Tag Archives: meetup

CiviDay 2016 – London Meetup

Wednesday 24th February 2016 was CiviDay – an annual event to learn about CiviCRM and what it can do for your organization, meet other CiviCRM users, ask questions, share tips and build connections.

The CiviDay London event was held in the offices of Compucorp, one of the main UK CiviCRM development houses.

There are regular CiviCRM meetups in London, which are open to all. They are particularly aimed at people looking to find out more about CiviCRM or considering it for their organisation. There is always a mix of experience levels represented and are a great forum for asking questions or for meeting current users, implementers or developers who can help with your project.

CiviDay London Format

  • Session 1: Intro to CiviCRM
  • Session 2: What’s new in Civi 4.7!
  • Break
  • Session 3: CiviRules – what I can do with it and how to extend it…
  • Session 4: CiviHR – Latest developments
Cividay London meetup
Cividay London meetup

2020Media, a UK CiviCRM hosting provider attended the event and these are the thoughts of their Civi expert Rex:

We started with introductions – the first speaker was Jamie Novick from Compucorp, our hosts for the evening. The meeting room was at capacity – I estimated over 30 people had come along. Of these, on a show of hands, 4-5 had never used CiviCRM before.

Jamie started us off with a look at https://stats.civicrm.org/

Usage stats from https://stats.civicrm.org
CiviCRM usage stats

This shows a up to date view of how CiviCRM is growing across the world. I was particularly interested to see the although Drupal is the most popular underlying platform with 63% market share, WordPress is now the second most popular, overtaking Joomla. CiviCRM on WordPress has only been around a couple of years, so this is significant growth, and I believe shows how people want CiviCRM to integrate with their public-facing websites.

Other Statistical Highlights

  • Over 10,000 sites using CiviCRM
  • 170,000,000 contacts managed
  • UK second largest market with 1,200 organisations
  • Post popular extension: CiviDiscount

There’s a close correlation between hosting location and organisation location, which ties in with our experience as a CiviCRM host.

pie chart showing civicrm server location
CiviCRM server location

Session 2. After spending some time with the numbers, Jamie gave a quick overview of changes in the latest CiviCRM version, and what is planned for the upcoming 5.0 release.

Next, and mainly for the benefit of those who were new to CiviCRM, Jamie went through some of the most common tasks in CiviCRM, showing each activity and providing useful tips to novice and expert alike. This also helped those running older versions, so they could see what new options were now available.

Session 3.  A look at CiviRules. This presentation was about an extension called CiviRules, which is a free add-on to CiviCRM.

Compucorp employee Guan Huan gave us a tour around the CiviRules extension. For Drupal developers, CiviRules will be familiar as it is similar to the Drupal Rules function. In essence it is a way of creating an automated process based on:

If <this> then do <that>

You can define Triggers, Conditions and Actions.

Another way to look at this is that is mimics SalesForce Automation – which is well known as a very powerful tool.

CiviRules is fairly new and still in development, but it was easy to see how useful this would be to reduce admin work.

Session 4. The final talk of the evening from Natalie was about CiviHR – a project based on CiviCRM, but standalone.

CiviHR Logo

CiviHR is a reimagining of CiviCRM as a system for the needs of HR departments of all organisations (not just charity/3rd sector). Although being listed as an extension, it is in fact going to be released as a seperate full install of Drupal and CiviHR.

CiviHR allows you to run all the functions of a large HR department – for example, people, onboarding, contracts, holidays, sick days, training etc.

The design, which we saw a preview of, looks very slick and modern – I think all the people at the meetup were thinking “if only CiviCRM looked as good as this”!

Currently the development team hope to release an MVP (minimum viable product) in late Q2 2016. They are looking for pilot clients to work with.

The evening wrapped up with networking and a few drinks in a local pub.

If you are interesting in learning more about CiviCRM, seeing how it operates, asking questions to friendly people who have in depth knowledge, I thoroughly recommend dropping in to the next London CiviCRM meetup. You can register here https://civicrm.org/events

Information about the CiviCRM services offered by 2020Media can be found in the links below, and at http://www.2020media.com/shared-hosting/civcrm-hosting

JoomlaDay UK – 13th February 2016

JoomlaDay UK is being held right in the heart of London, we are returning to a single day format with a programme suitable for beginner, developer and agency alike.

Source: JoomlaDay UK – 13th February 2016

This is the 7th JoomlaDay in the UK and we are returning to a single day format with a programme suitable for beginner, developer and agency alike.

There is a packed schedule including keynotes from Microsoft and Opera alongside some of the best Joomla! speakers available, now all we need is you!

Tickets start at just £20, so at this price there will be no discounts or 2 for 1 offers, we are practically giving them away already for a Central London venue!

So please buy your tickets as soon as possible to help us with logistics and ensure a smooth running event.

