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General Help Topics - Special Features
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 16:40

Don't understand your project manager's cryptic jargon? This page has quick definitions of common 'web-speak' and features. Talk like a nerd in no time!

Administrator

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

Alt tags

Author-defined alternate text for an image. The browser displays this text rather than the image, and it describes to the reader what they are 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.

Author

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

Back-end (Administrator Back-end)

Administrator's Control Panel, where 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).

Banners

Component which allows you to display and manage 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.

Blog

  1. A web-log. You can use your system to create blog-posts that will display the newest first.
  2. A style of content presentation within your site. displaying some or all 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.
  3. Dedicated blog software such as WordPress or Blogspot.

Browser

Firefox. Also Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome. Software program used to view and interact with Internet resources on the World Wide Web.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

CSS defines the attributes of your site: the way links, images and headings display, as well as the physical layout of the site. 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.

Category

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, Content Items. See also: Article and Section.

Category Name

The long name to be displayed in headings (Ex: Contact Our Corporate Headquarters in Virginia).

Category Title

The short name to appear in Menus (Ex: 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.

Check-in

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 uneditable, available again. See also: Global Check-in.

Components

Content elements, or applications. These core elements include Banners, Contact, News Feeds, Polls, and Web Links.

Configuration File

The configuration.php file, found in the joomla_root/ directory of your installation, contains Global Variable and Parameter settings specific to your web site. In addition there are various other controls, for example: the information needed by Joomla! to interact with the MySQL database.

Contact

Your store's info, or a way to display information for different locations, store managers, owners, buyers, etc.

Content Item

A bite-sized "Static Content Item." They can be displayed almost anywhere, and are associated with a particular Section/Category. 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, Content Items. Powerful way to manage and display content on your site, but fussier than simply creating Static Content Items (pages).

Content Management System (CMS)

Your site is a CMS. Software for dynamically managing web site content via a web browser.

CSS ("Cascading Style Sheets")

The code instructions that tell browsers how to display the different elements of your site. Style Sheets (CSS) separate the content of your site from its styling. CSS controls things as small as "how text looks on my site," and is as large as how the site framework is built. 

Database

An organized collection of records that you can search, sort, and analyze rapidly. Your site is is database-driven, which means you can add, edit, or delete content. See also: Record.

DNS ("Domain Name System")

The DNS associates information with Domain Names. The DNS is controlled with your "Registrar" account (GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc). You "point" your "DNS" to our "servers."

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 standardized by the W3C. See also DOMIT.

DHTML ("Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language")

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.

Editor (JCE Editor)

The text box you use to compose your pages and product descriptions. It's what keeps you from having to learn HTML to have a website. 

Front-end (Site Front-end)

Web site that your visitors and shoppers see. See also: Back-end (Administrator Back-end).

Front Page Manager

No one uses the Front Page Manager. Two stores, maybe. Powerful, but slightly more complicated than just editing your homepage. Built-in Component, which shows all the published Content Items from your site marked with the parameter Show on Frontpage. You may configure the display of the Frontpage 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.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The fastest way to upload things to your site, or to Specialty Toys Network. We recommend FileZilla. It's free and good. 

Global Check-in

What your Project Manager (or other Super-Admin) uses to "unlock" all your locked pages or items. 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 uneditable for all other users. Performing a Global Check-in 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.

Group

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

HTML ("Hypertext Markup Language")

The authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. See also: JavaScript and PHP.

Image tag

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

Intro Text

Content Items have two boxes: The "Intro" text box and the further "Read More" text box. Required field that must be completed 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 only are used in Content Items in the Section/Category hierarchy but not in Static Content Items. See also: Main Text.

Item

An individual piece of content within your site's hierarchy; can be a Content Item, a Content Category, a Menu Item, or a Web Link.

JavaScript

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!

One of the finest, and multi-award winning, Open Source Web Content Management Systems(CMS) available today.

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.

Manager

User level in your site with access to some Back-end and all Front-end functions. See also: Administrator, Super Administrator.

