Joomla offers the ability to click a button in the system and take the site down. Instead of your web site showing up when someone goes to your URL, they get a message that indicates the site is down for maintenance. This message can be changed, as can the Joomla logo.
To change the offline message
The default message that shows up for a site in maintenance is, “This site is down for maintenance. Please check back again soon.”
To change this message, log into the Joomla administrator page.
Click on “Global configuration” on the control panel, or select “Global configuration” from the site menu. On the Site tab, click “Yes” next to site offline. Underneath Site Offline is the Offline Message. Change the text in the entry box to whatever message you wish. Hit Save (Joomla 1.6) or Apply (Joomla 1.5). Go to your site, and you’ll see the offline message.
To change the Joomla logo that appears with the offline message
To do this, a php file needs to be modified. If you know unix, you can do this directly on the system. If you do not know unix, you’ll need to copy the file via ftp to your computer, edit the file on your machine, and then ftp the file back to the server.
Whether you need to ftp or you choose to edit the file directly on the system, the file is located in the same place. Go into the templates directory and then go into the system directory. You should see the following files in this directory.
component.php css error.php html images index.html index.php offline.php
Css, images, and html are directories and component.php, error.php, index.html, index.php, and offline.php are files.
Make a backup copy of your offline.php file. To keep it simple, I always call my copy “offline.php.backup” Next, put the logo you wish to display in your images directory on your site. Don’t put it in the images directory located in templates/system. Put it in the images directory at the root of the system.
Edit the offline.php file. (If you can’t edit it directly on your system, ftp it over to your desktop. You can edit the file in any text editor, such as notepad. Dreamweaver can also be used.)
Find the code in the file that matches the code below. This code is in the top third of the file.
img src=”images/joomla_logo_black.jpg” alt=”Joomla! Logo”
Change the filename “joomla_logo_black.jpg” to the name of the graphic you want to appear.
Save the file. Reload your home page on your system and the new logo should appear.
If you can follow the php, you can change the whole look and feel of the offline page, but I don’t recommend doing that unless you are confident in your php. Of course, if you make a backup copy of your offline.php file first, you can always replace it. If you ruin your offline.php file and you haven’t made a copy of it, you can always go to joomla.org, download a fresh copy of joomla, extract the files somewhere other than where your web site is, and get the offline.php file from there.
Gwen Nicodemus owns and operates Shiny Newts, LLC. Shiny Newts solves technical and documentation problems for its customers in a timely, professional manner–often going “above and beyond”–by providing custom services and pre-packaged services. Visit http://www.ShinyNewts.com to watch videos on how to use Joomla, Photoshop, and Word or to read Gwen’s ebook, “Write a Marketing Plan by Filling in the Blanks.”