JUGCN BLOG

News for and about Joomla!

Help4Joomla needs you!

So many people in the Joomla community have hidden talents. They have the skills, software or resources that someone else needs to get something done, but they may not want to go steady and join a team or commit to lots of hours. Likewise, people need a little help but don’t know who to turn to finish a task for Joomla. So how can we bring the talent and the need together?  Here is how you can be part of Help4Joomla. 

Last month in Joomla Community Magazine, we gave readers a number of ways they can get involved and give some Time4Joomla. The tasks outlined in the article were all self-paced and ideal for those looking at giving something back to the project if they have the occasional 20-30 minutes to give to the project.

From time to time though, the project is looking for somebody with specialist skills to provide specialist help. You could very well be that somebody, but how can I find you? 

Usually, we do this through networking at events, chatting over a pint of beer after conference presentations, workshops and breakout room discussions. 

“How are you getting on with that document?” “Oh fine, I just need someone to do an illustration. Do you know anybody who could help?” And after several requests and a few pints of beer, hopefully, someone will say, “Oh Flo is a particularly talented artist, worth asking her” And your search is over, or perhaps Flo is just too busy, and you need to start your search again (and drink more beer)!

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The October Issue

The JCM Team is proud to present you the October Issue of the Joomla! Community Magazine.

This month’s edition features:

An interview with the newly elected Vice President, Nicola Galgano as part of the Leadership Interviews. An interview with Tobias Zulauf as part of the Meet a Joomler. Daniel Dubois reminded the Community that we are all responsible with his great article. Sandra Decoux interviewed Simon Grange regarding the book he wrote on how to build a website with Joomla 4. Christiane Maier-Stadtherr wrote an article to discover the Article management features of Joomla 4. Russel Winter wrote an article explaining where to find all the documentation resources related to Joomla 4. Rüdiger Schultz explained how to Joomla4-ify an old template. Patrick Jackson published an article on the new metrics for web performance. An article explaining the proposal to restructure the governance of Open Source Matters. Andrea Gentil interviewed Sergio Iglesias regarding the migration of his website to Joomla 4. Marc Dechèvre published the 7th episode of the series of articles related to Custom Fields. The Volunteers Engagement Team published a call for volunteers: Help4Joomla.

This release wouldn't have been possible without the work of the Community Magazine Team, all the authors and all the people who allowed us to interview them.

Thanks to all those who participated.

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The plans for Joomla 4.1

After the release of Joomla 4.0, I met online with Sigrid Gramlinger-Moser and Benjamin Trenkle to discuss the process and people behind the testing and production of Joomla 4.1, the next Joomla minor version.

Sigrid Gramlinger-Moser - I first met Sigrid at JandBeyond Barcelona when we were both learning automated testing. Sigrid took over from me as team lead for the CMS release team and has really developed that group far beyond what she inherited. Sigrid is involved in the Austrian Joomla community and her daughter Lena was recently featured in our birthday edition.

Benjamin Trenkle - I also met at JandBeyond and through the production department. We have worked together on several projects inside and outside of Joomla and it's fair to say he has taught me much about how to write good code, and in exchange, I have tried to explain warm beer and cricket.

Sigrid, how did you become involved in the CMS release team and why did you join?

Due to a tight timeline in a client project, I wanted to know if the official release scheduled for that day was a security release. Because then I would have to block some extra time for immediate updates. So I asked Harald Leithner, as he was the release lead at that time. He invited me to join the CMS Release team, then I would know in advance and could test the pre-built packages. That was in March 2019 and I am still on the team.

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Joomla 4: Tweak Cassiopeia with a top banner and horizontal navigation

You don't have a logo and there is no text that fits instead of the logo on your website. Instead, you want to display a banner at the top of your Joomla website. Your menu should appear under this banner. The logo or the alternative text should not be visible at all. You would prefer your website to look exactly as you created it using Joomla 3 and Protostar. How can this be done with Cassiopeia?

This is how it should look:

 

The front end of a fresh Joomla 4 installation looks similar with Cassiopeia as you can see in the next picture. At the top is the area that contains the brand or branding.

