Getting Started with Blōwan for Joomla 4

Learn about the new Blōwan Quickstart for all your booking needs

Basic setup

This article assumes that you are familiar with setting up a Joomla site. If you are not, you are encouraged to hire a developer who can set it up for you. We highly recommend Rodrigo Rocco, who is extremely experienced with setting up and customising Jomres sites.

You will need to download the Blōwan Quickstart from your account on the license server. This is not a free Quickstart. Go to your license page and click the View button. From here you'll see your license key and all available downloads.

To install Blōwan, please follow the Quickstart installation guide for Joomla in the installation guide.

Stripe API Keys for Subscriptions

Blōwan is configured to support host subscriptions out of the box, therefore when you visit the Administrator area you will be redirected to the Admin Stripe API keys page. Until you've filled this section you cannot continue.

Use the links in the page as guidance to fill in the API key fields. We recommend, while you are still setting up and testing, that you save just test keys. You can disable Test mode later on and use Stripe functionality to copy Products and Prices from their test mode to live when you're ready to start getting users to subscribe.

Alternatively, if only one or two super managers are going to administer the site properties, then you can just put some random strings in the Publishable keys field and save them. Super managers aren't affected by the Subscription feature.

Now go to Administrator > Components > Jomres > Settings > Site Configuration. Set your Support key in the first tab. This key will enable you to download Jomres plugins.

You can get your support key by visiting the license server and viewing your license details. If you don't yet have a license, please purchase a subscription.

If you are prompted to update Joomla, do so. Next update Jomres, if necessary, and then update Jomres plugins by visiting Administrator > Components > Jomres > Plugin Manager.


API Keys

Go back to Administrator > Components > Jomres > Settings > Site Configuration and save the following API keys

Google map options tab : Google map ID

Integrations tab : Recaptcha keys, Google map key, Open Exchange rates key, Open Weather Map key

Once that's done, you're ready to start exploring your new site.


Menu Options

A default installation of Blōwan comes with a number of different possible landing pages. You should decide which one is the best for you. Unpublish the other "home" menu options in the Joomla main menu.

Still in the Main Menu decide which of the main menu categories best reflect your site's needs and unpublish the menu options, such as Tool Hire Centres etc that you don't need.

There is a Hidden menu. Do not remove or unpublish it. Having this menu means that you can have Main menu options that link to Jomres which are only visible to logged in users.

Likewise, don't trash/unpublish the Main Menu > My Bookings or Control Panel options.

Helix Ultimate

The Blōwan Quickstart is built on the free version of Helix Ultimate, and comes pre-packaged with SP Page Builder. You do not need to purchase SP Page Builder to use Blōwan, however SPPB comes with lots of tools that make building websites easier and you are encouraged to invest in a license if you haven't already.

You can, of course, choose to use an entirely different template if you don't like Helix Ultimate. Jomres will still work.

We don't provide customisation support for Helix.


Blōwan comes with 47 modules, including 20+ search modules. These are (mostly) built from template files in the override directory. It's been done this way to demonstrate how you can have shortcodes in custom articles if you want, however it's not the most efficent way of building output.

For most sites, it will be sufficient to use one of the existing search modules (such as "Jomres Search Form - Country, Checkin/Checkout, Adults & Kids - Horizontal").

The "Search Form Elements" module is an example of using shortcodes directly in a Custom Module using the Search Form Elements plugin.

Almost all of the other modules use a Jomres shortcode like this to build output :

{jomres blowan_jomres_template &template=blowan_search_form_country_checkin_adults_kids_horizontal.html}

blowan_search_form_country_checkin_adults_kids_horizontal.html can be found in the /templates/shaper_helixultimate/html/com_jomres directory. While it's perfectly possible to put this markup into a Joomla module (if you do, don't forget to set the custom module's onPrepareContent option to Yes), it was decided to put the layout into these Jomres template files because the markup will not be changed by the Joomla editor, and the search template files can easily be moved from site to site.


