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Zo2 Framework version 1.3.5 released

We’re proud to announce that Joomla template framework ZO2 has been released version 1.3.5 with several minor bug fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed issue that configured for duplicated template & assigned into menu is not working
  • Fix mega menus issue: it was not working in template manger
  • Update backend Overview layout
  • Provide backend auto update checking
  • Add show/hide Style Selector
  • Improve Zo2Template:
    1. Provide method to fetch layout files with overriden
    2. Moved some core html into Frameworks/html/layouts
  • Clean up Zo2 Hallo template
    1. Move all variables into $this object
    2. Update with new Zo2Template
    3. Some json files are ready for overridden

To upgrade ZO2 Framework version 1.3.5, please following zo2framework documents



A special thanks to ZooTeam: Viet Vu, Quynh Nguyen, Khang Vu, chrislucca, Sen Tran for working hard on Zo2 Framework. We’re so proud of you!

What you should know about ZO2 Framework

Download ZO2 Framework


ZO2 Framework 1.3.5 for Joomla 3.x


How to load joomla website in 1.29 Seconds

We’ve been hearing for a while that SEO may be affected by the time your page takes to load – so recently we’ve started an intensive exercise of getting our websites to load in the absolute minimal time possible. Our belief is that the current load speed and rating in GTMetrix is relatively good: 85% for PageSpeed, and 95% for YSlow Grade and a load time of 1.29 seconds, so we thought we’d share how we did this. Some of these are Joomla! specific, but the general concepts apply to ANY content management system and any website.

Before you begin: Run your website through GTMetrix. Take note of your current grade and then watch it improve. The good thing is that GTMetrix tracks your history too so you can see a graph with your improvements!

STEP 0: TAKE FULL BACKUPS – Some of the following recommendations may break your site. Take frequent full backups before making any changes.

Step 1: Set yourself an ambitious target and fixate on it until you get it

This is an absolute must. If you don’t have a target, then you’re unlikley to keep pushing. You must your set yourself an ambitious target and strive to achieve it BEFORE you start optimizing. For us, our target was to reduce the load time of the frontpage to less than 1.5 seconds AND get at least 85% on both Pagespeed and YSlow.

Our end result is a load time of 1.29s, total page size of 149KB and total number of requests being 28. Not too bad 🙂

On to the nitty gritty…

Step 2: Enable the default Joomla Cache

This is pretty simple, however it is VERY effective. Mostly because rather than running the same queries over and over again against your database, the cache stores a copy of your page and serves it from a temporary file. This eases the load on your server and improves the general load time of your server. To enable your cache do the following:

System > Global Configuration > System

Switch Progressive Caching On, and set the cache expiry to 60 minutes especially if your content doesn’t change too often.

Step 3: Enable the System – Cache plugin

This plugin caches each whole page on your site and optionally recommends to your browser and this page should be cached for some time. Browser side cache makes a lot of sense especially because you won’t need to redownload certain images and files over and over again. The browser will use the local copy and thus less data transfer is required and hence your pages load faster. This is especially effective for stuff such as the CSS and images of your website. This is also standard Joomla functionality enabled via the following:

Extensions > Plugin Manager, search for Cache and enable the System – Cache plugin. You should also go to the Basic Options of the plugin and set it to YES.

Step 4: Leverage Browser Caching at the server level

This is very similar to Step 3, and is strictly related to browser caching. However this is done at the server level. Basically, you’ll need to recommend to the browser to cache certain files types for a specific amount of time. Google PageSpeed suggests at least ONE MONTH. To do this, you will need to edit the .htaccess file to the following. The max age value is 1 month in seconds.

<FilesMatch “.(ico|pdf|flv|jpg|jpeg|png|gif|js|css|swf)$”>
Header set Cache-Control “max-age=2592000, public”

Other values you might want to consider:


Header set Cache-Control "max-age=29030400, public"


Header set Cache-Control "max-age=604800, public"

You might also choose to cache less or more file types, but the above are the most common static files which can and should be cached.

Step 5: Enable GZIP Compression

This step ensures that the content you generate is compressed before it is sent. The logic is very simple, it takes much less time to compress and decompress content rather than transferring uncompressed content. This is something which can also be done easily in Joomla 3 with the following:

System > Global Configuration > Server

Switch GZIP compression to YES.

Step 6: Install JCH_Optimizer

JCH Optimizer contains a HUGE number of recommended stuff by PageSpeed and results in a huge boost in your PageSpeed grade. The problem you might encounter is that this may break some of the functionality on your website. Tread carefully with the options you enable. For our site we managed to enable nearly all optimizations with very few exclusions – but for your site, you might have to play around for a while to find the optimal settings. Describing JCH Optimizer is a joomla extension bit beyond the scope of this article, but take our word for it, install and enable the plugin. You won’t regret it.

