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Welcome to FreeMamboHelp.com
User Rating: / 0
Feb 03, 2008 at 05:12 PM

 

As we get questions from the Submit Question link, they will get posted in How Do I? , researched than answered in Help on the left.

We are going to leave the original Mambo sample content, Getting Started & FAQs - if you are setting up a Mambo site for the 1st time you should take some time to review this, it will give you a pretty good understanding of how Mambo is organized.

The content we are creating is basically each problem our customer's run into, like how to remove the Double Title when publishing a document or how to insert hyperlinks into an article. cialis 20mg

Formatting tips will also be covered as well as addressing issues in the backend of Mambo like where various config files are stored and adding components to the site, we make a valiant first attempt at this with 17 Things to do when starting a new mambo site

If after going through the site you still don't find what you are looking for, feel free to click on the How Do I? Link to see if your question has already been asked and if not you can submit a New question.

Also feel free to offer suggestions for other elements you would like to see in this site.

Thank You and have a nice visit.

 

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Last Updated ( Dec 02, 2013 at 01:23 PM )
Tips for new Mambo Users - 32 Important things to remember when creating & editing mambo documents
User Rating: / 3
Aug 07, 2010 at 09:24 AM

Tips for new Mambo Users - 32 Important things to remember when creating & editing mambo documents 

ok from now on I am going to call documents 'content items' or at least I will try,....


Oh Howdy folks. If you are new to working with mambo websites than this article is for you. I explore some of the stuff that I had to struggle through in the early days. Hopefully these notes will help you get over some of these hurdles so you can start to be productive today.



CONVENTIONS USED IN THIS ARTICLE: 

admin 'home' hyperlink - a picture is worth, ..whatever. This is what I mean by admin 'home' hyperlink through out this article. Oh yea sometimes I just call it hyperlink or something like that. Each time I mean the orange hyperlink in the administrator menu in the upper left corner.

Admin Home Hyperlink

NOTE: Your website will not display FreeMamboHelp, if it does we need to talk. What you will see here is the TITLE tag.


Content Items - In microsoft word, this would be called a document. Excuse me if I sometimes refer to Content Items as documents. I really mean Content Items.

Categories - contain Content Items

Sections - contain Categories

Menu Item - Menu is on the top of the admin webpage:

menu



Document control icons - when you are editing a document, I mean Content Item, you will see this menu in the upper right hand corner. Hit Apply regularly. Hit Save when you are finished.

Hit Apply Often

 

Try this: This is stuff I want you to try to reinforce the topic at hand. Usually accompanied with specific step-by-step instructions, cause I'm like that.


OK here's the list, all are explained below:


  1. Do not use Internet Explorer to create or edit content items.
  2. Decide on some initial sections and categories before creating content.
  3. Edit documents from the administrator menu.
  4. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.
  5. Always Save when finished editing a content item.
  6. If you hit Apply and get the login screen, the back button can save your day (and your data) !
  7. Use two browser windows when creating/editing content items.
  8. Alt Tab between two browser windows.
  9. Ctrl Tab between two brower tabs.
  10. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.
  11. Don't panic, use Ctrl-Z to undo.
  12. Ctrl-A, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V are pretty helpful too.
  13. Try not to cut and paste from other editors.
  14. Create content items once.
  15. Copying or moving content items around a mambo website easily.
  16. Moving content items from one mambo website to another mambo website.
  17. Publishing & Unpublishing modules (login menu, polls, syndicate, who's online,...)
  18. Moving webpage modules (login menu, polls, syndicate, who's online,...)
  19. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.
  20. If you can not unlock a category, check [content/all content items], it is likely you have a locked content items in that category.
  21. If you get lost when navigating the administration menu, hit the hyperlink in the upper left corner to go home.
  22. If you have troubles placing the cursor exactly where you want it, use the arrow keys (up, down, left, right) and the home & end keys instead of the mouse.
  23. Don't waste your time with anchors (right now).
  24. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.
  25. Look at your website with other browsers and other computers if you can.
  26. Use the latest items feature to locate your content item quickly.
  27. A silly quirk with hyperlinks and how to easily get around it.
  28. Single content items can be published to main menu, top menu, etc.
  29. Weird stuff sometimes happens with Mambo, forget about it and stay focused on your end goal.
  30. Hit refresh at least twice when looking for changes.
  31. Don't forget your meta tags.
  32. Just jump in there and do it ! (getting started by getting started).



1. Do not use Internet Explorer to create or edit content items.

This one took my a while to figure out and until I did I was in editor hell. Sometimes I could format a document and sometimes it seemed like the entire document was a single line. Center the title and the whole document centers, that sort of stuff.