The /templates/shaper_helixultimate/html/com_jomres directory has a number of sub-directories. One of those is custom_code. Please refer to the Site Designer and Developer's Guide for more information about how files in this directory are used to override Jomres Core scripts.

It contains a lot of overrides for Jomres Core template files.

It also contains a variety of numbered subdirectories. These numbers correspond to the property type ids in Jomres (Administrator > Components > Jomres > Settings > Property Types).

Each numbered sub directory has several files. These are mostly Jomres template files that are used to override specific property type output. For example /2/basic_module_output.html is the override for Car property type module displays (top image).

It in turn overrides the com_jomres/basic_module_output.html template file, which produces output like the bottom image.


If the template file didn't exist, then any template file of the same name in the directory above (/templates/shaper_helixultimate/html/com_jomres) will be used instead. If there isn't a copy of the file there, then the Jomres Core file in /jomres/assets/templates/bootstrap5/ will be used.


Access Control Pattern files

These are a new feature in Jomres 10.7. They allow you, the developer, to control which menu task options appear in the Jomres Main Menu, depending on what property type is being shown.

For example, it doesn't make sense for managers who are editing a Car type property to see menu options referring to the Jomres Jintour, Occupancy or Child policies menu options. Therefore, to simplify the choices offered to them the access control pattern scripts are used to hide those menu options _only when their currently active property_ is a Car. If they change their currently active property to a Hotel or Villa or similar property then those menu options will re-appear.

Why do we use these access control pattern scripts and not Joomla menu functionality? Jomres works in both Joomla and Wordpress. All of the techniques used here will work on either CMS, so if you're familiar with setting up Jomres in Joomla, then you'll be able to use the same techniques in Wordpress. If you're an integrator with both Joomla and WordPress customers, this will be good for you. Blōwan is Joomla 4 only, but all of the techniques such as overrides and customisation will work on either platform. You don't need to learn to do it all again a different way if you decide to change the CMS.


Jomres is fully multilingual. Install any languages that you need through the Joomla Administrator > System > Languages > Install Languages page and setup your menu options and articles. If you continue to use Helix then you can use this guide to do that.

Just like in previous versions of Jomres you can use the Administrator > Jomres > Translations > Translate Lang File Strings page to switch languages and customise strings for each language.

A new feature in 10.7 is the ability to have language contexts. These allow you to have different language strings for different property types, across multiple languages.

Refer again to the Property Types page image.


The Blōwan Quickstart comes with a significantly customised set of strings for the Tool Hire Centre context, in particular.

When you use this page to customise labels for the site the changes are saved to the database so they're update safe.

You can also set the site's default Language Context in Site Configuration > Misc tab if you don't want Property Rental/All to be the default.


vince picDeveloped and maintained by Vince Wooll, Jomres was initially conceived in early 2005 as a Mambo based solution to a client’s hotel management needs. While it wasn't originally expected to be an online booking system it quickly morphed into one as users requested more and more features.

As the number of feature requests grew Vince knew that he would need to dedicate more time to the project and in July 2005 Jomres was released as a commercial project. Since then Jomres has become the world's oldest online booking plugin for any PHP CMS. It has been used in Joomla 1.0, 1.5, 2.5, 3 & 4 and WordPress 4, 5 & 6.

Aladar joined the project in 2010 after using Jomres for his own projects. He was active on the forum, helping other members of the community and eventually Vince invited him to join the team. Between 2010 and 2018 he was an integral part of the project and made many significant contributions.

Whilst not formally part of the Jomres project, Rodrigo Rocco and Vince have become firm friends. Rod is a freelancer who specialises in doing custom work for Jomres users and developing custom plugins for the system that take advantage of it's modular design. He has built many useful extensions including his fabulous Valentina Template Override Package.

Jomres and the Jomres Logo is trademarked and can't be used without written consent from the owner. is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Joomla! Project, Open Source Matters or the WordPress project. The Joomla! & WordPress names and logos are used under a limited license granted by Open Source Matters and the WordPress Projects.

© Copyright 2005 - 2022 Vince Wooll