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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Until recently, getting the right look and feel for community sites was a challenge. There were not many options outside of custom CSS work or default settings. Now there are a couple of low cost options for getting nice looking designs for your community website.

When we build a community site using Joomla CMS most of the time we use JomSocial (versus Community Builder) for the community building engine. JomSocial is feature rich and consistent with many of the workflows used in popular social platforms like Facebook. That said, there are a few times when Community Builder is a better choice because of some unique custom list features. It is also a great choice if you need to build a site specific to Joomla 3.0. 

Some community sites only need threaded discussion to facilitate their online discussion and they are then built with Kunena Forum. Often JomSocial and Kunena Forum (or Community Builder) are used together because they closely integrate. When you use both, they can be configured to share the same user profile data.

Something to mention is that older versions of JomSocial were challenging to use in mobile or responsive templates. In part, because in older versions of JomSocial custom code libraries not supported by Joomla core were used for some of JomSocial’s unique features. This made it difficult to stay in step with Joomla and new template frameworks as they evolved. The new version of JomSocial (version 2.8) has come a long way from previous versions and now is built leveraging the Bootstrap libraries, which are much more mobile friendly. While there is still more to be done with JomSocial to be fully responsive and it does not yet support the new J3.0 (at the time of this article) it will soon.

Here are a couple links you may find useful when trying to style your JomSocial community site or Kunena Forum:

This company has some very clean templates for Kunena Forum and they have a nice user interface in the backend that allows non-technical users to configure the styling with ease.
I signed up for a subscriptions and found their NOVA template worked well for our new community building forum.

Another solution for templating the JomSocial environment would be to search the add-ons area on the JomSocial web site. Honestly, I have not been overly impressed with some of the template solutions but you should check this out anyways for plenty of cool features you can add to your community. If there is not a complete solution there for what you need we can always custom code this for you.

Something interesting is that the new Tigracon framework offers an interesting option for styling communities. Tigracon supports both Kunena and JomSocial. The thing I like about them is they leverage styles in existing Rocket Theme and Yootheme templates. In addition, if you chose a template that has been styled for both Kunena and JomSocial you can get extra value out of leveraging this framework for delivering compelling designs that are then consistent across your entire community portal platform.

For more information and ideas on community building stay tuned to our blog her on CNP or jump over to to find out about our community building success programs.

Joomla Client Expectations Managed SupportBeing able to efficiently manage expectations for your web development project is one of the first steps to a successful engagement with a web developer. Our last article on this topic focused largely on helping web developers set correct expectations for what is delivered to a client. But managing expectations goes both ways. Here’s some quick tips to get the most out of your web developer, and help you achieve a smooth deployment of your website.

Anyone new to the Joomla community might be very surprised at how often Joomla users get together in real life. Besides the Joomla World Conference, there are Joomla Days all over. Coming up are Joomla Day NC (North Carolina) and Joomla Day Boston, which CNP Integrations is co-sponsoring.  

Why do people who work online get together in person regularly? There are a few good reasons:

1) Better relationships with our colleagues.
Even though web professionals are used to working remotely, relationships with colleagues seem to improve when we can share a meal and get to know each other face to face. When we get home, these friendships often make working relationships easier and help us all create better websites for our clients.

2) Sharing solutions and improving Joomla software.
While we can all read blogs and attend webinars, sometimes the best learning experiences happen when an extension developer explains their newest project or when a web developer discusses experience with integrating a plugin. Partnerships and projects that may not have happened otherwise likely happen because those who use Joomla are in the same room together.

Joomla ltA little over two years ago I wrote these top ten reasons for using Joomla after seeing a similar list for Drupal. I felt we needed our own list for Joomla. Since this list was created there have been many advances with the Joomla 2.5.x release and now the Joomla 3.0.x release that is ramping up to a super charged 3.5 release. There are many new reasons to love using the Joomla platform. In fact they have actually even spun off a unique platform based on the Joomla framework that is an ideal launch pad for building just about any web application you could dream up. So while the following reasons are the top of the list for many, there are so many other great reasons to use Joomla.

  1. Rapid web site development: Joomla is relatively easy for non-technical users. Built in sample content, one click install templates, and clear directions can help you get started. A basic Joomla site can be set up with most web hosts in minutes.
  2. Thousands of extension and integrations: Joomla! offers over 10,000 extensions and is supported by one of the largest global development communities. You can focus on designing a great web site and know there are many useful features that you can add on as needed.
  3. Modular and extensible architecture: Joomla! is open source which allows limitless opportunity to extend features and functionality. Joomla! is build using a MVC framework on top of a LAMP-based architecture, offering developers and designers flexibility that is also cost effective.
  4. Social publishing and community building: Joomla! has capabilities to leverage the latest social media technologies including wiki’s, blogs, articles, forums, social networks, bookmarking, RSS feeds, business listings, document management, CRM, ERP & LMS integrations, and more.