It wasn't until I sat down and really tested that I finally understood what was going on. It was not a Mambo or MOStleyCE problem, it was Internet Explorer. Simply put Internet Explorer (Just tested version 8 in Windows 7, same problem) treats the entire document as a single line ! What this really means is you can not use any of the page alignment commands on a line by line or paragraph by paragraph basis. So Internet Explorer will not let you set the title to align center and the body to align left, its one or the other !

If you really want to test this, go into editor mode and type two or three lines and then try to align one right, one left and one center, if you are not able to control them independently you need to use another browser. I would recommend Opera or Firefox. Chrome technically works but has a refresh problem that doesn't allow it to display the top icons properly and I find I have to hit refresh [F5] every time I load a page in edit mode.


2. Decide on some initial sections and categories before creating content.

Mambo organizes content into sections and categories. If you think of your website as a filing cabinet then sections are the filing cabinet drawers, categories are the file folders that go into the drawers and content items are the documents that go into the file folders. A small website might be like a small filing cabinet with a single drawer (section). A larger website might be like a larger filing cabinet that has multiple drawers.  

Even though you can always add more sections and categories later and you can move content items to better suited categories as your website evolves, it still makes sense to take a few moments at the start and consider what kind of structure you want your website to have. If you have no clue right now, don't sweat it, just put your new docs in getting started and move on to something else.


3. Edit Content Items from the administrator menu.

Ok this one you are going to stop doing because it is so easy to edit mambo documents from the front end, but after you have timed out and lost data your will be where I am right now, 'burned and learned'. You can and should make quick edits from the front end, that is what the feature is there for, quick editing. You have just finished a masterpiece of a document and as you reveiww it you discover that you typed an extra w on the end of the word review, no problem click on the edit icon and delete the extra w - oh while I am there I am going to add another paragraph cause I'm on a roll - ring, ring, ring - hello.. ok bye - now where was I, oh better hit save. $#@@%^^&%# why do I have a login window ? Where is my data ? Oh no, my million dollar brain child is gone !

When editing from the administration menu there is a button called Apply which you can and should hit often to incrementally save your work. This button is not present when editing from the front end, so to make incremental saves (which you should do) you would have to hit Save, then go find the document again and go back into edit mode, a major inefficiency.

You can increase the login session lifetime, it is under [Site\Global Permissions\Server\Login Session Lifetime] and the value is in seconds {Hint 30 minutes is 1800 seconds, 1 hour is 3600 seconds}.

What's the danger in making the session life too long? Maybe none for you. You can login to Mambo from multiple webpages and computers at once all with the same user name. The issue may be if you use public or less secure computers and accidentally leave them unattended and logged in, some 'prankster' could change your login passwords and effectively take control of your website.


4. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.

Entering data while in edit mode does not count as activity, neither does moving your mouse unless you are moving it to hit one of the document control icons on the upper right hand corner. I am not sure if clicking through the tabs on the right (Publishing, Images, Parameters, Meta Info & Link to Menu) counts as activity, I have not tested it.

Even if you have increased your login session lifetime to 3600 seconds, the document will still time out after one hour. If you typed for over an hour and hit save only to find out you exceeded your session lifetime you will pretty much ______.

(If you did this STOP and read Step # 6. If you hit Apply and get the login screen, the back button can save your day ! before you do anything else, it may turn your frown upside down).

If you want to avoid freaking out about possibly losing your work get into the habit of hitting the Apply button regularly. I just did it now that I was thinking about it. And consider adjusting your login session lifetime (Step 3) to something that reflects your writing style.


5. Always Save when finished editing a document.

The Mambo menu on the upper left disappears when editing content. It is replaced with a row of large icons on the upper right hand side. They look grayed out but light up when you hover over them. 

The Apply button that I keep telling you to hit is in the middle of this row.

These are the buttons you should use.

If you use the "admin 'home' hyperlink" or the browsers back button you will leave the document without closing it properly. This means the file locking feature of Mambo that was engaged when you opened the document is not disengaged. Mambo has file locking to prevent multiple users from overwriting each others work. So if you accidentally lock a document and go on vacation no one else can edit the document until to login, edit the document and hit save. (the name is not hyperlinked for other users when you have the padlock on)

Of course if you are the only person using the website this is not really a problem but if you are starting a website to facilitate the growth of a small business than it is likely you will have others helping you in the future as your business grows.


6. If you hit Apply and get the login screen, the back button can save your day (and your data) !

What? You just said don't use the back button ! ?

Well you know, there are exceptions to rules,.... 

