be an article, a content Category, a menu item or a link.


A common computer programming language developed by ECMA for use in web pages. JavaScript is relatively small and fast and is used for providing interactivity on web pages. See also: HTML, PHP


Joomla is one of the finest Open Source Web Content Management Systems available.

Joomla Administrator

The Joomla Administrator is an application for administering your Joomla Web site directly on the server. It is sometimes also referred to as any of the Administrator, Back-end Admin Section, Administration Section, or the ControlPanel.

Joomla User

Joomla Users are arranged in two groups with different levels of access control. Users with access to the Front-end include Anonymous, Registered, Author, Editor, and Publisher. There are also three levels with access to the Back-end Manager, Administrator, and Super Administrator.

Main Body

Defined in the PHP code as , this displays content from Joomla components, e.g. calendar of events and Content Items etc.

Main Text

When creating or editing a Content Item, the Main Text box contains the text you do not want to show on the Front Page. It shows up after clicking the 'Read On' link in the Front-end of your site. See also: Intro Text


A Mambot is a small, task-oriented function that intercepts content before it is displayed and manipulates it in some way. Joomla provides a number of Mambots in the core distribution, e.g. WYSIWYG editors, 3rd party component and module searchers, etc.


A user level within Joomla. Manager users have access to some Back-end and all Front-end functions. See also: Administrator, Super Administrator

Mass Mail

A core Joomla component that allows E-mails to be sent to All User Groups, a single Group or a User Group and Child Groups.

Media Files

Media files such as .gif, .jpg, .png or .bmp files can be used in Content Items and are organised via the Media Manager. Media files can be included in Content Items via Image Tab on Edit Content Item pages, WYSIWYG editors' include media managers, third party components, etc.

Module Position

Names for the placement of modules within a template. There are 27 pre-named positions, e.g. left, right, top, bottom and 23 author-defined positions. Module positions are not confined by their name. Thus, the left module position, coded as may be placed anywhere in the template. See also: Modules


Modules extend the capabilities of Joomla giving the software new functionality. Modules are small Content Items that can be displayed anywhere that your template allows it to be displayed. Modules are very easy to install in the Admin Section. Joomla modules may include: Main Menu, Top menu, Template Chooser, Polls, Newsflash, Hit Counter, etc. Members of the Joomla Community produce Joomla modules on a continuous basis. They are freely available on for download. An example of a module PHP code is . See also: Module Position


A Newsfeed is a way of sharing content between different sites. The types of Newsfeeds currently available to display and produce (RSS versions, Atom, etc). The code is produced by the DOMIT parser. This sharing method is meant for creating a news introduction in the way the provider wants it and it normally has a link to the provider's web site. Joomla offers you the possibility to both offer and display Newsfeeds.

Open Source (OS)

Open Source is a general term describing several parts of the Free Software Licence movement. All the source code for Joomla is open source and is readable and changeable by any user.


Parameters can be used to alter the presentation of specific items, menus, or modules.


patTemplate is a system within Joomla to help create Joomla site templates.


Hypertext Pre-processor is an Open Source server side programming language extensively used for web scripts and to process data passed via the Common Gateway Interface from HTML forms etc. PHP can be written as scripts that reside on the server and may produce HTML output that downloads to the web browser. Alternatively, PHP can be embedded within HTML pages that are then saved with a .php file extension. See also: HTML, JavaScript


A core Joomla component that allows a poll to be displayed on your Joomla web site. You can define the Poll title, the time delay in seconds (Lag) between votes, up to 12 vote options and on which page(s) it should be displayed.


The Preview button enables a popup window for you to see from the , Back-end that your Content Item would look like in the , Front-end of your site


Projects can be components, modules, templates, Mambots, and scripts that are freely set up and managed by their authors at

Public Back-end

See Back-end

Public Front-end

See Front-end


This defines the state of various parts of your Joomla installation. For example, installed elements will only display on your web site if they are published. Content Items can be managed with a start and end date of publishing. See also: Unpublish(ed)


A user level within Joomla. Publisher users only have access to Front-end functions. See also: Author, Editor and Registered


A database record is a description of a single item as stored in a database. In a relational database, each row of each Table is a database record. See also: Database

Registered User

A user level within Joomla. Registered users only have access to Front-end functions. See also: Author, Editor and Publisher


A Section is a collection of Categories that are related in some way. It is part of the Section/Category/Content Item hierarchy. A section might be called 'Transport', categories in this section might be 'Boats', 'Cars’, and 'Airplanes'. See also: Category.

Server-side scripting

Programs that are interpreted by the web server when a page is requested. Scripts have special extensions such as .php, .asp, and .jsp. When the server finishes processing a script, it usually sends a HTML page that can be viewed in any web browser. See also: Client-side scripting


The Joomla Site is the Web site displayed to your visitors or users, containing all the content added in the Admin Section. It is sometime referred to as the 'Frontend'.

Site Templates

Site Templates define the layout of your Joomla Web sites Front-end. See also: Admin Templates and Templates

Static Content Item

A Static Content Item is a Content Item that does not belong to the Sections/Category/Content Item hierarchy. See also: Content Item

Super Administrator

User level within Joomla with access to all Administrator (Back-end) and Site (Front-end) functions. See also: Administrator, Manager.


A process, using a Newsfeed, by which a web site is able to share information, such as Articles, with other web sites.


Defining the layout of your Joomla web site, templates can be created for the Site (Front-end) of your site (called Site Templates), as well as for the Administrator (Back-end) called Administrator Templates. You can assign different templates to various pages of your web site. See also: Administrator Templates, patTemplate and Site Templates.


Name given to an Article, which may be displayed above it in the Site (Front-end).

Title Alias

Alternative title for Articles, used by SEF scripts and dynamic title/meta scripts.


State of various parts of your Joomla installation, indicating whether that particular piece is visible on the site or operational (very much like an on-off switch). For example, installed elements will not be displayed on your web site if they are unpublished. Content Items can be managed with a start and end date of publishing. See also: Publish(ed).

Web Links

Core component that manages and displays hyperlinks to other web sites, organised into categories.


Section of the Joomla Admin where the business of configuration and content publishing takes place. The workspace dynamically updates as you select tools and menu options. The workspace can include: HTML editor, article and link management and several other features.


Built-in Joomla Component, used to pull in and display any URL within your web site. This can be used to wrap an application (like a forum or a gallery), individual pages, or even an entire web site. An alternative name is an Iframe.


Editing tool, which uses a WYSIWYG (an acronym for What You See Is What You Get) interface to allow easy editing of items in a non-code format.