Find the Right Width for Your Site

This tutorial will show you how to find the right width for your site.

Find Your Own Screen Width


First, we'll find the current width of your screen so you can have an idea of how large these sizes are. Most of the time it will be in your computer settings:
- For my Mac its Apple icon >> System Preferences >> Displays
- For my PC its Start >> Control Panel >> Display >> Settings
In this case my screen is 1680x1050.

Find Your Visitors Most Common Screen Sizes


Your own screen probably isn't the best width to use. I'd go to Google Analytics and check what the most common screen sizes are for your site visitors. Go to Visitors >> Browser Capabilities >> Screen Resolutions.

Examine the Screen Sizes


Generally the more tech-savvy your visitors, the large the screen. In this case it wouldn't make much sense to have a narrow website width. Ideally our site will be at least close to 1000px. Increasingly widths of around 960px are common.

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404 Not Found in Joomla Administrator - JSecure

This is one common solution if you're getting a "404 Not Found" error when visiting your Joomla administrator area. The problem often lies with a good and useful product called JSecure. You normally have to remember a specific URL that was set in the administrator area. For example: This stops people from trying to guess your login, but if you forget your secret code ...

Do you see this screen?


If you do, the problem is JSecure. Have you really forgotten your secret code? If so, read on ...

Login to Your Hosting Account


Or you could go via FTP. Essentially you just need a way to get to your files.

Find Your File Manager


Every hosting company should give you access to your files, although the access may be in different places with each host. This is an example from the popular CPanel software.

Browse to /Plugins/System/


You need to access the /plugins/ folder than then the /system/ folder.

Find JSecure.php


Rename the File


Just give jsecure.php a different name and save it. Next time to try to access your site, the 404 error should have gone.

Find and Edit Joomla CSS Problems

This purpose of this tutorial is to show you how to find and fix problems with your Joomla templates. We're going to focus on CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets) because they control very common issues such as fonts, colors and padding.

Download and Install Firefox


No question about it, Firefox is the best tool you can find for fixing problem on your website. Download from and install.

Install the Web Developer Plugin


Firefox is useful for the same reason as Joomla ... it has 1000s of amazing addons. The one we're going to use is called "Web Developer". Visit in your Firefox browser and click "Add to Firefox".

Visit Your Joomla Site


We're going to use the default Joomla for this tutorial.

Diagonse Your Problem


In this example, our welcome message is too small. We'd like to have "Welcome to the Frontpage" in larger text.

Start the Webdeveloper toolbar


Click "CSS" in the toolbar and then click "View Style Information"

Click the item you want to edit


Hover your mouse over any part of the page and a red box will appear around it. Click on that area.

See the CSS Code at the bottom of the page


At the bottom of the page you'll get a lot of information about why that item on your site looks like it does. Here's what's controlling the "Welcome to the Frontpage" line:
1: The file with it's exact location
2: The exact line number inside that file
3: The code at that line number
In this case you can see that the font-size is 1.5em. We'll need to increase that number.

Login to Your Joomla Site


Go to Extensions >> Template Manager inside your site

Click on Your Template Name


Click "Edit CSS"


Open Your Template' CSS File


Browse down to find the template you saw in the previous step called "Find the CSS code at the bottom of the page". Click "Edit" in the top-right corner.

Copy Your Test into an Editor


I'm using Notepad in this example, but any text editor will do. If you have a code editor with line numbers, even better!

Backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup!!!


If you're doing this for the first time, you will make mistakes. Backup your file so that you can roll back those mistakes when they happen.

Find Your Code to Change


Search for the code that you find earlier in the tutorial.

Change the Code


Especially when you're getting started, this may involve some trial and error. In this example, I'm going to increase the font-size from 1.5 to 1.7.

Paste Back into Your Joomla Site


Paste the code back into your Template Manager and click "Apply".

Check the Change


Great - in this case the change worked and text is larger. If you the change isn't just what you want, you'll need to go back a few steps to "Change the Code" and try again.

Some Notes

1) This is a process of trial-and-error. Don't expect to get it right first time, ever time.
2) Make one change then check. Make one change then check. If you do that, it's easy to spot a mistake. However, if you make wholesale changes before checking, it will be very difficult to find where you went wrong.
3) If you want to move faster, get an FTP Editor that will allow you to edit this files more quickly and accurately. That however, is for another tutorial :)

Change Joomla htaccess.txt file to .htaccess with CPanel

Changing your htaccess.txt file to .htaccess is important in Joomla because it allows you to enable Search Engine Friendly URLs. It's also an important step to help keep your site safe. Here's how to do it.

Login into your CPanel


Often you can access your CPanel just by adding /cpanel to your domain name ...

Access the File Manager


Although your screen may not look 100% identical to the one above, every version of Cpanel does come with a "File Manger" option somewhere.

Choose to Go to the Webroot


Find htaccess.txt

Your files and folders will be listed alphabetically. Scroll down until you find htaccess.txt


Check the box next to htaccess.txt and click "Rename" at the top of the page.

Change the file name to .htaccess


Enter .htaccess as the new file name and click "Rename File"

Showing a Google Calendar Inside Joomla

This tutorial will show you how to display a Google Calendar inside your Joomla website.