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My favourite Joomla 4 feature - customizable dashboard

Joe Sonne about his favourite Joomla 4 feature

Joomla 4 comes with a couple of pretty neat new features, and at the Joomla Community Magazine we love to hear what you do with them. In this issue, Joe Sonne tells us how he customizes the administrator dashboard for his backend users. This is relatively easy; all you need is curiosity, creativity and a good idea of what your users need. And if you know a bit of CSS and HTML, you can knock yourself out creating the best user experience ever for your users.

Thanks for participating in this article, Joe! Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm Joe Sonne and I currently live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, just an hour west of where I grew up in Toronto.

I've been involved with Joomla since 2005 and served on different Teams for the project including the OSM board in the past. Many people in the Joomla Community know me as JoeJoomla. That is also the name of my website brand for The Joe Sonne Group.

What is your favourite Joomla 4 feature and why?

My favourite feature of Joomla 4 is the new Joomla administrator template which is called 'Atum'. The volunteers who designed and created Atum did an incredible job of putting all the power of Joomla 4 at your fingertips and giving you the ability to easily customize the Joomla Administrator area.

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Can you give some Time4Joomla?

Do you sometimes wonder who the people behind the scenes are putting Joomla together? Most of the time it's users like you who have decided to give a little bit of time - answering a form post, translating some language strings, writing some documentation or perhaps testing some patches. Here's how you can give some Time4Joomla.

You will have seen the Joomla4All slogan which marketing introduced at the launch of Joomla4.

It has been followed in newsletters, press releases and articles with a series of refinements on the theme, Joomla4Accessibility, Joomla4Speed, Joomla4Security, you get the picture.

These are all things that Joomla delivers for us, its users and is a neat way to brand the features of Joomla and explain how Joomla can help us to work better and do more.

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Design becomes reality. J4 landing page, part 2

For those just joining the story so far here is the first instalment where I discover that there is such a thing called the Joomla 3 landing page, stumble across the designs for the new Joomla 4 landing page and realise there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

In this episode, we unpack the wonderful work that Chiara Aliotta put into the landing page before the Joomla World Conference in Rome. Get to find out what the webmasters' team do and experience the synergy that goes into making the page happen.

Choosing the colours

The first challenge we faced was unpicking the subtle colour changes involved in the design layout. Chiara had not just designed one page, she had designed a theme of pages to last through the 4.x series.

Each minor release (4.1, 4.2) had a base colour. The landing page was designed to change over time as we progressed through the 4.x series. The various areas of the page were variations on that base colour. I'm not a graphics artist, so that's as technical as I get in my description. If you are muttering colourful language at the PC containing different hues, shades, tints and tones then a quick recruitment plug: we are always looking for more talent in the Marketing Department and your skills will be gratefully received. Back to the story in hand, the colours needed to be set as variables in the scss so that they could change over time.

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Joomla 4.0.3 and Joomla 3.10.2 are here!

Joomla 4.0.3  and 3.10.2 are now available. These are bug-fix releases for the 4.0.x and 3.10.x series of Joomla which contain many bug fixes and improvements.

What's in 4.0.3?

Joomla 4.0.3 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

Transitions in workflows are now translatable Google Fonts are now loaded with higher priority in Cassiopeia  Improved Error Handling in the LDAP Plugin

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

What's in 3.10.2?

Joomla 3.10.2 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

Improve texts that are shown when there is a standalone update for the Joomla Update Component (#35373) Improvements for the pre upgrade checker (#35481, #35510)

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

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Explore the core! Structure your Content with Categories

Guess what’s the most important on your website? A beautiful template? Wrong! Nice colours and barrier-free? Wrong! Good SEO URLs? Wrong again!

It is the content. No content - no website. Joomla as a Content Management System (CMS) – is born to manage every amount of content. This can be everything: Articles, Contacts, Banners .. everything is a piece of content and the more content items you have, the more important a good content structure is.

In this article from the February issue, Viviana Menzel explains some facts.

In the same way you manage your files in folders on your computer  (but with much more possibilities) you organise articles in categories.

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Joomla turns 16

Joomla turns 16

Happy Birthday Joomla!

