How To Administer a Joomla Web Site — Part 4: Filters and Search Tools

The previous three articles covered creating categories, creating articles, and linking your articles to the menu. There’s one other fundamental concept I should also cover, as it will help you find whatever you’re looking for while navigating various screens within the Joomla interface. And that’s the various search tools available to help you. Indeed, these tools are part of what makes Joomla among the more intuitive and easy to use systems out there. Anyone that tells you Joomla isn’t easy to use simply has zero idea… it’s very simple to find what you want in Joomla!

One of the key concepts of the Joomla system would be the Search Tools. You’ll find these all around the user interface, and they’re absolutely handy, in conjunction with the search box, for finding whatever you’re looking for.

To use Search Tools, you normally just click the box and you’ll then see numerous filters to help you drill down into whatever you’re viewing. Most commonly used would be the category filter:

Clicking on a category narrows the view to only those articles categorized as your choice. Used in conjunction with the search box, it can be super-easy to find a needle even in a haystack of many thousands of articles. Usually, you can narrow lists down by category, published vs. unpublished status, and more. There is also often a “select max levels” box that comes in handy for large hierarchical structures such as complex menus where you just need to change a root item, and do not need to see the entire structure.

That will do it for basic search tools usage. Keep in mind that this article is meant as introductory, just to provide some fundamental orientation and guidance on using Joomla. (I especially mean that here, as there are many more advanced and useful ways to use the search tools and filters available all over the Joomla interface. Mainly, I recommend taking time to experiment with these filters, and you’ll find it very easy to find whatever you’re searching for.)

Jim Dee heads up Array Web Development, LLC in Portland, OR. He’s the editor of “Web Designer | Web Developer” magazine and a contributor to many online publications. You can reach him at: Jim [at]