JoomlArt's Blog

Joomla Tutorials, info, Discussions and much more...

Congratulations on choosing to use Joomla for your website Content Management System (CMS). Currently Joomla 2.5 is the current Long Term Support (LTS) version, and Joomla 3.1 is the current Short Term Support (STS) version. After Joomla 3.1, there will be Joomla 3.2, then follow the next Long Term Support version Joomla 3.5 due for release in March 2014.

JA Hawkstore is our first Joomla 2.5 responsive e-commerce template for the year 2013, featuring Virtuemart component. Not just the default Virtuemart, but better with free add-in product slider module and a bonus feature for the shopping cart.

JA Hawkstore runs on our latest T3 Framework, which provide you with the options to control layouts in desktop or responsive layouts.

Here at JoomlArt we are so excited that Joomla 3.1 stable version has been released this morning. We have been following the release dates closely ever since Joomla 3.1 first announcement was out and played with all of the Beta versions including the recent Beta 5. This is an important release due to the many new features including the much anticipated Tags feature. Apart from it, the Joomla 3.1 release also includes few more exciting new features :

Overview

We were probably the first of the Joomla template clubs to introduce Mega Menu feature with our first generation T3 framework way back in 2009. It was an instant hit and we have refined the mega menu workflow since then and in our latest T3 framework V3, we moved to jquery instead of mootools. In the template userguides, we provide screenshots of how we configure the Mega Menu as in the demo site. But what if you are trying to configure Mega Menu without any userguides? That is when this tutorial comes in to play its role.

It does so happen that we choose templates and extensions for our Joomla project and start building the site, adding more extensions as we go and since most of the development happens on the localhost, site loading / performance does not seem to be an issue. Shock sets in, when the site is moved to live server and tested and having invested 100’s of hours, its way difficult to remove extensions or cut down features to improve site performance. This is the story of most of the people asking for professional help to optimize their sites.

Remember, if it’s heavy... it’s going to load slower.

What should one do?

From day one, keep the site optimization as one of the top priorities. Have tools to measure the effect of each and every addition you make on the site’s overall performance before adding them and try to fix an upper limit for site size and HTTP requests. Here are some of the easy-to-use tools to test your website.

The Chaos

We have been developing extensions from the days of Mambo / Joomla 1.0, throughout these years, we do confront numerous issues arising from the way we code and structure them. The race is to have a working extension for the active joomla versions, but these upgrades for Joomla version fixes has also led to many issues :

  1. Most of the extensions have been upgraded from Joomla 1.5 version till today. With all the upgrades they have been through, the extension structure is bit of a mess.
  2. The extensions have been developed independently without any standardization; such as the UI, the common library sharing, leading to the inconsistent of:
    • Setting forms: No standardization and unprofessional look
    • No common library sharing: which request your website to keep loading pretty much the same library over and over again. This contributes "big time" in slowing down website performance. For instance, the jQuery library has been loaded multiple times with different versions for different type of extensions running on the same template.

How Can We Fix That?

We simply standardize and restructure them which do requires lot of work, but all worth it in the end.

The Joomla 3.1 release date is quickly approaching and we are excited to see so many new developments. One feature we are especially excited for is the introduction of tags into the core of Joomla, enabling users to implement tagging across all content. When the update is released we are looking forward to many interesting developments with the tagging. According to Joomla we can look forward to innovative features such as:

Remember the JA Design Contest held 3 years back? Result was JA Community Plus - A beautiful community themed bonus Joomla Template. We are out searching again for fresh designs to add to our portfolio.

Its no secret that, we at JoomlArt always strive for distinction in the designs, to deliver the best to its members and we have no problem in trying fresh ideas and concepts from other designers too so as to provide more varied designs for our members at the same time let it be an open challenge for the inhouse design team to come up with more innovations in their routine deliveries. That's the logic behind our JDesigner Contest - everyone is a winner.