Joomla Tips And Tricks

We have put together a list of Joomla tips and tricks which we though you may find useful.

The tips and tricks included in this blog post are not intended for experts but for people just getting started with Joomla. Please also note the blog post does not cover everything, we have just picked out what we believe could be useful to you.

How do I Put my website in offline mode

Joomla gives you the option to put the website in offline mode. This feature is useful if your still developing the website and don't want to provide visitors with access to the website. You can still use all the functionality via the administrator area like creating menu items, categories, articles, installing extensions and so on. You can also see  the changes you have made by logging into the front end of the website.

  1. Select the System menu and Global configuration menu item.
  2. Select the Site tab and you will the site offline option.
  3. To take the site offline choose the Yes option.
  4. You may also want to change the text which appears when people visit your website.
  5. You can also upload your business or website logo.

Read more: Joomla Tips And Tricks

How To Make Your Joomla Website Mobile Friendly

Is your Joomla website mobile friendly? If not then you need to make it a priority to ensure it is mobile ready.

The way people access and view websites has changed alot. In the past people visited websites using one device which was normally a laptop or desktop computer but all this has now changed.

People now visit and view websites using multiple devices including computers, tablets and smart phones which is why it is so important to provide your website visitors with the best possible user experience across all devices.

Why should you make your website mobile ready for website visitors

  1. You want to give website visitors the best possible user experience across all device screen sizes including computers, tablets and smart phones.
  2. According to Nielsen 80 percent of U.S. teens 14 to 17 own smartphones and more than 90 percent of them use them to watch videos and search the web online.
  3. According to Google 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV.
  4. Data from Adobe state Tablet users spend 50% more than PC users.
  5. In April 2015 Google announced that they are rolling out a algorithm update to reward mobile friendly websites in the search engine listings. They have also introduced mobile friendly labels which appear next to websites when you search for something in using a smart phone device.
  6. The latest version of Joomla 3 is by default mobile ready.
  7. Web site visitors expect to see a website automatically adapt to the device screen size they are using.

Read more: How To Make Your Joomla Website Mobile Friendly

Joomla Hosting Advice And Tips

You have built a great Joomla website and now your ready to share it with the world. However, if you have not thought about which hosting company or service to go for, chances are you won’t get the results you might have been hoping for even if your site is perfect in every way.

Choosing the right web hosting service plays an important part in building a website. The last thing you need when launching a new website or running an established website is server downtime or a slow loading site which will have a serious impact on your business. You only get one chance to make an impression on the internet, if your site is slow or down or maybe has a technical issue then you could loose an important sale and the visitor will move onto the next website.

Read more: Joomla Hosting Advice And Tips

How Does Joomla Cache Work

Have you ever wondered how Joomla cache works and how you can speed up your website using the built-in caching features incorporated into Joomla? If yes then you may find the information included in this blog post useful.

How does caching work?

Every time someone visits your website Joomla has to generate a number of MYSQL database queries, read and process PHP code plus much more in order to render the website correctly for each website visitor.

All this takes time and impacts the speed of the website but you can reduce this overhead by up to 50% by enabling caching at the website.

Caching basically takes a snap shot of the website and stores all the information in a number of files which get stored and retrieved from the hard disks web hosting space.

This can make the website pages load up to 10x faster as there is no longer a requirement to generate as many MYSQL database queries or process as much PHP code in order to render the website. Some database quires will still get generated and some PHP code will still need to be processed but a lot less when you have cache enabled.

Useful information about the Joomla cache options

  1. By default caching is not enabled. You need to enable the built-in caching features included in Joomla.
  2. Cached content is only displayed to visitors who are not logged into the website. Logged in visitors will not be provided with the cached content.
  3. It does not apply to the Administrator area of the website.
  4. All cached content is stored and retrieved from the /cache/ directory.
  5. Caching is split into the following key areas page caching, View and Module caching.
  6. The system cache plugin takes precedence over global configuration and module cache settings.

