Your Guide to the Joomla Year

Your Guide to the Joomla Year

Every year, I promise myself I will see more national events, then promptly forget to book them. I think I’m not the only one. So, for all of us: here is your guide to what is happening in Joomla and how you can become more active.

There are many aspects to Joomla. There is the Content Management System (CMS), its development and release cycle, and then there is the social aspect, JoomlaDays, whether in person or virtually. There are elections to Open Source Matters (OSM) and teams to join and take part in.

International conferences where Joomla takes part and also competitions where you can vote for Joomla and help make the CMS come top in the polls.

So, let us dive in and try to make a Chronological guide to all that is happening in the world of Joomla this year.

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10 Common Misconceptions about Joomla!

10 Common Misconceptions about Joomla!

“A reputation, once unjustifiably lost, serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of perception.”

People tend to crystallize their opinions. Sometimes a man may thrive, but fall short, regardless of his actions. I believe that Joomla has suffered such an injustice and I would like to give my two cents. Over the fifteen years I've almost exclusively worked with it, I've discussed Joomla with hundreds of people, and here are 10 commonly accepted opinions, which I personally find untrue.

10. Joomla is not suitable for e-commerce websites.

It is true that some CMSes are primarily targeted on e-commerce. However, that does not mean that Joomla cannot be used to create large and complex e-commerce websites. Joomla’s structure and extensibility allowed the creation of numerous e-commerce extensions that empower site owners to create product catalogs, shopping carts, and order management systems, as well as integrating with various payment gateways and much more.

I have seen and created multilingual e-commerce websites with thousands of products and shopper levels. Thanks to Joomla’s core ability to filter content based on access level and language, such tasks can easily be tackled.

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Cassiopeia, Joomla’s powerful built-in template: the basics

Cassiopeia, Joomla’s powerful built-in template: the basics

When you start creating your website, you may want to search for a template that fits the design you have in mind. Instead of looking at extensive templates, page builders or frameworks with endless possibilities, you could also try Joomla’s core template, Cassiopeia. It looks simple, but it’s so powerful once you know how to use it. In this article, we cover the basic settings and options of Joomla’s built-in powerhouse.

Cassiopeia is the default template since Joomla 4.0. Using Cassiopeia for your next project will give you a lot of advantages:

It was designed and created by several experienced Joomlers who know the Joomla core It is already installed in your Joomla instance It is still the default template in Joomla 5, so no need to worry about compatibility It uses only core views It delivers: Two extra layout chromes for modules One alternative layout for the Custom module One alternative layout for the menu module: this layout allows you to create dropdown menus and it is accessible It is based on Bootstrap (last version integrated in Joomla core), loads Fontawesome and Roboto font family from core It can be modified using CSS It brings several CSS classes that give you flexibility displaying content For more flexibility it supports child templates It is free The code stays up to date because it’s part of core Joomla

We will discuss some of these points in more detail in the next articles of this series. This article will explain the basic options of Cassiopeia.

Structure and module positions

To understand how your website will look using Cassiopeia you need to know the structure and the module positions:

The part between main-top and main-bottom is where your content will be. You can use all the other positions to put modules in (modules are small and flexible extensions that allow you to show content on specific pages in specific positions - Joomla has a number of built-in modules for you to use). 

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Less than 5 mins to change the design of the search module

Less than 5 mins to change the design of the search module

"Joomla is complicated", "Joomla is for tech guys", "Joomla isn't user friendly", etc. are the most common (unfair) critics I read the most about this awesome CMS. 

In fact, Joomla is exactly like any other topic: cooking, astrophysic, woodcraft, scuba diving, etc. It's complicated as long you don't take time to learn and to train about a minimum.

But if you take few minutes to dive into Joomla, you'll definitly learn something new, something useful, and you will probably also change your mind.

And because I'm sure I'm right, I bet you'll learn to change the design of the Joomla search module in less than 5 minutes. Yes, less than 5 minutes!