At the last meeting of the magazine team, we came up with the proposal to have an article in the August issue celebrating Joomla's 16th birthday. The main idea was to ask several Joomlers how Joomla has affected/changed their lives in these 16 years. Because at the JCM we love to hear Joomla stories. Each of the participants in this meeting started to tell, very briefly, how Joomla changed their life. At that point we said, how about this time we, the JCM team, tell our experience with Joomla?

Anja de Crom

We are talking about 2008 here. My partner, a publisher at that time, needed a website for promoting books. I wanted to build this myself, we stumbled upon Joomla and I started. I had never even worked with a content management system. Even worse: the only websites I had ever built (a total of 3) I made with Frontpage, in the previous century. So I had almost no knowledge whatsoever (which is why I soon discovered the power of the community), but that didn’t keep me from creating a fully functioning, well-visited website, with a webshop and a newsletter integrated.

Joomla took some getting used to in the beginning, but I learned a lot and got better fast. I joined a user group. I learned so much there, from all these nice people sharing their knowledge. After a few months, I became the co-organizer of this JUG. Not much later I found out I actually knew something somebody else didn't and I could help people with their problems! That was a major life-changer.

When I started making up new projects just to be able to build another website and another, I figured it might be time to quit my work as a writer and journalist and become a web designer by profession. So I switched to that, and in 2018 my partner joined me and together we founded WebLab42. We create and maintain websites and custom applications, all in Joomla.

I really like to share my knowledge and meet other Joomlers. Over the past twelve years, I have been giving talks at user groups and Joomla Days, translated Joomla Documentation, joined PBF events, joined the Dutch JoomlaDays Team, co-organised two successful editions of the Dutch Joomla Unconference event Joostock (we hope to do another after the Covid-situation), and since a year I’m a member of the Joomla Community Magazine Team. Giving back to the community makes you feel its power even more.

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Explore the core! The Joomla 4 Dashboard

Joomla 4 Control Panel

When you're new to Joomla (or just new to Joomla 4), your first impression of the Joomla administrator can be a little overwhelming. So many possibilities, and what do all these things even mean? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. In this series, experienced Joomla users help you find your way. In this month’s issue, Vivana Menzel gives you a guided tour through the heart of the backend: the dashboard. Enjoy!

Joomla 4 comes with a lot of improvements and new functions, as you can read in the official announcements (https://www.joomla.org/announcements.html). The heart of the backend, where you as administrator will work day by day is the dashboard.

What do you find on the dashboard?

The dashboard consists of a status bar with buttons and a main vertical menu on the left side (or on the right side for rtl languages), and, in the main panel, several modules with links to the most important parts of Joomla: Users, Articles, Plugins, Global Configuration, etc.. We’ll start with explaining the backend modules

All modules on the dashboard can be edited and adapted to your own needs. And you can add new modules to the dashboard.

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Pre-Update Check - Your path to Joomla 4

Joomla 4's now available, but if you're thinking about upgrading from Joomla 3.9, here's some important things to keep in mind before you click the Update button.

In conjunction with the release of Joomla 4 Stable today, Joomla 3.9 users will also be able to upgrade their sites to Joomla 3.10 Stable, also released today. This update for Joomla 3 series sees a number of new features introduced mainly to assist users with their transition to Joomla 4.

There's no need to rush upgrading to Joomla 4

Joomla 4.0 Stable was released shortly before this issue of Joomla Community Magazine was published, so for many readers who have used Joomla for some time, I imagine you're like most of my Joomla user group colleagues in Australia.

You'll have been watching and looking at Joomla 4's development for a while now. Over recent months you will have been enthusiastically anticipating using it for new websites (my first Joomla 4 site is already seeing a steady stream of enquiries arriving for my client).

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Recruitment, Retention and Recognition

With the release of Joomla 4.0, Joomlers - Joomla's hard-working volunteers - are as important as ever. Whether you're completing an occasional task to support the project, a regular contributor to a team's activities, a member of a team or working group, right through to the various levels of leadership in the organisation, I thank you on behalf of Joomla and look forward to many years of contributions to come.

Over 16 years, tens of thousands of hours have been contributed to the project by hundreds of volunteers worldwide. Many of those volunteers have been working away in the background, sometimes anonymously, sometimes known to just a few in the organisation.

I'd like to see that change a little. 

