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(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)
30Oct2023

“Search” vs. “Smart Search”

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627 hits Updated: 01 November 2023 Blog

What is Joomla’s “Smart Search” facility?

How to set up smart search on your Joomla website

Estimating the size of the finder tables

Finder space estimator

The J! CMS always had a basic search component and, with the release of Joomla! 2.5New Features in Joomla! 2.5—if anyone can remember that far back—the J! CMS has incorporated a Google-like content in­dex­ing/pre­dic­tive text feature that allows users to “guess” for what you may be looking for.  With the release of J! 4.x, the basic search component was retired leaving only the “smart” search component.

I’ve just migrated from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4.  Read all the articles concerning smart search and deleted the old Jooma 3 search package.  I followed the steps concerning the indexation of the contents with the smart search component and, suddenly, my database exceeded the limit because of a rise in 97 Mb for the indexation of more than 300 articles.  Is there a way to dodge this or am I “condemned” to buy more disk space from my provider?a forum user, Joomla forum, 27-Jun-2023

This article will attempt to answer some of the misgivings and concerns that people have about using Joomla’s “new” smart search component.  Bear in mind that there’s actually nothing new about this feature; it’s been around since 2012.  The only news here is that the old basic search component was removed from J! 4.0 in 2021.  Various attemptshttps://github.com/joomla-extensions/search to resuscitate that component seem to have been abandoned and it’s unlikely efforts will be made in future.  While some people may be disappointed that the old search component no longer exists from J! 4.x, or they may feel that a “smart” search tool is overkill for their needs, let’s look at what people need to know before they implement smart search indexing, what options impact on the indexer, or whether other (i.e. external) searching may be better.

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(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)
24Sep2023

How to add Google Analytics 4 tag in Joomla (without extensions)

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693 hits Updated: 24 September 2023 Blog

What is Google Analytics 4?

How to add your GA4 tracking code to a Joomla website.

If you have no idea what Google Analytics is used for then you can read Google’s promotional material.  While some peopleGoogle Analytics - What is it good for?” by Brian Teeman, Joomla Community Magazine, 20 March 2023 do not feel that Google Analytics is a particularly worthwhile investment of time, I’m happy enough to use it.  With the demiseAs Google’s Universal Analytics comes to a close, what alternatives if any do you need?As Google’s Universal Analytics comes to a close, what alternatives if any do you need?” by Philip Walton, Joomla Community Magazine, 20 September 2022 of Google’s Universal Analytics (also known as “Google Analytics 3”)GA3 stopped collecting data effective from 1 July 2023. Google released GA4 late last year.

You can read about more ways you can use GA4 by reading these two articles:

• “GA4 Events and More!” by Louise Hawkins, Joomla Community Magazine, 20 November 2022
• “Google Analytics GA4 Reporting…” by Louise Hawkins, Joomla Community Magazine, December 2022

Assuming you understand what Google Analytics does, or what you might be able to do with it, I’ll leave it to the reader to create the GA4 property and obtain the “tracking code” that’s required for GA to collect the data from your website(s).  This article is concerned with answering a question that is often asked (and, in my opinion, poorly answered), viz.

I have … the script for Google Tag Manager but can’t find where to copy it…a forum user, Joomla forum, 9-Sep-2023

I think the biggest problem people have finding the answer is because the information that I’ve found is incredibly dense and hard to read; in fact it was quite difficult for me to understand, I nearly decided to abandon Google Analytics altogether.  We’ll try to make things as easy as possible; I got things working and you can too … and it won’t take you a month of Sundays to solve this problem!

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(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)
04Jul2023

isSite() and isAdmin() fatal errors after updating to Joomla 4

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1528 hits Updated: 04 July 2023 Blog

How to fix websites that break after migrating to J! 4.x because of “deprecated code”.

A common experienceI couldn’t tell you how often this problem occurs but the issue arises on The Joomla Forum™ about twice a week. that people have after “successfully” updating from J! 3.10 to J! 4.x is that their website breaks.  It doesn’t happen all the time—i.e. every time people migrate from J! 3.x to J! 4.x—but it can catch people by surprise.  One of the most common reasons why websites will break is because their J! 3.10 site had one or more third-party extensions installed that used “deprecated code”Further information about potential backward compatibility changes J! 4 may be found here:  Potential backward compatibility issues in Joomla 4.  If you didn’t install any third-party extensions then you can ignore the rest of this topicIf you have not installed any third-party extensions in J! 3.10 then your migration to J! 4.x should proceed successfully but there may be other factors—not involving “deprecated code”—that can complicate the upgrade..

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(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
27Jun2023

How to disable the “Web Authentication” option on the Joomla 4.x login screen?

Are you confused by the “Web Authentication” option on the Joomla 4.x login screen? I saw this question posted on The Joomla Forum™:

I want to hide the button for “web authentication” on the front end on the login page. [If I login normally and go to the user profile page I see] “W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) Login-W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) Login. No WebAuthn authenticator has been set up yet” I think it is confusing for a nov­ice who tries to log in. How do I hide it?forum user, Joomla Forum, 25-Nov-2021

The following points need to be kept in mind:

  1. People will not see the “web authentication” option on the login page unless the website uses HTTPS with a valid security certificate.  If you have just created a J! 4.x website using Wampserver for example, you may not see the option at all.
  2. The feature is not supported by all web browsers.
  3. The feature was not present in J! 4.0; the feature was added in J! 4.1.
  4. The feature is always present (even if you or your website users do not require it).
  5. In order to use the feature, you need to set up a “WebAuthn authenticator”.  What’s that, you may ask?  You can read all about it at WebAuthn Passwordless Login.

Does all of this sound complicated?  Do I need it?  Relax.

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