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Keyword or not keyword tag, that is the question

Keyword or not keyword tag, that is the question

Recently, a friend of mine posted a singular question on a famous social media:

Do you still use the keyword field in articles?

Since decades, the content of the keyword meta tag isn't used anymore by search engines as a ranking factor.
Of course, you can still use it even if there's no impact for your content visibility but there's probably others smart use cases.

Joomla is extremely powerful when it comes to content management. That's why we all should try to stick to the core as much as possible.
I'm always amazed to find different or new possibilities to solve a problem only using the native features of our beloved CMS.

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How to volunteer for Joomla without volunteering for Joomla?

How to volunteer for Joomla without volunteering for Joomla?

We all know that volunteering is a challenging decision and time consuming. In the case of Joomla, it can also be very difficult for no tech people and for non native English speakers.

But because Joomla is a benevolent community, nobody will blame you if you don’t or can't volunteer for the project for any reason (timing, language, family, work, etc.). On a personal side, I completely understand as I'm not a developer and I'm also very busy (family, clients, associative engagement, etc.) and days are only 24 hours long.

But if you want to help Joomla despite these obstacles, I may have an easy solution for you. Let me explain why, where and how you can volunteer for Joomla efficiently but without losing your sleep, job, friends and family.

Yes Bill, content is king and that's exactly what this article is about: producing content about Joomla.

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Volunteering for Joomla: what’s in it for you? 

Volunteering for Joomla: what’s in it for you? 

Maybe you’re wondering if volunteering for Joomla is your thing. You might be uncertain about your English or your knowledge, or about what would be expected in terms of commitment and time. I get that. I was really hesitant about all these things myself. But I did it anyway, I found a team that suits me, started working, and soon discovered that volunteering can be rewarding in ways I had never expected. And I’m not the only one: in this article, five Joomlers tell us what volunteering brings for them! 

Laura Gordon

As a ‘virtual’ worker it is often easy to feel alone in the world. Volunteering with the Joomla project (in any capacity) gives me connections with people all over the world. It is rewarding to help the project in any way that I can. But more importantly it makes me feel less alone. If I have an issue I have dozens of people that I can ask for assistance. Joomla as a project has given me a career and at the same time Joomla as a technology has given me a community of friends.

Robert Deutz

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PBF 2023: Where Code Meets Community (And Pizza!)

After a three-year hiatus, the highly anticipated worldwide Pizza, Bugs, and Fun (PBF) event made a triumphant return. This gathering saw approximately 150 keen Joomlers converge for a session of testing, bug-fixing, networking, and, of course, indulging in some delightful pizza.

The occasion unfolded on the 26th of August in 19 different locations globally, encompassing Europe, Africa, and North America, with a virtual participation from Asia.

Running continuously from 8 am to 3 am UTC across various time zones, the event maintained an energetic pace with a steady attendance of thirty to 40 users online at any given moment. Notably, many were first-time contributors, thereby augmenting the documentation team with fresh members.

A blend of physical and virtual setups facilitated by the reliable IONOS server hosted multiple Joomla instances seamlessly, enhancing the collaborative spirit. In addition, participants were treated to event swag from IONOS and a range of Joomla stickers to keep their spirits high.

Achievements Unveiled

The diligent work of the attendees bore fruit with a staggering 72 pull requests resolved and over 500 documentation edits finalised. This monumental effort promises to inject more features into the stable release of Joomla 5, enhancing its robustness.

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Joomla is 18! and Extended Security Support for Joomla 3

Today Joomla is 18 years old. It is also 2 years since the release of Joomla! 4, and the end of official support from the Joomla Volunteer Community for Joomla! 3

A huge debate of gratitude is owed to everyone who worked on the Joomla 3 series. Many businesses owe their success to Joomla 3, and it has been a long and productive journey.

If you still have a joomla 3 site, you will have a notice in the administrator section, which reads.

