Your website may need a makeover, better functionality, stronger branding or improved technology to deliver the experience your users expect. With CNP Integrations as your partner you can have the confidence to do more while maximizing your time and minimizing your costs. Our roadmap to success will ensure you have the security and competence to move forward with your priorities and objectives while respecting your budget and timeline.

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TAG-CommunityIf you’re trying to build an online community, and you lack programming experience, then Joomla CMS is the only real choice you should consider.  Drupal and Wordpress can both achieve this, but each has their own pitfalls and challenges that Joomla has risen above.

With Drupal, the learning curve is very high, and as a Content Management System, its better suited to individuals with programming backgrounds.

Wordpress has plug-ins that are basically workarounds on the author system, and it can take a lot of time to develop a road map towards anything that makes sense for your needs.  If you want to make a change in your community structure, you’re going to be in for a rough time.

Joomla CMS since version 2.5 has made setting up, organizing, and maintaining your online community very easy.  Joomla now has incredibly flexible Access Level Control (ACL) features and the latest version of Joomla 3.x supports tags natively so you have endless ways to organize and manage your contnent. Customizing pages that either require your permission, or a certain fee, are as simple as installing one of Joomla’s many free or commercial extensions and configuring them to your specification.  In addition the new Joomla 3.x allows you to use responsive templates for responsive front end designs and the default administration template is responsive (mobile ready) allows you to manage your portal from your favorite mobile device.

What makes Joomla the best choice for building effective online communities, beyond all of the other reasons mentioned above, is the fact it has the largest global community of web developers supporting it. You can get free support from many forums and a ton of free or professional training resources online. Just type in Joomla in Google or Bing and see what I mean. In addition since the boom and wide spread adoption of open source technology there are thousands of great companies offering professional support specific to the Joomla CMS.

add-new-user-details

Adding a new user, and categorizing them is as simple as filling out this form:

 

Joomla CMS has made setting up, organizing, and maintaining your online community very easy.  Customizing pages or content that either require unique permission or implementing advanced data models are as simple as installing some of Joomla’s many free or commercial extensions.  if you have more enterprise level requirements Joomla is more than a CMS it offers an application development platform. This means you can future proof your online business technologies and keep using Joomla as your business needs grow.

So if you consider, like we do, that every web site is a community of like minded visitors coming to you for whatever reason, a natural extension to this if you are more social oriented in your portal concept is to add some type of community building framework. In this case you should consider an extension like JomSocial as a top contender for a robust social interactive community building suite of tools. With JomSocial your users will be able to share content in activity streams, share photos or videos and collaborate in groups both public and private. You can also set up profile types and interact with e commerce or subscription management and many other tools.

You can take all of this a step further, and create a totally customized experience, tailor made to your specifications by a Joomla Development Specialist.  This individual, or team, will ensure your vision is realized and your online community will experience your message the way you see fit. Working with a team of experts will help you move faster, make better decisions and reduce costs of maintenance and development.

Our team at CNP is dedicated to creating success stories with online community portals whether we are your chosen team or not so if you want to learn more about how to become a success story visit our community page where you can download our exclusive Seven Pillars of success brochure and access to other information that may be helpful for building your online community : Build sustainable online communities

can-hp-smManaging your web presence as a non-profit brings up a lot of questions.  There are numerous factors to take into consideration including  membership-access, e-commerce, calendar-management, SEO, security, mailing-lists, donation-collection, blogging, image-galleries, documentation, and the list goes on.  

 

If you’re planning on building a site for your non-profit, you should consider the Content Management System [CMS] thousands of government services use, Joomla!  

 

Joomla development is the ‘middle-path’ for open-source CMS’s. It balances the construction of powerful web applications with a clean and simple way to put it together.  Every one of the questions I brought up earlier can be built right into Joomla through their simple to navigate Joomla extensions directory.

 

The big 3 CMS’s went head to head at SXSW in a competition building a community oriented website. Joomla really shined in every category.

 

Image taken from CMSWIRE.com article SXSW Web Content Management System Showdown (Update 2)

 

Joomla web development is an exciting experience.  You’ll get this when you team up with a Joomla expert.  While anyone can manage Joomla, to fully realize the potential of one of the most popular CMS’s on the planet, you’ll want to team up with a Joomla development company.  

joomladiyAre You Off Color?

As a schooled graphics and Joomla web designer I have learned first hand that the colors you choose for your branding can really make or break you. It’s true that color choices are highly subjective, yet there are some fundamental choices that are viewed as ugly or inappropriate by an agreeable majority. Taking this reality a bit further, it is safe to assume that the colors you choose may not be appropriate to your audience or industry.