This one just saved me while writing this article. I was editing from the administrator menu and I was hitting Apply often. I was also making breakfast in another room. When I came back to editing I should have hit Apply before doing anything as this would have reset my login session life, but I didn't. Instead I started to type the next thought that drove me to the keyboard in the first place and when I was finished my master piece I hit Apply ----AND I SAW THE LOGIN SCREEN, $#$$!$%$%&& !!

I was about to login again wondering how much data I had lost and then I remembered to hit the back button. I can't remember if I had to hit it once or twice but the browser (because it caches or stores a copy of the data locally) was able to put me right back into edit mode.  Whew ! I copied my last paragraph, logged in again and pasted. Then I hit Apply and added a bullet to this article called "If you hit Apply and get the login screen, the back button can save your day !".

NOTE: This also works if you are careless and accidentally hit the Close button just to the right of the Apply button (which I discovered while working on step 9, time for a break) !


7. Use two browser windows or tabs when creating/editing documents.

You can use the Preview button to see what your document looks like when published but I personally prefer to see what it will look like as a whole web page. (I also like to view the page with different browsers because you never know what your customer is going to have for a browser or screen resolution. Of course you would have a pretty good idea if you were to go here but that is another story). You can use two different browsers (Opera to edit and Firefox to view like ~46% of your customers) or you can use two different tabs in the same browser - just don't use Internet Explorer for editing ! 


8. Alt-Tab between two browser windows.

Use 'Alt-Tab' to switch between two browser windows. Holding down the Alt key and hitting the tab key brings up a windows menu displaying all open applications. If you release the Alt key the last application opens up. In this mode it acts like a toggle allowing you to quickly switch between the edit window (after hitting Apply) and the preview window (don't forget to hit F5 for refresh at least a couple of times).

If you have many applications open and you hold alt and hit tab multiple times the menu will highlight each open application in turn bringing the highlighted application to the foreground when the Alt key is released.

I just tried it and Alt-Tab also works in Ubuntu.

9. Crtl-Tab /CrtlShift-Tab between browser tabs.

I know you have a browser that has tabs because Opera, Firefox & Chrome have all supported tabs forever and you can't be using Internet Explorer (to edit) if you are still reading this document Cool

Use 'Crtl-Tab' to switch between two browser windows. Holding down the Crtl key does nothing, but holding down the Crtl key and hitting the tab key either brings up a windows menu displaying all open tabs for that browser or just switches browser tabs (windows version dependent). 

If the menu pops up and you release the Crtl key the last browser tab opens up. In this mode it acts like a toggle allowing you to quickly switch between the edit window (after hitting Apply) and the preview window (don't forget to hit F5 for refresh).

If you have many tabs open and you hold Crtl and hit tab multiple times the menu will highlight each open tab in turn bringing the highlighted tab to the foreground when the Crtl key is released.

Crtl Shift-Tab moves the tabs in the opposite direction. Ctrl-Tab really only works well when you have just the two browser tabs open (Edit & View). With more than two tabs, you will have to have the two tabs beside each other and toggle between Ctrl-Tab & Ctrl Shift-Tab, a real pain.

I just tried it and Crtl-Tab also works in Ubuntu with the exception of the pop up menu, it changes immediately like older versions of windows.

 

10. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.

I'm pretty sure I told you this before but,....

 

Entering data in edit mode does not count as activity, neither does moving your mouse unless you are moving it to hit one of the document control icons on the upper right hand corner. I am not sure if clicking through the tabs on the right (Publishing, Images, Parameters, Meta Info & Link to Menu) count as activity, I have not tested it.

Even if you have increased your login session lifetime to 3600 seconds, the document will still time out after one hour. If you typed for over an hour and hit save only to find out you exceeded your session lifetime you will pretty much ______.

(If you did this STOP and read Step # 6. If you hit Apply and get the login screen, the back button can save your day ! before you do anything else, it may turn your frown upside down.

If you want to avoid freaking out about possibly losing your work get into the habit of hitting the Apply button regularly. I just did it now that I was thinking about it. And consider adjusting your login session lifetime (Step 3) to something that reflects your writing style.


11. Don't panic, use Ctrl-Z to undo.

So you did something, maybe a cut and paste or hit return and things went crazy. 
You accidentally deleted a whole whack of data or pasted a bunch in the wrong place or something like that. 

Don't panic. Hold down the Ctrl key and hit the Z key ONCE. This will usually undo the last change. If it is able to undo the last change hopefully you are hitting Apply with a sigh of relief, if it doesn't come back you can try hitting Ctrl-Z a 2nd time. You can even hit Ctrl-Z many times, as a test I typed on individual lines the spelled out numbers 1-8. I was then able to Ctrl-Z back 16 times until the word one on line 1 disappeared. Then I was able to Ctrl-Y 16 times until the word eight reappeared on line 8, so the buffer is quite large.

