Documentation in any Open Source project is seen as the Holy Grail. It's great to have but somehow never quite fulfils the needs of the users.
Joomla has an excellent documentation resource but I think it is fair to categorise these docs mainly as "reference" material and not "user guides".
There are some excellent books and some truly awful books but without exception they are generic titles targeted as the site builder or site programmer.
If you build sites for people or you have had a site built for you, you don't need or want a thousand page manual, you want a simple twenty page guide that tells you want you need to know and nothing more.
Simple Joomla documentation that is just for people creating content on a joomla site that they have had built for them its thin on the ground. In fact a large percentage of the enquiries that I receive for Joomla Training is from people who have had a site built for them but don't know how to use it.
Personally I always supply my clients with a simple user manual specific for their site that shows them how to carry out all the day to day tasks. Each client receives documentation that is specific to them and only includes the things that they need to know. It was a complex and time consuming task building this for the first time but now I can knock out a customised joomla user guide very quickly. I just select which parts I need for each client, modify the screenshots and save as a pdf.
Do you have the time to do this yourself?
I can only assume not and now you don't need to!
Several years ago I recommended a service from Saurabh R. Bhide that does exactly that - just for you - and I'm excited to see that this is now back and now supports all versions of Joomla.
Joomanuals is a service that lets you create customised Joomla administration guides just for your clients
Joomanuals is an automatic 'custom user manual creator' that will create user manuals which you can give your clients along with the Joomla website, just like a manual that we get when we buy a TV or a washing machine. This means no more annoying calls from clients asking you silly questions like how to add an image in an article, create a new user or take a backup.
It's a great idea and like all great ideas it's a simple one too. Just answer a few short questions, upload a logo and in seconds you have a Joomla Administration Guide your clients will love.
For an annual fee of only $25 you can create as many manuals as you want, each one targeted at your client. Of course it's not quite perfect yet as I would love to see it expanded to include many of those most popular third party extensions (developers get in touch with Saurabh and see how you can help) and perhaps a few more options for the level of detail.
Joomanuals creates user manuals to help your clients learn how to manage their website, so you can spend less time teaching Joomla! and more time building great websites
The documentation is written in a clear and concise manner, does not confuse the end user with information that they don't need to know, is customised for your own site and is surely something that every Joomla site builder and integrator should be considering for their clients.
Most of all the documentation is presented in a professional manner with many illustrations and clear instructions.