Configuring ZOO in Joomla. Main concepts and definitions

What JBZoo application and ZOO component are, what they consist of

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In this article we’ll examine main concepts of JBZoo. We’ll uncover matters that mainly relate to ZOO itself, but will nevertheless bring some light to JBZoo nature and its interconnection with Joomla.

Joomla component

Component in Joomla is a main functional part of the website which is normally located in the middle of the page (content). For example, it could be a list of articles, news, product page, product catalog etc. Different components are built differently and can implement various functionality.

For example, the embed Joomla article component is quite elementary and can display only the simplest kind of articles. Main information that might come handy is an article name and text. Extending it in Joomla with your own add-ons is a hard work which is not always easy for an ordinary developer. Some people just don’t want to waste time on it. Also, most of the code changes should be rewritten for new Joomla versions.

That’s why YOOtheme company created ZOO component which added essential and interesting functionality. Now almost any type of content can be managed from one component. Developers offered both paid and free versions (you can download it from the YOOtheme website). After installing the application, you’ll be able to create news, blogs, simple pages adding different elements such as switches, drop-down lists, Google maps and many others. Just in a mouse-click!

Location of ZOO in the control panel:

So, you’ve just installed ZOO component. To have a look at it and configure it, go to “Components” -> “ZOO” in the top dropdown menu.

Example of a componentExample of a componentExample of a componentHow to get to the component configurationZOO component in the control panel

JBZoo application

Application configuration managerJBzoo application is an extension for the ZOO component. To cut a long story short, it has all benefits of the paid version of ZOO and some additional features such as filtering by fields, dynamic caching for increased website performance and much more. Furthermore, the price is several times less!

Location of JBZoo in the control panel:

Choosing JBZoo AppSo, you’ve just installed JBZoo. Now you can configure it by going to “Components” -> “ZOO” and clicking the “Cog-wheel” tab. There you need to choose “JBZoo App”.

Joomla module

Joomla modules

Joomla modules are easy and flexible extensions that are used on website pages. Usually, these blocks are located around components and display additional information of the website or have some other useful functionality. Well known module examples are: user authorization form, menu, breadcrumbs, search form. Modules can be associated with components. For example, to display a block with latest news.

We have created an advanced search module (in other words, filtering by fields) and included it in JBZoo package. Its installation will take less than a couple of minutes. It can be configured very easily and without any programming knowledge.

Location of JBZoo search module in the control panel:

So, you’ve just installed JBZoo search module. You can read an article about advanced search configuration in order to understand how to manage it.

What is an item?

Item is an important part of the content and usually consists of texts, links, images and other static information. For example, in the news list an item is any news. Items are displayed by components in which they were created.

Location of items in ZOO component:

Go to the component configuration and you’ll see a list of available items. By clicking its links you will go to the page of item editing and by clicking the “New” button at the top you can create a new item.

Attention! To display an item or a list of items (news, for example) on your website, you have to create a menu link that corresponds to that item or its category (that’s how Joomla works). You can read about it in the articles about menu management.

An itemItems list in ZOO control panelItem editing

What is a category?

Category is a list of items. For example, product catalog consists of product lists with detailed description. ZOO component is executed in such a way that categories can have unlimited nesting and an item can belong to several categories.

Location of categories in ZOO component:

Go to the component and click the “Categories” tab. You’ll see a full list of categories of this application. You can easily drag them up and down, publish and unpublish, and configure each category separately. All in all, you will never experience such convenient things in a standard Joomla category manager.

CategoriesCategories list in ZOO componentCategory editing

Item fields

Fields are additional properties of an item. They are displayed as text, switches (radio), checkboxes etc.

Advantages of fields in ZOO:

  • Easy content management. For example, you created a “Delivery condition” field as a checkbox element and made two options for it: “Yes” and “No”. Now, while creating content you just have to tick the needed checkbox to specify delivery.
  • It can be configured as you wish, that is, it can be displayed in the place wherever you want on the page.
  • It can be displayed in JBZoo filter the way you customized it. For example, Using a filter your visitors can find products with or without delivery by selecting respective option.

Fields

There are system fields (core fields) and custom fields in ZOO.

System fields are those present in any item. For example, creation date, its category, name, author etc.

Custom fields can be configured individually for each item type. For example, you can easily add “Price” field to the “Product” item type and “Intro text” to the “News”.

Fields can have different appearance (text string, editor, checkbox, radio-buttons etc.) and greatly differ in functionality (gallery, social buttons, video, file upload etc.).

Location of fields in ZOO component:

Open any item for editing and you’ll see custom and system fields.

Item types

Item types in the control panelItem type is a specific kind of content, for example, news, articles, products. Each item type plays its certain role in filling website content. For example, “News” type can have such fields as “Intro text”, “Full text”, “Image”, “List of links” etc. A catalogue item can have such fields as “Processor”, “Video card”, “Memory” etc. So, we have two independent kinds of content (items).

Location of item types in ZOO component:

Go to the configuration of ZOO application and you’ll see a list of available item types. You can create a new one by clicking “New”.

Item templates

Teaser template in a category page

Item templates (output templates) are different ways of displaying items on a website. For example, short description is displayed in the teaser of news but not in the item itself. Everything is pretty flexible in ZOO so you can include or exclude some fields in any template if you want.

Item templates are displayed depending on the outer conditions. For example, while viewing a category, an item “Teaser” will be displayed. On the page of a specific item it’s “Full” template will be used.

Notice. Screenshots may be slightly different depending on versions of ZOO and JBZoo.

Category, Demo, Filter, Item, Module

Still gotta questions, who can help me?

Visit our special JBZoo tech support forum which is specifically meant for JBZoo so the priority of the response and its promptness are much better there than in any other place. With inactive account with a “Plus” sign in a tariff plan you can ask for support in one of these sections or use any of our contacts.