NOTE: Ctrl-Z does NOT work if you just hit Apply, hitting Apply writes the data to the webserver database, Ctrl-Z is only a local windows function. 

I just tried it and Ctrl-Z also works in Ubuntu.


12. Ctrl-A, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V are pretty helpful too.

As long as we are talking about keyboard shortcuts and seeing as how they are right beside Ctrl-Z, I might as well cover them here:

Ctrl-A is select All. Try it right now. Hit escape to unselect. (Think of A for select All)

Ctrl-X cuts what ever is selected. (Think of X as in cutting)

Ctrl-V pastes at the current cursor position what was previously copied using a Ctrl C or Copy of selected text from the mouse. (Think of it as the key to the right of the keys X & C)

These few keys are very handy. First they are all together and easily reachable from the left Ctrl key and secondly they are accessible with the left hand to free up the mouse which works well if you use the mouse with your right hand. If you like to use your mouse with your left hand this may not be that helpful for you.

And double clicking a word with the mouse will select the word. 

If you like the idea of keyboard shortcuts (they are way faster for repeated functions than the mouse) you can read more up on it at Microsoft.


13. Try not to cut and paste from other editors.

Try not to cut and paste from other editors, if you need to, paste into something like notepad that is not smart enough to retain any of the formatting information. After it is in notepad, select the text again [Ctrl-A] and copy [Crtl-C], then when you paste it [Ctrl-V] into the mambo document it should not bring with it any formating information from the previous document. 


14. Create documents once

As a best practice I recommend creating documents directly in the mambo website from the administrator side (that way you can hit Apply every few minutes and your document will stay in edit mode). Don't worry if you can not finish a document in one setting, you can start creating a document and leave it unpublished, then when it is finished, simply check the Published checkbox. (When you are logged into the front end you will see unpublished documents and other logged in users will see them if they have correct Access Level but the general public will not see it)


15. Copying or moving documents around a mambo website easily.

You can copy or move documents around a mambo website easily. From the Content Items Manager [Content/All Content Items], check mark the document(s) than either Copy or Move from the icons on the top right hand side.


16. Moving documents from one mambo website to anther mambo website.

OK so this is not really a beginner tip if you already have two or more websites under your belt now is it ?

If you need to copy and paste content between different mambo websites use the html button [document edit mode, click the html icon, Ctrl-A to select all data] and copy [Ctrl-C] the html (looks like sort of gibberish if you don't understand html, don't worry, you don't need to). This copies the data into a buffer, you can't see it, but it is there. 

Then go the destination website, create a new document [content, all content items, new] select the html button in the new doc and paste [Ctrl-V] the html code into the corresponding pop up box. Click Update at the bottom of the HTML Source Editor window and then Apply or Save.


17. Publishing & Unpublishing modules (login menu, polls, syndicate, who's online,...)

Mambo websites have various modules (login menu, polls, syndicate, who's online,...) that can be published or unpublished with a couple of mouse clicks. To remove or add webpage modules go to [modules/site modules] check a module and publish or unpublish as desired.


18. Moving webpage modules (login menu, polls, syndicate, who's online,...)

To move webpage modules go to [modules/site modules] select the hyperlink (module name) and change the drop down in the position field. Note availability of selections will depend on the template you are using. Go to [Site/Preview/Inline with Positions] do get a better understanding of which selections will be displayed on your website. If you select an option in the position field that is not available you will not see the component you just changed. Try another selection.

 

19. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.

They say spaced repetition is an effective learning method,....

 

Entering data while in edit mode does not count as activity, neither does moving your mouse unless you are moving it to hit one of the document control icons on the upper right hand corner. I am not sure if clicking through the tabs on the right (Publishing, Images, Parameters, Meta Info & Link to Menu) counts as activity, I have not tested this.

Even if you have increased your login session lifetime to 3600 seconds, the document will still time out after one hour. If you typed for over an hour and hit save only to find out you exceeded your session lifetime you will pretty much ______.

(If you did this STOP and read Step # 6. If you hit Apply and get the login screen, the back button can save your day ! read this before you do anything else, it may turn your frown upside down.

If you want to avoid freaking out about possibly losing your work get into the habit of hitting the Apply button regularly. I just did it now that I was thinking about it. And consider adjusting your login session lifetime (Step 3) to something that reflects your writing style.


20. If you can not unlock a category, check [content/all content items], it is likely you have a locked content item in that category.

Always use the Save button when you are finishing editing a content item. Mambo is a multiuser environment, many people in an organization can be logged in and all editing different documents at the same time. This is possible because of file locking. Until you Save or a Close the content item is signed out in your name.