The following is part of the official description of the plugin:

“This plugin combines your external JavaScript and CSS files into one to minimize expensive http requests. These files can be minified and gzipped to reduce bandwidth and further optimize download time.”

Step 7: MINIFY the content of your site – give your site a Crash Diet

This is VERY important. Make and keep your site absolutely lean. This is the one which you should spend most time on. We spent weeks on this step alone.

NB: Tread carefully here. Take full backups before deleting core Joomla! components, modules and plugins

Do this until you exhaust yourself. Really, do this. Remove ALL stuff which you are not using. Even stuff which comes as default but which you won’t be needing, such as the default joomla template which you won’t use ever again, the web links components which you are probably not using, the newsfeeds components if you are not using them, and ALL the plugins which you will never use. Uninstall them, not just disable them. Obsessively focus on stuff which you don’t need, remove all the extra components, and combine modules and plugins if possible. E.g. for social buttons use 1 plugin for everything.

If you have custom html, put as much of it into a single module as possible. Delete extra forum categories, and minify the number of items in your menus to the utmost necessary. Delete old users and old contents. Merge and combine sections, categories, menus and anything else as necessary. Your focus should be to get things down to an absolute minimum required for your site to exist. Do this obsessively for a number of weeks. Go on a deletion spree, chop and remove, disable and uninstall. Focus on making your site as lean as humanly possible without breaking anything.

Unfortunately, we did not keep track of the stuff we removed.

Step 8: MINIFY the total number of requests and the size of the requests

Remove extra images which are superflous. Host a version of any images which are served from external websites and link to a copy on your site (this will reduce the number of DNS lookups which your client’s browser will need to perform since these have a severe impact of the page speed of your site). Analyse in detail what the requests are with GTMetrix or Pingdom performance tools.

GTMetrix also has a cool feature which will optimize the size of all your images. Save the versions which have been optimized and use the optimized versions in your website.

Step 9: Serve content from a CDN

Content Delivey Networks are servers which cache a copy of the static parts of your site and can serve it optimally and much faster than your server ever could to your visitors. This will give you another HUGE boost to your page speed. If you can’t afford a CDN, sites such as Cloudflare have a FREE plan, which will serve the needs of most small websites.

Step 10: Follow each recommendation on PageSpeed, YSlow

Both PageSpeed and YSlow have a number of detailed recommendations, such as specifiying a default character set and ensure you have specified image dimensions (specify the width and height for each image in your website). For any content which is hosted on your site, follow each of these to the letter. If you have no clue what you need to do, Google is your friend, read about it and understand it and action it on your website. Avoid bad requests, i.e. make sure there are no images or files which are incorrectly linked. Some can be quite difficult to do unless you really know what you are doing (e.g. CSS sprites – we never were able to get this to work). Loads 3rd party scripts such as Facebook, Twitter, Adsense and Google Analytics asynchronously. There are many fairly easy optimizations which you can do.

PS. There might be recommendations which you cannot follow for content which is hosted outside of your control. E.g. AdSense, Facebook, and other scripts all have some optimizations they can make. You don’t have much control over these. The good thing is that your CDN might also have optimizations for 3rd party content too. If not, don’t worry too much about them.

If you keep iterating with optimizations, you should eventually arrive at a point where your site becomes lightning fast.

Have you achieved good results with the above recommendations? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

Source: http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue-july-2013/item/1361-how-i-got-my-website-to-load-in-1-29-seconds

Creating Joomla Menu Items to show Featured Articles

Today we will show you how to create a featured articles page in the first place! When you install Joomla 2.5, the front page is by default a featured articles type of page. You can however create as many featured articles pages as you’d like. For example, for each category of articles you have, you can create a featured articles landing page.

To create a featured articles menu item in Joomla 2.5:

  1. Log into your Joomla 2.5 admin
  2. In the top menu, hover over Menus, then hover over the menu you want to add to, and then click Add New Menu Item.
  3. Next to Menu Item Type, click Select. From the list of possible menu item types, click Featured Articles.
  4. Next to Menu Title, enter a name for your new menu item
  5. In the right hand column, adjust the settings under Layout Options. Be sure to select all categories and sub categories that you want to show featured articles for under Select Categories.
  6. Click Save in the top right menu. Congratulations, you have just added a new featured articles menu item in Joomla 2.5!

How to uninstall an extension in Joomla 2.5

If you’re like most of us, you may install and test several extension in Joomla 2.5 before you find the best one for your website. To keep your website organized, those extensions that you’ve decided not to use should be uninstalled. Not only will this help keep your site more organized, but it will also help eliminate any security vulnerabilities your site may have because those files are on your server.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps for uninstalling Joomla extensions. An extension is something that extends the base functionality of Joomla. For example, modules, plugins, and components are all referred to as extensions for Joomla 2.5.

