Shavi Tech World

Democratizing the Web – Adventures in Joomla


While in the bath, lightning strikes and you have a terrific concept for an internet site (my fine idea continually appears to reveal itself in the bath). Problem is: 1) you don’t have the competencies or recognize a way to create it and/or 2) you do not have the budget to have it constructed. What a familiar conundrum, your remarkable website concept is all dressed up with nowhere to go. This summertime I bumped into the equal state of affairs.

I am a self-professed information, facts and expertise junkie. I always need to know what is occurring within the world and I always need to analyze. In the past, that meant plenty of time hammering away on my keyboard with the T.V. On inside the background. These were basically the hour after hour toggle-thons of Olberman, Maddow, Matthews, O’Reilly, Hannity, Colbert, Stewart, SportsCenter…You get the photograph.

I got married. That’s what started this entire journey. I was a bachelor with lots of available time for my guy channel surfing. When I got married, I had to go away these buddies, no longer to say a maximum of my stuff that failed to make the cut from my antique condo, at the back of. The interesting factor is, my spouse is extra of a T.V. Watcher than I am. Problem is, it is a wholly exclusive line-up of programming: Bones, House, CSI anything and LOTS of truth suggests. This is while the undertaking supplied itself: How am I alleged to realize what is happening in the international if I cannot watch my suggests? Taking away my programming is like asking Derek Jeter to hit a recreation triumphing domestic run without thumbs. These were dark instances.

I figured all of the facts I wanted is out there, it simply might not be wrapped up within the quite little bundle that I’ve acknowledged all my unmarried years. Each day might start the identical manner: begin up the ‘puter, login in, fire up Firefox and start the quest. I could go website by way of a website, seeking to accumulate everything I may want to about what turned into happening in the international round me: Drudge, Espn, TMZ, Fark, TechCrunch, etc.

And the focus became in general two-fold: 1) How is information delivered on the internet? And a pair of) What are the first-rate structures to supply it? I had to find a way to create a dynamic website that would no longer only gather the information, however, present it in a manner that becomes smooth to apply, smooth to navigate and would supply me directly get entry to the sites I covered. Of course, I had no concept how this became going to be accomplished, however after a considerable amount of searches I located that there were numerous alternatives, consisting of open supply software, that might meet my wishes.

Some statistics approximately open source.

The open source software program, in a nutshell, is software that gives out-of-the-container usability, is sort of totally customizable and is, first-rate of all, loose. You can also have heard of some: Ruby on Rails, Drupal, WordPress, Joomla. They offer rich functionality functions for matters along with website improvement, content control, and online publishing. If you’re worried about the cultured, lots of subject matters (the appearance of the web page) are available at no cost download or buy. When it involves functionality, hundreds of plugins and modules are also to be had. If you could think about it, there might be a module or plugin for it. These downloads also are to be had for gratis. Basically, you could construct a the web site for your very own that might cost lots in case you employed a developer.

With so many choices, how do I chose?

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It totally relies upon on what motive you want your website online to serve. What do you want your web page to do? Who is your target audience? If you want to build a community, you’ll probably want to go the Drupal or Joomla direction. Looking to do a little e-commerce? Both provide strong options for e-commerce integration. Want to put up your work online, WordPress is a wonderful solution. The bottom line is that you need to make an effort to do searches, find the reference, and decide which alternatives will quality serve your wishes. For my wishes, I chose Joomla.

So I had determined on the software. I mounted it, selected a subject matter, configured the database and backend, and selected a few modules and plugins that provided the functionality I wished…Except for the news. This changed into the next big step. The cause why I was given into this mess in the first location. I wanted information to be brought, up to date and posted real-time. With a few more searches I found my solution.

RSS Feeds

RSS, most usually translated as “Really Simple Syndication” or “Rich Site Summary”, are net feeds used to submit frequently up to date works which include blogs, information headlines, audio, and video. Sites provide these feeds so that, instead of having to test in on the website online frequently, the updates can be introduced to you routinely. Basically they “hold you inside the loop”. Numerous applications are available with the intention to supply these feeds to your computing device. In my case, I had to find a manner to supply them thru my internet site. This turned into a project due to the fact most of the people of options I found simplest supported a small number of feeds (1-three). Past that, they were not open supply, which supposed although I was given the feeds to run through my website, I wasn’t going for you to configure them. Uhmpf! More searches led me to…

Google AJAX Feed API

At first, it seemed intimidating. The call by myself form of made me pass “Hun?”. Basically, AJAX (shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) facilitates create interactive net programs. This provider, furnished through Google, lets in the user to without problems create a hard and fast of custom feeds and combine it into their web page by using sincerely replica and pasting the Google generated code. This became the right solution. And once more, it becomes free. After a few extra looking, I observed that a module turned into available for Joomla that could easily translate this service into my websites pages. So I mounted the module, noodled it (remember, you may do that with open supply), and performed my desired effects. My web page became being fed the news that I desired, but rather than the default three feeds in line with the page, I became receiving 12. My simple news site has become a news supersite. Aahhhh…Fulfillment at closing.

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I have to mention it feels desirable. It would be remiss of me no longer to offer honest caution in which caution is due. This undertaking becomes a giant task and took excessive patience, hard paintings and LOTS of hours. But in the end, a small town child with no programming revel in turned into capable of creating the web page that he dreamed of 1 morning inside the bathe. There is a revolution going on proper now on the sector extensive internet: if you can dream it you could make it take place. All the tools are to be had and all it will price is a while. Open source software is, in reality, democratizing the internet. Be brave and properly luck.

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