My favourite Joomla 4 feature - customizable dashboard

Joe Sonne about his favourite Joomla 4 feature

Joomla 4 comes with a couple of pretty neat new features, and at the Joomla Community Magazine we love to hear what you do with them. In this issue, Joe Sonne tells us how he customizes the administrator dashboard for his backend users. This is relatively easy; all you need is curiosity, creativity and a good idea of what your users need. And if you know a bit of CSS and HTML, you can knock yourself out creating the best user experience ever for your users.

Thanks for participating in this article, Joe! Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm Joe Sonne and I currently live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, just an hour west of where I grew up in Toronto.

I've been involved with Joomla since 2005 and served on different Teams for the project including the OSM board in the past. Many people in the Joomla Community know me as JoeJoomla. That is also the name of my website brand for The Joe Sonne Group.

What is your favourite Joomla 4 feature and why?

My favourite feature of Joomla 4 is the new Joomla administrator template which is called 'Atum'. The volunteers who designed and created Atum did an incredible job of putting all the power of Joomla 4 at your fingertips and giving you the ability to easily customize the Joomla Administrator area.

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Can you give some Time4Joomla?

Do you sometimes wonder who the people behind the scenes are putting Joomla together? Most of the time it's users like you who have decided to give a little bit of time - answering a form post, translating some language strings, writing some documentation or perhaps testing some patches. Here's how you can give some Time4Joomla.

You will have seen the Joomla4All slogan which marketing introduced at the launch of Joomla4.

It has been followed in newsletters, press releases and articles with a series of refinements on the theme, Joomla4Accessibility, Joomla4Speed, Joomla4Security, you get the picture.

These are all things that Joomla delivers for us, its users and is a neat way to brand the features of Joomla and explain how Joomla can help us to work better and do more.

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Design becomes reality. J4 landing page, part 2

For those just joining the story so far here is the first instalment where I discover that there is such a thing called the Joomla 3 landing page, stumble across the designs for the new Joomla 4 landing page and realise there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

In this episode, we unpack the wonderful work that Chiara Aliotta put into the landing page before the Joomla World Conference in Rome. Get to find out what the webmasters' team do and experience the synergy that goes into making the page happen.

Choosing the colours

The first challenge we faced was unpicking the subtle colour changes involved in the design layout. Chiara had not just designed one page, she had designed a theme of pages to last through the 4.x series.

Each minor release (4.1, 4.2) had a base colour. The landing page was designed to change over time as we progressed through the 4.x series. The various areas of the page were variations on that base colour. I'm not a graphics artist, so that's as technical as I get in my description. If you are muttering colourful language at the PC containing different hues, shades, tints and tones then a quick recruitment plug: we are always looking for more talent in the Marketing Department and your skills will be gratefully received. Back to the story in hand, the colours needed to be set as variables in the scss so that they could change over time.

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Joomla 4.0.3 and Joomla 3.10.2 are here!

Joomla 4.0.3  and 3.10.2 are now available. These are bug-fix releases for the 4.0.x and 3.10.x series of Joomla which contain many bug fixes and improvements.

What's in 4.0.3?

Joomla 4.0.3 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

Transitions in workflows are now translatable Google Fonts are now loaded with higher priority in Cassiopeia  Improved Error Handling in the LDAP Plugin

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

What's in 3.10.2?

Joomla 3.10.2 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

Improve texts that are shown when there is a standalone update for the Joomla Update Component (#35373) Improvements for the pre upgrade checker (#35481, #35510)

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

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Not Today, But Coming Soon

Hi JUGCNers and Friends,

We are asking for your patience as the team and I continue to put together content for upcoming sessions. There is so much to talk about with Joomla 3.10 and Joomla 4. Our goal is to give you relatable and actionable information.  We also continue to drive to connect you with other Joomla groups and information to help you have the best Joomla site ever.  Lofty goals but with your help, and patience, we think they are doable.

Stay Tuned!

If you were not able to attend our Joomla 4 Launch After Party, the recording is now available

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Explore the core! Structure your Content with Categories

Guess what’s the most important on your website? A beautiful template? Wrong! Nice colours and barrier-free? Wrong! Good SEO URLs? Wrong again!

It is the content. No content - no website. Joomla as a Content Management System (CMS) – is born to manage every amount of content. This can be everything: Articles, Contacts, Banners .. everything is a piece of content and the more content items you have, the more important a good content structure is.

In this article from the February issue, Viviana Menzel explains some facts.

In the same way you manage your files in folders on your computer  (but with much more possibilities) you organise articles in categories.

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Joomla turns 16

Happy Birthday Joomla!