To uninstall an extension in Joomla 2.5:

  1. Log into your Joomla 2.5 admin
  2. In the top menu, hover over Extensions and click Extension Manager
  3. You’ll see the following tabs at the top: Install, Update, Manage, Discover, Database, Warnings. Ensure you are on the Manage tab by clicking on it.
  4. Use the filter feature or browse and find the extension you want to remove. Then, check the box next to the extension you want to remove and click Uninstall in the top right menu.

    You will then see the following message:
    Uninstalling module was successful.

    Congratulations, you have just successfully removed a Joomla 2.5 extension!

We hope you learned something from reading this tutorial! In our next tutorial, we will show you how to put a module inside an article. We have many other tutorials on working with modules in Joomla 2.5 as well, including our previous tutorial, displaying modules on your Joomla 2.5 homepage.

Joomla 3.1 Beta1 Released

The Joomla Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla CMS 3 Beta1. Community members are asked to download and install the package in order to provide quality assurance for Joomla 3.1. Joomla 3.1 is scheduled for release on or around March 25th, 2013.

Joomla 3 is the latest major release of the Joomla CMS, with Joomla 3.1 the second short term support release in this series.  Please note that going from Joomla 3.0 to 3.1 is a one-click upgrade and is NOT a migration.  The same is true is for any subsequent versions in the Joomla 3 series.  That being said, please do not upgrade any of your production sites to the beta version as beta is ONLY intended for testing.

What is this release for?

This is a beta release and not for use on production sites.

Extension developers are encouraged to work with this release in order to prepare extensions for the General Availability release of Joomla 3.1, though there shouldn’t be any backward compatibility issues. Users are encouraged to test the package for issues and to report issues in the Joomla issue tracker

Click here to download.

What are the new features of Joomla 3.1?

  • 29855 – Tags (click here to see the recent blog post about it)
  • 29822 – Show logs in debug console
  • 30085 – Refactor installation to use new application and MVC classes
  • 29965 – Add pagination in COM_SEARCH component
  • 29770 – Added triggers on save for com_config

Miscellaneous: 28574 – Removed the GeSHi plug-in

What are the other new features of the Joomla 3 series?

  • Incorporation of Twitter Bootstrap into a jui media package.
  • A new responsive administrator template–Isis– and interface.
  • A new front end template–Protostar– built using Twitter Bootstrap Updated accessible template called Beez3
  • PostgreSQL Driver. You will be able to run Joomla 3.0 sites using the PostgreSQL database.
  • PHP Memcached Driver
  • Use of JFeed for feed management rather than SimplePie
  • Installation of language packages directly from the extension manager
  • Guest user group present by default
  • Saving blank articles allowed
  • New administrator statistics module
  • Update TinyMCE to version 3.5.6
  • Continued clean up of older unused code, files and database fields and tables and improved standardization of tables.
  • Improvements to Smart Search
  • Extensive work on code style standardisation and consistency
  • Unit testing in the CMS
  • Updated system tests in the CMS 
  • Multilanguage: adding items associations in remaining core components.
  • Language Installation tool for the Joomla Installer.
  • Items associations in multi-language
  • Allow different update packages for different version dev levels

What is the status of Joomla 2.5?

Version 2.5 of the Joomla CMS is a Long Term Support release and support for it will continue until shortly after the release of Joomla 3.5 scheduled for Spring 2014. Joomla 2.5 users do not need to migrate to Joomla 3.0 or 3.1.

Will I be able to update directly to Joomla 3?

Moving to Joomla 3.x from Joomla 2.5 will be a mini-migration not an upgrade, although for the core of Joomla the migration should be simple. However, it is likely that templates for Joomla 2.5 will need modification to work with Joomla 3 as will many extensions. Always test prior to migrating and consult with the developers of any extensions and templates you use.

What is the status of Joomla 1.5?

Support for Joomla 1.5 ended in April of 2012 and we continued to support it unofficially until the end of 2012 for medium to high priority security issues.  

Does that mean your 1.5 site will suddenly stop working? No, your site will continue to work as it always has. However, Joomla’s developers will not be releasing new versions for Joomla 1.5, so you won’t be getting bug fixes or security fixes. For this reason, it’s recommended to migrate from 1.5.

Moving from 2.5 to any Joomla 3 version is relatively simple, since Joomla has made the process easy for newer versions. Unfortunately, moving from 1.5 is not a trivial task. Fortunately, there are two good extensions that make the process easier: jUpgrade and SPUpgrade.

You have a choice of going straight to Joomla 3.0 or going to 2.5 first.  Both jUpgrade and SPUpgrade have versions ready for both versions.  Please consult with their documentation on how to migrate from Joomla 1.5 to 3.0/2.5.

