You must be logged into the backend as a Super Administrator in order to access the Global Configuration page. From a best practices standpoint, it is best to limit the number of people who have access to Super Administrator accounts. The main difference between Administrator and Super Administrator is that Super Administrators have the ability to break the site more easily. They have the ability to accidentally uninstall needed extensions and the Global Configuration page is where Super Administrators have the potential to cause the most problems to the site if they don’t know what they’re doing.
There are two ways to access the Global Configuration screen:
Click the Global Configuration icon in the Control Panel.
From the top menu, select Site→Global Configuration.
It’s safe to click around and play with most of the options; however, there are some options that, if changed, would cause your website to cease functioning.
The Global Configuration page is broken down into three main tabs, outlined in each of the following sections.
- Site Offline
Setting this to Yes will cause the frontend of your website to display the “Offline Message” you see below it in the editable box instead of loading your site. A login screen will also appear to allow authorized people to view the site while offline.
- Offline Message
This is the message displayed when the website is offline.
- Site Name
Site Name is the name of your website, commonly displayed in the title bar of your browser.
- Default WYSIWYG Editor
When creating articles, Joomla provides a rich content editor (WYSIWYG, or What You See Is What You Get) to allow you to quickly format your content similar to a word processing program. You can specify the default editor for all users.
- List Length
When listing content in the Joomla backend, this parameter is the number of items to display per page. This is only the default value and users have the ability to adjust this when viewing the list.
- Feed Length
- Feed Email
When the feed is generated, each item lists the author of that item. This setting allows you to dictate whether you want the feed to show the author’s email or the site’s email.
- Global Site Meta Description
This contains the description metadata. This helps search engines know what your site is about. Some search engines display your metadescription under the link to your site within their search results, therefore it is important not to leave this as the default Joomla description.
- Global Site Meta Keywords
- Show Title Meta Tag
If set to Yes, the title of the article you are viewing will show in the metadata.
- Show Author Meta Tag
If set to Yes, the author of the article you are viewing will show in the metadata.
- Search Engine Friendly URLs
Friendly URLs are human-readable and are better for search engine ranking. This setting turns them on and off. Chapter 19 goes into much more detail on the subject of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine–friendly URLs.
- Use Apache mod_rewrite
- Add suffix to URLs