Mambo Users Guide: Introduction to Mambo


Your new Web site is powered by a piece of software called a Content Management System (CMS). What would be a group of technically demanding, tedious tasks is automated in a CMS, allowing Web site administrators to handle a greater workload. Within the interface of a CMS, you can easily change the look and functionality of your site, as well as change its content and its database of users. Your Web site uses a CMS called Mambo.

This document will help you familiarize yourself with basic Mambo capabilities and tasks. There is a great deal of other documentation on the subject, ranging from interactive Flash tutorials to hefty books. This document is designed to communicate the essentials, quickly and simply. It does not cover advanced operations or Mambo installation/configuration. You will find it the most useful when using Mambo to manage your Web site.


CMS: Content Management System.
This general term refers to a piece or suite of software dedicated to “managing content”, specifically on the World Wide Web. These systems are versatile and extensible and have a much easier learning curve than manual Web site maintenance. Mambo is one of the most popular.

Database: Generally refers to a mass of content stored in a retrieval system. The database software that Mambo uses is MySQL. MySQL organizes and stores the content of your website, and Mambo talks to MySQL when you talk to Mambo.

Frontend: This refers to the Web site your visitors and users will see, your “storefront”.

Backend: This refers to the Mambo interface that you and other maintainers of your Web site will see.

Element: This is an umbrella term for an addition to Mambo. Elements can be Components, Modules or Templates.

Component: A major element of your Web site’s frontend or backend functionality. Frontend Components can include such things as online stores, discussion forums, or media galleries. Backend Components include the default WYSIWYG HTML editor and the database administrator tools.

Module: A minor element of your Web site’s frontend or backend functionality. Modules can include such things as calendars or context-sensitive help.

Template: A type of page your site includes. Mambo templates can be used to generate new, finished pages with great speed and efficiency. Types of pages might include search pages, user profiles, or submission forms.

Administrative Backend

By default, the URL for your Web site’s administrative backend is http://yoursite.tld/administrator. This should present you with a login page into which you should enter the administrative username and password with which we have provided you.

Once you have logged in, you will see the Admin Interface. There will be a number of menus at the top of the page body. Most of the options in these menus are self-explanatory, and many are outside the scope of this document. Most advanced options can be found in the menus.

Basic administrative areas can be accessed through the group of icons in the central panel. Site-wide preferences can be accessed via “Global Configuration”.

Setting a name
From the Admin Control panel, click “Global Configuration”. The tab highlighted should be “Site” and “Site Name” should appear as an option. Change any of these as you wish. Your changes will not take effect until you click “Save” or “Apply” in the gray icons in the top right corner of your browser window. They both apply your changes permanently, but “Save” also takes you back to the Control Panel after saving.


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