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First of all: Installing SermonSpeaker is very easy! If you ever installed a Joomla extension before, this will be no different.

Download

Make sure you download the correct version of SermonSpeaker for your Joomla installation from SermonSpeaker.net.

You need at least the component. All modules and plugins are fully optional.
The package contains the component and all modules and plugins.

Install

After you have downloaded the zip file, you can install it using the Joomla installer. For Joomla 2.5 it is found under "Extensions" -> "Extension Manager" -> Install. Select the file and "Upload & Install" it.

If everything goes well you should be redirected to the SermonSpeaker backend. You now most likely have a red message on the screen stating that you need to save your settings. Do that by opening the SermonSpeaker Options and save them. You may want to check those in detail later for sure, for now we're happy that some default values got saved and we can test the installation.

Possible Problems

If anything goes wrong during installation, Joomla should give you an error message about it. Most of the time if the installation fails it is because the zip file is too big for your settings. You may want to check the following PHP settings. In Joomla 2.5 this can be done under "Site" -> "System Information" -> "PHP Information".

  • post_max_size
  • upload_max_filesize

If those are set to 2M, that means PHP will block the upload since our installfile is bigger. You will have to raise the limits in this case. This is recommended anyway since your sermon files will most likely be bigger than those 2 MB and the Frontend Uploader would fail as well. Those limits are set in the php.ini. If you don't have access to this file, you have to ask your hoster/admin for that.

Another problem may be that the directory permissions aren't set correct. But that would apply to every Joomla extension, not just SermonSpeaker.

Setting up a menu entry

Now that SermonSpeaker is installed and the options are saved, we want to see it in action. For this we need a menu entry on the page so the user can find our sermons. The entry can be created using the Joomla menu manager. In Joomla 2.5 go to "Menus" -> "Main Menu" -> "Add New Menu Item". For the "Menu Item Type" we're going to select "Sermons List" in the SermonSpeaker category. Give it a title and save it. All the other options should already be filled with working default values.

Testing it

Now we can go and test it. On your page you should now have a new menu entry. When clicked it will show you a list of sermons. Actually it's only one example sermon "The Sin of Booze". If you see that one, you have set up a working copy of SermonSpeaker - congratulations!

Customizing

Now that we know everything works, we will go back the the SermonSpeaker Options we saved earlier. In the Backend go to "Components" -> "SermonSpeaker" and click the "Options" button again. Now have a look at all those tabs:

  • Global - Contains general options like date format and sorting.
  • Layouts - Set the layouts used by the various views. Especially the Single Sermon view (aka detailpage) is interesting
  • Columns - Set what info you want to show in each view. Take your time here! By default only the title is shown but you can show much more informations. Not all layouts support each information though.
  • File Paths - This are the paths that are used to populate the dropdownlists in the sermon form. So set the path here to the correct location where your sermon files are stored. This will make it very easy to create new sermons as you can choose your file from the drop down list. Supports also extern storage like Vimeo and Amazon S3.
  • Player - Choose the flash player you like the most. JW Player is the one which supports the most filetypes. FlowPlayer comes second and the Wordpress one only supports mp3. So choose what fits you the most.
  • Detailpage - Contains some optional stuff for the sermon detailpage. You can also restrict this page for a given access level if you like.
  • Statistics - Enable or disable the hitcount statistics. It's a very basic check and enabled by default.
  • Frontend Uploading - SermonSpeaker allows you to upload and create a new sermon from the frontend. This feature has to be enabled here. Make sure the user has permissions to create a new sermon (see "Permissions" tab for this).
  • SermonCast - This information will be used to create a podcast/feed from your sermons.
  • Integration - Here goes stuff to support extern applications. Currently it's Facebook Open Graph. JComments is there, but so far there is no JComments for Joomla 2.5...
  • Permissions - SermonSpeaker fully supports the ACL from Joomla 1.6/1.7/2.5. The default values usually will work for you. In case you want to use the frontend uploader, you need to make sure that the user has permission to "create" a sermon. Also by default "Super Users" will not increment the hit counter.

Here you go, everything is set up and working and even looks nice now. Only thing missing is the actual content. So next step is to get your own sermons up. This will be covered in another article: Creating your sermons.