×

Warning

JFolder: :files: Path is not a folder. Path: /home/coving16/public_html/images/blog/aug2009

×

Notice

There was a problem rendering your image gallery. Please make sure that the folder you are using in the Simple Image Gallery Pro plugin tags exists and contains valid image files. The plugin could not locate the folder: images/blog/aug2009

Blog

This is a follow-up to a previous post which demonstrates how to connect RSForm Pro to PayPal using a custom amount field.  This takes it one step further, and connects the custom amount field to a recurring payment plan (e.g. monthly subscription).

Problem: PHP warning messages when visiting the 404 error page in sh404sef

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /components/com_content/helpers/route.php on line 106
Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /components/com_content/helpers/route.php on line 106
Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /components/com_content/helpers/route.php on line 106

Bad karma : we can't find that page !

You asked for http://www.yoursite.com/page_name/, but despite our computers looking very hard, we could not find it. What happened ?

Background: While researching some Joomla extensions for a client project, I decided to create a comparison table to help the client decide which Joomla extensions to use for a particular application.  In this case, we needed to build some sort of a download manager.  After narrowing the choices down to 2, K2: a CCK (Content Construction Kit) and DocMan: an actual Download Manager.

While Docman is built primarily for downloads and file management, a CCK presented a viable option as it offers better control over the style and presentation of the content.

One of the great uses that K2 (Joomla Component) claims that their system can do is act as a download manager.  However, it does not have the ability to restrict downloads to only logged-in users.  I needed a system where we could display the K2 item, with a preview and description, but not actually let them download the attachments.  This was not achievable using just the included K2 parameters / settings, so I made this hack:

If you've never heard of CiviCRM, head to civicrm.org to learn more about what their software can do, particularly for nonprofits.  It looks like CiviCRM can easily be integrated with Joomla and Drupal, which is great for most of my clients.

In passing, I frequently discuss business ventures and startups with clients and prospects. I'm a fan of entrepreneurship in general, and I've been thinking of writing this post for a while now.  My intention is to share my methods and provide suggestions to those who are looking to start their own business.

I've made a list of 7 things that every business should have: Logo Design, Business Cards, Fictitious Name / Registration, Incorporation, Business Checking, Accounting Software, and Business Liability Insurance.

Read on...

Need to update your HOSTS file to point a domain to a different IP address?  Below are instructions for both PC (Windows 7) and Mac (OS X Snow Leopard) platforms.

I've built many custom Joomla templates for clients over the years, both from existing sites (e.g. not yet a Joomla site) as well as from PSD's or other artwork files.  I decided to put this download together as a contribution to the open-source community, hopefully someone else will be able to make use of it.

Hello again, Nate here. It's been over 6 months since I sent out my last newsletter, so I am sending this message to all of my contacts. If you don't want to receive my announcements any more, use the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this message.

From the Desk of Nathan Covington:

We are now serving over 100 clients worldwide!
We work directly with businesses or as a subcontractor for ad agencies, marketing consultants, etc...

For those who have Web sites or email hosted on our server:
We have created a handy reference page with handy links and settings for configuring email - www.c2oxide.com

I've put this video together to showcase some of the newest and greatest features of K2, a popular extension for Joomla CMS.  If you already have a Joomla site, watch this video to see how easy the K2 framework can make it for you to work with images, galleries, videos, custom fields, and attachments.

If you don't already have a Joomla site, you're really missing out! :-)

I recently built a "Make a Payment" form for my clients using the RSForm Joomla extension and a little custom scripting.  You can preview this form and see it in action here.

[R.I.P. Chase Covington 8/31/2009 - 4/21/2018]

We're on the move!  Please welcome Chase as the newest member of the C2 team.  Chase's primary responsibilities include security & patrolling, landscaping, and customer service.

Chase is a rescue we adopted from PetFinder:

  • German Shepherd
  • Norwegian Elkhound

I've used both JoomlaPack (AkeebaBackup it's now called) and Xcloner.  JoomlaPack (Akeeba) is free, so you can't knock the price.  It also has the ability to include an installer for loading the site onto the destination server, nice.  I've used it many times.

However, my preference is Xcloner.  It's a little more "programmer oriented," so its interface is s a little simpler and quicker, in my opinion.  (Maybe that's just because I started with Xcloner.)  Also, instead of a clunky installer package, Xcloner gives you a "restore" feature consisting of 2 files:

xcloner.php
tar.php

To restore, just include your Xcloner backup file alongside these "restore" files in your public directory, and point the browser to the "xcloner.php" file.  It will ask you for database / ftp information, unzip the file, import the database, and adjust configuration.php accordingly.  It also gives you the ability to extract the files directly (via PHP), or via FTP, depending on your server's particulars.