For most new/migrated sites, the Joomla 3 series is the preferred series and starting on it avoids a mini-migration from Joomla 2.5 later down the road. Starting on the Joomla 3 series for a new/migrated site, also provides you with longer backward compatible support (with one-click upgrades) than starting a new site on 2.5 right now, because support for 3.x ends in 2016.

How can you help Joomla development?

There are a variety of ways in which you can get actively involved with Joomla It doesn’t matter if you are a coder, an integrator, or merely a user of Joomla. You can contact the Joomla Community Development Manager, David Hurley, to get more information, or if you are ready you can jump right into the Joomla Bug Squad.

The Joomla Bug Squad is one of the most active teams in the Joomla development process and is always looking for people (not just developers) that can help with sorting bug reports, coding patches and testing solutions. It’s a great way for increasing your working knowledge of Joomla, and also a great way to meet new people from all around the world.

If you are interested, please read about us on the Joomla Wiki and, if you wish to join, email , one of the .

You can also help Joomla development by thanking those involved in the many areas of the process. The project also wants to thank all of the people who have taken the time to prepare and submit work to be included in Joomla 1.6,1.7, 2.5, & 3.1, and to those who have worked very hard on the Joomla Platform separation project.

Related information

If you are an extension developer, please make sure you subscribe to the general developer mailing list as this is a place where you can discuss extension development and news that may affect custom development will be posted from time to time.

Following is a list of previous news and information about Joomla and other sites of interest:

A Huge Thank You to Our Volunteers!

This beta release is the result of thousands of hours of work by dozens of volunteers. Thank you so very much for making Joomla the best CMS on the planet!

Source: Joomla 3.1 Beta1 Released

Happy Vietnamese Lunar New Year 2013

Now the 2013 Vietnamese Lunar New Year is coming soon, please be informed that our company will be closed during the following period: February 08, 2013 – February 15, 2013

During above period of time, our services will be limited. Still, we will do our best to answer all of your requests.

And we will be back to work on February 16, 2013

About Vietnamese Tet

Lunar Tet (Tet Nguyen Dan) is considered the biggest and most popular festival of the year in Vietnam. Celebrated on the first day of the first month in Lunar Calendar, TET is the longest holiday which may last up to seven days. Vietnamese New Year in 2013 will last from February 10-13, starting the year of the Water Snake. The sixth year of 12 cycle, Snake Year represents wisdom, intelligence and self-control and promises some big challenges.

Preparations are began one or two weeks before New Year’s Day. The atmosphere in these days is so busy and bustling. People of Vietnam usually clean and decorate the house in an effort to get rid of the bad fortunes associated with the old year. Some families would paint their house and decorate with Hoa Mai (yellow blossom) or Hoa Dao (red blossom) which is supposed to bring prosperity and well-being for the family. Everyone buy new clothes and shoes to wear on the first days of New Year. They also try to pay all their pending debts and resolve all the arguments among colleagues, friends or members of family. In the days leading up to Tết, each family cooks special foods as Bánh Chưng & Bánh Dầy. They also prepare a tray of five different fruits (Mâm ngũ quả) on the altar. This is the peak time for tourist to visit Vietnam, as many Vietnamese people return to be with families and friends. Giao Thừa (New Year’s Eve) is the most sacred time of the year. That is the moment when the old year pass and replaced by a new year, the whole family gathers around the ancestral altar to pray.

Like other Asian countries, Vietnamese believe that, if good things come to the family on the first day of the lunar New Year, the entire following year will also be full of blessings. Therefore, the first visitor of family is very important. If that is a good, success, well-educated person, then the family believes that they will receive luck and good fortune throughout the year. People always wish the most propitious things for all relatives and friends in the New Year.

We take this opportunity to thank you for your attention to our company in the past 2012 year. Thank you for choosing our business. Thank you for your feedback and for your continued support. And in return to our loyal customers, we are glad to launch the Lunar New Year special offer up to 30% for all ZooTemplate’s membership packages and and the special offer expires on Feb 16, 2013.

  • ZOOTET10: off 10% during pre-order Silver package
  • ZOOTET15: off 15% during pre-order Gold package
  • ZOOTET20: off 20% during pre-order Platinum package
  • ZOOTET25: off 25% during pre-order Developer package
  • ZOOTET30: off 30% during pre-order Liftime Developer package

On the occasion of Lunar New Year

The First Community Choice Extensions Winners! – December 2012

After much deliberation and consideration, the JCM Team has come up with the very first Top Ten Community Choice Extensions! We had almost 150 submissions and the competition was tough!

Each month the Joomla Community Magazine team will be selecting up to 10 extensions. Previous selections will not be repeated. These extensions will also be listed as Featured Extensions on the JED (Joomla Extension Directory).

*Author’s note: Links to the individual JED listing have been added on 04 December 2012.

The form for next month can be found at the end of this article. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit an extension! Keep ’em coming! 

