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JoomlaDay Event Feedback - Julie Steffers

I am employed as a software developer and I wanted to learn something new.  I decided that we could really use an intranet website and I started playing with WordPress and Drupal. Then I discovered Joomla!  I discovered once the Joomla bug bites it bites really hard.  I played with the demo version of Joomla hosted by CloudAccess for 30 days.  Shortly before that expired I backed it up and restored it with Akeeba Kickstart on Localhost. 

The JoomlaDay on 18-19 October 2013 was really awesome.  Not only did I make a lot of friends I learnt a great deal. 

I was very excited to learn about Joomla 3.2.  The new layout for the control panel is so neat.  It will have an improved template manager and an enhanced editor for CSS files.  You down download extensions direct from within the administrator area so you don't have to go to the Joomla’s extensions directory.  You also don't need to use FTP.  I like the fact that you can you can set up the Google authenticator which prevents the site from being hacked.  The module enhancements is really great.  You can see the name of the module position and it takes you to the back-end where you can edit.  I don't want to give everything away that it is just wait and see. 

The talk by Brett St Clair was very good on how to use Google’s products to monetize your online content. 

Paul van Jaarsveld’s presentation on what to do if one of your sites have been hacked was very insightful and it opened my eyes that prevention is better than cure, so my advice is make sure you have excellent firewall.  Remove stuff from the website that makes it obvious that it is a Joomla site like the favicon.  Also remove the login component so that people cannot access your login screen when they type /administrator and backup, backup and backup.  Being a Joomla! Fledging made me realise that I need to choose an excellent hosting company that provides firewall and support even if it costs a little more.  Peter Martin from the Netherlands told us that some FTP packages do not encrypt passwords.  Ouch!

The talk by Peter Martin on bugs, patches and other abnormalities was interesting.  It was something new.  After that he made us play a game and rewarded us with divine stroopwafels from the Netherlands.  During tea break I showed him something that I thought may be a bug.  Brett from Timber Designs picked it up as well.  The problem was that in Joomla 3.1 when you design a menu and you don't want to use Menu item root it sometimes won’t let you scroll down to select another menu.  Peter just pressed F11 and problem solved!  I learnt something now.  Brett nearly kicked himself.  But then Peter discovered my JSN PowerAdmin tools on laptop which is a new Joomla extension that I recently discovered and he learnt something new.  It’s a must have extension. His talk on how to develop a module was really good and he promised up upload it on www.db8.nl.  This is really something I would like to learn. 

Peter and Jacques Rentzke taught us a lot on how to get started and where to find help.  There are so many Joomla forums where you can find help, and when you are helped please remember to acknowledge, and others might be able to learn from it.  We were cautioned about using templates of free sites as they may contain spam links and can be hacked. We were also asked to list our favourite extensions and the three forerunners were JCE editor, Simple image Slider, and Chronoforms.

I also enjoyed networking with the others and learnt a lot from them.  I told Ada Deacon that I downloaded an extension that displays the current weather.  In Jozi last year in December displayed “light snow”.  She told me that these weather components are meant for America and they have towns with similar names. 

I attended Lovemore Nalube’s presentation on the Cape Peninsual University of Technology and took us through the unviersity's website www.cput.ac.za.  Lovemore has a doctorate degree in computer science.  He showed us a website where you can monitor your site, PageSpeed Insights, and it also make suggestions on how to enhance. 

We were not the only ones on planet earth attending JoomlaDay.  There was one in Sydney and Houston.  We could wave at each other via Skype.  What was interesting to note that there were only a few women in Sydney. 

About Joomla!Day

JoomlaDay™ in South Africa has been running since 2007, with the 11th event being organised in 2015. The event has been held in Cape Town, Durban & Johannesburg. read more...

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