Making workflows that work for you

Making workflows that work for you

I like the word workflow. It makes me feel more organised just by saying it. When my work flows I’m happy. In Joomla this form of organisation is a hierarchy that enables a means of moderation so that admins or editors can control content, making sure it doesn’t get published without some form of approval.

When I work on my music website or the one for my business I am both the author and the editor, but when it comes to a team of content creators, an editor or line-manager may need to sign-off the website copy before it’s published.

My interest in Workflow came from a conversation with a client when we’d done a large makeover of their website and they realised there were hundreds of articles floating around after 3 websites had been merged. Some text went back over 10 years and included details about departments and initiatives that had expired even before the pandemic.

Going forward, we would find a way of ensuring that all content that was created was “on message” and had a place to live within the new website structure. Great, let’s use Workflow and then that way we can control when something is published and when it goes live it has been signed-off by the head of that department.

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Content Templates - the Joomla Page Builder you didn't know you already had

Content Templates - the Joomla Page Builder you didn't know you already had

Why are you using a so-called page builder when Joomla has everything you probably need right in the box? Don't know what I am talking about? Well it's a fairly hidden feature of the TinyMCE editor called Content Templates.

The idea behind a page builder is that you can easily build an article with layouts that are more than simply paragraphs or lists by using some pre-built elements. Examples of this could be a pricing table or a hero section with image. 

You can do all of this and more with Content Templates in Joomla. The difference is that instead of being given a large, but limited, quantity of elements by the author of the page builder you have to create them for yourself. But don't let that put you off as they are extremely easy to create and you have a virtually inexhaustible supply available from all across the internet. 

This is because a Joomla Content Template is pure html and nothing more. You simply save the html in a text file located in your template's html/tinymce folder and they are available to use. Just don't forget to tell the TinyMCE editor plugin which of your site's templates to look for the content templates.

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Guided Tours: Getting Better and Better - Here’s What's New!

Guided Tours: Getting Better and Better - Here’s What's New!

You may have seen them in the backend of your Joomla 4 or 5 website: Guided Tours, the ultimate way to get familiarized with your Joomla website. And while Joomla 5 keeps getting better (thanks to our awesome developers), so does Joomla's Little Helper, aka the Guided Tours!

What is a Guided Tour?

A guided tour in simplest terms, shows you around. In Joomla, it can show you around, like explaining the dashboard or new features in a release. It can also guide you through creating/maintaining content on a website, including using a third-party extension. 

Who are Guided Tours for?

We dare say EVERYONE!

Guided Tours help third-party developers guide end-users and implementers on how to use their extensions. Guided Tours help implementers guide end-users on how to maintain content, make updates, etc. on their website. Guided Tours help end-users guide other end-users in their organizations to help in the care and maintenance of the organization’s website.

How to Get Started with Guided Tours?

There are core tours in your Joomla site. They cover the basics. Overtime we will make available more detailed versions of the core tours that you will have the option to install.

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Templates for Joomla - Episode 1: Templates, Frameworks & Clubs or not…

Templates for Joomla - Episode 1: Templates, Frameworks & Clubs or not…

In less than 4 months, Joomla will turn 19 - and boy has it evolved into a truly powerful, very capable, yet easy to use solid and accessible young adult (and platform). Thanks to not just its vibrant community of promoters, testers, developers, documenters, marketers and helpers but also our component, module, and plugin builders that are all around - and a very appreciated part of the Joomla project. 

Unless this is your first Joomla project (and if it is, welcome!), you will also have a special place in your heart for all of the artistic minds behind these interesting, innovative, and creative templates which are often the foundation to that great website you built for yourself or just delivered to your customer.

We should not forget those that do not always get as much limelight, those teams that build the frameworks that we all rely on, or should I say, that bring to life the templates that most of us have come to use for the starting place of our websites. 

As of this writing, mid-May 2024, there are as best as can be catalogued at least 1,397 templates designed, updated, compatible or that work with Joomla 5. (1)

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Safeguarding Your Joomla Content Against AI Crawlers

Safeguarding Your Joomla Content Against AI Crawlers

Joomla is no exception to the trend towards artificial intelligence, and there are extensions that allow you to link up with it and use it to create content, but it may also be that you don't want your content to be used to feed this enormous knowledge base.

Ask yourself if your site has been used to train artificial intelligence. You can do the test at this site: https://haveibeentrained.com/ and decide whether you want to leave your site to the AIs.


In today's digital landscape, content creators using Joomla face the challenge of safeguarding their creations from AI indexing robots like GPTBot by OpenAI, Gemini by Google, Common Crawl, and Claude by Anthropic. As creators of content within the Joomla ecosystem, it's crucial to understand how to effectively manage and protect your content.