As the Volunteer Engagement Team (VET) team leader, I'd like the VET to be able to recognise more of the contributions volunteers are making, both in the past and going forward. As an organisation, we're looking at improving our communication with volunteers, including communicating more often with volunteers to present them with opportunities to get engaged with the project. We'd like to encourage readers to reach out to their networks to see if others may be interested in finding out more about volunteering with the project.

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Birthday Present Announcement - Joomla 4 Stable 17th August

joomla4-stable-rocket-launch-pad-17

The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the planned release of Joomla! CMS 4.0 Stable and Joomla 3.10 Stable.

Joomla! will be 16 on the 17th August 2021

And it is with great pride that the Joomla! Project would like to announce the planned launch of Joomla 4.0 and Joomla 3.10 to coincide with its birthday celebrations.

Joomla4You

Nearly nine long years in the making, Joomla 4 is finally here. This open source, community project has delivered a Content Management System that has been downloaded over 123,000,000 times in its 16 years. Translated into 77 languages and with over 2.5 million sites. At 3.1% Joomla is the third most popular CMS accounting for one in every 50 websites on the internet. With over 9% of all business websites, Joomla’s emphasis on accessibility, speed, security and SEO out of the box make it the CMS of choice for sites that want to expand and grow.

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Explore the Core: Controlling User Access

Explore the Core: Controlling User Access

In this month’s explore the core series, we cover Access Control Lists (ACL). ACL are one of the most powerful parts of Joomla’s core, allowing you to give permissions to users to do as much or as little as you want them to while using your website.

Though the default Joomla ACL is designed to be simple and straightforward, the ability to customize access for various uses means Joomla provides a very flexible method for defining access throughout your site. After firstly running through the concepts you need to know, I will be sharing with you a number of scenarios I’ve implemented for sites that extend the core ACL functionality to meet the client’s requirements.

What is ACL?

ACL stands for Access Control List, and is a list that defines access permissions and roles for what you are able to do in any system that implements ACL principles. Joomla uses the concept of ACL to allow site managers to define, administer and control permissions for users on your website, deciding what they’re able to view, add, update and access when logged into the site.

How does ACL work in Joomla?

For basic websites, the default ACL is sufficient to allow you to set up simple access to your Joomla website.

When you install a Joomla website you’ll be prompted for a username and password to create a Super User account. This account has permissions to modify everything on the website, which is needed in order to configure your Joomla installation. Once you have the site created, you can go to Users > Manage to then add new users to your site. Adding additional users to the Administrators user group where needed will allow you to have a team managing your site. Adding users to the Registered user group will give them the ability to log in and see content that you only want logged in users to see. There’s additional examples further in this article. You can also configure menu items that point to the login page and/or configure login modules to enable users to login from the frontend of the site.

The real power of Joomla’s ACL system comes into action more when you start looking at giving users other levels of access. The flexibility is there so that when users login, you know exactly what they are able to access on the site based on their User Group. 

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Create your own paid Newsletter with Joomla

Create your own paid Newsletter with Joomla

Newsletters are essential these days. Not only to advertise your business but also as a valuable way to connect to your audience. Some new companies allow you to create your newsletter and even to put it after a paywall. In Joomla, we have been able to do this for years. Let’s see how!

If someone did tell your 2010 self that your followers will pay to get a newsletter, you would have said he is nuts... But this is 2021, and everything is possible, isn’t it?

With this vision, some companies try to facilitate paid newsletters as a service, allowing everyone to outsource this vital part of their business. And let's be honest, batch email sending is always a challenge: First, you need to find a system capable enough to send all the emails as quickly as possible. Then you need to use trusted servers to send these emails and finally get your fingers crossed to reach your audience and not be blacklisted.

Outsourcing your newsletter might look like a good solution if you are not using a flexible CMS or using a “no-code” solution.

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What type of Joomler are you?

What type of Joomler are you?

When you hover around in the Joomla Sphere long enough, you’ll see that, like every community, it comes with its own personality types. In this article, you’ll meet a few of them. And if you recognise yourself in one (or more) of these Joomlers, we also advise you on what role you could play in the Joomniverse. Have fun finding your personality type!