Go to Your Google Calendar


Go, login and and click "Settings" in the top-right corner.

Find the Calendar ID


Click on "Calendars" and then click on the name of your calendar. Scroll down to "Calendar Address" and copy the "Calendar ID" to your notepad. It will have a long string of characters and then

Make the Calendar Public


Click "Share This Calendar", check the box next to "Make this calendar public" and click "Save".

Download the GCalendar Component


Now that you have your Google Calendar set up correctly, we're going to install the necessary Joomla component. Visit to download the GCalendar component

Extract the GCalendar Folder


Click on the GCalendar folder and extract it so you can see the various extensions inside.

Install GCalendar


Go to Extensions >> Install/Uninstall and click "Browse" to upload com_gcalendar

Go to the GCalendar Component


Go to Components >> GCalendar >> GCalendars

Creating a New Calendar


Click "New" in the top-right corner. You'll see three fields. You only need to give the calendar a title and enter the "Calendar ID" you found and saved earlier. Click "Save"

Make a Menu Link to the Calendar


Go to Menus >> Main Menu >> click "New" >> choose "GCalendar"

Choose the Calendar


Choose the calendar you created and click "Save".

Your Calendar Should Be Ready ...


Using Docman to Handle Documents in Joomla

Docman is perhaps the most popular way to handle documents in Joomla. This tutorial will show you how to use it.

Download Docman


Visit and download Docman v1.4.0. There is a more modern version of Docman that is commercial. We're using the free version in this tutorial.

Enable the Legacy Plugin


Login to the administrator area of your Joomla site and go to Extensions >> Plugin Manager. Click to enable the "System - Legacy" plugin.

Install Docman


Go to Extensions >> Install/Uninstall and click "Browse" to upload Docman

Add a New Category


Go to Components >> Docman >> Categories and click "New" in the top-right corner.

Name and Save the Category


Give your new category a name and click "Save" in the top-right corner.

Start Uploading Documents


Click "Files" and then "Upload" in the top-right corner.

Choose Upload Option


Normally you'll want to keep this option as it is and just click "Next>>>"

Upload Your File


Browse to find your file and then click "Submit"

Choose to Make a New Document


Once you have uploaded your file, the next step is to create a "Document" out of it. That simply means giving it a name, description and other details. Click "Make a new document entry using this file."

Add Details to the Document


Make sure that both "Approved" and "Published" are set to "Yes". Then click "Save".

Verify that Your Document is Created


Hopefully your new document will appear as above.

Make a Menu Link to Docman


Go to Menus >> Main Menu >> click on "New" >> choose "Docman". Choose a title for your menu link and click "Save".

View Docman On the Front of Your Site


Click "Preview" in the top-right corner and you'll see your new menu link. Click on it and you'll see your Docman category. Open the category to see your file

Extra Feature: Docman Groups


Docman also has a very powerful permissions system that allows you to control who can and cannot access documents. Start by going to Components >> Docman >> Groups

Creating a Docman Group


Click "Add" in the top-right corner". You can create a group of users simply by moving them from the "users available" list to the "Members in this Group" list.

Giving Groups Access to a Document


Now when you open up any document you can click "Permissions" and give access only to a certain group of users.

Place an Image Inside a Joomla Module

This lessons will show you how to insert an image into a Joomla module and make it appear to your site visitors.

Go to the Module Manager


Go to Administrator >> Extensions >> Module Manager

Click to Create a New Module


Click "New" in the top-right corner

Choose "Custom HTML"


We can choose to create any kind of new module here. We'll choose "Custom HTML".

Find Your Image


Click the Image button at the bottom of the page. You'll see a pop-up window. Either choose an image from here or click "Browse" and upload your image.

Insert Your Image


Click "Insert" and your image should be in the text editor.

Configure the Module


Choose your module position from the dropdown and then click "Save"

See the Image On Your Site


Visit the front of your site and the image should now appear on the page.

Changing the Joomla Homepage to a Different Component

This tutorial will show you how to place a shopping cart, photo gallery, video gallery or any other kind of component on your homepage, instead of the normal list of articles.

Step 1: Finding the Current Homepage


Login to your Joomla site administrator area and hover your mouse over "Menus". Click on whichever menu has the star beside it.

Step 2: Finding the Current Home Link


Look for the link that has the yellow star in the default column. That is your current homepage.

Step 3: Changing the Homepage


Check the box next to the link that you would like to be the homepage and then click "Default" in the top-right corner.

Step 4: All Done!


"Joomla License" is now your homepage.

Adding Downloadable Products to Virtuemart

This tutorial will show you how to add downloads to your Virtuemart products.

Access Your Virtuemart Configuration


Go to Administrator >> Components >> Virtuemart >> Admin >> Configuration

Access the Downloads Tab


Check the box next to "Enable Downloads" and click "Save.

Open an Existing Product


Go to Products >> List Products and click on an existing product.

Have a Virtuemart Product Open


When the product is open, you'll see a new link on the left under Products. This new link will be called "Add Image/File". Click on it.

Upload Your File


After clicking on "Add Image/File" you'll be taken to a screen like this where you can attach images to your product.

Seeing Existing Files


You can always check back and see which files are assigned to which products by going to Products >> List Products and clicking on the "Media" column.

Managing Existing Files