Add caching to your modules
In several previous tips(like Turn caching on!, Caching reloaded, Give a boost to your Joomla site and couple of others) I urged you to turn caching on wherever is appropriate. Recently one of my readers had criticized me, because he tried to follow the tip, but on several modules he used simply he didn't found the option to turn cache on (or off) in module settings.
Indeed, this might be a problem, since some modules does not have this option! this little detail don't need to stop you to do so!
Choose your extensions carefully
Choose your extensions wisely - one basic rule when you develop a Joomla site. And same applies to you, weekend webmasters! Your site is a sitting duck, waiting for hackers (especially script kiddies. Well, easy to say it, but what can be seen as "wise" choice here?
Finding module positions on a Joomla 1.7 page
In the Joomla 1.5 world things where relatively simple: you just added "&tp=1" to the live site homepage's URL, and the available module positions where shown, with a red border and the module position's name in the top left - unless the template's author didn't applied some tricks from preventing you doing that. But what about Joomla 1.7? Anyone tried to do the trick even on a default install can see, that the trick apparently does not works here. Why?
How to override the output from the Joomla core
There may be occasions where you would like to change the way a Joomla! Extension (such as a Component or Module, whether from the Joomla! core or produced by a third party) is displayed on your site. Of course, you could recode the Extension from scratch, but that may be a bit ambitious for you! Thankfully, there is another way.
How to turn on the "?tp=1" trick in Joomla 1.7+?
In a previous tip I enumerated couple of methods on how you can make visible the template positions in Joomla 1.7+.
But there seems to be at least two different problems for some users.
How you can hide the Home menu item?
Why you should want to do that? Dunno, but it's an evergreen question asked time-to-time from the first day I started to work with Mambo..., so let's take it methodically, to see how one can solve this problem!
Insert a plugin (or a module) anywhere
You might need to use a plugin's output in a component, or to insert a module in a page outputted by an arbitrary component. I mean ANY plugin which has it's own output in ANY Joomla component you like.
I know, there are couple of ready-made solutions, but all of these are specific to a given component(s) and some components have their own plugins to do that.
iPad and iPhone - how to design a Joomla site for them
What you must be aware of, when designing a Joomla page that should work on iPad and iPhone too? It is enough to have a proper template and the proper tools to display the respective versions when your Joomla site is displayed on these devices?
One of frustrating questions for novice Joomlers is the question: What is the difference between a Joomla Component, a Module and a Plugin? This issue can seem rather confusing, but it is really worth understanding this, because this is a key issue in understanding, how Joomla works, and each of them have their specific role and way to set up and operate.
K2 items list sortable freely by custom fields
Recently a customer of mine asked for a page with a list of K2 items, sortable by the custom fields and item titles. And I accepted the challenge. a first search on the "k2 list sort by extra fields" term returned a whopping number of 1,120,000+ results... and most of them where how to hack the core component to obtain a list sorted by a given extra field - which was not what I wanted. But, reading these pages an ideea sparkled - and in less, than a hour I had in place a solution wich was clean, no core code was hacked, and the table of results is freely sortable.
Load module position in component layout template
What if you need to load a module inside a Joomla component?
Simple, not? Theory says, that you need to add this code to the template override of desired output, and you're done!
<jdoc:include type="module" name="mymoduleposition" />
Well, not allways..
Module Chrome - an evolving concept
Styling the output of the Joomla was - and is - one of greatest challenges. One of tools making this easier for template developers is the "module chrome" concept/toolset introduced with Joomla 1.0 and constantly evolving ever since.
Module Layout Overrides
The best way to create individual look of your Joomla website, since Joomla 1.5 is to create module overrides. These are special files, placed in your template's directory, used to override the output of your existing modules.
Modules In Content
Modules are typically displayed on the left and right sides of the page... in module positions everywhere . It's not uncommon to also find modules on the top or bottom of a page. The display location for a module is controlled by the site administrator through the Joomla administrator panel, and it's limited by the template's internal structure. Generally you can insert modules only in the pre-defined module positions. The module management screen provides several options as possible locations for a published module. But Joomla does not provide an easy way if you want to display these modules in the main content area of the site.
Moving the location of Admin login - reloaded
In a previous tip where I described how you can made a Joomla site more secure by relocating the admin login page I presumed that anyone reading it is a code guru. But what if not? More and more webmasters today are casual Joomla users - and they deserve attention too!
To find your way around the website, you will need navigation with corresponding links. In Joomla! we call this a menu. You may create as many menus as desired and nest them into as many different ways as you wish. Each menu is a module which can be positioned on a provided area in the template.
Important note: Joomla! is a genuinely menu driven system, the most important behaviors: as what module when to be shown, what template to be used on a certain page, etc all can be controlled using by associating behaviors to menu items. So, plan carefully your menu - it is the core of your site's end user experience!
YOnce the basic setup is done, yo need to tweak your Joomla installation to behave as you need. you will need individual configuration settings for your website elements (components, plugins, modules, content pages, templates): in the Joomla lingo we call them options. These options are applied to the whole website, for users, categories, modules, components. Since Joomla 1.6 this has became standard: you will always find an icon named Options in the backend pages, which are providing you the interface to set your preferences for the given component.
For example in the Joomla 1.6+ in the template manager you have in the Options a way to switch on or off the support for the well known trick to append "?tp=1", which reveals you the available module positions for your templates.
Now you can block attempts to visualize by others these module positions by visiting the address:
BTW: The "tp" stands for template position and the trick is one of core Joomla tricks.
Redirect users after a successful login
If you use the core login module, redirecting the user to a given page (more precisely, to a menu item) is a breeze. But what if you want to do a trickier thing? For example what if you have a custom component/plugin which has a view with restricted parts, available only for logged in users, and you want the user to remain on the same page after the login (for example from a login box shown in a modal box)?
Tricky, eh? Took me some hours of trial and error, digging around forums and such, but here is the Joomla coding trick which will offer you a simple solution:
Smart contact module
How to build a smart Contact Us module?
Smart in what way, you can ask... Simple: to let you know, in which page of the site the user filled it and send it to you! Why? you never get a criptyc message from your clients you wasn't able to find out what they are referring to?
SoBiPro - problems with ItemID in Alphabar
You might experienced this, the links in the Alphabar are sometimes misbehaving, the module assignments in the resulted pages are gone off, if you have some fancy module to menu associations set in your SoBiPro powered site. Obviously, this is an ItemID handling problem, and, unfortunately can be fixed only with a core hack.
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