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Developing a Website Using the Joomla CMS

July 20th, 2012 Comments off

Joomla Content Management System and Blogging Logo

Purpose of a CMS (Content Management System)

As the webmaster of a busy website you will be familiar with the process of updating the content of your website on a regular basis, regardless of how you achieve this. Some websites are still based around the static HTML model which means that a website must first be modified on a desktop computer using website design software before the modified pages are uploaded the hosting server, often through FTP although there are other methods of file transfer available. The process of modifying a static website can be time consuming and there is always room for error that could impact on the design or layout of the website; CMS (content management systems) systems have been developed to improve the way in which webmasters manage their websites by only allowing the modification of content and no code. A CMS can be seen as offering webmasters and web developers benefits such as:

  • The application that will run the core of your website is solid and well tested; all you need to do is perform a professional installation and install a theme that matches the design of your business and you are set to go
  • There are a number of plug-ins available for popular open-source applications, such as Joomla, that can be used to add additional functionality to the application and improve your overall experience as a webmaster.

Joomla is a popular PHP and MySQL based CMS that is one of the most advanced platforms available for developing a website on, having been developed to be a CMS from the start whereas WordPress, another popular platform, is better served as a blogging application. As PHP and MySQL are technologies supported by both Windows and Linux, any web hosting service from Host.co.in can provide you with the features necessary to run an effective installation of Joomla.

Installing Joomla

Host.co.in offers a software management application with our Linux shared web hosting plans called Softaculous; this can be used to install a number of popular web applications, including Joomla, in your web space in just a few clicks and saves you the time and hassle of having to setup databases and the correct permissions. If you are using any other form of hosting then you will probably need to investigate other installation methods that are available and suit your hosting environment.

For the most part the manual installation of Joomla is a simple procedure that consists of the following steps:

  1. Download the latest version of Joomla from the software’s official website, located at www.joomla.org
  2. Unzip/untar the package that you have downloaded to your desktop
  3. Login to your web hosting account using FTP or any other method of file transfer
  4. Upload the contents of the unzipped/untarred file to your web space
  5. Login to your web hosting control panel and create a new MySQL database for your website
  6. Navigate to your website or the directory on your website in which you have installed Joomla where the Pre-installation Check screen should be visible; following the installation steps and you should then have a fully working Joomla installation at the end.

If you require assistance with the installation of Joomla then Host.co.in’s 24×7 support team can assist you with the installation process if necessary. Our highly knowledgeable staff can perform a clean and professional installation for you at no cost.

Themes and Plugins

Like a majority of third-party applications that are designed for open source use, Joomla has large repositories of themes and plugins for you to choose from that can be used to provide your website with a fresh new design and to extend the core functionality of the application. There are of course APIs available for you to develop your own themes and plugins if you are an advanced user with knowledge of the PHP scripting language, so even though you are going to be basing your website on a third-party application, there is a lot of room for customization.

Creating a theme that is consistent with your business’s branding is an important aspect of developing a web presence because you want your website to stand out to your visitors as being your brand. Developing a theme for Joomla will require knowledge of CSS and HTML as well as a slight bit of PHP so that you can create an effective layout. If you feel that you don’t have the skills required for this then you can always use one of the freely available themes.

Even though Joomla is one of the most feature-rich web applications available, there may be something that you’re looking for that it doesn’t appear to have. Such thoughts can be remedied with the addition of plugins to create new features for Joomla that aren’t part of the core of the software. In order to create effective and stable plugins it is necessary for you to be competent with the PHP scripting language as your code will need to be secure, but also function correctly with the rest of the application.

Valuable Tips To Speed-Up A Magento Cart

March 16th, 2012 Comments off

‘Magento’ is one of most popular CMS used by webmasters due to its excellent e-commerce website handling features. Magento eCommerce Platforms are scalable, flexible and suitable for online business growth. But still there are few cases in which webmasters are found complaining some sort of slow speed functionality with ‘Magento’. But still following are some tips and precautions, by using which you can fasten a ‘Magento e-commerce cart.

