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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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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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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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

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

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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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

"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

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?

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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