Joomla Explanation – Understanding Sections, Categories, Articles and Menu Items in Joomla

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Last Updated on May 4, 2018 by David Bryan

People who start using Joomla usually struggle with understanding how the content management system works and what things mean.

 Here is a very quick Joomla explanation to cover terms like: Sections, Categories, Articles and Menu Items. It’s easy if you think in terms of a book…

Joomla Sections

Table of Contents

In this post we will explore the following topics:


Consider Joomla sections as broad topics within your book that can include sub-topics or categories. Lets say we are going to build a site about Learning to Drive. A section (or topic) could be:

  • Learning to drive

Joomla Categories

The Joomla categories within your section could be “Theory”, “Parking”, “Pass Plus”:

  • Theory
  • Parking
  • Pass Plus

Another way to approach the Learning to Drive site is by creating sections called:

  • Theory
  • Parking
  • Pass Plus

You then have the ability to create a much larger website because you can have several categories for each section. Consider the following example:

  • Theory
    • Motorway
    • Roundabouts
    • Pedestrian crossings
    • Traffic lights
  • Parking
    • Reverse parking
    • Three point turn
  • Pass Plus
    • Benefits
    • Modules
    • Courses

Joomla Articles

Many people come to Joomla from a HTML background and think in terms of web pages. In Joomla, there is no such concept as a “page”, only a Joomla article. Again, think of Learning to Drive: You write a Joomla article about Reverse Parking. This article is placed under the section called Parking and into the category Reverse parking. Now your website has a structure using Joomla Sections, Categories and Articles. Remember you can always move your article into a new or different section or category at a later point if needed.

Joomla Menu items

Joomla menu items are there to help visitors navigate to specific Joomla articles, categories or sections. When you create a menu item you can link directly to a section, category or uncategorised article. You can also create a menu item to link to a component built by a third-party such as a events calendar or image rotator. You can also link to built in Joomla components like contacts, poll, search plus much more.

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