We primarily work on Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal and Moodle CMS.  When we find useful extensions, work-arounds and quirks we blog about them here.

Please leave leave comments and suggestions at the the bottom of the relevant article.  You can contact us directly using the contact form on the bottom of every page.

 

Optimizing a Joomla website: a pragmatic guide, part 1

Image of a group of cheetahs contemplating optimizing their Joomla site

Photo of cheetahs considering optimizing their Joomla site by James Temple used under CC Attribution 2.0. license. Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamestemple/312324961/sizes/o/

 

Introduction

When we build a website on a content management platform like Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress, we are taking advantage of a sophisticated web application and all the built-in functionality it offers.  And, we have to accept that as consequence of using these applications we are adding to the functioning complexity of our website.  This becomes increasingly so as we add extra functionality through third-party extensions, plug-ins and widgets!

The result is that we might not have complete control of the code that runs the website, including the CSS and JavaScript files installed by those extra extensions.

 

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How we manage projects across countries and time zones

 

Over several years, we have tried many online project management systems to help keep track our work and to ensure our clients are always kept up-to-date with their projects progress.  The one we have settled on for all our small to medium projects is called Trello, and we have been using it successfully for over two years.

In fact, many clients have gone on to adopt it for their own business projects.  And, no one has ever said it was hard to work with or boring!

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Best Joomla! templates - May 2014

Paper owl templates

Photo © 2013 Tina D, CC Attribution 2.0. Website: littlellamashoppe.etsy.com Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlestuffme/

 

En Vogue (not the 90s female super group)

CMS templates pretty much follow the vagaries of web design fashion, only lagging a few weeks behind the latest craze.  Right now, one for crazes seems to be for single page (one-page) websites, here is a great site showcasing the best designs: http://onepagelove.com/
Their popularity is understandable when you consider how easy they are to browse on mobile devices.  These are great for very simple brochure sites but become a bit unwieldy or just unworkable when you need to step out of the single page structure.

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Awesome Font Awesome

Font Awesome umbrella icon

 

Font Awesomes icons have now become the standard in web template development with Bootstrap.  We have used them on Wordpress and Joomla template frameworks.  Their implementations vary slightly, but in the end, 'icon-CLASS_NAME' in <span> delivers the goodies.
The icon set is found here: http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/icons/

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Google maps and geo coordinates

We are not sure why Google maps are coy about giving the geo coordinates of an address, and it is not obvious where to find it. So, here are our two tips to get hold of them:

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Infographic test for Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures infographic

Blue Ventures created some infographics and wanted to share the embed code to promote the amazing work they are doing to protect fragile marine ecosystems. On Joomla 1.5, this was simply done with a Custom HTML module and a <text area> tag to hold the code.

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Displaying Joomla and other code inside an article

Photo © 2011 J. Ronald Lee, CC Attribution 3.0. Website: jronaldlee.com Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jronaldlee/

 

We have seen numerous tutorials where the example pseudo-code provided has been rendered by the Joomla! application, making the information useless.  A good example are tutorials explaining the {loadmodule} syntax.  The rendered code usually produces debug errors, an unintended embedding of a module, or the code just disappears!

The easiest method to display code is by using the Display Code Plugin. This extension is still happily working for Joomla 3.0, although, at the time of writing, only Joomla 2.5 is shown to be supported.

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Joomla 3 {loadmodule} plugin syntax

 [Photo: Kilinochchi market - chamira @ Flickr under Creative Commons By-Attrbute licence - feel free to use it]

 

The syntax for the {loadmodule} code has changed slightly as Joomla 3 is using a different Module naming convention in back-end, at least for the core Modules.

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