Joomla User Group

Another meeting of the Joomla London User Group took place yesterday in London. The user group is now 2 years old and is attended by about 10 people each monthly meeting.

A useful tip mentioned this meeting was about extending Joomla through the many add-ons available. The central place for find Joomla add-ons is the JED (Joomla Extensions Directory). This directory lists both commercial and free extensions. There are often several extenstions that tackle the same need so it can be hard to know which would be best. We advise that you check the views and reviews show in JED very carefully – if there only a few this can mean that the extension is not particularly popular and may lead to the developer abandoning it.  It’s also worth looking at the ‘last updated’ date next to ‘Views’. Not all extensions need updates of course, but if an add-on has a recent update it’s a sign of an active project.

Joomla Extensions Directory

Some of the user group had been experimenting with Joomla 1.6, the tenth beta of which had just been released. They said there is still a way to go, and there a certain issues that remain unresolved. Clearly the final release isn’t going to appear just yet.

The user group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and you can find out more on their website.

Finally, Joomla!Day 2010 is taking place in Ipswitch, Suffolk from Saturday, 30th October to Sunday, 31st October 2010 inclusive.

Joomla hosting requires a certain environment on the server and 2020Media’s Joomla hosting is designed to deliver exactly the right specification for all Joomla websites.

CiviCRM Hosting

2020Media specializes in CiviCRM hosting on Linux servers with a combination of very reliable service and excellent customer support.

CiviCRM Seminar, Kings Cross

We recently attended a CiviCRM seminar held at Miller Technology in Kings Cross, London. The seminar was well attended, mostly by representatives of smaller charities and not-for-profit groups who were evaluating CiviCRM for their organisations. We think the view at the end of the morning was that CiviCRM could meet their requirements as it is very well specified for the NFP sector and is a mature and well supported software package.

CiviCRM can be hosted as part of Joomla or Drupal web content management systems. Which one is used will probably come down to the developers preference, but it’s worth noting that Drupal has a more flexible permissions system. So if you were thinking of restricting access to elements of CiviCRM to certains users (for example your events team only access the CiviCRM events menu), then Drupal is an easier way of doing this.

2020Media’s hosting supports all features of CiviCRM. Our servers are fast, very reliable and our support team is extremely professional. We furthermore take great efforts to keep your sensitive data secure. If you’d like to talk to us about your next CiviCRM project, please get in touch with 2020Media.

WordPress Plugins

Free content management system WordPress can be extended very quickly and easily by installing plugins. These can do just about anything thanks to the way WordPress’s framework is designed, but here’s a list of the top 10 most popular free plugins and what they do.

  1. Akismet: Keep your comments free of spam.
  2. All in One SEO Pack: Transforms your WordPress site into a search engine magnet.
  3. Google XML Sitemaps: You want Google to index your site right? You need this plugin.
  4. Contact Form 7: Adds a very configurable contact form to your site.
  5. NextGEN Gallery: A image gallery option with optional Flash slideshow
  6. WordPress.com Stats: Get an insight into your visitors
  7. AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button: The web is now social. Is your website?
  8. Google Analyticator: Get an insight into your visitors using Google’s free service.
  9. WP-PageNavi: A more advanced paging navigation for sites with lots of pages.
  10. WPtouch iPhone Theme: automatically transforms your WordPress blog into an iPhone application-style theme
plugins menu
Plugins

This list was compiled by Vladimir Prelovac, and one of the criteria was that the plugin must have been updated in the last year to be included – so you know these are being supported. Any of the above plugins can be installed from within your WordPress site, just search for it’s name in the Plugins section.

2020Media offers free installation of WordPress on any of its hosting plans, and our team is delighted to talk to users of WordPress about any aspect of its use.

Extending WordPress

Wordpress
Wordpress hosting here!

2020Media has long recommended WordPress as a lot more than a blogging tool. But what else can you do with it? E-commerce is one function many retailers would like to add to their site. A good e-commerce package can also be used as a gallery to generate leads.

One such extension to WordPress is the free and open source Prestashop. Now Prestashop is available as a standalone e-commerce website but if you have a busy website that is already using WordPress, and perhaps leveraging social networking plugins, or a custom template, it makes sense to integrate rather than start afresh.

Prestashop can be loaded as a plugin to WordPress using the plugin here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-prestashop/. There’s also a e-commerce plugin written just for WordPress (WP e-Commerce) which offers complete integration with the existing site, although many find this harder to use.

WordPress hosting from 2020Media (www.2020media.com/wordpress) will provide all you need to build  a successful e-commerce website