Friendly Neighborhood Joomler

Everyone should have one around: the Joomler always ready to help us out when we’re stuck. We can find you at a JUG meeting, Googling away before the Doctor Joomla-question is even asked, or answering questions in forums or on social media. If you are the friendly neighborhood Joomler, you can be someone who knows everything, but more likely you like to search for the right answer to help out in the best possible way.

Your ideal role: you are the gem everybody wants in their team. Since a brand new major release is on the way, you might be best in place in one of the marketing teams, because these are the teams that could use a little help right now.

Joomfluencer

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a personal blog: you know how to spread the Joomla love, and you’re pretty good at it too. You love Joomla and you’re a trustworthy source of information for your growing number of fans, who retweet, share and like everything you do. You don’t just send: you like to interact and communicate with your followers because you love to share your passion for Joomla with them, and they like to share it with you.

Your ideal role: you probably guessed it already since it’s a no-brainer. If you haven’t joined one of our marketing teams yet, you should do so now. They’d love to hear from you!

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Joomla 4 RC 2 and Joomla 3.10 Alpha 7 are here

The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla! CMS 4.0 Release Candidate 2 and Joomla 3.10 Alpha 7.

Joomla users and extension developers are asked to download and install the packages in order to provide quality assurance for the forthcoming 4.0 and 3.10 releases.

Joomla! 4 is the latest major release of Joomla! CMS. Please note that going from 3.9 to 4.0 is a migration. You would need to upgrade your J3.9 to J3.10, which will be available the day J4.0 is stable. J3.10 has a compatibility checker to help guide you through the migration to J4.0. Please do not upgrade any of your production sites to the release candidate version!

What is this release for?

Joomla 4.0 RC2 is aimed at extension and template developers. To encourage them to work with this release in order to prepare extensions for the stable release of Joomla! CMS 4.0. Users are encouraged to test the package for issues and to report issues in the Joomla! CMS Issue Tracker. Test sites based on this release candidate can be taken through to stable but never use this version on a production site. There will be an upgrade path between release candidates and the final release candidate to the stable of Joomla 4.0 should you wish to try a new site build.

Spotlight on Joomla4Accessibility

Whatever size your site is, accessibility is a must, and from the start Joomla 4 delivers best in class accessibility. The layout, contrast and infrastructure all have accessibility built in so all your visitors will benefit.
Now you can change how you use Joomla as an administrator in your profile.
Using the accessibility tab you can:

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The May Issue

The JCM Team is proud to present you the May Issue of the Joomla! Community Magazine. 

This month’s edition features:

  • Interviews to extension developers about their path towards Joomla 4 compliance: Sander Potjer from PWT Extensions, Rüdiger Schultz from JDB Export and Tomasz Kowalski from DJ Extensions. 
  • An article of the “Explore the Core” series about Custom Fields by Marc Dechèvre
  • Anja de Crom interviewed Abhishek Das to let him share his “How I learned Joomla” story.
  • Philip Walton wrote a piece to announce the students who will take part to the Google Summer of Code 2021.
  • This month we’ll get to know Laura Gordon as part of the “Meet a Joomler” series.
  • Himanshu published an article about Visual Studio Code as developer tool.
  • Mike Carson wrote a SEO Checklist with 28 tips to increase the ranking of a Joomla website in the SERP.
  • SD Williams published the monthly open roles throughout the Community.

Acknowledgements

This release wouldn't have been possible without the work of the Community Magazine Team, all the authors and all the people who allowed us to interview them.

Thanks to all those who participated.

The Call for Authors for the Community Magazine is always open. If you want to write for the Magazine, regularly or just once, drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Explore the Core! Play with Custom Fields to enrich your content or your design

Explore the Core! Play with Custom Fields to enrich your content or your design

Joomla basics for newbies

In our Explore the Core series, experienced Joomla users help you find your way through Joomla's powerful core features. In this month's issue, Marc Dechèvre shows us what you can do with Joomla's built-in custom fields (spoiler alert: a lot). Dive in and explore!

Custom Fields shipped with Joomla 3.7 back in 2017. This was an initiative of Allon Moritz, a well-known Joomler from Switzerland.

And like many Joomlers, I am very grateful to him because Custom Fields are definitely a game-changer! No matter whether you are a basic user, an advanced user or a developer.

Since then almost all the websites I have built make (extensive) use of Custom Fields.

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