Here are the choices for December:

Extension: ACL Manager

Extension Developer:
Sander Potjer

Extension Developer Website: http://www.aclmanager.net

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/access-a-security/site-access/backend-a-full-access-control/17951

Why do you love this Extension? With this extension it’s a piece of cake to make all kinds of administrator access levels in a Joomla website.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? The summary of acces levels.

Submitted by: Connie de Buijn

Submitter’s Website: http://webartenco.nl/

Extension: AcyMailing

Extension Developer:

Extension Developer Website: http://www.acyba.com

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/content-sharing/newsletter/10341

Why do you love this Extension? Excellent extension to make emailing quality! Support is very good, with a very, very responsive forum. Regular changes, for better efficiency always.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? Thanks to this extension, my site has a extremely good management newsletters!

Submitted by: Fabrice Zavattero

Submitter’s Website: www.lalumieredesfees.fr

Extension: EasyBlog

Extension Developer:

Extension Developer Website: http://stackideas.com/

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/authoring-a-content/blog/12630

Why do you love this Extension? EasyBlog has been a huge help on our theater web site. They give first rate support and have been most helpful.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? Makes blog posting easy!

Submitted by: Gala Lindvall

Submitter’s Website: www.ForestTheater.com

Extension: EasyCalcCheck Plus (ECC+)

Extension Developer:
Kubik Rubik

Extension Developer Website: http://joomla-extensions.kubik-rubik.de/ecc-easycalccheck-plus

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/access-a-security/site-security/captcha/11964

Why do you love this Extension? Easy to use, lightwight, free… and EFFECTIVE!

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? Frees me from SPAM… really.

Submitted by: Ivo Schmid

Submitter’s Website: http://www.Lehrmittelperlen.net

Extension: Fabrik

Extension Developer:

Extension Developer Website: http://fabrikar.com

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/contacts-and-feedback/forms/1659

Why do you love this Extension?

Because it is:

  • Free of charge.
  • Easy way to use and manage.
  • Very useful forum.
  • Constantly updates for security issues and enhancing.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website?

It allows me to manage and develop:

  • Databases
  • Forms
  • Lists
  • Statistics
  • Visual Charts

Submitted by: Bader Ajhar

Submitter’s Website: http://www.lamafurnituresy.com/index.php

Extension: JComments

Extension Developer:

Extension Developer Website: http://www.joomlatune.com/

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/contacts-and-feedback/articles-comments/9985

Why do you love this Extension? Works out of the box. Very useful features. Add the comments to the articles.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? This is a functionality that Joomla has been lacking in the core.

Submitted by: Fermin Jimenez

Submitter’s Website: www.najar.ca

Extension: Joomla Content Editor (JCE)

Extension Developer:
 Ryan Demmer

Extension Developer Website: http://www.joomlacontenteditor.net

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/edition/editors/88

Why do you love this Extension? Absolutely a must have. Editing articles is breezing plus tons of features. And it’s free 🙂 It’s always the first extension I install after installing Joomla. And believe me – I use a lot of extensions.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? Its image manager makes my site have images in the first place. I work with people whose experience editing content is next to zilch and JCE’s easy ways of inserting various objects (links, images etc) is second to none.

Submitted by: Olek Trembowiecki

Submitter’s Website: www.biblioteka.koszalin.pl

Extension: Komento

Extension Developer:

Extension Developer Website: http://stackideas.com/

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/contacts-and-feedback/articles-comments/20527

Why do you love this Extension? Komento is useful, powerful and free.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? With Komento you can add comments to articles and share them on social networks. My clients love it!

Submitted by: Lucía Otero

Submitter’s Website: http://www.movilidadelectrica.com/

Extension: Ozio Gallery

Extension Developer:
 Alessandro Rossi

Extension Developer Website: http://www.opensourcesolutions.es/en/ext/ozio-gallery.html

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/photos-a-images/galleries/photo-gallery/4883

Why do you love this Extension? Very easy to use, and very powerful for my photo gallery in most of my website.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? I am able to give that extra touch to the images being able to offer them in an interesting perspective to the navigator, also with the new version that makes the gallery responsive fits very well with mobile devices.

Submitted by: Matteo Montanari

Submitter’s Website: http://www.sensiparrucchieri.it/sensi-vip.html

Extension: sh404SEF

Extension Developer:
 Yannick Gaultier

Extension Developer Website: http://anything-digital.com/sh404sef/seo-analytics-and-security-for-joomla.html

JED URL: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/site-management/sef/10134

Why do you love this Extension? Installation is easy, great documentation, helps my sites with SEF friendly URLs and powerful tweaks when needed.

What does this Extension do to enhance your website? SEF URLs, special page titles.

