template

  • The Apple iPad is the buzzword of the day, and probably will stay on the top of many people's wishlist on the top - or near to the top. The iPhone's big brother arrived in early 2010, and Apple has sold a huge number of devices already. The iPad is a success, and as a mobile device for consuming information it's really great.

    So how does this relate to your reality as a Joomla developer? In short: You need to make sure that your Joomla website works on the iPad. And not just that it works. It should be a delight surfing your website on the iPad. On a previous tip I touched already the subject, here are more tips on how you can build an iPad-friendly Joomla site.

  • When you developing a template for a new site you often get stacked, and hit your head against the wall: the code outputted by Joomla sometime severely limits your ability to format the output as you wish. This is true not only for Joomla 1.0.*, but partially for the Joomla 1.5.*. Yes, partially, because you can do things here - and you can do a lot. Searching for a solution for a problem I had run into developing a template for one of my clients I found this great tip of Jonathan on his blog on http://www.beckettwebdesign.com:

  • 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.

  • Components, as you already know, are fairly complex and have the ability to display different information in different ways.

  • Joomla is a truly international application and supports the translation of all strings contained within it. Templates are no exception on this. They are a bit neglected, but a little extra time spent here will ensure that the strings used in your templates are translatable will pay back - and will give you an edge over your competitors.

  • 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.

  • 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 are typically displayed on the left and right sides of the page... in module positions everywhere .Evil 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.

  • In a previous article about useful  PHP code snippets to conditionally add things to your template I allready listed couple of tricks, let's add a couple more to them!

  • 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:

    http ://yourdomain.com/index.php?tp=1

    BTW: The "tp" stands for template position and the trick is one of core Joomla tricks.

  • Before the Joomla 1.5, pagination override was a nearly impossible task. The control the display of items-per-page and the pagination links used with lists of information has become much easier.

  • The Joomla ItemID-related management of modules is a powerful tool, but sometimes you need to show/hide parts of your site on two special cases not covered by this tool: when you need to show/hide things regardless of the active ItemID - for example on all detail listings page of a given component, or when you need to deal with a component which have poor support of ItemIDs - as VirtueMart, which is notoriously misbehaving in this regard.

  • 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?

  • SoBi Pro is great... but misses some basic features, as adding a prefix to a field (might be as simple as willing to add the "dollar" signe as prefix, and not as suffix), and the templating is powerful - but criptyc even for an average Joomla developer. Recently I had to build a site wich had a special need - to display the last 4 digits of a person's Social Security Number, in the format ***-***-1234.

  • A tooltips is a piece of text that pops up when you hover the mouse over a region on a website. If you use the Joomla! back end, for example, tooltips are used to help explain the action of different parameters. The tooltips can add functionality and fun to your site, but just inserting them without styling them accordingly can have an unusable or "just" boring result. And you want to avoid both, I guess...

  • Many people think of a template as their website, but that is an incorrect way of seeing templates. Templates are used for providing a layout and design within which all of the pieces of your Joomla site come together.

  • Did you already seen that since the advent of Joomla 1.6 the blog view has been changed? Let me refresh your memory! In Joomla 1.0 and 1.5 the Leading Articles - the articles on the top of Blog view - where shown on full by default, and for the rest of articles only the Article Intro part was shown. With Joomla 1.6 this has been changed, for all articles in a Blog view is shown only the introtext. You didn't even noticed that, right? Me either, until one of my clients has specifically requested the feature.

  • In an earlier tip (Help! My editor background is colored!) showed the most foolproof way to fix the common problem, when the template CSS settings are causing the WYSIWYG editors to have colored background, making edits hard to perform. Apparently there are couple of situations when the tip does not help - and there are many of you using still the default TinyMCE editor (and not switched already to the best Joomla content editor - JCE).

  • The Page Class Suffix is a parameter in Joomla! content Menu Items. It is set in the Menu Item: [Edit] screen under the "Parameters (Advanced)" section. This will cause Joomla! to either add a new CSS class or modify the existing CSS class for elements in this specific Menu Item layout.