Monday, March 1, 2010

Learn how to add a blog and an RSS feed to a Joomla website

by Marc B. Harris

Many times a client will ask you to add a blog to their Joomla website, or perhaps you want to add one to your own Joomla site. It really is not that difficult to do. Using articles, sections, categories and the "Syndicate" module to create an RSS feed, you can have a blog that allows you to make regular postings and have them all appear on a single page.

I will show you how to add a blog, but first I must make a couple of assumptions. First, You already have a current version of Joomla already installed and second, you can access the administrator area of your Joomla installation and are familiar with it.

The first thing to do is to log on to the Joomla administrator area. Now go to the "Content" menu and choose "Section Manager" and create a new section, let's call it "Blogs" and then click save. Next, again go to the "Content" menu but this time choose "Category Manager" and click on "New" and give the category a name like "My Blog". While still in the Category Manager, go to the "Section" pop-up and choose the Blog section you previously created and click save.

Now that we have the section and category set up, let's create our first blog entry. Again, go to the "Content" menu and this time choose "Article Manager". Click on "New" and give the blog entry a unique name in the "Title" box. Under "Section" choose the section you created earlier which was "Blogs". If there is only one blogger, the "Category" pop-up will default to it. If there is more then one blogger, choose which one using the "Category" pop-up.

Now enter some blog copy and on the right side of the page go to "Parameters (Article)" and enter whatever name you want to show the public in the "Author Alias" box. Next, again on the right side of the page go to "Parameters (Advanced)", and make sure to change "Author Name" and "Created Date and Time" to "Show" and then click Save.

Now we have to create a menu item for the blog so that it can be found. Go to the "Menus" menu and choose Main Menu. Click on "New" on the upper right and then choose "Articles" under "Internal Link" and on the next page click on "Category Blog Layout". In the Title area, type in whatever you want the public to see as the link to your blog and then go to "Parameters (Basic)" on the right and choose your blog category. The rest of the parameters can be left as default and changed at a later time if you desire.

Next, under "Parameters (Component)", choose which icons to show in your blog, pdf, print and/or email. Again you can leave all other parameters as default and make changes later. Click save.

Now let's create an RSS feed so that people can subscribe to your Blog feed. To do so, go to the "Extensions" menu and choose "Module Manager". Click on "New" on the upper right and then click on "Syndicate" and in the Title field a give it title such as: "RSS Feed for Blog" this is for you to locate it easily in the Module Manager. In "Show Title" click "No" and then choose what position you would like the RSS feed to appear in under "Position" and then under "Menu Assignment" near the bottom left of the page, click on "Select Menu Item(s) from the List" and choose the Blog Menu link created above.

Now, on the right, go to "Module Parameters", in the "Text" box, type in what ever text you want to have next to your RSS icon. Finally, under "Format" choose either RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0, I usually use RSS. Click save.

You are done! Now you can create new blog entries over and over again by repeating the steps above for new articles.

About the Author

Since 1996, Marc Harris has been a principal of a web design firm and has managed site development projects for numerous clients. Marc now works almost exclusively with Joomla and is writing articles about understanding Joomla. You can find more free Joomla video tutorials at 5minutejoomla.com.