  • 1.4 Caching option is found enabled as by default, so one should not disable it without any proper requirement.
  • Use PHP Accelerator, Enable Compiler. Set 32 or 64 MB-Size of Quarry Cache and if possible disable the Logging time if it exceeds.
  • Keep Enabled all Keep-a-lives in Apache because there are the tricks where many HTTP requests can be built through a single TCP connection. So enabling it would improve loading time of your website.
  • Use Memory based file system i.e. tmpfs, this will enable your website to move fast
  • Use Plane catalog of products and the same for the categories also.

The above we saw were all technical tips now look at the following general tips.

  • If possible use dedicated server hosting for your Magento based website, this would allow you to use the Magento at its best level.
  • Keep the redirection as less as possible and make sure to check your output as W3C complaint. This is very important as any possible errors would make the browser slow.
  • Disabling server logging or at least keeping it at minimum level would minimize the disk writing frequencies.
  • Compile MySQL from source instead of your OS’s package manager
  • Swapping Apache for NginX or Lite-speed is beneficial, and if there is not such option available for such swapping then you are suggested to go for Zen Server,
  • Avoid installing any unnecessary Apache modules and DNS look-up is a time consuming element so avoid using many external sources for i-frames and images etc.
  • Regularly check out for any possible upgrades for your cart as it will enable you for advanced features and omission of any bugs which existed with your current versions.
  • Setting Apache mod-express to know how long file are to be cashed is also a good option available.
  • Use CDN (Content Delivery Network) for parallel transfer of static content.
  • Use z-lib, Compress output for output_compression;
  • Enable G-zip Compression in ht-access;
  • You can also optimize all the tables by repairing them, you would find this option in MySQL Admin.
  • Remove any unnecessary files from your server and try to find the web hosting services provider from the same geographical area from where you have the largest number of customers.
  • Use multiple web nodes-front-end server which can handle browsing and checkouts with ease.

By following these above operations you can certainly make a difference in the speed of your Magento Cart.

An Overview of XML – Part 2

December 29th, 2011 Comments off

Since XML is a very vast subject, while you study it and that’s the reason why this is one more post is needed to be written of its review. In this post you can find description of remaining features of XML, after we looked at ‘What is XML and how it is structured in previous post (An Overview of XML – Part 1)

While implementing XML you will always feel that it helps a lot of data sharing options. From a web developer’s point of view this is very positive aspect of XML because for the smooth function of a website you always need such type of data sharing among various web applications, which hold data in different structures. Due to XML this sharing can be made easy for the developers. Because every applicaton’s data structure can be mapped upon XML structure all the applications can share data in a common XML format.

An XML file can be read by human but still it’s not an interesting and easy task to do so. Being free of cost is a positive aspect of XML, it can be written with a simple text editor and tools like ‘XML Notepad’ are available fro free of cost. XML is supported by default by the web development application like Dreamweaver and Visual Studio .NET. If one want to parse it then Microsoft also provide a tool named with ‘MSXML’. XML is also usable with almost all of the leading CMS (Content Management Systems), XML documents are mostly used for storing the content which can be further transformed to provide the output on Web. The advantage of XML while transforming such data is that it make makes all changes to content to be contained at a central location and it is cascaded out in all formats required.

Customization Options With Date Formats In WordPress

October 24th, 2011 Comments off

When WordPress is used as a CMS on a Web Hosting account, it provides many great features within its Dashbord. ‘Date Format’ and ‘Time Format’ are two of these options available to display the Date and Time on your website or blog, according to your need. There are some regularly found formats available in predefined form, but few webmasters like to use their own customized formats. The ‘Custom’ option button (radio button) is available under both ‘Date Format’ and ‘Time Format’ for such customization. This post is for the webmasters who are newbies and never handled these predefined formats in custom field.

Following are the characters to be entered in the ‘Text Box’ beside the custom button option under ‘Date Format’, to get the output shown on the actual Website or Blog.

d

Small form of character ‘D’ is used to get the output of Date as ‘Numeric and with leading zero’ for example Dates from 1 to 9 will be shown as 01, 02, 03……

j

Small form of the character ‘J’ is used to get appearance of full name of the Date of month in numeric format. e.g. 1, 2, 3…..

S

Capital form of the character ‘S’ is used to get the appearance of suffix for the date . e.g. ‘st‘, ‘nd‘, ‘rd‘, ‘th‘ in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th…..

l

Small form of the character ‘L’ used to get the appearance of full name of the day. e.g. Monday, Tuesday…..