What's the difference between a Save and a Close? A Close does not Save, you lose all new changes since your last save! 

Try this: Edit a content item [Content\All Content Items\Select any content item] and then hit the hyperlink for your website (instead of hitting Save or Close). Now look at the document [Content\All Content Items] notice the padlock? Hover over it with your mouse. Pretty cool eh? For anyone else the orange hyperlink is black and not accessible, they also see your login name when they hover over the padlock.


21. If you get lost hit your 'Title Page Hyperlink', its like home page for the administrator

Mambo is very interactive. This is good. If you are not used to it, Mambo can be a little confusing. You can be inspecting main menu items and hit the contact link on contact us and then end up somewhere else. If you get lost, hit the orange hyperlink in the upper left hand corner. It will display your <title> tag in html.


Admin Home Hyperlink


 

22. If you have troubles placing the cursor exactly where you want it, use the arrow keys (up, down, left, right) and the home & end keys instead of the mouse.

Mambo is kind of funny. Sometimes when you click with your mouse the cursor doesn't appear or doesn't appear where you tried to place it. Sometimes you intend to insert it at the start of a line but your intention just does not translate into reality.

In these cases the arrow keys along with 'home', 'end' & 'Shift' keys are your friends. 

Try this: in edit mode click with your mouse so the cursor is somewhere on a line. Hit Home, notice the cursor moves to the start of the line. Hit 'End', notice the cursor moves to the end of the line. With the cursor at the end of the line, press the 'Shift' key and hit 'Home'. Notice that the entire line is selected.

Now hit home again to move the cursor back to the start of a line. Then hold the 'Shift' key and press the right arrow repeatedly. Notice that the cursor selects one character at a time starting from the left.

While we are on it, unselect whatever text is selected right now (hint: hit escape) and double click on a word with your mouse, notice the double click should select the entire word and nothing else. Notice a triple click tends to select an entire sentence. Notice that a quadruple click tends to select an entire paragraph.

This stuff has noting to do with Mambo, these are windows functions I am describing but they are helpful when editing a Mambo document , er content item. They are also useful when typing a document in word or composing and email. Enjoy.


23. Don't waste your time with anchors (right now).

I recently discovered a serious problem with anchors in mambo (v.4.6.5). You can add anchors but if you hit enter when your cursor is immediately to the right of an anchor, all anchors on the document disappear ! I have not been able to figure out a fix for this yet and for this reason I do not waste time using anchors.

I just tried it on my massive list, 17 steps to do when starting a mambo site and when I hit enter after an anchor every single anchor in the article disappeared (good thing for Ctrl-Z)! I am not sure how I could have created such a long article and never noticed this peculiar behavior but that is the nature of system verification. Another common reference to this type of problem is "it happens".

You can use anchors, they do work, JUST DO NOT HIT ENTER IF THE CURSOR IS IMMEDIATELY TO THE RIGHT OF ANY ANCHOR. IF YOU DO EVERY ANCHOR IN YOUR DOCUMENT DISAPPEARS.

Try this: for fun and a better understanding of Anchors if you wish:

Create a new doc (content item) and add several lines, line 1, line 2, line 3 that sort of stuff. Use the newly discovered 'Home' feature to place the cursor at the start of line 1, add an anchor. Repeat the process to add anchors to the start of lines 2 and 3. Place you cursor immediately to the right of any of the anchors. Hit Enter. Presto, all your fn anchors in the entire content item disappear ! Fun eh? (Ctrl-Z is your undo friend)

If anyone has a work around on this issue please add a comment at the end of this article and kindly point me in the right direction. If there is a fix, I will research it and post the results on this website.


24. Hit Apply often when in edit mode.

They say spaced repetition is an effective learning method,....

 

Entering data while in edit mode does not count as activity, neither does moving your mouse unless you are moving it to hit one of the document control icons on the upper right hand corner. I am not sure if clicking through the tabs on the right (Publishing, Images, Parameters, Meta Info & Link to Menu) count as activity, I have not tested this.

Even if you have increased your login session lifetime to 3600 seconds, the document will still time out after one hour. If you typed for over an hour and hit save only to find out you exceeded your session lifetime you will pretty much ______.

(If you did this STOP and read Step # 6. If you hit Apply and get the login screen, the back button can save your day ! read this before you do anything else, it may turn your frown upside down.

If you want to avoid freaking out about possibly losing your work get into the habit of hitting the Apply button regularly. I just did it now that I was thinking about it. And consider adjusting your login session lifetime (Step 3) to something that reflects your writing style.


