Saturday, March 21, 2009

Joomla 1.5

This weekend I had the time to play for a while with the new version of the award winning content management system (CMS) Joomla 1.5. It was the first time ever I used this app, so I tried the installation wizard available at the hosting company's server and the first step was painless and quick.

After checking Joomla's site I noticed that the project is very well documented and found out in a few minutes how to use the basic features. This CMS seems to take away some of the common headaches for website developers with the variety of solutions that includes, since it's an open source application based on modules and plugins developed by a big community that is backing up the project.

I created categories, sections, menu items and a couple of articles, disabled some unnecessary modules and activated some others, then I started googling for some more components and extensions and ended up amazed with the huge amount of products available.

Fireboard was the first thing in my list, once again the installation was very easy, probably the only trick is to enable "System - Legacy" at the plugin manager, and just like that I had a complete forum ready to use.

The second component installation wasn't as easy as with Fireboard, after reading why an SEO was important for my site, I decided to try sh404SEF. Seems logical to install it in case you want to improve the possibilities for people to find your site by making the urls search engine friendly, in the end sh404SEF will replace the default Joomla urls that look like this:

for something understandable for the search engine like:

It seems that a common error after the installation is to access the main page of your site and get an access error, you can solve this pretty easily by creating an index.html file at yourdomainfolder/httpdocs/index.html redirecting people to like this:

<meta equiv="REFRESH" content="0; url=" >

After installing and setting up these plugins the options to create a professional site in a few days are huge an easy, you can check for more extensions here and knock yourself out.
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