D

Capital form of the character ‘D’ is f used to get the appearance of day of the week with first three characters only. e.g. Mon, Tue, Wed…

m

Small form of character ‘M’ is used to get the appearance of Month as ‘Numeric and with leading zero’ format. e.g. month of from January to December will be shown as 01 to 12…..

n

Small form of character ‘N’ is used to get the appearance of Month as ‘Numeric and without leading zero’ format. e.g. month of from January to December will be shown as 1, 2, 3, 4, to 12

F

Capital form of character ‘F’ is used to get the appearance of Month as ‘Full name as Characters’ format. e.g. January, February…..

M

Capital form of character ‘M’ is used to get the appearance of Month as ‘with first three characters only.’ e.g. Jan, Feb, Mar…..

Y

Capital form of character ‘Y’ is used to get the appearance of a Year as ‘Numeric and with four digits’ e.g. 2011, 2012….

y

Small form of character ‘N’ is used to get the appearance of Year as ‘‘Numeric and with two digits’. e.g. Year 2011 and 2012 will appear as 11 and 12 respectively.

Know How To Configure WordPress Settings

October 24th, 2011 Comments off

WordPress is largely preferred CMS on web hosting accounts. After building a website or blog on a WordPress platform, you need to configure various settings with it. For configuring these settings you have to log in as admin at ‘yourdomain.com/wp-admin’. Here you should go to ‘Dashboard’ and click on ‘Settings’. Here you are on the main Setting page where you can find the following options where you can enter the information about website or blog.

Blog Title – Enter the main ‘Title’ of your blog here.

Tagline – This is related to the main subject of your website or blog and can be filled with promotional keywords.

WordPress address (URL) and Blog address (URL) – Both of these fields mostly contain the home page URL of your website or blog.

E-mail address – You should enter an email ID which will be used by the administrator of the Website or Blog.

Membership – This is a small ‘checkbox’ for Applying or relieving the restrictions over the registrations.

New User Default Role – When someone is allowed to register an account with the Website or Blog, these are the options found in the drop down list and allow you to set his role and user level as by default. There are generally five options that can be found in this list as following

‘Subscriber, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor’

Timezone – You can set your desired ‘Timezone’ from here.

Date Format – Following are the date formats available which you can use to display the dates with the material on your Website or Blog.

Month DD, YYYY

YYYY/MM/DD

MM/DD/YYYY

DD/MM/YYYY

Custom – (Refer to ‘Customization Options With Date Formats In WordPress’)

Time Format – Similar to Date format, you can also set a format for the time so that it will appear in a specific format of your choice.

Week Starts On – It’s simply to set the starting day of week according to your preference.

Read This Before Creating A New Drupal Node Or Getting A New Node Identifier From Module Code

October 20th, 2011 Comments off

Drupal is one of the most popular CMS on web hosting accounts. When you are new to Drupal and  you try to modify the code of a module directly so that you can add some features, In such situations you should be able to create several nodes from a single form. While doing this most of the newbies forget that one should never try to modify a core or make any changes directly to modules. You can either implement changes using hook_ and theme_architecture and if these are not supported then the safest option is to copy the function in which you want to make changes, and override it. This way the changes will remain limited up to your code and won’t affect after you override a module or Drupal core.
There are two ways to create a new Drupal Node or to get a newer Node Identifier. You can select one of the two you depending on your choice.
hook_nodeapi ()
hook_nodeapi() – This hook is not reserved for any node modules, but still it allows changes in modules  which affect on nodes, despite that module defines the node. One can turn off a particular operation of a newly created node and run other function as per requirements. If you want to repeat it when the nodes are saved then you can also use the ‘update’ operation.
hook_form_alter ()
By using ‘hook_form_alter ()’ you can perform many alterations before rendering a form. Another well known user of this hook is for addition of form elements to the node form. When you are altering a node form, at that time the node object is retrieved from $form[‘#node’]. Also remember that ‘hook_form_alter()’ works for all forms and if you want to alter a specific form then you need to use ‘hook_form_FORM_ID_alter()’ this hook.