Submitted by: Tanya Flores

Submitter’s Website: http://www.massageforhealing.com

No Blog? No Way! Effective Blogging for Joomla Businesses

Many business owners say they simply don’t have time for blogging, however, if you like generating leads and growing your business with little or no monetary investment, then you better start liking to blog. An effective blogging strategy is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic and new leads to your website. In this article, we will examine why blogging is so important and how you can effectively manage and grow your Joomla business blog.

I have talked to many business owners and marketers who think blogging is a chore and should be side-tabled for more important work. This is the completely wrong mindset to have in this modern age of content driven marketing. I couldn’t think of anything better than spending 1-2 hours writing and promoting a blog that will:

  • Investment in my business: Each blog post you write is one more piece of searchable content that people searching for information can find. Once published, it will be available now and in the future for years to come.
  • Drive traffic to my website: Great blog content can be promoted in your monthly newsletters, on social media, broadcast to RSS or Link sharing sites or by word of mouth. All of these will be driving people interested in that topic matter directly to your website.
  • Increase leads: With a carefully chosen blogging content strategy, all the traffic being driven to your site to read your blogs are qualified prospects. Because of this, you will have both a much higher conversion rate and also more conversion due to more traffic on call to actions for other content offers or consultations.
  • Educate prospects: An educated prospect is a good prospect and is much more likely to not only see the value in the services you are providing, but also convert into a customer. Blogging is great for educating your customers on your company’s products, services or industry.
  • Help build my credibility on a subject: Developing high quality educational content to help educate prospects will in-turn establish yourself as an creditable authority in that topic matter.

Savvy Panda's Joomla Website Blog Traffic

For those of you who do not currently have a blog, I hope you’re excited to get started with your blog and start driving new traffic and leads to your site. But having a successful blog is much more complicated that simply writing about extension updates and your company picnic. In the next section we will examine some key steps to take to develop a great blog.

What Are the Key Steps to Take to Have a Successful Blog?

(for those of you who already are blogging, this is the part of the article you need to perk up and read)

As stated above, simply having a blog on your website is just not enough to make it successful, and in some cases, it can actually do more harm than good depending on the content and frequency of posts. Below is a list of some key steps to act on while blogging to help ensure a successful outcome:

  • Know your target customer/s: The first step to an effective blog is to take a step back and learn more about your target customers. Even if you already “know” them, take some time to do an audit and refine your knowledge. Look at your current customers and make a list of the top “A & B” level customers that you love working with. Then take this list and bucket them based on common characteristics. Once you have your bucketed lists, create a rich profile of their behavior, background, goals and challenges. Then attach a name and picture to this profile in order to create a persona. Personas are great for segmenting your content and targeting it towards the particular persona. You can learn more about personas here.
  • Create relevant blog topics: Once you have identified your target client and grouped those clients into personas, you have to dig deeper to find out what are relevant topics that those prospects would be interested in or are already searching for.Talk to the rest of your team and come up with a list of common questions sales leads or prospects have, points of pain and objections. It should be easy to create a list of 50 items which gives you 50 blog post topics.
  • Develop a blogging calendar: It’s really common to draw a blank when you sit down to write your blog. Start a Google calendar for your blog and schedule out content for a 1-2 month period. Make sure to schedule the blog content to post during the busy days for blog reading within your niche (typically Tues, Wed, Thurs). Also keep in mind articles based on holidays or special events. Keep the calendar up to date and it will greatly help your efficiency.
  • Take your time and produce good quality content: Remember, your blog is a representation of your business and your expertise. If your blog content is short and/or lacks any real value to the reader, there is a good chance it will fail. Take your time to really write engaging and educational blogs that readers will love to read and share with their friends. At a minimum, each blog post should be 350 words, although I would push for a 500 word minimum.
  • Consistency and quantity: It’s also very important when writing a blog to have consistent content. Posting three blogs in a week and then posting nothing for three weeks will leave readers annoyed. Even if you only have the capacity for one blog per week, make it a point to post that blog on the same day at the same time each week. Additionally, the more you can post the better. Now, there needs to be a good balance between quantity and quality. You are better off posting two great blog posts each week than seven short and quick posts with little reader value. For busy marketers or business owners, I would recommend two blogs per week posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Review your schedule and decide on a number for quality blogs that is reasonable for you to write on a consistent basis.
  • Pair blogs with similar content offers: Readers have come to your blog post because the topic matter of that blog has interested them. They are excited to read the blog and want to learn more on this topic. What would be a better place to place strategic call to actions for other content offers you have on the same topic. There is a very high conversion rate on content offers that are paired with similar topic blog content which means more leads coming into your Inbound Marketing funnel.
  • Promote blog content effectively: There are many different channels to promote your blog content and you will have to experiment and try them all. Promote your content to your social media networks with a heavy push in the networks which show the best traffic. With statistic tools and social media management tools such as Hootsuite you can find the best times to post and schedule multiple messages. You can learn more on this on my other blog post: “Maximizing Blog Exposure with Social Media Scheduling” Additionally there are many other social link sharing sites such as stumbleupon, digg, reddit, delicious, etc. that you should submit your blog content to. You should also stay active in community forums and post relevant content when appropriate so to not spam.
  • Repurpose blog content: There are many ways you can repurpose blog content to help gain extra value from writing them. I’ve seen companies create an ebook which features the top XX blogs of the month or quarter. You could turn a blog into a monthly newsletter or lead nurturing campaign. The possibilities are endless as long as you’re creative and cautious of any duplicate content issues.
  • Refer prospects and clients to blog content: There will be many times when talking to potential clients or current clients that they will ask you a question. If this is a topic you have already written about, give them the short and sweet answer and then point them to your blog for additional information. Also, incorporating your blog content into your sales process is a great way to help educate the lead on particular topic matters that are relevant to that lead and help answer objections even before they ask.

