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Please note: This site is no longer maintained as is only here as a source of history. 


We've gone mad. Everything is FREE!

Read more...Until further notice, this site is now free for anyone to use.

For my existing loyal subscribers the reason I've done this is due partly because of lack of time to continue to update this site.

Life has been kind and work is very busy.  I will continue to endevour to release new videos over the coming months.

Thank you for all your support and kind words.


Blog beautiful with Joomla


Many times I heard people tell me that if you really want to make a good blog, then don't use Joomla.

This is nonsense.  I've helped clients make many highly functional and effective blogs in that past, using "mostly" Joomla core.  I don't think it's required to use some type of 3rd party blogging tool, rather standard Joomla core and a few extra plugins thrown in are all you need to create a highly effective blog.



Read more: Blog beautiful with Joomla


Joomla 1.6 - Migrate or Rebuild?

Read more...I must admit that I'm a touch nervous about the coming months.  Joomla 1.6 is about to be released and along with it will come the problems that we all faced when 1.5 was first released.

Back then I didn't change over to 1.5 straight away for numerous reasons. Not least of which that I wasn't convinced that the new platform provided much advantages and until the component producers started upgrading their own extensions, well I wouldn't be able to anyway.

So here we go again!  For the vast majority of people building bog standard sites that have content they can edit themselves (the bulk of sites world wide) there won't be much benefit.  Also for those of us with existing sites, the thought of migrating will be huge.

In fact some of my own personal sites were only migrated to 1.5 less than 12 months ago. This is mainly due to well... quite simply "couldn't be bothered".

For me there is some simple questions about if I'm to "upgrade" or not (more on the upgrade word later).  These are:

Is the site performing well right now?

Is there functional benefits to upgrading?

How many 3rd party extensions does my site use?

Will the 3rd party extensions be 1.6 compatible?

If the site is performing well... then really there isn't much benefit.  Many of my larger sites are happily going along and will do for some time.  There will be no reason for me to upgrade them... and in fact let's talk about that word.

To my way of thinking the word upgrade of migrate won't even be used when talking about moving from 1.5 to 1.6.  The only "migration" will be existing content, layout and maybe menu structure.  The rest (being the underlying code) will simply be a complete rebuild.

Therefore to me the only migration path will be can I manually (or via a script) import existing content items... to which the answer is a resounding YES.  Menu items I'm not yet sure and as for the template... well I'm sure it will be quite straight forward.

The question of 3rd party extensions is the hardest... if you site has extensive use of these, then I'm sorry to tell you that there probably won't be much of an upgrade/migration path.  With the exception of some of the larger players (JomSocial, Anything Digital etc), then I can't see many of the smaller players investing the time to create a migration script.  Which will mean that as happened with 1.5, we will probably have to wait for the market to catch up to 1.6

So with all the above, here's what I will be doing.  I deliberately haven't even looked at 1.6 till now because I know it's a waste of time for me.  Joomla l.5 does for me most of what I need.  As for the odd occasion where I need further ACL control I have used either K2 and or Andrew Eddie's excellent Content Manager for Joomla and both have taken up the shortfall in Joomla 1.5. In fact since starting to use Content Manager for Joomla, I really can't see any reason to move to J1.6 for sometime... but I'm happy to be wrong.

With all of this, I thought I would go through the exercise of migrating/upgrading a 1.5 site to 1.6.  I will choose a relatively simple site and document my findings.

Wish my luck!.


Building a Joomla Template from scratch - Series 2

This is my second time I've put together a video series like this.  The first 5 part video has been very popular, with this one going even further. 
You will find that in this video I've started the build from a real web design, created in Photoshop.  This is the actual way I would start all commercial template jobs.  So you get to watch over my shoulder for well over 3 hours of instructional video.

I've used my regular "conversational" teaching technique and as usual this video is designed NOT as a "in 3 easy steps", rather it's designed to actually allow you to truly LEARN.

So a word of warning, this video is NOT for those with no patience or willingness to learn.  For those who are, then I'm sure you will get heaps out of this video. This is an 8 part video of approximately 3 hours... don't try to do this in one sitting, as your head might explode!


P.S. Don't forget you can get your hands on my Template Skeleton here > Norm's Joomla Template Skeleton

Read more: Building a Joomla Template from scratch - Series 2


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