Creating Contacts in Joomla

In general, Joomla’s default installation comes with sample contact information to populate the Contact Manager. You will want to create a new contact for your suppliers’ Contacts category. To do this, you have to open the Contact Manager. Either select the Contacts link from the Category Manager screen or select Components ➤ Contacts ➤ Contacts from the menu bar. The Contact Manager will open, as shown in Figure 5-18. Initially there is no contact in the list.

1. Introduction to the Contact Manager Toolbar

Let’s take a look at Table 5-4, which briefly explains the toolbar icons in the Contact Manager.

You’ll be creating two contacts:

  • John David: The storekeeper in your organization
  • Purchases: The department that you’ll link to the sanjay user that you just created

The idea behind creating two contacts is that you want the queries made to John David to be e-mailed to him directly, but the queries to Purchases to be e-mailed to the user linked to it—that is, to the e-mail address for sanjay.

2. Creating the First Contact

Click the New icon to create a new contact with the name John David. You’ll be assigning him to the Suppliers category. He isn’t linked to any user and he has an e-mail address to which all queries made via the contact form will be sent. The screen that opens up has five tabs: New Contact, Miscellaneous Information, Publishing, Display, and Form. The New Contact tab is opened by default. Enter the information for the contact John David as shown in Figure 5-19.

Table 5-5 gives a brief description of each of the fields and the information you need to enter in them.

3. Entering Additional Info for the Contact

When you click the Miscellaneous Information tab, you get a screen similar to Figure 5-20. In the provided box, you can enter any miscellaneous or additional information about the new contact.

Defining Publishing and Meta Info for the Contact

The Publishing tab shows the publishing details of the new contact (see Figure 5-21). The screen shows information such as the date on which the contact was created, username of the creator, when was it last modified, username of the modifier, number of times the contact has been revised, count of the hits (views) on the contact, unique identification number, contact ID, and so on.

The screen also allows you to enter some meta information for the contact used by search engines to locate your site. In the Meta Description (optional) field, enter a short description of this contact. In the Meta Keywords (optional) box, enter some keywords (separated by commas) that will help display this contact when related content, articles, and so on are viewed by the user. Choose the desired Robots from the combo box to help make your site visible to the search engines. In the Rights field, you can write the rights that users need to use this contact.

4. Defining What to Display or Hide

As its name suggests, the Display tab (see Figure 5-22) prompts whether to display or hide certain specific information from the contact’s content. Table 5-6 briefly describes the fields shown on the page.

5. Configuring the Contact Form

The Form tab displays options that enable users to submit the contact form (see Figure 5-23). From the Show Contact Form, choose the Show option to display a contact form to the user. Set the Send Copy to Submitter field to Show if you want the submitted contact form to be e-mailed to the contact as well as to the sender.

In the Banned Email field, enter the terms (separated by commas) to stop spamming. If an e-mail address includes any of the specified terms, the form will not be submitted. In the Banned Subject field, enter the terms (separated by semicolons) that will stop the form from submitting if found in the e-mail subject line. Similarly, in the Banned Text field, enter the terms (separated by semicolons) that will stop the form from submitting if found in the e-mail form text. Set the Session check to Yes to know whether the cookies are enabled on the user’s machine. Cookies are used for session management, and the user cannot submit the form if cookies are not enabled on his/her machine. Set the Custom Reply field to No if you don’t want to send the auto reply to the user. Enter the URL in the Contact Redirect field if you want the user to be redirected to a specific URL on submitting the form.

After entering the information for the contact John David, click the Save & Close icon to save it.

6. Creating a Second Contact

Now let’s create one more contact, Purchases, and link it to the user sanjay. Again, click the New icon on the toolbar of the Contact Manager, and you’ll see the form for entering information for a new contact again.

Enter the information shown in Figure 5-24.

Name the new contact Purchases and assign it the position Purchase Manager and the category Suppliers. The main things to note regarding this contact are these:

  • It is linked to the user sanjay.
  • The e-mail address is left blank because it will use the e-mail address of the user sanjay.

Everything else is almost the same as for the contact John David.

Click the Miscellaneous Information tab and enter the additional information of the Purchases contact, as shown in Figure 5-25.

7. Introduction to Contact Manager Columns

After entering the information for the contact Purchases, click the Save & Close icon to save it. You’ll find that both contacts, John David and Purchases, appear in the Contact Manager list, as shown in Figure 5-26.

Table 5-7 will give a brief description of the meaning of the columns in the Contact Manager list.

The Filter combo boxes are used to display only the desired contacts. You can choose the desired option that is searched for in the contact names, and only the names that match the supplied option are displayed. For example, if you select Unpublished from the Status combo box, only the unpublished contacts (if any) will be displayed in the list. Choose the Select Status option from the combo box to view the full list again. This is handy when you have a great many contacts.

So you’ve created a user, sanjay; a Contacts category, Suppliers; and two contacts, John David and Purchases (linked to the user sanjay). Now it’s time to create menu items to link to the contacts you’ve made. As mentioned in Chapter 4, a menu item is a text link in a menu that when clicked either invokes the module linked to it or displays the assigned information. The visitor to your web site needs a link to click in order to open the contact forms of the two contacts that you have created. You’ll create it in the next section.

Source: Harwani B M (2015), Foundations of Joomla!, Apress; 2nd ed edition

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