These are just a few of the key steps to take when developing a successful blog. Please keep in mind this is not an overnight success. Many of the big blogs you see today have been working hard and “investing” with posts for years and years, however, with hard work, great content and great promotion you can easily develop your blog into a huge asset for your business.

Also, please keep in mind that blogging is just one piece of the Inbound Marketing process and there are many other steps what work in sync with blogging to help grow your overall business. You can learn more about the Inbound Marketing process on my other Joomla! Community Magazine article: “The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Guide For Joomla

If you have comments or questions, please post them in the comments. I’d love to help get your blog rocking!

Source: http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue-nov-2012/item/956-blogging-for-joomla-business-inbound-marketing

There’s a New JEDi in Town…

The Joomla Extension Directory (JED) recently announced that Matt Baylor is the new JED Team Manager, aka the Lead JEDi. I sat down with Matt to learn a bit more about him.

Matt, first, congratulations on your new position. How did you initially get involved with the JED team?

Thanks. I started using Joomla in 2007. After finishing up design school I opened a business and figured I should pick one platform and stick with it. Of course, I chose Joomla. After things began to take off I felt that if I was making a living off of Joomla I needed to give something back. About two years ago I volunteered to help with fraud and abuse on the JED Team. It didn’t take long until I was helping in just about every role throughout the team.

Everyone is talking about the end of life for Joomla 1.5 extensions. Can you explain when and how that will happen?

Well, the PLT sets the end of life (EOL) dates. The JED will keep 1.5 only listings six months past the EOL date. So everyone can expect 1.5 listings and the 1.5 tags to be unpublished towards the end of March 2013. The listing will initially just be unpublished. When a listing gets unpublished a notice is automatically sent to the email address the developer provides. If the listings are not updated to a supported Joomla version within 14 days they will be completely removed from the owners account.

What are your ideas for enhancing the JED?

There’s quite a few ideas in the works and even more swimming around in my head. We’re going to roll out a new review system, overhaul the extension that manages listings, set up a tutorial and project management site, round up all of the JED specific docs and load them into the JED knowledgebase, rewrite the Terms of Service and make some serious usability improvements. I’m intentionally being vague, otherwise I won’t have much to talk about at the JWC JED Session 🙂

The JED and the JCM will be working together on a new topic called Community Choice Extensions. Can you explain how that will work?

We’re calling it “Community Choice Extensions“. It was Peter’s idea so he’s going to run with it. How it works exactly is still being worked out but basically we are dropping the Editors Picks in exchange for a new list that will be chosen by JCM contributing authors each month.

Who are your JED team members?

You can always find a list of team members on the “About the Team” page (http://extensions.joomla.org/component/content/article/30). Over the past few weeks I have been digging up some of the most passionate and skilled Joomla community members to fill team roles. Without them the JED couldn’t move forward.

How can the community get involved with the JED team?

Right now you can volunteer by filling out a volunteer application found on the JED Team page (http://extensions.joomla.org/component/content/article/30#volunteer).

One misconception is people believe that because they have commercial listings they’re ineligible to volunteer. I have no problem giving anyone a chance to help out if they want. I think it’s time to look past things that may have happened in the past and give people a chance to contribute. If it doesn’t work out for some reason, then it doesn’t work out and we part ways. At the end of the day we can at least say we tried.

Once we migrate Joomla 3.0, the JED will be available on Git and anyone can contribute without having to be a team member.

Will we see you at the Joomla World Conference?

Yes, I have been summoned to San Jose 🙂 I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.

Source: http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue-nov-2012/item/953-theres-a-new-jedi-in-town

Thanksgiving special offer 30% off all ZooTemplate packages

Thanksgiving 2012 (also called as Turkey Day) is a joyous family festival celebrated primarily in the United States, Canada and other countries with lots of enthusiasm. This is a holiday, special and well-commemorated to express gratitude and appreciation, and as well as a sincere thanksgiving, offered to God for all His blessings, and as well as to the family, loved ones and friends for all their support.

