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“Do More with Joomla” is the catch phrase for the new release of Joomla 3.3 and “Connect and Do More” is the mantra for the new Joomla Resources Directory (JRD). These are more than catchy slogans; they are spot on with real world meaning. Both the latest Joomla 3.3 and the new JRD are due out this month and this is a great time to get really excited about what Joomla can do for you. I am not sure about you but I am ready to start drinking the “link juice” of a new Joomla 3.3 in a title wave party of enthusiasm and inspiration.
Do More with Joomla…
With a release of great new SEO, performance and other powerful features on top of the highly secure and innovative 3.x technology platform, Joomla is proving to be the most modern and powerful CMS’s in the marketplace. While Joomla is so easy to use for simple sites that just about anyone can figure it out, having the power to build complex business applications makes it a first rate contender for so much more in the ecosystem of web solutions. On the front end Joomla has attracted some of the best and most creative designers to it’s camp because it is some much easier than other solutions for developing beautiful design templates. On the back end Joomla has also attracted some of the brightest developers and programmers because it uses modern programming and been the most proactive with security. Joomla was the first open source CMS to deploy 2 factor authentication, you know like what you use to access your bank accounts online. In addition to Joomla 3.3 being touted as one of the most secure open source platforms it has been the first to adopt the many other cutting edge technologies that others are racing to catch up to.
In the 80’s as I was coming of age in the music business, the technology revolution in the professional recording industry made its mark by delivering some incredible hardware and software that allowed folks with fewer skills or little money have access to powerful tools for creating and recording music. In addition with networks like Rapster and Myspace on the distribution side it completely changed the face of the music business as it was known.
I see Joomla as part of the web revolution that is and will continue to have the same impact in business and commerce online. The Joomla ecosystem is a catalyst for bringing global communities together and since Joomla is the most supported multi lingual CMS, supporting 64 languages, it can empower globalization opportunities in virtually any industry. The trend to centralize operations online has been happening for a while but for one recent example look at companies like Staples where they are closing down 225 stores and moving this attention to their online services. There are perhaps endless other examples where smaller companies are able to reach markets around the world where before they were restricted to local areas.
Joomla is such a flexible platform for building businesses and connections with communities via the web that it is no wonder there are so many folks building extensions and highly skilled companies are devoted to supporting it. With so many new businesses flocking to the web and many folks with current businesses needing to upgrade their web sites, Joomla is poised to be a dominate force for change this year and in many years to come. Using Joomla will continue to level the playing field for entrepreneurs to “Do More” with less investment. It will allow small businesses to offer more to their customers and provide them tools to increase their competitive advantage. It allows leaders of organizations and businesses to maximize their team’s expertise getting a better return on their online investments and improve their ability to respond faster to market trends or demands of their customers. On top of all of that it is just plain fun to work with and the people that surround the community keep it that way.
Connect and Do More…
While the revolution in the music business taught me that their innovative tools allowed for some very creative things to happen it did not reduce the need to hone your skills and work with professionals to achieve better results. This is why I was drawn to seeing the Joomla Resources Directory (JRD) fulfill its intended role within the Joomla community. The new JRD will be more than an updated list of “Registered Providers”. These “Registered Providers” all agree to a code of excellence and commitment to contribute to making Joomla more successful as a community and technical solution. It is like a set of standards comparative and modeled after that of being a member of the Better Business Bureau. This new model in the short term will help build partnerships and more success stories for Joomla. However in the long term there are tremendous opportunities if these like-minded businesses organize with collaborative outreach in the marketplace.
If your web site is important to the integrity of your business, face it, to do it right this takes a reasonable investment and outsourcing your web development and design is the most cost effective way to get more from your technology investment. Think for a moment of the business case for working with a good provider. For a small business, hiring a tech savvy employee would typically cost you anywhere between $40K - $70K per year or more and they would have perhaps a percentage of the skills to give you a well-rounded web program that would be both attractive in design and technically sound. Working with a team of professionals you not only gain the flexibility of a scalable resource team but will have fewer limitations in time, skill and agility. You can easily leverage more experience and diversity from a creative team vs an individual. You will get all of that with less overhead to manage and magnified results when you chose the right vendor(s).
As a big fan of Joomla and a guy running a company that is dedicated to supporting Joomla, I believe there are three simple principles that folks should consider when using the new JRD to “Connect and Do More… “
One; If you are a business owner use the JRD to find folks that will match your service needs and compliment your business goals. Look for compatible value driven relationships. Forging partnerships with qualified people that know Joomla better than you will allow you to achieve a greater level of success. Most likely you will save time and money as well.
Two; If you are a “Registered Provider” see whom you can partner with on the JRD so you can support your customers better. Working with folks that have skills and experience different than your own will allow you to do more for your clients regardless of whether you bill them directly or refer them to partners. As a company you can only be as good as your customers so the more success you can create for them the more they will create for you.
