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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Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-508-644-1553
Postal Address: 385 Columbia St., Fall River, MA 02721

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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/

mobile-ready-3-350xWhy is Joomla better than Wordpress and Drupal CMS systems?

Quite simply because Joomla is just as easy to use as Wordpress (Especially in the J3.0 release) but it does not limit your scalability for future growth. The Joomla CMS and Platform offers rich features that are equal to and often superior to those in Drupal but because Joomla CMS has such a large Global community of developers and service providers you do not have vender lock in due to the often complex nature and higher cost of managing a Drupal site. Joomla sits right inbetween these other top contenders as the best of both worlds and currently powers over 2.8% of all web sites on the internet.

We have considered many times the idea of supporting Drupal and Wordpress and to some extent we do but we have kept our focus on being the best at Joomla. We do help many folks with their migrations from Drupal to Joomla or Wordpress to Joomla. In fact our team was the first ever to migrate an enterprise level Drupal site to Joomla and in doing so created several tools for making this process more practical and more affordable.

So there are two appealing factors for folks considering Wordpress; one is that typically for starting a simple blog site Wordpress is relatively easy to implement and manage for a non-technical end user and like Joomla can be downloaded for free and if your set aside a week end you can pretty much get a site set up if your hosting provide makes this easy for you. The other approach is where developers that like building custom sites will use the Wordpress framework to build custom sites where they only want the end users to put in content vs taking a more hands on approach. I do have friends in the industry that appreciate some of the simplicity found in Wordpress for building client sites but they typically are building very custom instances that require some type of ongoing support anyway. This is fine but it to me loses the real value to the end client because you are then for the most part working with a custom environment, thus defeating the purpose in many cases of using these empowering technologies.

We have found that the trade-off between a little more learning curve in Joomla vs Wordpress, which is easily overcome with a little training, offers our clients a much better long term solution. It ends up being less cost to maintain, you can do so much more with your online tools and the benefits of working with a service provider to compliment your skills and expertise through the process of building any web site can bolster your potential for success.

tag-3.1Ok so now lets’s think through Drupal…