Why there are fewer free extensions available for Joomla

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01Nov2017

Why there are fewer free extensions available for Joomla

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368 hits Updated: 02 November 2017

Developers cannot afford to maintain their work for nothing

As an independent developer of extensions for Joomla, I rely on the Joomla Extensions Directory [JED] as a place to do business.  The past twelve months have been difficult for developers of Joomla extensions because of new conditions imposed on us who want to use the JED.  People who download products via the JED may be unaware of the effort we put into ensuring that our products—whether or not they’re available at no cost to the end user—are reliable, robust and secure.  It’s a thankless task:  the people who manage the JED are as indifferent about our lives as are most of our customers who siphon the software from our websites.  Is it any surprise that fewer freely-downloadable extensions are being added to the JED these days?

The furore and the fury about J! 3.8.0

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27Sep2017

The furore and the fury about J! 3.8.0

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516 hits Updated: 27 September 2017

Joomla 3.8.0 is here.  What should we do about it?

Can we take parts of J! 3.7.5 and transplant them into J! 3.8.0?

The XAMPP—PC-hosted—“solutions”

“Me too”

J! 3.8.0 was released about a week ago and, as with any dot-zero release, the com­mu­nity’s initial reaction seemed to con­demn it rather than embrace or applaud it.  This article will look be­hind the storm of protest to examine the reasons why people have ex­perienced problems that, for the most part, were not caused by the release but were mainly the result of their ignorance about the update and why it is required.

The issues that people have complained about fall into two distinct groups:

  1. There are legitimate issues relating to the J! 3.8.0 release:  the Joomla developers have responded to them and the fixes for those problems will be included in J! 3.8.1.
  2. There are problems caused by the failure of a few third-party extension developers and, from what I’ve seen, those developers have already released fixes for their products.  Some extensions, however, may be incompatible with J! 3.8.0.  I don’t think it’s fair to lay the blame on anyone but I think that, in the first instance, we shouldn’t be too quick to accuse someone else for taking a wrecking ball to our websites.  We choose to use the software that we use and we’re ultimately responsible for taking appropriate steps to insure our sites against the possibility that one day they’ll go pear-shaped.

Despite these issues, J! 3.8.0 has been well received with nearly 6%[1] of [post J! 3.5.0] sites using this new release.  Installation, integration and implementation problems inevitably occur with new dot-zero releases.  We will examine a few of them in this article.

Behind the scenes September 2017

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23Sep2017

Behind the scenes September 2017

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613 hits Updated: 01 October 2017

Site makeovers

Documentation

Announcing an exciting new product

Free downloads?

Things have changed a lot in the three-and-a-half years since I created this website.  From starting out with the idea that people might seek professional help with with Ku­ne­na (as well as to give me an opportunity to derive a small income by writing software specifically for that product), I soon realised that a boutique website dependent on the success of Ku­ne­na was never going to be profitable.  It may have been a “good idea” at one time but, as I observed the withering interest in Kunena, I decided to broaden my horizons—extend the purpose of this site to webcraft more generally (with Joomla in mind, of course)—while still offering fearless, independent commentary about the issues of the times.

My own forum needs notwithstanding, other Joomla software vendors’ sites—associated with Kunena—still continue to use Kunena and most of those have updated to a more current version than what I saw during my examination last year[1].  But this article is not about Kunena; this article celebrates several achievements that I’ve made in the past couple of months.  I have much to celebrate and the future of this site is looking better than ever.  If you’ve been here before and you haven’t already noticed what’s different then read on; as I wrote above:  “things have changed a lot” …

Joomla maintenance strategy

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12Aug2017

Joomla maintenance strategy

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738 hits Updated: 16 January 2018

What things do you have to do to maintain a Joomla website?

The four skills for highly-effective websites

What are the things … to be done to maintain Joomla website?forum user, Joomla Forum, 10-Aug-2017

The question of “website maintenance” (and Joomla website maintenance, in par­ti­cular) is a fairly simple one and, I suppose, anyone could scribble a few notes on a scrap of paper or point to articles posted online that itemise the first things coming to mind: security, backups, regular updates, etc.—the “usual” household chores.  Everyone has their own routine and there’s a general consensus about what matters should receive the highest priority.  However, when you really think about the subject seriously, most of us don’t plan for future-proofing our sites so that they can be maintained with relatively little effort.  Perhaps some projects commence that way but they evolve into a tangled web of complexity with internal dependencies that we wish, in hindsight, we hadn’t done.  The bottom-line is that no-one likes house­work; most of us don’t even enjoy any routine work.

In this article I will present the “four skills” strategy for highly-effective websites.  So, before you sharpen your pencils and take notes—or frame a printed copy of the article and place it on your desk—we will look at the big picture:  what do you re­quire—what skills do you require—to prepare a website effectively in order to maintain it efficiently?