Before we get started on adding an article to Joomla, you need to know the difference between the front end and the backend of the Joomla website. The front end of a Joomla website is what the user sees. The user doesn't see any code. The user doesn't see any of your organizational structure, or anything else that indicates "this is a Joomla site." The user just sees a website.

Users can log into the front end of the website, and if they have permissions, they can change an article or add an article. However, they never touch the infrastructure of the site at the front end of the site. They only see the content.

A typical reader of your web page never sees the backend of the site. This is the administrative panel, and it is where you make all your changes. Just about any time you go to make changes in a Joomla site, you go to the administrative panel.

This article describes how to add an article to a Joomla website through the backend.

Login to the backend of the Joomla site. This is the domain name followed by a slash and the word administrator.

Once you log in, you'll be taken to the Control Panel. (If you get lost in Joomlaland, and need to find your way back to this control panel, simply select Control Panel from the Site menu.)

Type in your username, your password, and click on the login button.

Click on the Add New Article button.

The add new article button will take you to the Article [New] page.

Title and alias

The first thing you need to do is to give the article a title. You can change the title later, and this is the title that will show up on the website. The user will see the title.

The alias, however, will not be seen by the user, except in the URL of the article which people tend not to read. The alias line is for search engines. Once you've published the article, it's not a good idea to change the alias. If another site has linked to your site, changing the alias can break that link.

The title can be long. The alias should be short. Ideally, the alias uses a few keywords that accurately describe the article.

So, for this article, I could make a title of "Joomla Lesson No. 2-How to add an article," but for the alias, I'd just put "Joomla add article." Once you save the article, Joomla will replace the spaces in the alias with dashes.

Published and front page

Next, fill out the published and front page radio buttons.

If published is set to yes, then the article will show up on the web site. If published is set to no, it will not. No is often used when an article is still in draft mode or has otherwise not yet been approved.

Front page is just that, the front page. If front page is set to yes, the article can appear on the front page of the website for users to see. If front page is set to no, it will not.

A section in Joomla is the major organization structure. A category is smaller than a section.

So, if you walked into a grocery store, you'd see the bakery section, the produce section, the deli section, and freezer section, and the aisle section.

Choose the section that looks most appropriate to the article you are writing.

Remember, a section in Joomla is the major organization structure, and a category is smaller than a section.

Back to our grocery store. We walked into the produce section. In the produce section, we see a root category, a melon category, a tree fruit category, a nut category, and a category for vegetables that get misted every once in a while with Sinatra singing, "Singing in the rain" in the background.

Choose the category that looks most appropriate to the article you are writing.

If nothing shows up in the category section when you click on the drop down button, you probably don't have a section selected. You must select a section before you can select a category.

Write your article.

For the most part, the options available look like any other "what you see is what you get" editor. This is pronounced wysiwyg, by the way.

The B is for bolding text. The I is for italics. The U is for underlined. The cross out is for crossing out.

The next section of lines is for left justified, centered, right justified, and full justified. The paragraph section has your heading tags. Remember, it's much better to use heading tags than it is to manually bold, italic, and underline. The heading tags help search engines figure out what web pages are about.

These buttons will put paragraphs into bulleted lists or numbered lists.

The next section to fill out is the article parameters.

The Author field has a drop down box with a list of users that have permission to write articles on the site. Choose your name. If you want an alias in there, go ahead and put it in there.

The Access Level is an important field. If you have it set to public, anyone who comes to your site can see the article. This is the default value and it's the value you'll probably use the most. Other options include "Registered" which only users who have registered and logged into the site can see.

This is a very important section, because it sets up the meta information for the web page.

Put your article's description in the description field. This shows up when users do a search. Only the first 150 characters show up in Google, however. So, anything after the 150th character will likely never be seen by a human.

Keywords have been so abused over the years, that most SEO people think that the search engines don't even look at the keywords anymore. If you've sprinkled keyword phrases into your article, go ahead and type them in this field if it will make it easier for you, but that is the only reason to fill out this field.

And, the most important button on the page is the save button.

Hit save and Joomla will save your article to the database and exit you from the article editor.

If you just want to save the changes and stay in the article, hit Apply instead.