25. Look at your website with other browsers and other computers if you can.

So your website looks awesome to you but how does it look to your customers? What browser are they using? What operating system are they using? What screen resolution are they using? What size monitor are they using ? 

Another consideration is the speed of their internet connection. Are they on high speed? Yes, some people are still on dial up! Also others are too far from major centers to get decent bandwidth even if they are using one of the new wireless sticks that Bell and Rogers now sell.

Browsers - Common internet browsers today are Opera, Firefox & Chrome. Go to here see what percentage of browsers are in use as of July 2010. This is important because different browsers view content well, differently. Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox & Chrome are the 3 main browsers most people use on the Windows platform so if you run windows yourself you should really install all 3 add see how your website looks to the +65% of your customers that do not use IE.

Operating Systems - OK, this is a much smaller issue than browsers but around 11% of your customers do not use windows for an operating system. This means for the most part they can not use IE or Chrome. And they may not be using Opera or Firefox. Surprisingly there are not only more operating systems than windows and Linux, there are a ton of browsers that you may not have ever heard of.

The reason I am not overly concern about this is twofold;

1st In many cases you can't do anything about it if you don't have access to other operating systems. Sure you could install something like Virtual Box OSE and install another operating system inside windows but let's face it, if you are reading this, you are not a computer geek like me, you have a product to move and that should be your primary focus. 

2nd A lot of people that do not use windows do so as a conscious decision. Rightly or wrongly I give these users more credit in terms of overall computer abilities. They often run into things that do not work (Flash websites, Adobe 10 and certain versions of Linux for instance do not play very well together). Now some Linux users (think poor countries, think Nicholas Negroponte and One Laptop per Child) may or may not be important to your business model, I just wanted to point out that it is not really just a windows world. Depending on what you are selling, this may be important.

Oh, I hate to open another can or worms but the fastest growing market for internet browsers is smart phones and other handheld devices. I have an itouch and I can view my webpages with it, they seem fine. I also noticed there is a web page extension .mobi for mobile devices. I actually purchased a .mobi domain a few months ago but haven't found the time to play with it and discover the important difference between a regular and .mobi domain, when I do have the time I will post the results on this website.

Screen Resolution - I have a 19" wide LCD screen. It displays content different from a regular 19" LCD screen, this is due to the change in aspect ratio. Due to the curvature of CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes are the big heavy displays that existed before Liquid Crystal Display screens, if your monitor is over 40 pounds, its likely a CRT) they display content slightly different than regular or wide screen LCDs. But these difference are minor compared to the screen resolutions that are used.

Another generalization - Older people tend to use a larger screen resolution meaning they see less of your web page. Is this important to you? I don't know, who are your potential customers?

Try this: Change your screen resolution. Drop it down to 1024 x 768 and see how much of your webpage is visible. This is potentially what 20% of your customers see. This is your prime 'real estate', it has more value than the rest of the web page. Your main message should be in this portion of the screen.

NOTE: If your screen resolution is smaller than 1024 by 768 first of all buy a new LCD screen, the money you save in power will more than make up the cost of an LCD. But seriously if you are on a lower screen resolution and your web page looks fine, than it will probably also look fine to everyone with higher screen resolutions, with one exception, the font may be too small to read on much larger screen resolutions.

Monitor Size - Closely related to screen resolution. I was unable to find any quick statistics on monitor size. The important thing to remember is your customers may have a much smaller monitor than you. This means they will see less of your webpage. This is basically the same as the screen resolution issue. Picture the top left hand side of the screen as home. Everyone sees that. But when you go over to the right some monitors display less than others. The same for down, but I don't consider that as big and issue and most people will scroll down.

Many people will never, ever, ever, ever scroll left and right. If you web page has horizontal scroll bars consider it a marketing failure. I am not trying to be rude, I am trying to save you a lot of time and effort.

So what's the bottom line with this beleaguered point? When you think your site looks good, go to your grandmothers house and check it out on the old computer to see what 20% of your customer will see.


26. Use the latest items feature to locate your content item quickly.

All you content items (documents) are stored under [Content/ All Content Items]. This is fine enough when you are starting out. All content items displays 50 items at a time so when as your site grows it can be difficult to locate the content item you want to edit. The Mambo developers have already thought about this and addressed it with a neat feature called Latest Items.

Try This: Go Home in your admin page (see step 21). Look to the right. Notice a series of tabs to the right of the big icons? Notice the Latest Items tab? Click on it. Notice it displays the latest items in chronological order. Notice you can click on the hyperlink for the content item to go into edit mode. Notice how much time you saved?

Time is money.