Three; Once you get involved with the Joomla Community as a user, developer or business evangelist this is a journey of professional development and an opportunity to bride global relationships. This may mean different things to different people. It may be more friends, broader markets or new ideas to fuel your vision on line. It is nearly impossible not to meet interesting people, be inspiration or get new ideas while interacting with folks in the Joomla community.
More business, More Joomla and More friends… Everybody wins
So as the title of the article implies… you can “Get a six pack of Link Juice with Joomla 3.3 and the new JRD”. If you are new to Joomla make sure you ask your friends “Whom can I get to build my Joomla site” and visit the new Joomla Resources Directory http://resources.joomla.org or download the latest version right from the Joomla site www.joomla.org. if you want to get jazzed about Joomla 3.3 features go to the landing page for the new Joomla 3.3 series http://www.joomla.org/3 (will be updated once the new J3.3 version is released).
Joomla 3.3 is soon ready for lift off and we can expect some great new features in this release. When combined with many fantastic features so far in the Joomla 3 series this is proving to be a true example of innovation and forward thinking in the world of content management solutions. On the projected release date of April 22nd 2014, jump over to http://www.joomla.org/3 to get a glimpse of new features and more information. In the meantime check out this teaser video for some highlights.
Joomla! 3.3 is all about “doing more” and this is exactly what you can do with Joomla!
Using Joomla to deliver online content to better your business, community or organization is not only a smart choice but using the Joomla! CMS just keeps getting better. With each release, you can always Do More with Joomla. However, with this release there are several new features that really will let you do more with your Joomla! powered website. In addition to five key features presented in Joomla 3.3, there are also many enhancements made to the user interface and core code of the CMS. Upgrade, demo or start building today and be among the first to take advantage of all the great new features and stability in Joomla 3.3.
New fortified Joomla Security in Joomla 3.3
The Joomla CMS v3 series has been the most secure version in history and with Joomla 3.3 they raised the bar even more by making PHP 5.3.10 the minimum supported version required to use Joomla!. While this is something that mostly just happens under the hood, it provides a number of security benefits, including stronger password encryption, and it prevents problems caused by vulnerabilities that can be triggered through earlier versions of PHP. With Joomla 3.3 you can build with confident that Joomla will always be a smart choice for protecting your web assets. Joomla is one of the most aggressive open source CMS’s when it comes to security and something to take note of is that Joomla is the first leading open source CMS to offer 2 Factor Authentication.
Get your Link Juice with new microdata features that can supercharge your SEO marketing
Joomla! 3.3 includes a new libraries which allows microdata to be used and implemented in Joomla! like never before. This is very exciting and useful for your online marketing needs because it will allow you to identify authors in articles and append micro data information to breadcrumb links. While this is a relatively new technique it is the way the marketplace is turning. Rich Snippets about your content can be generated for items like reviews and ratings, or to identify content as relating to people, events or creative works. This capability will significantly enhance your potential with useful marketing tools and allow you to take advantage of the latest changes by popular search engines.
Cloud Storage APIs can bring big data storage costs down
Joomla 3.3 comes with new APIs that will allow Joomla to access cloud storage services including Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Rackspace and Dropbox. You can now use these data storage services as content distribution networks without the need for third party extensions. This means you can reduce costs on data storage and maximize your investment when using this feature in Joomla. It also means that Joomla is poised better for more enterprise level implementations.
Making the user experience easier and giving more power on the front end
Managing content on your Joomla site just got easier. In Joomla 3.3 users can be granted access to manage specific content based on user permissions right from the front end of your Joomla site. You will have capabilities to configure options that were before only available from the back end administrative area. This new feature gives much more flexibility and control to site administrators while simplifying content management options for your subject matter experts. This means you have more control of your content while making it simple and easy for content contributors to accomplish more.
Code conflicts, “Don’t you hate it when that happens?”
When building complex sites with a lot of features and it is like putting a bunch of kids in a sandbox. They do not always play nice together. Joomla 3.3 hopes to help solve this. The CMS core in Joomla 3.3 will now use JQuery only. What does this mean? Well in the past there have been two libraries shipped as a way to leverage many of the groovy features in Joomla. When combined with templates and extensions interchanging between various libraries left the door open for surprises. Code instances that were using Mootools have now been converted to use JQuery. Since Joomla now comes with it’s own JQuery library this increases site performance and reduces conflicts from when individual extensions called multiple copies of the same library or clashed with Mootools. This means you can deploy sites with fewer technical issues, greater stability and reduce the time or cost troubleshooting.
Yes it is time to upgrade… Connect and Do More…. We are here to help
Remember that since the update manager was introduced in Joomla 2.5 upgrading your Joomla site is so much easier. Upgrading from Joomla 3.x.x to 3.3 is a one-click upgrade and is NOT a migration. The same is true is for any subsequent versions in the Joomla 3 series.