This is a base install of the infamous Joomla K2 component (http://www.getk2.org) with a few customizations already set up.  I found myself repeating the same hacks, so I figured others might be facing similar issues:

  • Enabled K2 comment auto-notification (patched for v2.2) - I'm not sure why this wasn't included with K2 from the start...
  • Patched for sh404sef: multi-word tags work; download links fixed an intermittent SQL error

Installation: Install this component via the standard Joomla Extension Installer.
Upgrading: This will override your existing K2 templates and settings.  Be careful.

Enjoy!  Comments / questions / requests welcome.

[Edit: Updated for K2 v2.3 - new download added!]

We've been hosting clients' web sites and email on our server for the last few years - and one of the most common areas of confusion, questions, and support has been with the configuration and usage of the email system.  Since the email system frequently yields responses such as "I didn't know it could do that," I figured that I would put together this video tutorial that addresses uses, tips for setting up an email client (Outlook), and common issues.

Video Contents:

  • Configuring using Outlook 2007 (or any other Email client such as Outlook Express, Eudora, Thunderbird, etc…)
  • Adjusting outgoing server settings for blocked port numbers (e.g. Comcast or Verizon blocks access to the outgoing server and you need to use a different port and/or outgoing server
  • Using multiple devices to connect (e.g. your PC and smartphone)
  • Accessing email via webmail, changing your password, forwarders, and auto-responders


Register for an account here:
http://www.covingtoncreations.com/create-an-account.php

Sign in here:
http://www.covingtoncreations.com/log-yourself-in.php

View the tutorial here:
http://www.covingtoncreations.com/tutorials/video-tutorial-email-configuration-and-usage.php

Covington Creations, LLC has been recognized by Joomla(R) as a consultant. As such, we are also listed in the "JRD" (Joomla Resource Directory). To see our listing:

http://resources.joomla.org/directory/other-services/consulting/covington-creations-llc.html

Covington Creations, LLC is a professional web design, development, hosting, and management service.  Contact us with information about your next web project today!

 

media-wikiIf you've familiar with WikiPedia, you know that the basic premise is that anyone can make changes to the site's content.  There are obviously limitations - you cannot advertise yourself, you cannot defame anyone or anything, and they even "lock down" certain articles... for example, during the holiday season, they've been known to lock people out of making changes to the PlayStation articles.  Makes sense.

Just got done applying a new "skin" to this site... after building dozens of custom Joomla templates for client projects, I decided it was time to treat my own site to that same custom treatment! Below is a before & after mock-up - what do you think? Thanks for visiting!!

{gallery}blog/aug2009{/gallery}

When it comes to building your company's web site, there are two basic ways to build it.  The first method is to use a program like Dreamweaver to build the template, menu, and pages using HTML.  Each page becomes a separate HTML file, and all of the HTML files are interconnected.  For basic sites, this method is fine.

If you want to have more control over your site, you will want to use a Content Management System (CMS).  Compared to the first method, where each page becomes a separate HTML file, a CMS-powered site will store each page into a database.  This way, all of your content is stored in rows and columns, which makes it much easier to manage.  For example, you could display the latest 5 articles on your home page.  If your site is built using a database, you can tell the home page to look inside the database for the most recent 5 articles, instead of creating all of the links by hand in HTML.  A real time saver!

There are two basic types of CMS software.  One is a commercial license, where a software company charges a setup fee, plus maintenance, for using their software.  This Enterprise-level software typically costs a few thousand dollars for the setup fee, and a couple hundred a month for maintenance.  Examples of commercially licensed CMS software include Ektron and Red Dot.

The other type of CMS software is Open Source.  Open Source software is free to use, and free to customize.  It is supported by an online community of developers - thousands of nerds from all over the world (like me) develop, support, maintain, and upgrade the software so that they can use it for their own purposes.  Frequently, a client who needs an open-source plugin will fund the initial project, and makes the resulting software freely available.  Some developers also build commercial plugins which can be purchased, typically for less than $100.  Examples of such Open Source CMS packages include Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and OSCommerce.

Also, a CMS-powered site will be easier to enhance, upgrade, or re-skin in the future.  Many CMS packages will have basic functions like search, rss feeds, and image uploading capabilities built-in.  Also, a strong CMS platform (my personal favorite is Joomla) will have a plugin system which will allow you to add features to your site such as eCommerce, photo galleries, client extranets, online communities, discussion forums, and more.

It appears that Google Maps / Google Local Business Center has updated their listings service to include reporting and other data - neat! (see below) If your business is not listed in Google's local business center, you can add your listing here.


Dear Nate,

We are writing to let you know about an important update to your Google Local Business Center account (log in at www.google.com/lbc).

Your account now has a new interface designed to show you more about how customers interact with your verified business listing. A new reporting dashboard shows statistics about your business listing, like how many users saw your business as a local search result, zip codes where driving directions requests come from, and the top search queries for which your business appeared. Here is a sample of your data:

Business: Covington Creations, LLC
Impressions in the last 30 days: 282

This information and more can also be found here: www.google.com/lbc.

Sincerely,

The Google Maps Team
Google Inc

 

Tip: You can now hire us to manage your Google Local Business listing data, along with other social media and website optimization requirements.