GCalendar for Joomla is a great extension for displaying a Google calendar on a Joomla page or in a module position. Of course, if you have Joomla configured to allow iFrames, you can easily inset the Google Calendar iFrame code, but this method does not allow you to configure the calendar colors: you’re stuck with the Google blue outline of the calendar.
Joomla’s new Save as Copy feature (starting with version 1.6) is a great time saver. Before Save as Copy, in order to copy an article, menu item, or module, you had to first create one of these items, save and close it, use the copy function, and the copied article. Now, with Save as Copy, you can create a new article, click Save, and then click Save as Copy to create another and another and another until you have all your articles and menu items built. This is a very fast way to get a site up and running.
HTML 5 has a LOT of cool features, but my new favorite is CSS gradients. Using CSS gradients, you can eliminate many header, footer, and box background images. As a result, you can speed up page loads.
In Joomla 1.7, the feature that allows you to manually sort Category or Featured articles is cleverly hidden.
Apache Web Server. If you move a web page, it’s important to create a 301 Redirect in the .htaccess file to tell search engines the location to which the page has moved. Otherwise, you’ll get a Page Not Found error.
Unfortunately, if the filename in the path has spaces in it, creating a redirect for a URL will create an error that prevents your whole website from displaying. For example, the following is a URL with spaces in the file name:
Here’s how to create a 301 redirect for a URL with spaces in the file name:
redirect 301 “/about/about me.html” http://mysite.com/about/about-me.html
It goes without saying: For website files, don’t use spaces in the file name; if you need to separate words, use the dash ( – ); for example, this-file-name.html
A client asked me to install a module that would show X number of his Tweets on his Joomla site. After trying several Joomla Twitter modules and finding all were lacking in some way, I decided to go straight to the source: Twitter Widgets. Within 5 minutes, I had my perfect Twitter module.
Joomla 1.6 was released in the dead of winter and now it’s almost summer. Is it time to upgrade to Joomla 1.6? Not quite, unless you are willing to use Joomla without some MAJOR Joomla extensions. As of 06-01-2011, the following Joomla extensions have no stable release for Joomla 1.6. You can decide for yourself if you can live without these extensions. I know I can’t:
- JCE Content Editor (Component)
- JCal Pro Calender (Component)
- Glossary (Component)
- AiContact Safe ((Component))
- X-Map (Component)
- AllVideos Reloaded (Component/Plugin)
- Extended Menu (Module)
- DocMan (Component)
- Mobile Joomla (Component)
- Filtered News (Module)
- Smart Bookmarker
Joomla is a great CMS, but finding a Joomla template you like can be a daunting task. One solution is to have WriteNowDesign build a custom Joomla template for you; that way you get exactly what you want.
However, if you are looking for a low-cost solution, try using a commercial Joomla template from Joomlashack. We have used Joomlashack templates for several clients and have found them to be well built, reliable, and attractive. What’s more, they are very flexible in terms of layout: Joomlashack templates have many module positions that allow you to easily create a very complex page layout or a very simple layout by simply turning modules on or off. Plus, most Joomlashack templates come with several color schemes that you can easily change.
Search Engine Optimization is very important on any website. Joomla comes with very good search engine optimization tools right out of the box, but sometimes you need more.
Yesterday, the Joomla Development team announced the release of Joomla 1.6 RC1. This is exciting news for the Joomla community, and a GREAT Christmas present. What does this mean to you? Should you upgrade or wait?