Have you tried building a website with Joomla! yet? It’s a great system; it allows those of us with limited time to devote to website building the chance to achieve interactive sites we would have otherwise thought impossible. But don’t fall for the line about building a Joomla! site in an afternoon! For most of us it ain’t about to happen!
There are a number of books out there that can help with Joomla! But they all start off at a point well beyond the reach of the average Facebook page owner. Believe me, it’s not just a matter of picking a template and uploading images and content. Permissions are a good example of this dichotomy between hype and reality.
Briefly, permissions decide who can make changes to your Joomla! website; they restrict and control everything from uploading to changing your backend settings like the global GoDaddy configurations. I recently ran afoul of them after uploading a Joomla! site to my Godaddy web hosting center. Everything seemed in order and I proceeded to upload content, but the moment I tried to change something in the global configuration suite I discovered otherwise: an ugly blue banner that said “An error has occurred! Unable to open configuration.php file to write!” slid across the page. What the heck did that mean? I was the “Super Administrator!” I should be able to do anything I want! Shouldn’t I? Apparently not…
Forget the books I mentioned earlier. They were no help at all. Fortunately the web is replete with discussion forums concerned with Joomla!. The problem with these forums is that most of them couch their explanations in terms most weekend-web developers have neither the time nor inclination to follow. This was by no means my first rodeo and I still had a hard time keeping up!
One answer I found to this particular problem required the use of the ftp client, Filezilla. Now while Filezilla isn’t a particularly complicated program, it still requires a bit of time and effort to learn to use it (It will take up at least one morning or afternoon on the weekend you have set aside to build that Joomla! website). Fortunately I’d used it before and was able to follow the directions provided by the Joomla! forum; it seemed a simple matter of a right click on the file attributes. Problem was, it didn’t work for me. I tried it over and over and it still didn’t work; the changes to file attributes simply wouldn’t save. I thought I had to be missing something obvious and I kept digging deeper and deeper into the discussions.
Finally, after spending the better part of a day trying to find the answer I found what I was looking for on page five or six of the Google search results. One of the discussion participants simply said, “if your ftp client doesn’t work you might have to check your hosting provider’s file maintenance tools.” Bingo! The light went on and I raced back to Godaddy. And there it was–looking big as Dallas–in my file manager, “Permissions!”