Read more: How Does Joomla Cache Work

Eight Reasons Why You Should Choose Joomla To Create A Website

Joomla is one of the most popular open source content management systems on the internet used by people around the world to create amazing websites. Whether you want to create a corporate site for your business or blog or maybe a community or directory website you can achieve this by using Joomla.

This blog post will outline some of the reasons why you should choose Joomla to create a new website.

Free to use

One of the great things about joomla is it's free to use and is released under the GNU General Public License. Once you have downloaded and installed the software via your website you can use it forever and you don’t have to worry about paying any license fees to use the software.

Install In 3 simple steps

The much improved installation process for the latest version of Joomla 3 makes installing the CMS at your website simple.

The installation process is split into three easy to understand steps.

Step one is the configuration tab where you enter details about your website including site name, site description, email address and the website super administrator user name and password.

Step two is the website database tab where you need to enter the MySQL database name, user name and password for the website based on the information you have setup via your web hosting space control panel.

Step three is the final stage where you get the option to populate the website database with sample data. Step 3 of the installation process also gives you the opportunity to review the website settings before you click on the installation button.

Read more: Eight Reasons Why You Should Choose Joomla To Create A Website

Whats New In Joomla 3.4

The Joomla project announced the release of Joomla 3.4 which is available for download at the official community website. You can also complete a one click upgrade via the administrator area of your website to upgrade to the latest version of 3.4. The latest version of the CMS comes with a number of new features including enhanced front end module editing, removal of the web links component, security improvements with the introduction of UploadShield code which can detect most malicious uploads and it also supports the more user friendly version of Google reCaptcha.

Goodbye weblinks component

The development team took the decision to remove the web links component and all its associated modules from the core of Joomla 3.4. This only applies to new installations of 3.4, if you upgrade directly from version 3.3 to 3.4 the web links component and its associated modules will still be available.

This was a good decision by the development team as it reduces the overall size of the core code base to make the CMS lighter plus not so many people use the web links component and there are a lot of alternatives available for download via the extensions directory which offer more features and functionality.

Read more: Whats New In Joomla 3.4

Things To Do Before Updating Joomla

Before updating your website to the latest version of Joomla we recommend you consider the following tips and advice we have outlined in this blog post which you may find useful.

Scenario

You Log into the administrator area of the website and see the "red alert message" advising you to update the website to the latest version of Joomla

You panic and click on update Now button.

After the update is complete you visit your website to ensure the update was successful and to your horror you get the "white screen of death" or the template, extension or module is no longer working as it's supposed to.

You contact the hosting company hoping they have a full backup of the website which you can recover from but they don’t have one.

You visit the Joomla forum,  template, extension or module developer’s website looking for answers tying desperately to get the website back online.

We have all been there after doing a website update when it all goes badly wrong.

However you can avoid all this stress by following the simple tips outlined in this blog post before you click on the update now button.

Read more: Things To Do Before Updating Joomla

Simple Guide To Backup Your Joomla Website

Have you backed up your Joomla website? If not then it’s time to make it your number one priority. If anything should go wrong with the website and you need to recover it from a backup and you don't have one you may lose all your hard work and have to start all over again.

In this blog post we will guide you through how to take a complete backup of your website which includes all the Joomla files and the MYSQL database.

We have created a step by step video tutorial about this subject which you may find useful. Watch the video tutorial

Why do i need to backup my website

  1. The hosting company goes out of business and you need to move the website to another hosting company.
  2. The server has a hardware failure and the hosting company can only restore the website from backups they have taken 1 or 2 weeks ago.
  3. The hosting company may not have backups of the website or the backups could be corrupted.
  4. You install a Joomla template or extension and the website displays a white screen or PHP error.
  5. You upgrade one of the extensions, templates or modules at your website and get a white screen or PHP error.
  6. You click on the red button from the administrator area of your website which informs you to upgrade to the latest version of Joomla. After the upgrade some of the websites functionality is not working or you get an error message.
  7. Your website gets hacked.

The items listed above are just some of the reasons why you should get into the habit of doing a backup of your website.