"Support has ended for your version of Joomla 3.10. Migrate to Joomla 4 as soon as possible."

We encourage everyone with a Joomla 3 site to migrate to Joomla 4, as this is where the communities focus lies. In a few months, Joomla 5 will bring even more stability, speed, security and functionality to your sites.

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18 amazing facts about Joomla to celebrate its 18th Birthday

18 amazing facts about Joomla to celebrate its 18th Birthday

It's Joomla 18th birthday this month and it's a perfect timing to have a look back about what have been proudly accomplished by all the incredible volunteers over these 18 years.

To celebrate this birthday "all together", here are 18 facts you might probably not know about the best Free open source CMS. There are no order, just some data and facts to enjoy with your cup of coffee (or whatever you prefer) and to share with your friends.

Joomla is used by 2.6% of all the content management system websites. This is 1.8% of all websites.

1,144,205 Joomla sites are live nowadays.

Since 2005, Joomla was downloaded over 140,000,000 times (and counting)!

Joomla is an award-winning content management system with over 20 awards.

Over 75 accredited Joomla language packages are available!

776,003 members registered on the forum have posted 3,310,714 messages!

Joomla has nearly 6,000 extensions available!

Joomla has nearly 2,200 templates available!

Joomla is rated 4.1/5 on Capterra.

Joomla has 4,477 stars of GitHub.

Only 1.9% Joomla sites were infected in 2022.

Joomla 4.3.3 is the 328th release of the CMS.

Nearly 85,000 million-dollar companies chose to use Joomla in 2022.

Nearly 600,000 people visit Joomla website each month.

Top 5 Countries with the most Joomla websites: USA, Germany, Russia, Italy, Poland.

Among the top 1 million most visited sites, 13,362 use Joomla.

2,053 articles have been published on the Joomla Community Magazine since 2010.

Tens of volunteers positions are available at Joomla.

Sources

Thank you Joomla!

This birthday is also a perfect timing to thank Joomla from the bottom of the heart for having changed positively the life of hundreds of thousand since 2005.

Thanks to this CMS, we make real friends around the world, we are able to meet incredible people who train and help others for free, we can participate to exceptional conferences, etc.
On a personal note and like thousands others, I have created my tailor-made "Joomla" job that has been making people happy every day since 2014.

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Joomla and the EU Cyber Resilience Act

Joomla and the EU Cyber Resilience Act

You may have heard of it already: the EU is preparing its Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), a European law about hardware and software. This CRA is coming our way, and it affects Joomla and other open source software. 

In fact, the impact on Free and Open Source Software could be so large and significant that the four major CMS (Drupal, Joomla, Typo3 and WordPress) decided to work together to do something about this. First steps in this collaboration were a joint Open Letter to EU legislators (July 25, 2023) and a joint webinar on August 2, 2023. During this webinar, Crystal Dionysopoulos (Joomla), Tim Doyle (Drupal), Mathias Bolt Lesniak (Typo3), Josepha Haden Chomphosy (WordPress) and Ciarán O'Riordan (Open Forum Europe) explained the CRA, along with their concerns, to their communities (500 people registered for that).  

What’s the idea of the CRA?

The intention of the CRA is to regulate software and hardware cybersecurity in the EU. The CRA wants to protect business users and consumers, by ensuring products in the EU have fewer vulnerabilities, the security process is transparent and clear, and manufacturers are responsible for the cybersecurity of a product throughout its lifecycle. 

Wait a minute, you say ‘manufacturers’?

We’ll come to that later.

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Thank you Tobias!

Thank you Tobias!

Hello Tobias,

After over three years of service your term as Joomla! 3.10 Release Lead is over. What should I say? It had its ups and downs but the stable factor was you. The whole Joomla community was lucky to have you as the 3.10 release lead during this time.