At the last meeting of the magazine team, we came up with the proposal to have an article in the August issue celebrating Joomla's 16th birthday. The main idea was to ask several Joomlers how Joomla has affected/changed their lives in these 16 years. Because at the JCM we love to hear Joomla stories. Each of the participants in this meeting started to tell, very briefly, how Joomla changed their life. At that point we said, how about this time we, the JCM team, tell our experience with Joomla?

Anja de Crom

We are talking about 2008 here. My partner, a publisher at that time, needed a website for promoting books. I wanted to build this myself, we stumbled upon Joomla and I started. I had never even worked with a content management system. Even worse: the only websites I had ever built (a total of 3) I made with Frontpage, in the previous century. So I had almost no knowledge whatsoever (which is why I soon discovered the power of the community), but that didn’t keep me from creating a fully functioning, well-visited website, with a webshop and a newsletter integrated.

Joomla took some getting used to in the beginning, but I learned a lot and got better fast. I joined a user group. I learned so much there, from all these nice people sharing their knowledge. After a few months, I became the co-organizer of this JUG. Not much later I found out I actually knew something somebody else didn't and I could help people with their problems! That was a major life-changer.

When I started making up new projects just to be able to build another website and another, I figured it might be time to quit my work as a writer and journalist and become a web designer by profession. So I switched to that, and in 2018 my partner joined me and together we founded WebLab42. We create and maintain websites and custom applications, all in Joomla.

I really like to share my knowledge and meet other Joomlers. Over the past twelve years, I have been giving talks at user groups and Joomla Days, translated Joomla Documentation, joined PBF events, joined the Dutch JoomlaDays Team, co-organised two successful editions of the Dutch Joomla Unconference event Joostock (we hope to do another after the Covid-situation), and since a year I’m a member of the Joomla Community Magazine Team. Giving back to the community makes you feel its power even more.

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Explore the core! The Joomla 4 Dashboard

Joomla 4 Control Panel

When you're new to Joomla (or just new to Joomla 4), your first impression of the Joomla administrator can be a little overwhelming. So many possibilities, and what do all these things even mean? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. In this series, experienced Joomla users help you find your way. In this month’s issue, Vivana Menzel gives you a guided tour through the heart of the backend: the dashboard. Enjoy!

Joomla 4 comes with a lot of improvements and new functions, as you can read in the official announcements ( The heart of the backend, where you as administrator will work day by day is the dashboard.

What do you find on the dashboard?

The dashboard consists of a status bar with buttons and a main vertical menu on the left side (or on the right side for rtl languages), and, in the main panel, several modules with links to the most important parts of Joomla: Users, Articles, Plugins, Global Configuration, etc.. We’ll start with explaining the backend modules

All modules on the dashboard can be edited and adapted to your own needs. And you can add new modules to the dashboard.

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Pre-Update Check - Your path to Joomla 4

Joomla 4's now available, but if you're thinking about upgrading from Joomla 3.9, here's some important things to keep in mind before you click the Update button.

In conjunction with the release of Joomla 4 Stable today, Joomla 3.9 users will also be able to upgrade their sites to Joomla 3.10 Stable, also released today. This update for Joomla 3 series sees a number of new features introduced mainly to assist users with their transition to Joomla 4.

There's no need to rush upgrading to Joomla 4

Joomla 4.0 Stable was released shortly before this issue of Joomla Community Magazine was published, so for many readers who have used Joomla for some time, I imagine you're like most of my Joomla user group colleagues in Australia.

You'll have been watching and looking at Joomla 4's development for a while now. Over recent months you will have been enthusiastically anticipating using it for new websites (my first Joomla 4 site is already seeing a steady stream of enquiries arriving for my client).

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Recruitment, Retention and Recognition

With the release of Joomla 4.0, Joomlers - Joomla's hard-working volunteers - are as important as ever. Whether you're completing an occasional task to support the project, a regular contributor to a team's activities, a member of a team or working group, right through to the various levels of leadership in the organisation, I thank you on behalf of Joomla and look forward to many years of contributions to come.

Over 16 years, tens of thousands of hours have been contributed to the project by hundreds of volunteers worldwide. Many of those volunteers have been working away in the background, sometimes anonymously, sometimes known to just a few in the organisation.

I'd like to see that change a little. 

As the Volunteer Engagement Team (VET) team leader, I'd like the VET to be able to recognise more of the contributions volunteers are making, both in the past and going forward. As an organisation, we're looking at improving our communication with volunteers, including communicating more often with volunteers to present them with opportunities to get engaged with the project. We'd like to encourage readers to reach out to their networks to see if others may be interested in finding out more about volunteering with the project.

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