Mass Mail

Core Joomla! Component that allows e-mails to be sent to all User Groups, a single Group, or a User Group and its Child Groups.

Media Files

Files such as .gif, .jpg, .png, or .bmp which 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.

Menu

Key Navigation for your shoppers. Your Main Menu contains links to your Home, Shop, About Us, and Contact Us pages, among others.

Menu Item

The links in a menu. You can create new menu items that link to pages, content items, categories of content items, or external web pages. You can also create "submenu" dropdown items that only show when you mouse over an item on your menu. Go to Menu Manager > mainmenu to rearrange your main menu, or add new links. 

Modules

Small display Items with content that can be displayed anywhere that your template permits. See also: Module Position.

Module Position

Names for the placement of Modules within a template.

MySQL

An Open Source database project. Pronounced as either "My S.Q.L.", or "my sequel." Your site needs this database in order to function. You have a MySQL/php site.

Newsflash

A Module your Project Manager can use to display Content Items in different places on your site.

PHP

Hypertext Preprocessor is an open source server-side programming language extensively used for web scripts 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.

Parameters

Settings used to alter the presentation of specific Content Items, Menus, or Modules.

Polls

A Component that allows a poll (or survey) to be displayed on your Joomla! web site.

Preview

Option available in the Administrator (Back-end), which displays from the Back-end what your Content Item would look like in the Front-end of your site.

Publish(ed)

One of the 'states' available for 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: Unpublish(ed).

Publisher

User level within Joomla!, with access only to Site (Front-end) functions, but with permission to publish content on the Site. See also: Author, Editor,Registered.

Record

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, MySQL.

Registered User

A shopper. User level within Joomla! with access only to Site (Front-end) functions, though with permission to access parts of the Site that are not accessible to Public users. See also: Author, Editor, and Publisher.

RSS

Really Simple Syndication. Google it.

SEF ("Search Engine Friendly") URLs

A URL (web address) that humans can read. Google likes them, because they give more information than a string of server instructions. Your site has a cool SEF component that you can figure to customize the way the URL looks for products, web pages and manufacturers' product listings.

SEO ("Search Engine Optimisation")

Tuning your site to be most findable by search engines like Google or Bing. Or whichever new one comes along next year.  Metadata on every page that's unique and accurate. Keywords on your pages. Category descriptions. Good links into your site from other (reputable) sites. Linking within your site (Page of toy review to that product, etc). Good short descriptions for all your products. It's never-ending, because it's basically a race to the top of the rankings, and everyone else is ALSO always improving their site for SEO. And then Google changes the rules every six or nine months by rewriting their algorithms.

Section

Collection of Categories that are related in some way. A Section might be called 'Transport', Categories in this section might be 'Boats', 'Cars' and 'Airplanes'. 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, Content Item. See also: Category, Content Item.

Site (Front-end)

Web site displayed to your visitors or users, containing all the Content Items, functionality, and styling managed in the Administrator (Back-end).

Site Templates

This is what your design gets turned into in order to become a website. The design is not based on a template. It does have a 'normal' structure, though.

Static Content Item

A web page on your site. Isn't in a Section or Category like a Content Item.

Super Administrator

Your Project Manager. With great power comes great responsibility. And a lot of distracting options. The top User level within Joomla! with access to all Administrator (Back-end) and Site (Front-end) functions. See also: Administrator, Manager.

Syndication

You can push your content out to other sites using Syndication. No one does. Be the first! Process, using a News Feed, by which a web site is able to share information, such as Content Items, with other web sites.

Title

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

Title Alias

Undisplayed Title shorthand. Your homepage page might be TITLED "Welcome to the best toy store in the universAlternative title for Content Items, used by SEF scripts and dynamic title/meta scripts. Also useful for you to find things in the back end of your site, since you can search by Alias. 

Unpublish(ed)

State of various parts of your Joomla! installation, indicating whether that particular Item 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).

URL

Web address. "Universal Resource Locator" or something.

Web Links

Core Component that manages and displays hyperlinks to other web sites, organized into Categories.

WYSIWYG Editor

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.