You probably also notice the other tabs; Logged, Components, Popular & Menu Stats, check them out, they are pretty self explanatory and of course are also hyperlinked to allow direct access to edit mode.


27. A silly quirk with hyperlinks and how to easily get around it.

I added this bullet while creating this d.. content item. If you add a hyperlink to the end of a line and then want to put a period or another space after it, sometimes the hyperlink extends to the newly typed characters. Sure you can break the link by hitting the broken chain icon but that kills your hyperlink too !

Here's what you do. Its kind of a pain but also really easy once you have done it a few times:

When you notice the hyperlink is extending ackspace over the character you just typed and hit Enter [takes you to a new line]. Then type the character you want and hit Home [takes you to the start of the line], then hit Backspace [moves your desired character to the end of the last line without hyperlinking it], then hit End [moves your cursor to the end of the line], then if you want continue typing.


28. Single content items can be published to main menu, top menu, etc.

This is really part of a more advanced discussion on mambo which I will post in the future but since we are getting to the end of our Intro topic you are not really a mambo newbie anymore anyways?

Congratulations on sticking with it and getting this far.

Generally Sections are created first, they are the biggest container in mambo. Categories are smaller containers & have to live in Sections. Content Items are the actual documents that are going to make you money. Content Items live in Categories which live in Sections.

Generally you will create one or more Sections and than create one of more Categories for each section. Than you will link the Categories to one of the menus (Home, Top, User, Other) so the category appears as a link in the menu and your content items will appear either in blog mode or in table mode depending on how you set up the link [Edit Mode/Right hand side/Link to Menu Tab].

Generally that is the way I do things, but it doesn't have to be that way. You can create a content item (it still has to live in a Section and a Category) but you can publish a link to the content item to any of the menus the same way you do with a Category.

You can also do this with Static Content and Sections.

Generally I assign categories to menus and put content items in categories, its that way the seems to be most appropriate given the content I work with. Mambo gives you many options that you may or may not need.


29. Weird stuff sometimes happens with Mambo, forget about it and stay focused on your end goal.

Mambo is not perfect. I really appreciated it after many years of working with it and also after some preliminary investigations of some of the other Open Source (free) Content Management Systems (CMS) out there.

Simply put it is the best that I have experienced. In the end it comes down to what do you really want to do. My thinking is that if you are reading this you really want to do something else and learning this or any other system is not your primary goal, just a incremental goal along the way. Having said that, does it make sense to limit your investment of time in this incremental goal ?

You need some sort of system that allows you to type what you want (your message) without having to know what you don't want to know (html, css, php, databases, programming,...). That is why Open Source CMS systems where developed. So pick one that seems to offer some support for you along the way and just jump in there in do it. I picked Mambo and since I offer free mambo support I think you should consider it as a very cost effective and workable platform.


30. Hit refresh at least twice when looking for changes.

Another late breaking bulletin. I am editing in one Opera tab and viewing the changes to the front page in another. I have noticed through out the creation of the article that I have to hit F5 (screen refresh) twice for changes to take place. I did not stop and test across all browsers, no time. Just know that sometimes when you hit refresh, if it doesn't, it may be a problem with your browser not your webpage. The good news in all this is it will not affect your customers on single bit (unless they are viewing your web page when you are editing it).


31. Don't forget your meta tags.

When you are editing a content item the right hand side of your screen displays 5 tabs, one of them is Meta Info go there now. Meta info is used by search engines like google to help your customers find your product, so this is very important for you. You have two boxes to fill out; Description and Keywords. Both are pretty self explanatory, Description is asking for a basic description in plain English of what your website does. Keywords are for indexing what people will be searching for to find your product. What will they type in google to find you? These words MUST be in your Meta Keywords so search engines know how to find you.

Separate Keywords with a comma (,). If a key word is a 'two word' phrase, then use single quotes (') at the start of the 1st word and end of the 2nd. 
 
In this case a picture really is worth a 1000 words. This is the meta info for this content item.


meta info

For Description I kinda cheated and used my title but only because the title was very descriptive of the contents.

For the keywords, now you can see the (,) and (') in action. The important thing I wanted to point out was line 1, notice that 
freemambohelp are 3 different keywords and 'free mambo help' is a single keyword. There is a difference between them, the last would only ever be a hit if someone searched for free mambo help, the first 'free' would get a hit for a search like 'free business software' or 'free dog poo, you pick up, small charge applies'.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE, especially if you don't want to get labelled as spammer by search engines and your Internet Host. If you are a suspected spammer, search engines will crucify you and your Internet Host will likely cancel your account and delete your website and all your data without notice. OK your
Internet Host is not going to do that for bad keywords, they'll do that for firing off 10,000 emails through their servers in under an hour, I just wanted to wake you up. 