We look forward to seeing you in London.

Joomla User Group Report

The London Joomla user group meeting took place on 21 October 2014. I went along and this is my report.


The London meetup takes place every month on the 3rd Tuesday. More details can be found at the user group’s dedicated website at http://www.joomlalondon.co.uk/

The meeting started with general news on Joomla.

We were reminded that several security fixes have been released recently and these should be applied by website administrators as soon as possible.

One of the meeting regulars, Hugh, is a JED maintainer (the JED is the Joomla Extension Directory and is where you’ll find all the possible extensions, plugins and components to Joomla). Hugh reported that there is a new version of the JED imminent. However unlike the last overhaul, extensions will not need to be resubmitted.

Our discussion then moved onto some general tips for Joomla developers.

A useful tip for developers was that right-clicking and viewing source in Firefox/Chrome will highlight in red any unclosed tags.

We learned that Chrome’s developer mode has an option for viewing a site as if it was on a mobile device, along with connection speeds. However some users said it wasn’t very accurate.

Phil and Joe from SoftForge demonstrated the useful ability to set breakpoints in code within Chrome, which is a useful technique for debugging Javascript – and extremely helpful if using AJAX.

Hugh gave us a useful demo of a recently built site for a client and demonstrated some beautiful design techniques.

We then listened to two talks which had been given at the recent Joomla Day event.

Hugh Douglas-Smith
Hugh Douglas-Smith

Workflows with Joomla and Administrator Shortcuts. Both presented by Hugh. Hugh’s company can be found at http://www.webappz.co.uk/

Workflows with Joomla

Hugh presented a walkthrough of creating a workflow using off-the-shelf Joomla components. The example given was a website that offers loan applications.

The workflow given was for a customer to apply for a loan and then the various steps of processing the application being setup and viewable.

The technique used was using User Groups to keep track of the different stages. Menu items are given permission such that they are only visible to specific user groups, and the user is moved from group to group as they progress through the process.

The first stage, where the user submitted the form required some custom PHP code to change the usergroup for the user, and to refresh the session so that the user immediately saw the updated menu.

Administrator Shortcuts

Too many to mention but a few highlights for me:

  • Parameters can be added to a menu link
  • User redirects on login
  • Language overrides can be used to include variables
  • Article Editor can be customised per user – very useful if giving to a non-skilled user
  • Removing Unused CSS Selectors from a Website – the Dust-me browser plugin http://www.brothercake.com/dustmeselectors/
  • What software is that website running – another browser plugin: https://wappalyzer.com/
  • Making notes/messages appear in Admin – this is done within the Module Manager.
  • Create a “Standard” install if you regularly build sites by using Akeebabackup.

For the final part of the meeting we talked about our favourite extensions and more Joomla news.

A particlualry useful extension which most of us had not heard about was Kazaaman automatic menu manager. Whenever a new article is created, this plugin will create a menu item for it.

This is a plugin that creates a menu, and automatically maintains it. You can see the menu in your Joomla menu manager, and use it exactly like any other menu. It is a tree menu, and it maintains your category and article tree structure perfectly in your new menu.

KazaamOf particular interest to me, was the revelation that Joomla is so dependent on menus that if you create articles that aren’t linked in menus (I tend to link only the top level of a site to the main menu, and then link within articles to other articles), Joomla really doesn’t like this and you will see in the url that it’s created a baffling structure of sub-categories. If however every article belongs in a menu, then this does not happen and you can control your url structure. The menu does not need to be shown – it can be inactive.

Finally, Joomla 2.5 LTS is coming to end of life in December 2014. This means the Joomla team will no longer be providing security and other updates to it. The LTS stands for Long Term Support, and there will be a version of Joomla 3 that will become the new LTS version in due course. The new mechanism for this is that Joomla 3.x will continue with regular releases until Joomla 4 comes along. At that point, the final released version of Joomla 3.x will become the LTS version.

If you’d like to know more about Joomla, need help with your website, or would like to see the services 2020Media offers for Joomla, please see: http://www.2020media.com/shared-hosting/joomla-hosting

Silicon Junction

Whilst many in the tech industry have heard of “Silicon Roundabout”, the internet focused area of London around Old Street roundabout in Shoreditch, there are other parts of Britain where internet is spoken.

One of these is near 2020Media’s south London offices, and has been nicknamed “Silicon Junction”, due to it’s proximity to Clapham Junction railway station.

http://siliconjunction.co.uk/ is a community of digital businesses, bricks and mortar ones, freelancers and start uppers who live or work around the famous station.

We’ll be meeting up with the digital hipsters tonight for one of their semi-regular meetups. Meantime if you’d like to know more, this video introduces the concept.

Is there a local tech hub near you? Let us know (in the comments) and we’ll help spread the word.