As a Brit living in the U.S. I really know what George Bernard Shaw was talking about when he said we are “two countries divided by a common language”. Some of the things Americans say really don’t make much sense and I’m sure lots of Yanks think the same about us.
Thankfully our Extension of the Month for April is here to solve all those problems.
Our Extension of the Month for 2008 is a very worthy winner, because it overcomes several important limitations in Joomla’s core. Joomla’s default search component has several issues:
- You can’t enter a query of more than 20 characters
- You can’t search only in one part of the site (for example content, forum, comments)
- Its hard to customize so that results appear in the order you desire
The new "Advanced Search" from anything-digital.net solves all those issues.
The first Extension of the Month for 2008 comes with a very strong recommendation … after all, over the last few months it has become a cornerstone here at Alledia.com.
Account Expiration Component (AEC) from globalnerd.org allows you to offer paid site memberships.
Today is the return of our "Joomla Extension of the Month" award! It ran for nearly a year but took a break during the summer when I wasn’t really getting excited about any of the new components being released.
Fortunately that has changed in recent weeks and there have been several great new Joomla extensions. First up for the revived award is Mass Content from Webtotalservice.no.
This month’s award goes to one of the best Joomla extensions and one that is almost certainly the most under-appreciated.
JACLPlus is a hack that allows you to create an unlimited number of new user groups and give them fine-grained access to different content areas on your Joomla site. It works with a few extra components such as Docman and Repository, but by-and-large it is a solution for improving user access to the core of Joomla. Instead of simply restricting people according to "public" or "registered", you can now create user levels of a complexity that rivals
Why is JACLPlus not currently given the credit it deserves?
- Installation. Over the years it seems to have acquired a reputation for being a somewhat difficult hack to apply and to an extent that used to be true. However, Byostech.com are charging ahead with development and installation on most sites is a breeze (be warned – as with anything, test this on a demo site before going live).
Marketing. Its admittedly poor. They don’t have a logo or any slick 3D box images. Oh, and guys, you make a great product but the colors on your website make my eyes scream for mercy. Please soften the palette a little.
Our experience is that neither of these things is a genuine issue. JACL Plus is also a really stable product. We’ve clients using JACL Plus to manage 1000s of users generating over 10,000 hits per day. Its a great product and a worth Extension of the Month for July.
Joomla had a problem. It used to be a Content Management System with very rigid content management. Section >> Content >> Article. That was it. No flexibility. No way to change that default heirarchy.? And then, all of a sudden, almost without anyone noticing, the problem was solved.
This month’s Extension of the Month has caused more excitement about a component release than almost anything else I can remember in the short history of Joomla.
Fireboard has caused people to sit up and pay attention because it is the sucessor to Joomlaboard which had been the only fully-integrated forum for Joomla.
As popular as Joomla is, its surprising how many gaps remain to be filled when it comes to having an extension to cover the needs of most normal websites.
We’re still searching for a decent jobboard, advertisment management and customer support component among other things. Until recently, we also lacked a good portfolio component. A quick browse around the Joomla world show that most designers have just been putting their site showcases inside of content items.
Working with Joomla SEO on a daily basis, I’ve been through every SEO tool available. There’s only one that has proved to be indispensible – the Joomla Search Engine Optimisation Patch from Joomlatwork.com.
What does it allow you to do?
- Have complete control over page metatitles
- Control whether Google takes a snippet from your page for the results page
- Easily add "follow" or "nofollow" links to individual pages
- Add custom meta fields
- Disable the Joomla meta generator tag
All of these are key factors in giving your site a ranking boost. JPromoter from JoomlaEquipment.com does similar things. The disadvantage there is that you need to run a scan every time you add new content, although it has a major benefit in that unlike Joomlatwork, you don’t need to modify core files.
The basic version is free and the expanded verion a mere 8 Euros. Great work Joomlatwork!
Our first choice for extension of the month in 2007 is the Run-Digital RSS Feed Manager.
We love to pick extensions that are free, user-friendly and that we use ourselves on key sites. The RD RSS Feed Manager fits all those criteria. It is free to download from their site, simple to use and we utilize it to create multiple RSS Feeds on Alledia.com and for important clients.
After installation, you need only click "New", choose which areas of your site you wish to include in a particular RSS Feed, and click "Save". You’re done. You’ll have an RSS link that will look something like this:
If you want to make the URL more manageable you can register with a site such as Feedburner.com and they will allow you to produce a feed that looks like: http://feeds.feedburner.com/alledia
Works great. Works easy. Works for free! Congratulations to Run-Digital!