But if you put keywords in that do not reflect your document content, do not expect to get found. Search engines are in the business of finding what people want. So naturally they reward those that assist them, ignore those that are just plan lost and punish the hell out of groups that misuse their search resources. 

So what do you really need to know about keywords? Think about what your customer will type in a search engine to find you. These are your target keywords. Your content item MUST reflect those keywords in order to get a good ranking and your content item MUST have those keywords if you do not want to take a hit.

So how do you do this?

First just write you document, get your ideas 'on paper'. Then think about the people that would benefit from this information and what they would type to search for it. These are your keywords. Are they in your content item? They really should be. Hint you can use Ctrl-F the find function to see how many times a particular word is in your content item, do this from the front end.

If you have a sincere message that people would benefit from but you feel they will not find you because of keywords, consider editing certain parts of the content item. I am not saying just toss them in - you actually take hits for that, search engines are a billion dollar business. If you are selling 
cars and you are always referring to them as automobiles, a small change to your choice of words could greatly affect your search engines ranking. 

This is not even scratching the surface of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is a topic of its own, and a very important one for you if you ever want to make money on the Internet (unless of course your business model does not depend on people finding you on the Internet). I will address SEO in a future article.

For now concentrate on setting up the initial website. I consider this more important. First of all you don't want to have a party when your house is a mess so why worry about investing time and money into attracting customers until you website is ready. This is foundation work, and setting meta tags, the 1st step of SEO, is in this foundation.

 


32. Just jump in there and do it ! (getting started by getting started).

I started this doc.. content item on Saturday morning at about 6 AM. I had not had my 1st coffee yet so needless to say, I was not overly enthused about the whole deal. It's currently 5 PM on Sunday and I am finishing my 31st point. On Saturday I was envisioning 5 maybe 10 points max, just something to help out new customers get up to speed quicker. In the process, as I opened the subject up more, I naturally found more content to write about. One thought lead to another to the point that at one time I stopped creating content and instead just focused on the numbered points at the top of the page. 

It's called getting into the zone and when it happens it is a beautiful thing.

I can't seem to be able to bring it on at will, at least not yet. But once I get into the zone, I can easily stay there for several days as long as I keep the topic at hand foremost in my mind. On Sunday when I got up I did not have to re-energize myself, I was mentally right where I left off on Saturday but with renewed physical energy.

Let your dreams work for you, its like money in the bank.


There are only two things in this world that will work for you aside from physical labour:


Thought & Money 


When you devote a majority of your time to solving a specific problem over a period of time something really special that I can not accurately describe happens. The best way I can put it is the whole exceeds the sum of the individual parts, something more, much more beneficial is added. I suspect it is the tremendous power of thought & the infinite power of creativity combined in action that I am observing.

You benefit from your efforts of thought. It really is that simple. "I think therefore I am" is a phenomenally powerful statement. Another one from Henry Ford, which I really like is:


If you think you can or you think you can't, you are right.


On this note, start today, focus on your dreams and go for it. Don't worry if you fall or fail, you will, you have to in order to succeed.

You learned how to walk by trying, falling down, getting up and doing it again until you no longer failed to walk.

This is no different.

It just seems like it is since it has been a really, really long time since you have chosen to embark on anything as complicated as learning to walk.

But seriously when you think about it, is deciding to form a new business and carve out a new way of life really any different than deciding to learn how to walk?

You decided to learn to walk when you recognized the possibility. You did not stop and analyse and say I'm too small and too clumsy to walk. You had the benefit of not knowing you were possibly too small or too clumsy to walk. You also had the benefit of a burning desire to walk. Mom and Dad walk. Brothers and Sisters walk. Even the dog and cat walk, I want to walk ! <--that's called a burning desire !

So you already recognize that there is a better life waiting for you. I know this because you are still reading. This is good, you already have 50 % of the equation. And the other half is in your dreams,....


Think about success all the time until success becomes your working reality and then improve upon it endlessly.

It's like Golf, Wing Chun or other creative pursuits, your are never finished, the joy is in the journey not the destination.





 




















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Last Updated ( Mar 10, 2011 at 10:01 PM )
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Using Templates Effectively
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Nov 19, 2005 at 07:34 AM

Your Mambo installation comes bundled with a default template and CSS. The template that displays when you first install the site is optimized for screen displays of 1024 x 768 and higher. In addition, we have included a second version of this template optimized for 800 x 600 displays.

Mambo supports a number of options which allow you to change the display of the content on your site, enabling you to achieve a personalized look and feel without having to modify the template file.

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Last Updated ( Nov 29, 2005 at 09:46 PM )
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