Our Release Lead journey started when I took over the 4.1 releases and you were one of the main people showing me the bits and bytes of how to create successful releases. While I was more the spontaneous and easy going guy you were extremely structured and focused. This mindset has saved some releases, especially the Joomla! 4.0 releases where you discovered at the last minute a major issue. Your knowledge heavily influenced subsequent release managers as you helped set up the current best practice release list. Many weekends we sat together in Google Meets, building pre-releases and thankfully you insisted on sticking to the list each and every time.

You probably were not aware of it, but the fact that Ionos is sponsoring our Pizza, Bugs & Fun events is also your merit. It started with our Hackathon project a few years ago, where we built Joomla! implementation for them and your work paved the way to get in touch with them for further collaboration and sponsorship.

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Explore the Core: showing tagged items

Explore the Core: showing tagged items

Joomla provides us with two Tags modules by default. These are Tags - Similar and Tags - Popular. Let’s take a look and see what these modules can do for us.

In a similar way to categories, we can use tags to organise, or filter, website content. This is especially helpful on larger sites with a lot of content where articles can be grouped together by tags where the content is similar. Luckily Joomla thinks the same way, so the first module we’ll look at deals with similar tags.

Tags - Similar

Tags Similar displays links to other articles with similar tags, simple as that. We can define how similar by using the Match Type setting which gives us Any, All or Half as options.

What does Match Type mean?

Any - like it says, any tags that match All - all tags in one article have to match all the tags of another article Half - this can produce fewer results as it’s looking for a match of greater than or equal half the tags in an article matching another article’s tags

The resulting output of this tag filter is usually a list of tags that link to other articles with similar tags. Using the Advanced tab it’s possible to amend the view of this list by changing the module title (if displayed) to a an H3, H4, etc and the module wrapper can be assigned a contextual tag such as aside, details, section, summary, etc.

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Chat GPT extensions to aid web development

Chat GPT extensions to aid web development

AI is becoming part of Joomla with extensions and plugins, but it should also become part of your workforce, becoming your assistant, allowing you to be more productive and taking away some of the day-to-day chores.

In my last article https://magazine.joomla.org/all-issues/june/ai-extensions-you-can-use-with-joomla I looked at the tools you can use to make images and then a look through the Joomla Extensions Directory (JED), showing several AI products already there. We looked through a few AI tools we can use not just with Joomla but in Joomla, tools that plug directly into Joomla itself.

Now I turn my attention to tools that plug into ChatGPT, tools that extend what it can do and allow you to use that specific tool to help extend it from a General AI tool into a specific and useful AI assistant.

Paid for Version of ChatGPT

At the time of writing, plugins are only available with the paid-for version of ChatGPT, version 4. It has some restrictions; GPT-4 currently has a cap of 25 messages every 3 hours.

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Getting to know the team behind Joomla 4.4

Getting to know the team behind Joomla 4.4

What’s in store for Joomla 4.4? JCM meets the Release Managers, Allon Moritz and Martin Kopp. Let’s find out who they are and what they like most about Joomla 4!

First of all, thanks for meeting virtually for this interview. I know you Allon through meetings at Joomla Days and your products which I have used, and Martin, from you shadowing the current team and being in the Joomla London meetings that I try to chair. But for those who don't know you, please give us a quick intro.

Allon: Hi. I’m located in the eastern part of Switzerland in the nice Swiss Alps in a small village. When I say small I really mean small: we have around 300 people in the village. I’m the only computer guy doing web development.

I've been involved in Joomla since version 3.7 where I contributed custom fields to the project. Since then I try to help wherever some urgent resources are needed. Currently, I’m in the process of increasing our automated test coverage.

Martin: Hi Philip - First I want to thank the Joomla community for all the opportunities offered to contribute to a great project.
I live in Meilen at the lake of Zurich, 10 km from Zurich Switzerland. I have been running my own company in computer business for over 25 years.

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Leadership interview: Crystal Dionysopoulos

Leadership interview: Crystal Dionysopoulos

At the moment of writing (mid April 2023), Crystal Dionysopoulos has survived her first few weeks as President of the Board of Directors of Open Source Matters (the organisation that powers Joomla). We at the JCM are very curious about our new president: what is she like, what will she bring and how can we all help her move Joomla forward?

