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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CNP Blog

communitybuildingWhat is an online community? Why Build it?
When we discuss community building, we need to first define what a community is and ask ourselves why we want to build one. A community is perceived differently as well as used differently depending on whom you talk to.

I wanted to make a couple simple points for consideration if you are thinking of building an online community with Joomla, JomSocial or Community Builder and some of the many other Joomla Extensions.

A real community stands on its own and is not tied to a web portal.
Every web site is in essence a vehicle for communicating and connecting with a real world community. For example, I lived in St. Paul MN for most of my adult life and moved to the east coast in 2000. I was active in many communities back in Minnesota since I was an active musician and businessman. When I updated my Facebook profile after 10 years of being away, I was almost instantly reconnected to my communities of friends over a weekend of “friending” folks. The community was already there and I just used the web tools to connect with it.

How can a web portal benefit your targeted community?
I will take the story about Facebook above a step further. My wife is from Brazil so we have a lot of family and friends there. I have also met so many wonderful folks from around the world with my involvement in the Joomla community. What Facebook did for me was provide a place where I could organize and communicate with a variety of my personal and professional relationships. It is clearly a benefit this community provided for me. Make sure you think through the benefit your web portal or community will provide to the folks you want to attract or interact with.

keep-rightOne of the most important things a manager can do in any service-based business is to efficiently manage the client’s expectations.  Often times this is the farthest thing from anyone’s mind when talking to a new prospective client. Even after you’ve already signed a contract, it’s easy to talk of the wonderful things you can build, the amazing website or platform they’ll end up with, and the virtually unlimited potential to make their dream come true.  That’s the fun part!  

The not-so-fun part that’s often overlooked is making sure the client understands clearly what exactly is being delivered, and how much those amazing features will cost him.  Here’s some quick tips for making sure you keep that balance of an excited client, with realistic expectations.


We all try to sell our clients more than they originally ask - or at least something different in some way.  It’s not a malicious scheme to get as much money out of a client.  In my experience, it stems from a genuine desire to make something amazing, to create something that we’re proud to tell people we had a hand in building, and to deliver an end product that will honestly serve the client better than expected.

In this part two post of our CNP site redesign case study on site performance optimization, I will explore specific tips for optimizing and testing your site and give you a list of some tools you can use for performance testing on your Joomla CMS portal. (Missed Part 1? Read it here.)

The myth that images are what will slow your site down is only half true.

Performance and speed are so important. Just like you don't let target keywords diminish the quality of your message, you should have clean, optimized, and consistent images to reinforce your identity as visitors navigate around your site.

In many cases you can benefit by trying several format options for optimizing images. You might use a gif vs a png if you need transparency. In other cases, you can use a jpeg with different quality resolutions to bring images sizes down in size. Test these options to get the images as small as possible without degrading the quality beyond what you are comfortable with.

In the case of our site, we made sure we had the right mix of visually interesting graphics and tested several optimization techniques to maximize quality while reducing image sizes. For example, when you have fewer colors and no gradients sometimes you can use gif images with lower color pallets and the difference is not noticeable but the size is dramatically smaller.

When computers were first invented, the goal was this new technology would save us time. And for the large part, it does. But when there is so much information coming in all directions, it is easy to get overwhelmed and lose productivity. Seems funny that in the age of computers, we could have so many Post-it notes!

Since we are all in the ‘new year’ mode, here are four ways we save at least five minutes every day while working at your computer. They are all free, and most of them work within a web browser which means it doesn’t matter what operating system you are using:

Go through emails quickly.
When spam filters are on high and you’ve unsubscribed from every 30% off newsletter you can, email can still be overwhelming. If you use Google Apps or Gmail, try The Email Game. It forces you to go through your email and makes a game out of it by giving you points for dealing with it at quick speeds. (From a more boring productivity standpoint, it also lets you know how much time you’ve saved yourself.) I knocked my inbox from 1000 unread emails to under 500 in just a couple of days.