Traditionally, it has been the day to give thanks for a harvest that is bountiful and rich. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on November in the United States, which is every fourth Thursday and in Canada it falls on the second Monday in the month of October.


As Thanksgiving approaches we would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to you. We are thankful each and every day to have you as a customer. Thank you for choosing our business. Thank you for your feedback and for your continued support. We couldn’t do it without you! And in return to our loyal customers, we are glad to launch the Thanksgiving special offer 20%-30% for all ZooTemplate’s membership packages and and the special offer expires on Nov 30, 2012.

  • ZOOThanks20: off 20% during pre-order these packages: Silver, Gold and Platinum membership packages
  • ZOOThanks30: off 20% during pre-order these package: Developer and Life Developer membership packages

Thank you for your continued support in feeding the hungry everywhere music plays!

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How to View Module Positions in Joomla! 2.5

Joomla 2.5 templates are used not only to define the style of a webpage, but also to define how the page is laid out. For example, it is because of how a specific template is setup that certain items show in the footer of a page, or in the left / right sidebars.

It also makes sense that modules are the only Joomla extensions that are assigned to module positions. For example, when you install a component or a plugin, they do not need to be assigned to a module position.

When working on your Joomla 2.5 site, there may be times when you need to move modules to different parts of the page. Each module is shown in a “place holder”, and these place holders are referred to as positions. To move a module to a different position, you’ll need to know where each position is set in the template. For example, the footer may have a position labeled as “position-14”. You need to know this position name before you can move a module to it.

This tutorial will explain you how to see module positions available in your joomla template:

(1) Login to the Joomla! backend.

(2) Select Template Manager from the Extensions menu:

(3) Click on the Options icon:

(4) Click on the Enabled button of the Preview Module Positions entry. Then click on Save or Save & Close to save the change.

(5) Observe that module positions are now visible on your Joomla! pages when you append ?tp=1 to the end of your URL:

To place a module within a particular module position, within the particular module, please choose the module position:

  1. Navigate to Extensions → Module Manager
  2. Choose your module from the module list
  3. Within the Details section of your module configuration, choose Select Position

Module Positions

To find all modules places in a particular module position, choose the desired module position within the module list.

  1. Navigate to Extensions → Module Manager
  2. From the filters choose Select Positions
  3. Choose desired position from the drop down menu.

Filter Modules by Position

When you are done examining module positions, remember to set Preview Module Positions to Disabled.

Joomla 2.5 is the Recommended Version for Most Sites

Last month we wrote a blog post called “The 3 Things You Need to Know About Joomla 3”.

As a reminder, here are those 3 things you need to know:

  1. What is great about Joomla 3? Mobile. Joomla 3 will be the first major Content Management System to be completely mobile-ready.
  2. Who is Joomla 3 for? Early adopters. Initially, Joomla 3 is best used by early adopters, developers and more experienced users.
  3. I am on Joomla 2.5. What do I do? Stay where you are. Joomla 2.5 a wonderful version of Joomla and will be supported until 2014.

In this blog post, we’re going to expand a little on the third point:

Joomla 2.5 is the recommended version for most existing sites and will remain so for another year.

We Recommend Joomla 2.5 for Existing Sites

Joomla 2.5 is the Long Term Support (LTS) version of Joomla. That means that it has already undergone many months of real-world testing. Joomla 2.5 is stable, tested and reliable. Joomla 2.5 is the version being used by Joomla.org.

Joomla 2.5 is the right choice for existing sites.

We Recommend Updating from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.5

For most people, we recommend that you update from Joomla 2.5 only when Joomla 3.5 is released around September next year.

Below is our graphic with our recommendations for updates. As you can see, with Joomla 3 there are several Short Term Support (STS) releases before the final version 3.5 is released and is recommended for everyone.

j releasecycle

How to Update from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.5

Joomla 2.5 has a one-click update feature. This allows you to update Joomla quickly and easily.

This one-click update feature is how most people will update from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.5.

You can find the options for this feature by logging into a Joomla 2.5 site and going to Components > Joomla! Update > Options. I’ve included a screenshot of the Options area below:


You can see that, by default, the one-click update feature is set up to update you from your current Long Term Support version ( Joomla 2.5 ) to the next Long Term Support version ( Joomla 3.5 ) . This means that you won’t be prompted to move from Joomla 2.5 until next year when Joomla 3 has also undergone substantial real-world testing.


If you are an early adopter, developer or more experienced user, then we think you’ll love Joomla 3 right now.

Next year, after more real-world testing, we think everyone will love Joomla 3. At that time, Joomla 3.5 will be available as a one-click update option from your administrator area.

Joomla 2.5 is currently the recommended version for existing sites and will remain so until the release of 3.5.

Do you have any questions? If you do, please use this post in the Joomla forums.