Congratulations on the election results Crystal! We’re really excited to have you as the brand new President of our Board.

Thank you! I am really excited for the opportunity, and honored to serve the community.

One word was key in your manifesto: proactive. Why?

In my experience, any organization is run one of three ways:

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If you build it they will come (or: the 90-9-1 principle of user engagement)

If you build it they will come (or: the 90-9-1 principle of user engagement)

If you are a movie buff then you will have recognised the title of this article as a quotation from the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams. But like all great quotations, that everyone knows, it is never said in the movie. The actual line is "If they build it he will come".

As website developers it is our job to build great websites for our clients. I also believe it is our responsibility to advise our clients and to set their expectations. Too many times I see companies and organisations that are struggling who think all their problems will be resolved by a new website. The website might help but if there were underlying reasons that the business was struggling it will not magically resolve them.

User Engagement and Interaction

A common mistake is to "copy" the features and functionality of a large, successful competitor. These might include:

a forumcommentssocial sharing

The Undeniable Truth

In the early days of the web people used to see it as a challenge to be the first to post a comment - even if it was only to say "first post". Times have changed and interactions on the web have reverted to following existing social norms. Very few people will be the first to post. Even if they have a comment or a question they will probably wait to see if someone else posts first.

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Quarterly Highlights from Open Source Matters

Quarterly Highlights from Open Source Matters

Get a brief overview of OSM happenings from the current board president. 

This is a brief summary of the 2023 Q1 report from the President of Open Source Matters (OSM). See all past and present board member reports on the OSM website. (Not sure how OSM relates to Joomla? Find out more here.)

All Together Now

The Joomla Community Magazine has always been a valuable resource for anyone interested in Joomla, with a plethora of content that you can lose yourself in. This quarter I want to recognize Joomler Anja de Crom for how much time and effort she puts into the magazine as the team lead.

It’s well-known that if you share something interesting or notable in Mattermost, it won’t be long until Anja asks if you’d like to submit an article about it �. Her efforts are worth it - every month we see an interesting and diverse collection of articles from across the community.

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A builder's guide to Guided Tours

A builder's guide to Guided Tours

In the last magazine article: Guiding you through Guided Tours, we looked at guided tours (available in Joomla 4.3) and walked through their use. We stopped at the point of creating a guided tour as an administrator and as a developer.
Now we will finish that journey so you can build your own!


Now that you have been introduced to guided tours and have seen how they work, you may want to create one yourself.
Whether you are a consultant, a web designer, a web agency or a developer, you could take advantage of tours and offer a unique experience to your client or users.

Creating a tour is easy

First, you need to decide what the tour will be about and where you would like to make the tour available.

Let's say you want to create a tour that guides a new administrator through the Joomla dashboard so that this administrator gets a 'feel' of what he can do in the Joomla console.

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How I grow with Joomla - Olivier Buisard

How I grow with Joomla - Olivier Buisard

There are events, people, that illustrate the international and building side of Joomla.
Olivier Buisard of Simplifyyourweb grew up in France but his career path brought him closer to Open Source Matters' headquarters. Since then, he has lived in New York, but still has ties to his home country.

He tells us how he met Joomla and how Joomla has continued to make him grow.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I have a Computer Science Master with a minor in Computer Graphics, but I started by studying Applied Mathematics. The latest was not really my calling... I worked in several companies over the years in aerospace, the health industry and even the energy sector. After receiving my Green Card, I decided to jump into the unknown and work for myself, creating websites, managing them and building extensions. Nowadays, I mainly create and improve Joomla extensions.

When did you make your first Joomla website / extension?

I created my first website a long time ago... It was not the millennium quite yet. Plain old html and CSS. Then I discovered Joomla, as the 1.5 version was getting mainstream.

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