Of course if you have a Joomla 2.5 site or older you will want to consult documentation or forums and carefully review the requirements for a successful upgrade. There are also plenty of “Registered Providers” on the new Joomla Resource Directory http://resources.joomla.org willing to assist you.
Oh and helping folks be successful with Joomla… well that is what we are all about here at CNP too. I do not mind hearing our phone ring. :-)
We can confidently say that “GEO Radius Search is the most comprehensive GEO mapping and navigation solution for Joomla CMS.” Come experience the unmatched power of the ZOO cck framework, linking to the rich features of Google maps and our unique Radius Search and results display engine. You can now deliver flexible and expandable GEO enabled web applications with the Joomla CMS that is only limited by your imagination.
This release has been a major achievement for us with a complete redesign of the code, bug fixes, performance enhancements and more.
The GEO Radius Search Extension was chosen as a key navigation tool for the new Joomla Resource Directory because it offered the ideal navigation process for what was lacking in the former system. Users can now quickly connect to categorized providers both on the map view or in organized search results.
How can we help you achieve greater success?
We are committed to helping you be successful with your Joomla implementation and use of our GEO Radius Search extensions. With most of the compatibility issues behind us we can develop version 3 without distraction and you should also find us more responsive to tickets in our support system.
Remember, extension specific support with your active subscription is free but if you have more complex or incompatibility issues or general problems with your Joomla site, need to upgrade or require custom solutions our team is also available to provide hourly project and technical support.
Thanks to our worldwide user base we have collected diverse use cases to make this release of 2.5.5 the most stable and feature rich release yet. In addition to several new user driven features and a lot of tweaks and bug fixes, we have upgraded our migration script for legacy users to help them upgrade and migrate to the latest versions of Joomla.
Everyone should plan to upgrade to the Joomla CMS v3 series.
GEO Radius Search works best with the latest versions of Joomla, ZOO and the ZL Framework. When you are upgrading to the latest Joomla 3.x it is important that you also upgrade your installation of ZOO and if you are using the ZL Framework and ZOOlanders extensions you also need to make sure all of these are updated to the latest versions. One of our new features is a version verification to help make this process easy for you.
Note for upgrading ZOO: We have found that to avoid problems with repopulating field elements in ZOO do not update sample data. Some folks have lost configuration settings and this adds more work that can be avoided.
New Features in GEO Radius Search 2.5.5:
Core code was optimized significantly for performance, scalability and future enhancements
Installation files reduce in size for faster download and installs
Updated auto fill libraries for improved accuracy
Added measurement type front end selector (Miles or Kilometers) for international applications
Version checker for ZOO to verify and test for version compatibility
Enable disable that front end measurement selector on individual models
New css for results grid and items display
Improved mobile support – better display on more mobile devices
Improved support for ZL Framework (Zoolanders)
Improved migration script for ZooRadius to GEO Radius
Improved Cache management
Added Google Maps api4 support
Increased default number of lines in scrolling lists (will be parameter setting in the future)
New Pop-ups for Print and email options
Updated Cluster Libraries for info box lables
Fixed amount of columns and items per page selectors
Fixed bug related to bad formatting inside results popup when using Zoolanders
Fixed an error message that sometimes showed on that results popup
Fixed map display tab options
Fixed issue with duplicate address listings not displaying markers – created marker offset
Fixed map subscribe from filter issue for module linking
Fixed Auto fill feature
Fixed Map Display Image feature for overlays
Resolved drag and drop conflict in results templates (Requires latest version of ZL Framework)
Fixed maker not auto closing in map when repositioning
Removed next / prev buttons from results page when there are no results
Feature Roadmap for future Releases:
Improved user interface options and style manager –
parameters for resizing map
Icon Libraries – some internal and links to collections
Improved documentation and help text in the UI.
Admin options for advanced category level management
Parameters for selecting the number of allowed sub categories
Options for how sub categories are handled beyond set max level
Support for JomSocial events and profiles
Remember if you have an idea for a new feature we welcome your suggestions and will do our best to accommodate these as supported features in a future release or we can build custom solutions for you.
Joomla has taken a few lumps over the last couple years and briefly lost a little of it’s dominance in the marketplace of open source CMS systems. However, even though its growth slowed a bit there has been steady growth in market share and many new web sites coming to market using the Joomla CMS. In fact Joomla just reached 50 million downloads with the highest numbers proportionately for the latest release of the J3.x series. Joomla has never lost its position as the second most popular but rivals (I say that lightly) like WordPress, have seen a more significant boost in growth over the past two years. As to why, I think there are a lot of factors contributing but take note that Joomla is gearing up to seriously gain some forward momentum. Like any organization that has gone through growing pains the true survivors actually find a way to come out stronger in the end.