You have to choose colors that best project your industry and best convey the right message to your audience. For example, if you are a travel agency, you may not want to use too much black but instead use dark blue or dark green, etc. to coincide with outdoors. Keeping in mind that light shade of a color vs. the dark shade of a color can also impact your message. Pastel colors may seem relaxed and soothing, but can also backfire and give a wishy-washy impression if used in the wrong industry type or audience. The combination of light and dark also play a part. Too much use of light or dark can dilute your message or brand. For example choosing the shades of one color is more acceptable (black, grey, silver) than a mix of shades from more than two color groups.

Usually, professional services should have a strong color choice to project an objective, firm “we get the job done” attitude. A washed out light color will give an impression of uncertainty and unsure attitude. For example, a light color theme may not work well for legal professionals – but may work well for healthcare professionals who need to portray them as very caring.

If your website is a CMS and you are using a template, you may have a shortcut or a cheat way to get your colors coordinated. As a Joomla website designer, when I choose a Joomla design template, I look for one that best represents the industry style I’m working on, then I choose the best color combination that the template offers for my Joomla website design theme. The idea here is to match my branding colors from the template. As WordPress and Joomla web designers, we are very fortunate in that there are literally thousands of templates for us to choose from that offer infinite combinations.

The reason why this works well is because professional WordPress and Joomla web designers that create these templates choose their color pallet from harmonious swatch groups and themes. Following their color choices keeps my Joomla web design within the proper color group. For example, their blue and red work well together on their Joomla design sample, whereas, your blue and red may clash and make your Joomla website look amateurish.

Are You The Right Type?

You have probably seen graphics that seem as though they were created in the fifties compared to others that look as fresh as “today”. Often times it is the style of shading and type fonts used. A retro font automatically looks like a throwback whereas a tech font may not. Use the typeface that best matches your industry type. A high tech manufacturer may not be well served with a nineteen-sixties looking font. This is common sense but if you search you will be surprised how often this is overlooked.

joomla securityThe Joomla! Vulnerability List web portal and an active developer community helps keep Joomla one of the most secure open source CMS systems in the marketplace.

If you are going to build your business online you want to make sure you build it on a solid and secure foundation. We believe Joomla is among the very best solutions for any small business enterprise for this reason and many others.

The Joomla community is aggressive and proactive about making the Joomla CMS and platform one of the most secure in the industry. Not only have they done a great job building the core CMS with security in mind and been one of the fastest open source communities to respond when a security vulnerability is discovered but they also are aggressive with processes for assuring the many 3rd party extensions are secure as well. As you could imagine with a community that has contributed 10’s of thousands of Joomla extensions which are mostly available through the Joomla extensions directory  http://extensions.joomla.org/ and nearly as many templates (soon to be available in a Joomla Templates Directory), monitoring the potential security threats is quite a significant task. Joomla.org has always has a responsive security team but one of the things that community has done recently is expand their web portal  http://vel.joomla.org/ for the Joomla! Vulnerability List. If you are a developer or even a site administrator you can subscribe to this list and be notified as extensions vulnerabilities are discovered and monitor if and how the developers have responded. Since keeping your site and associated Joomla extensions updated is one of the most important steps for securing your online assets this is a fantastic resource for you and the rest of the Joomla user community.

Some hosts are better than others for securing their servers but most do nothing at the application level or to protect your Joomla web site. This is why we also recommend that you consider another application layer security solution such as www.securelive.com or some CDN (Content Delivery Networks) have additional security protection worth merit as well. We have found the Secure Live solution to be the best all-around protection. Especially if you are still running older versions of the software and are limited on funds to maitain it. Most of the common threats can be protected against if you install one of the SecureLive solutions. It is also worth taking time to understand how your hosting environment is configured and protected and again keep your site up to date. There are great utility extensions like www.watchful.li for Joomla that can send you alerts and quickly review the status of your site extensions.

Since Joomla 2.5 upgrading your core Joomla and many supported extensions is as simple and easy as logging in and clicking a couple buttons. This has made keeping sites upgraded almost a non issues in many cases and increased the trend for Joomla as a top performer compared to other open source applications when it comes to security. This they are not the final athority nor do they catch everything, tools like those by veteran Joomie Phill Taylor at www.myjoomla.com are a cost effective way to scan your sites for vulnerabilities.

Our best advise is to make sure everything on your site is upgraded and use an application layer security tool like SecureLive). The costs of getting hacked and cleaning up are much more than the costs of being proactive and you can have a much greater peace of mind. The good news is that the Joomla community is doing a grewat job of providinge good information and built in tools for staying on top of security even if you know little about it. To learn more, make sure you drop by the Joomla! Vulnerability List portal and see where you may need to do any upgrades or proactive protection.  http://vel.joomla.org/