If you build it they will come (or: the 90-9-1 principle of user engagement)

If you are a movie buff then you will have recognised the title of this article as a quotation from the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams. But like all great quotations, that everyone knows, it is never said in the movie. The actual line is "If they build it he will come".

As website developers it is our job to build great websites for our clients. I also believe it is our responsibility to advise our clients and to set their expectations. Too many times I see companies and organisations that are struggling who think all their problems will be resolved by a new website. The website might help but if there were underlying reasons that the business was struggling it will not magically resolve them.

User Engagement and Interaction

A common mistake is to "copy" the features and functionality of a large, successful competitor. These might include:

a forumcommentssocial sharing

The Undeniable Truth

In the early days of the web people used to see it as a challenge to be the first to post a comment - even if it was only to say "first post". Times have changed and interactions on the web have reverted to following existing social norms. Very few people will be the first to post. Even if they have a comment or a question they will probably wait to see if someone else posts first.

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Quarterly Highlights from Open Source Matters

Get a brief overview of OSM happenings from the current board president. 

This is a brief summary of the 2023 Q1 report from the President of Open Source Matters (OSM). See all past and present board member reports on the OSM website. (Not sure how OSM relates to Joomla? Find out more here.)

All Together Now

The Joomla Community Magazine has always been a valuable resource for anyone interested in Joomla, with a plethora of content that you can lose yourself in. This quarter I want to recognize Joomler Anja de Crom for how much time and effort she puts into the magazine as the team lead.

It’s well-known that if you share something interesting or notable in Mattermost, it won’t be long until Anja asks if you’d like to submit an article about it �. Her efforts are worth it - every month we see an interesting and diverse collection of articles from across the community.

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A builder's guide to Guided Tours

In the last magazine article: Guiding you through Guided Tours, we looked at guided tours (available in Joomla 4.3) and walked through their use. We stopped at the point of creating a guided tour as an administrator and as a developer.
Now we will finish that journey so you can build your own!

Now that you have been introduced to guided tours and have seen how they work, you may want to create one yourself.
Whether you are a consultant, a web designer, a web agency or a developer, you could take advantage of tours and offer a unique experience to your client or users.

Creating a tour is easy

First, you need to decide what the tour will be about and where you would like to make the tour available.

Let's say you want to create a tour that guides a new administrator through the Joomla dashboard so that this administrator gets a 'feel' of what he can do in the Joomla console.

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How I grow with Joomla - Olivier Buisard

There are events, people, that illustrate the international and building side of Joomla.
Olivier Buisard of Simplifyyourweb grew up in France but his career path brought him closer to Open Source Matters' headquarters. Since then, he has lived in New York, but still has ties to his home country.

He tells us how he met Joomla and how Joomla has continued to make him grow.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I have a Computer Science Master with a minor in Computer Graphics, but I started by studying Applied Mathematics. The latest was not really my calling... I worked in several companies over the years in aerospace, the health industry and even the energy sector. After receiving my Green Card, I decided to jump into the unknown and work for myself, creating websites, managing them and building extensions. Nowadays, I mainly create and improve Joomla extensions.

When did you make your first Joomla website / extension?

I created my first website a long time ago... It was not the millennium quite yet. Plain old html and CSS. Then I discovered Joomla, as the 1.5 version was getting mainstream.

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Guiding you through Guided Tours

Whenever Joomla gets picked as a Google Summer of Code (GSoC) candidate there is a flurry of activity around several projects. In 2022 one of the projects put forward was Guided Tours. This is a project that has been tackled by several students over several years and each one has nudged closer to the finishing line, but never quite got there. That's why it's especially gratifying to see Guided Tours as the main feature of the Joomla 4.3 release. It's the culmination of a lot of teamwork and a great example of what can be achieved if you just keep at it.

The third and final GSoC student to work on Guided Tours

Khushi Rauniyar was the student to pick up that baton and run with the project. Khushi was one of several in the 2022 GSoC intake and she worked with a few mentors to help expand on the work that went before, rewriting and hitting the hard issues that had eluded the students who had come before.

The development continued all last summer and towards the end of the summer, Khushi came to Joomla London and demonstrated the feature to all the developers there. There was a lot of praise as well as some good constructive feedback on how it could be improved, and a list of features developers would like to see.