New leaders and getting better organized
The cool thing I am noticing with Joomla right now is that there is a vibrant and energized spirit among the community and new leaders have come in to carry the torch as others shift within the community to support other initiatives. This is opening the door for some new ideas and many opportunities for the community to reorganize. Joomla is well poised right now to attract more participation from a greater number of talented folks. There is a whole business minded side of the community that is emerging and this is inspiring the same level of synergy that has gone into building smart code and features to not only the “Joomla CMS” but the “Joomla framework” as well. The Joomla Framework is a powerful tool suite for rapid application development which has tremendous potential for the future of the Joomla brand. I think new leadership in Joomla is fully aware that they need to do more than build great software. They need to reconnect to the emotion and passion that has always inspired innovation to do great things and they need to do this across a diverse organization, inclusive of smart business savvy and against the backdrop of a strategic marketing plan.
Hanging on against great adversaries with tons of money
It is impressive to me that Joomla has been up against some serious contenders with deep pockets , yet has managed to maintain a strong hold and continued growth in the marketplace. Of the top three, Joomla is the “last one standing” as a community not held up in part by a well-funded commercial organization. Joomla, has recently done a lot to poise itself for meeting the challenges in the marketplace. In addition to building teams around marketing initiatives and defining better overall strategies and organizational structures they are rethinking and redesigning many aspects of their portals and communication processes to streamline efficiency. There is plenty of debate right now about if Joomla should align with either a commercial organization or take on paid staff for key roles. I kind of sit on the fence over these ideas because both sides of the argument seem to make logical sense. In any case Joomla is on the path to find what will work best for them to remain a relevant technology with a rich future.
Building a commercial arm for Joomla
One of the initiatives that I think is going to help boost the Joomla economy and engage a commercial arm of the community is bringing the service providers together. This has huge potential if they can find new ways to collaborate and cooperate on finding and nurturing business opportunities and new partnerships. If businesses are able to have more opportunities to build Joomla sites there will be more users and market share. If end users work with providers they have a greater chance of success. If providers can build partnerships they can do more for their clients and thus be able to help strengthen the capabilities of the Joomla community to “Do More”. Joomla has a thriving ecosystem and an extremely fun and talented bunch of folks to do business with. Joomla will gain serious market momentum if it can build their brand identity globally to mirror their popularity in Europe where folks say “Whom can I get to help me build my Joomla site” vs an Americana type approach were they would say “I need a web site what should I “Whom can I get help me with my web site.”
Introducing the NEW Joomla Resources Directory (JRD) – “Connect and Do More”
I am particularly excited that I have been involved in revamping the Joomla Resources Directory portal for the project http://resources.joomla.org. Along with a team of enthusiastic volunteers we have built an improved web space for end users to connect with “Registered Providers” whom are committed to the Joomla community. This means better service and support and better results overall for everyone.
The previous system while a good effort was lacking. So the new system has taken these lessons learned and added features to make it a better user experience for those searching for Registered Providers and the process for signing up to be a provider is significantly easier. The key element that will stand out other than an interesting GEO map navigation from our own GEO Radius Search extension is the whole “Connect and Do More…” badge concept introduced by our creative Director Fred Sarhadi. This badge concept models that of the Better Business Bureau where every provider is held to a strict standard of conducting business with ethical integrity and a strong commitment to the values of the Joomla Community. This whole repository has potential to grow into or at least encourage a consortium of like-minded businesses to partner on a variety of initiatives. There is room for taking on campaigns that could only be carried out by commercial minded group. If Joomla choses to remain without an official commercial entity or paid staff to back it this grouping of committed providers could be the next best thing. In the mean-time end users have a great resource to “Connect and Do More” with a Registered Joomla Provider. Let’s see what happens.
Blue skys ahead for Joomla 3.x
Joomla 3.3 is just around the corner (April 22nd planned release date) and this all leads up to a Joomla 3.5 long term release. Joomla is just getting better on so many levels. The J3.3 Do More release is perhaps the most stable and secure of all releases in the history of Joomla. It dramatically improves security, offers metadata for dominating SEO potential and has great new tools to further empower developers. Each of the 3.x releases so far has introduced extremely valuable and useful features for every user type. In fact did you know that Joomla was the first major open source CMS to introduce 2 Factor Authentication and Bootstrap libraries into their core. Take a look at some of the highlights: http://www.joomla.org/3. If you combined this great new software with an ever evolving enthusiastic and better organized global community, ”KODOS!” Joomla! you really have something to be proud of!
Rally the troops, get on the bandwagon, line up your ducks, fasten your seat belts and get ready to Rock-n-Roll folks there is a great ride ahead!
Joomla 1.0 was good, Joomla 1.5 was better, Joomla 2.5 was great but Joomla 3.x is FANTASTIC!