Joomla Performance Tuning III: Static Media Optimization

Joomla Performance Tuning III: Static Media Optimization

In the second part of this series I described how to unlock a base level of performance out of your Joomla site with a few, simple changes. Today we're diving deeper into static media: JavaScript, CSS and image files. These changes are more involved but can turn a junker of a slow site into a decently performing one. Arguably, not all of these changes make sense for all sites but the performance benefits you get are substantial.

A large part of your site comes in the form of static media files: CSS, JavaScript, images and possible audio and video as well. We tend not to think much about them, considering them secondary to our content, but they typically make up the majority of the data transferred from our site's server to the user's device when they are visiting a page. Further to that, parsing large CSS and JavaScript files or decoding large images freezes up the main browser thread which, in simple terms, means that the browser cannot do any work for rendering the page (it can only download more data in the background). Moreover, the more CSS, JavaScript and image files you have the longer it takes for them to all be loaded which means that the browser has to stop rendering the page and recalculate everything from scratch every time one of these files finishes loading up. This can make the page appear slower or cause other rendering artefacts such as content jumping around the screen (that's called "Layout Shift" in the browser jargon).

Optimise your images

If you have an image-heavy site, like a blog or a news site, the biggest part of your page content transfer is the images. You are probably used to just taking an image, upload it with Joomla's Media Manager, maybe resize or crop it a bit — Joomla 4's Media Manager can now do that! — and call it a day. Good for you, but your images are very likely unoptimised and larger (in Kilobytes, not necessarily dimensions) than they should be.

Maybe you are vaguely or keenly aware of tools such as pngcrush and mozjpeg. If you are comfortable with the command line do use them to optimise your images.

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Explore the Core - Workflows

Explore the Core - Workflows

As you probably know, Joomla is super complete right out of the box, so you can use it for different types of websites without the need to install extensions. That means you have a lot of possibilities, right at your fingertips. But how to use them? The JCM’s Explore the Core series explains all the cool core features. In this episode, Chris Keen shines a light on the workflow feature that takes ‘content management’ to a whole new level.

Joomla articles have always had various statuses, ‘published’, ‘unpublished’, ‘trashed’ and ‘archived’. Using these statuses allows you to have control over if and when an article should be shown etc. Joomla 4 includes a fantastic new workflow feature for articles. The workflow feature allows you also to be able to control the development cycle of an article, including which users(groups) are responsible for the various development stages.

Probably the best way to explain this is using the following simple use case.

A website uses various authors to write articles for the website (step 1). To ensure the quality of the articles, these are then read by one of the team of proofreaders, who check and improve in consultation with the author, the clarity, grammar and spelling (step 2). Once proofread and accepted, these are then reviewed by the Chief editor, who also checks that they belong to the intended category and will be published on the required date (step 3). Once the Chief editor is satisfied the article will then be published (step 4).

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Joomla 4 for Clients, Part 1: Managing Users, Access, & Permissions

Joomla 4 for Clients, Part 1: Managing Users, Access, & Permissions

Joomla 4 is here, and with it comes a completely revamped administration panel. Dashboards, side bars, and quick icons, oh my! As developers and integrators, we can take full advantage of all of these features and modules - but our clients might feel overwhelmed with the default options available to Super Users:

That's a lot, and frankly, our clients usually don't need to see all of that!

By the end of this series, we will have a streamlined, optimized back-end for our clients that puts all of their most common tasks at their fingertips... and hides anything they don't need to see.

This post goes over the basics of adding a custom user group and view access level for your clients so you can precisely control what they see. This is pretty much the same as Joomla 3, so if you are familiar with this already, feel free to skip ahead to Part 2 of this series.

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Why Host.it used Joomla to rebuild its corporate website

Why Host.it used Joomla to rebuild its corporate website

During December 2021, Host.it, a major hosting service provider in Italy, published its new website made in Joomla 4. Let’s dig more into their “adventure with Joomla 4” talking with their CEO, Marco Mangione.

How did it start?

It all started when Joomla 4 was still into the Beta phases, during summer, last year.

For years, the Marketing Team of Host.it struggled to reduce the “time to market” when building new pages on the company’s website, given the need to involve the R&D Team to develop every new page.

Having a R&D Team composed by Java developers meant that also the company’s website was developed in JSP (Java Server Page); this had some benefits, being “coupled” with the company’s core system, but had also some drawbacks, with a high time-to-market for every change/update in the website and the lack of performance. Just think that fixing a typo in a webpage needed a release of the whole core software of the company, that included also the website.

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Joomla 4.0.6 and Joomla 3.10.5 are here!

Joomla 4.0.6 and 3.10.5 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 4.0.6?

Joomla 4.0.6 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

Many more PHP 8.1 fixes Major improvements to the API documentation by moving components to their namespaced versions Bootstrap upgraded to 5.1.3 When uninstalling a component any custom dashboards panels are now also removed.

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

We also made an important change to the updater files which may affect some. Please see this article on the changes to update process for details.

What's in 3.10.5?

Joomla 3.10.5 addresses several bugs, including:

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Joomla 4.0.5 and Joomla 3.10.4 are here!

Joomla 4.0.5  and 3.10.4 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 4.0.5?

