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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

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.

Published in Blog

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!]

Published in Blog
Monday, 12 October 2009 05:00

Featured in Joomla Resource Directory

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!

 

Published in Blog

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}
Published in Blog

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.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 22 January 2009 05:00

Updating your Web site should be THIS easy!

Note: The software demonstrated below can be adapted to power any existing Web site or customized to specification. For more information, contact us.

I just made a bunch of these nifty tutorial videos to show how easy it can be to update your own web site without any programming skills.  To see the rest of them, click here.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 18 September 2008 05:00

Joomla RSGallery2 Community Edition


EDIT: To see a demonstration of the Joomla RSGallery2 Community Edition, click here.


NOTE: One of the great things about Open Source software is that there are... thousands... of other nerds (like me!) around the world who develop new things, and share.  I am excited to finally be able to make a contribution!

This project started when a client asked me to build an online community for artists to (a) pay a subscription / membership fee, (b) post their work in selected galleries, and (c) communicate with eachother.  No problem, I love these types of projects.

WARNING!  If you are not a Joomla Developer, anything below this line may cause injury.

At the time, the 2 best options were either RSGallery2 or Gallery2 (bridged).  Since neither option really had what we were looking for, some customizations were in order.  We have also tested this configuration to work with other components like Fireboard, JEvents, Acajoom, SH404, and more.

WORKFLOW:

  • Visitor selects top-level RSG2 albums (Categories) to see available users
  • Visitor clicks on a user's thumbnail and is taken directly to that user's CB profile
  • On the CB profile page, we now have the RSG2 CB tab with lightbox scripting (This prevents someone from needing to click 4 or 5 times to see a full-size image.  Very slick.)

COMPONENTS:

  • Joomla 1.0.15
  • JACL Plus
  • Community Builder 1.1
  • RSGallery2 1.0.14
  • RSGallery2 Searchbot

CUSTOMIZATIONS:

  • Users only see THEIR albums in the drop-down form (frontend)
  • Links to CB profile from sub-gallery
  • Top-level hidden
  • Lightbox on CB profile; limited to 600px
  • CB profile links to PM software (UddeIM)
  • "Edit Galleries" link hidden on CB tab
  • AEC Micro-Integration ($$$) **CORE**
  • JACL-Friendly
  • CB User Lists
  • Custom "Logged Out" page

Download here:

http://www.covingtoncreations.com/downloads/ (requires registration)

Published in Blog
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