Hear it from the student herself

I am Khushi Rauniyar, a 2022 graduate and Software Development Engineer at Amazon.
I came across the Joomla organisation after hearing about it from previous GSoC students in 2021.
I really liked the idea of contributing to a live project. Solving an issue and writing code which can be used by millions of users excited me. So I started contributing to the organisation, fixing bugs, and testing pull requests. Then, in 2022, I learned that year's GSoC projects through an online seminar and I decided to participate in it with Joomla!

I took on board the Guided Tour project. I was the third person working on it. Shivam Rajput had started the whole guided tours off and then the year before me Jatin Salve worked on the project.

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Joomla 4.2.9 Bug Fix Release

Joomla! 4.2.9 is now available. This is a Bug Fix release for the 4.x series of Joomla!

This release continues Joomla 4’s high standards in accessible web design and brings exciting new features, highlighting Joomla's values of inclusiveness, simplicity and security into an even more powerful open-source web platform.

Bug fixes and Improvements with 4.2.9

A change in the htaccess.txt with a new post installation message > See here Resetting a password is logged now > See here The URL to contact VCF is fixed > See here Images with @ in filename are displayed correctly > See here Login feedback if user do not have offline access > See here Mail template fix "reply to" > See here Admin login - set max width on image > See here Several subform fixes

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes.

Where can I download Joomla 4.2.9?

On the Downloads site, of course :)

New Installations

New installation instructions and technical requirements

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Who does Joomla need right now?

You’ve probably heard or read it more than once: Joomla needs volunteers. Without people, new releases take longer and have less exciting features, documentation remains incomplete and bugs take forever to get fixed. But who do we need, and what would they be doing? Read how you can help.

Joomla's entirely staffed by volunteers and powered entirely by their contributions. Volunteers are key to the growth, success and continuity of the project.

Joomla is constantly in need of an influx of new volunteers. Though there's a strong community of core contributors and volunteers that have been with the project since its inception in 2005, there's regularly a turnover of volunteers as their involvement cycles through ebbs and flows day to day life brings.

There are a number of general ways you can contribute to Joomla, with tasks starting as small as contributing translations, answering support requests, writing documentation, or testing patches before they are merged into the codebase. These can take as little as 15 minutes at a time and can be done whenever you have some spare time.

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Web Analytics: Alternative to Google Analytics? Matomo

Are you looking for a secure, private way to analyse your visitors and check what they are doing on your site? Then Matomo might just be the product for you. In this article, I will explore this analytics tool and discuss what it is good at and why you would want to use it.

The origin story

Matomo started life as Piwik, founded by Matthieu Aubry in London in June 2007.

It was designed from the start as a free open-source alternative to Google Analytics.

The idea was to build something that was just as powerful, but also respected user privacy and ensured users had full ownership of their data.

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Explore the Core: Articles - Most Read

In this article I will give you a short overview of the “Articles – Most Read” Module. This module is part of Joomla! Core, so you can use it out of the box, and you don’t need to install any extension to use it.

In the backend-view is a good description for what this module is used for: “This module shows a list of the published Articles which have the highest number of page views.” So, you get a list of the articles with the most views.

How to use modules in Joomla? The easiest way to manage your modules is in the backend of your Joomla website. When you are logged in, you will see the backend like in Figure 1. If you click on one of the green marked buttons, you will come to the overview page where you can choose which module you want to add. If you click to the buttons next to the green marked buttons, you will enter the list view, where all added modules are shown.

In Figure 2 you can see a part of the available modules. In this case we select the green boxed module that leads us to the Details page where you can configure all the settings for your module. When you see all the possible settings for the module you are configuring, you will think that there are really many options possible. But it is in most ways organized like the option and content when you are editing a simple article.

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Joomla 4.2.8 Security Release

Joomla! 4.2.8 is now available. This is a security release for the 4.x series of Joomla! which addresses a critical security vulnerability in the web services API. We strongly recommend that you update your sites immediately.

This release only contains the security fix; no other changes have been made compared to the Joomla! 4.2.7 release.
After the release, we strongly advise you to renew the passwords for all credentials that are stored in the global site configuration, namely:

database SMTP Redis HTTP proxy

The issue has been reported in a responsible disclosure process, there have been no signs of exploitation on public sites.

Security issue fixed with 4.2.8

[20230201] - Core - Improper access check in webservice endpoints
More Information

Where can I download Joomla 4.2.8?

On the Downloads site, of course :)

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