Understanding the Landscape

Several major newspapers and press groups: Financial Times, Axel Springer, Associated Press, the Spanish group Prisa (El Pais)...  have already entered agreements to expand rights, allowing AI integration. However, concerns persist regarding potential repercussions, including search engine ramifications by tech giants like Google. Despite assertions that these integrations are unrelated, the inclusion of Gemini into Chrome raises concerns.

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Smoothest Joomla Upgrade - My History of Joomla Upgrades from 1.5 to 5

Smoothest Joomla Upgrade - My History of Joomla Upgrades from 1.5 to 5

I discovered Joomla in 2008 when a web developer recommended I use it to replace a static HTML website I'd built for my not-for-profit dog training club. "Joomla's super easy to use," he enthused, adding, "after the initial 'WHAT THE!?' shock."

Joomla 1.5 was a steep learning curve. But thanks to the Sydney Joomla User Group (JUG), Joomla forums, and books like Barry North's Joomla! A User's Guide, I launched the dog club's Joomla-based website in August 2008. 

I even gave a talk on the benefits of a Joomla website for not-for-profit organisations at JoomlaDay Sydney in 2009. 

Joomla 3

Maintaining the dog club website and being involved with the Sydney JUG and JoomlaDays increased my knowledge of Joomla. However, I held off upgrading the website from Joomla 1.5 to 1.6, 1.7, and 2.5 due to the technical complexity of the task and extension compatibility issues.

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The Value of Open Source Software

The Value of Open Source Software

If your software is free for everyone to use, does that mean it isn’t worth anything? Surely not! Three researchers from Harvard Business School and the University of Toronto have found a way to estimate the value of Open Source Software. Spoiler alert: it’s nowhere near nothing.

Determining the value of a product or service is traditionally done by multiplying the price (p) times the quantity sold (q). As you probably know, Joomla is Open Source Software, free for everyone to use and download. If we use this traditional method to calculate Joomla’s value, we’d get 0 * 0. Zero, zilch, nada, nothing. So either that is what we’re worth, or we need to explore other methods. And the latter is exactly what Manuel Hoffmann and Frank Nagle (both Harvard Business School) and Yanuo Zhou (University of Toronto) did. 

Open Source Software - software with a source code publicly available for inspection, use and modification, often created in a decentralized manner and distributed for free - appears in 96% of codebases.

Some commercial software consists of up to 99.9% freely available Open Sources Software. Yes, you read that correctly: people pay for software that’s almost entirely made of free stuff.

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Cassiopeia, Joomla’s powerful built-in template: how to use css classes for your category blog

Cassiopeia, Joomla’s powerful built-in template: how to use css classes for your category blog

There are a number of content display options in Joomla. One of them is the category blog, that allows us to display multiple articles from a category. This option has many settings, which can be confusing for users, so this article will describe the parameters and demonstrate what they do.

Global settings

If we go to Content -> Articles and click on Options at the top right, we end up in the global settings for content (articles and categories). As the name suggests, these settings apply globally, i.e. the same for all articles and all categories. Global settings can be overwritten in a menu item, which gives us extra flexibility in the display of the content.

For the category blog, the settings under “Category”, “Blog/Featured Layouts” and “Shared” are important.

Category

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Local Community liaisons, what are they and do you have what it takes to join them?

Local Community liaisons, what are they and do you have what it takes to join them?

What is a Community Liaison, what do they do and do you have what it takes to become one? All good questions that this article is intended to answer. And in answering we deal with the beating heart of volunteer Open Source community-driven projects just like Joomla!

Joomla has many features that make it different from other large Open Source projects and one of them is the number of languages it supports.

Language packs

It is the people who use Joomla and have a passion for their local community and language who take the time to translate and develop the language packs.

This is a work of love and dedication that can serve their country and language.

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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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Creating a custom Form field type in Joomla 5 using the Modal Select example

Creating a custom Form field type in Joomla 5 using the Modal Select example

Using the ModalSelect Form field type in Joomla 5 to simplify finding the right product, from thousands, by filtering in a modal window using category, manufacturer and search when developing an extension.

Intro

In the process of working with clients, there are tasks of various levels: someone needs a simple website of 5-6 pages. Someone needs a large catalog of goods or an online store with integrations with third-party systems using the REST API. Somebody else needs non-standard functionality for which there are no popular solutions available.

Joomla is good for development and allows you to create easily maintained code. If the requirement follows the CMS core then it has an answer for all these cases.

To complete a large project, we need to split it into smaller tasks, and  I want to talk about solving one of these tasks in this article.

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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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