Read more: Simple Guide To Backup Your Joomla Website

Stop Spam On Joomla Using Recaptcha

No one likes getting spam especially when it comes via the contact or registration forms at your Joomla website. The default contact and registration forms are subject to abuse from automated spam bots which crawl the internet every minute of the day looking for ways to automatically spam websites. One of the best solutions available to reduce spam is to use Google's free reCAPTCHA service which can be setup at your website by following the simple steps outlined in this blog post.

What Is reCAPTCHA

reCAPTCHA is one of the most popular free spam protection services on the internet which is designed to protect websites from spam and abuse. It uses an advanced risk analysis engine and adaptive CAPTCHA's to stop automated bots.

Read more: Stop Spam On Joomla Using Recaptcha

Have You Updated The Joomla Robots.txt File

The default version of the robots.txt file has been updated as from Joomla 3.3 to make it more search engine friendly allowing Google to access and crawl the /media/ and /templates/ directories.

The old version of the file was basically stopping Google from crawling the /media/ and /templates/ directories and preventing Google from accessing the CSS, Java and image files.

The updates to the robotos.txt file is not applied automatically after you upgrade to the latest version of Joomla 3.

You will be required to manually make the changes to the file to allow google to crawl and index your website correctly.

Old version of the Robots.txt

As you can see from the screen shot below the old version of the robots.txt file is blocking Google from crawling the /media/ and /templates/ directories.

New version of the Robots.txt file

As you can see in the new updated version of the robots.txt file screen shot Google is allowed to access and crawl the /media/ and /Templates/ Directories.

Read more: Have You Updated The Joomla Robots.txt File

How To Enable Joomla Search Engine Friendly Urls

As Joomla has matured over the years it has become more and more search engine friendly which is very important to anyone considering using a content management system to build a website site. One of the great built-in seo tools it has to offer is the option to use search engine friendly URLs. This blog post will guide you through how to enable SEF URLs for the latest version of Joomla.

Why enable search engine friendly URLs

Before we get started we want to outline some of the benefits of enabling SEF URLs.

  • Website visitors are more likely to remember the SEF version of the URL.
  • People are more likely to visit the SEF version of the URL which appears in the search engine results or on social media websites rather than visiting the non search engine friendly version of the URL.
  • If other websites or social networking sites want to reference an article you have published at your website it is easier to link directly to the SEF version rather than linking to the non SEF version.
  • It helps the website visitor to understand what the article is about based on the information included in the URL.
  • It adds an additional layer of security to your website. Their are bots which crawl the internet every minute of the day looking for ways to exploit websites and one of the approaches they use is to look at the format of the websites URLs. A website can be easily identified as running Joomla based on formatting of the URLs which include PHP, ?, component name.

Read more: How To Enable Joomla Search Engine Friendly Urls

Five Useful Extensions For Joomla

If you visit the Joomla extensions site you can be over whelmed by the number of extensions you can download and install. Whether you need a forum, photo gallery, chat, document management or backup extension you will find it at the website.

Before you get over excited and download and install every extension under the sun we have put together a list of really useful, tried and tested extensions which we believe will add real value to your website in terms of improving it's functionality and the day to day management of the website.

Akeeba Backup

Akeeba Backup is one of those must have extensions which is essential for everyone running a Joomla site. The developers of Akeeba Backup have been around since 2006 and the extension has been downloaded thousands of times over the past few years plus it has some amazing reviews from people who use it.

The extension comes in two flavors, the free version and the paid version where you signup for a one year support subscription which costs only 40 Euros.

What Akeeba Backup basically does is allow you to easily create a backup of your whole website from the administrator area. The backup will take a snapshot of all the core Joomla files, extensions, modules, templates, MYSQL database and store them in a single file. Taking a backup is simple and you can also schedule backups to run every day, week or month. Akeeba Backup also allows you to easily restore the website in a couple of minutes. If your site gets hacked or the hosting company closes down or maybe something goes wrong when you upgrade your site or a 3rd party extension you can always easily recover the whole site using this really useful extension.

Find Out More About Akeebabackup

Read more: Five Useful Extensions For Joomla