Tag Archives: joomla

Joomla Thoughts

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Someone asked recently what I think about Joomla. It’s a great framework and platform to build websites on top of. It’s still largely unfriendly, though. I know there are tons of modules, but it’s just so user UNfriendly.

Some people would be intent on comparing Joomla with something like WordPress. WP is a great blogging platform at this time, and it’s working on being for more than just blogging. Joomla is better being compared to Drupal. If I had to choose between Drupal and Joomla, I’d go with Joomla any day of the week.

I’ve yet to find a framework out there in open source land that is user friendly. I say that the reason that this is is due to developers getting ahold of things. Usability is usually the last thing on a developer’s mind. That’s how we end up with these unweildy experiences.

Joomla fans will gripe at me to just learn it. However, if I look at something and feel as though I might screw it up, I tend not to touch it. If a program or framework is steeped in a usability nightmare, I want nothing to do with it.

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Create Your Own WordPress Themes

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If you have a blog, you have a theme. Chances are, you downloaded a theme off the web somewhere. It’s okay that you don’t know how to code your own customized theme from scratch! Very few people are capable of doing this. You want your blog to say “YOU”, but you don’t want to pay a designer a ton of money to accomplish this. It’s a good thing Artisteer now makes it simple for you to create and customize your own WordPress theme with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Everything and anything you can think of that you might want to tweak in your layout can be done easily with Artisteer in just a few seconds. You don’t have to try to learn HTML or even CSS. All you have to be able to do is click your mouse buttons, and decide what look is right for you.

Move your gadgets to a different side. Change up your text with different colors and fonts. Heck, change the header or background image while you’re at it. Don’t like what you’re seeing? Psh! Just click a button and start completely over. It really is that easy.

Best of all, Artisteer doesn’t only work on WordPress. Create designs for web pages, Blogger Blogs, or make professional Joomla! and Drupal templates.

Artisteer is probably my favorite new discovery in a long time. I’m having so much fun that I’ve now created probably 30 different themes, just by playing around. The only limitation to this program is your own imagination. So… get creative!

[awsbullet:wordpress theme]

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Five must-have Joomla plugins (and tips)

When I mentioned in my Picks that we deployed Joomla to drive this year’s Gnomedex site, a Gnomie responded enthusiastically. Jack Bremer operates a handful of Joomla-driven sites, including Prospect Burma and his own 3B Web Design. John and I have been hacking away at it for a while now, but he definitely knows more about the platform than I do – and John offered a handful of tips and suggestions, including his top five “must have” Joomla extensions. From the Bremer’s mouth:

  • Joomap (sitemap generator – great for your site AND automatic Google sitemap in the background)
  • JCE Editor (& file manager plugin & image manager plugin) – GREAT WYSIWYG editor, a million times better than the standard Joomla editor (I always unpublish the font and style plugins if other people will be managing the site so they cannot screw up the layout of the site!)
  • Google Analytics Plugin – obvious really!
  • CorrectPNG – IE6 PNG mambot/plugin which allows transparency (although not in png’s called in by CSS)
  • Google Maps Mambot (if appropriate) – fantastic map plugin which makes adding maps SUPER easy.

He added: “If OpenSEF is problematic, Artio JoomSEF is far easier to setup, I just like the control I have with OpenSEF. I recommend never using “static content” and instead publishing a “General content” or similar category in which you put general info – it’s far easier to manage through a single content manager than having some things in static etc.”

I wonder how else we could pimp my Joomla? Ewwwwwww…