Joomla 4.0.5 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

PHP 8.1 compatibility patches. Please note if you show "all errors" there could be deprecation notices on some pages. RTL Styling Simplifications Tinymce plugin configuration styling improvements Fix Joomla Page Cache when System Page Cache plugin is enabled Ensure the namespace mapper is regenerated on Joomla update (for future extensions being added in Joomla 4.1 alpha’s) Fix SQL Error edge case in the template override update view

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

We also made an important change to the updater files which may affect some. Please see this article on the changes to update process for details.

What's in 3.10.4?

Joomla 3.10.4 addresses several bugs, including:

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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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Joomla 4 - Where to find documentation

Joomla 4 - Where to find documentation

This month in the Joomla 4 series, we take a look at what documentation is available for Joomla 4.

Still has that new software smell...

Just in case you’ve been lost in cyberspace or behind a firewall, Joomla! 4 was released back in August, along with Joomla! v3.10, the “mini-migration bridge” which includes the  “Joomla! 4 Update Check” facility as part of the “Joomla Update” process. The regular update and fixes cycle continues next week with Joomla 4.0.4 and Joomla 3.10.3 planned for release.

This is a huge turning point for the project and codebase, not only regarding the Content Management Systems’ life-cycle but also with implementing underlying structures enabling Joomla! in throwing off old technologies and limitations. The improvements in Joomla 4 will provide users with functionality to move forward beyond the limits of today’s available web technologies and trends and look to prepare for what comes next.

Talking with seasoned Joomler Russell Winter, one of the Admins on Joomla's Facebook Group, he thinks that the improvements in Joomla 4 are more than a big deal. "Looking to the future, we will all benefit from, and get used to, the new layouts, processes and functions bringing new capabilities and opportunities to Joomla!.  Has it been worth all the effort, pain and confusion? You betta believe it! Remember Windows Vista or IBM OS/2?"

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How to J4-ify your old Joomla 3 template

How to J4-ify your old Joomla 3 template

Joomla is a beautifully matured CMS, and long term Joomlers might knowingly nod, when I say it was a bumpy ride at times. Have a look at this article 'Celebrating Joomla 4' to get an idea of the new features of Joomla 4.

If you are (relatively) new to Joomla, chances are your website uses a template compatible with Joomla 4 (or at least your template developer provides a fully J4 compatible version of the template). Then you are lucky and this article is of no concern for you. But what if your website has been running for years now, and you are considering a migration from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4?

Before you decide, you have to answer a number of questions and the new Pre-Update-Checker in Joomla 3.10 (https://magazine.joomla.org/all-issues/august/pre-update-check-your-path-to-joomla-4 ) helps you a lot with these questions. In this article, I am focussing on one specific of these questions: How to handle your current Joomla 3 frontend template?

Your choices

As always in life, you have multiple paths to choose from:

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How I migrated my website to Joomla 4

How I migrated my website to Joomla 4

A couple of months after the release of Joomla 4, some of us already have experiences with the migration of sites created with previous versions. In this issue, Sergio Iglesias, one of the organizers of JoomlaDay Madrid, tells us how he made his first migration to Joomla 4.

 Thanks, Sergio, for joining us in this interview. Could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Hi Andrea, thanks for the invitation.

For those who don't know me, my name is Sergio Iglesias. I'm from Fuentesaúco (a town in Zamora, Spain), although I live in Madrid, where I work as Front end & Back end Developer in the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC). Almost all my work is focused on developing and maintaining web projects related to the SEC. We use Joomla as a CMS in 90% of the cases.

Why did you decide to migrate to Joomla 4?

We always have to be up to date with the latest features we want to implement in our projects. So, as soon as I had time, I started to analyse the first releases to see what this awaited Joomla version had to offer. In the end, to go deeper into it, you have to get down to work, and I decided to migrate the website that I know the most of all the ones I have developed and maintained, which is my own website. This way, you always have a controlled view of the steps to follow in the migration.

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Explore the Core - Create articles on your Joomla 4 website

Explore the Core - Create articles on your Joomla 4 website

Once your Joomla website is installed, you’re ready to create your first content. Joomla has countless possibilities to make beautiful articles and a lot of ways to present your content. This is great if you know how to use them, but can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t. This article shows you how to add your first article and guides you through some of the possibilities you have.

Where can I add articles?

The simplest and obvious way is the “+” Button in the left menu Item or in the Dashboard or the “New” button in the articles list.

Screen: Add an article.

Once you’ve clicked the button, you can create your article.

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Changes to Update Process that you need to be aware of

Important changes you may need to make to ensure your update process continues to work after J4.0.4 

Important notice.

A big thanks to Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos and all the people who worked on this who gave their views and comments.

The reason we need to make these changes is to modernise the update process. The updates Nicholas has made have removed over 50% of the code we used to use and make the process more logical and stable. These changes will help those maintaining the code in the future.

To make these changes we need to make changes to the htaccess file for anyone who is using the JDocs hardened version and other htaccess examples.
If you don't make these changes then you will find your updates after J4.0.4 blocked so it is vital that you act and make this change.
If you have never used any of these more advanced htaccess files and only use the core file then this does not apply to you but it's worth looking through your htaccess file for the line with:-

RewriteRule ^administrator/components/com_joomlaupdate/restore\.php$ - [L]

And make the required changes if you do come across it in your files.

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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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