Add a Discussion Forum to Joomla

Lots of websites use a discussion forum to help their users.

  • Some websites have forums for people to chat freely on whatever topic they choose.
  • Other websites use forums to provide support. People post their questions and staff members reply with the answer.

Our choice of discussion forum for Joomla is Agora from JVitals.com. We use Agora to support our Joomla training students and in this tutorial we're going to show you how to set it up on your site.

Agora Forum

Installing Agora

  1. Agora can be downloaded from the downloads section of AnythingDigital.com.
  2. Download the Agora component to your desktop. It will have a file name similar to com_agora_3.0.12.zip
  3. In your Joomla site, go to Administrator >> Extensions >> Install / Uninstall and upload Agora.
  4. Go to Components >> Agora Forum and you should see a Control Panel in front of you:

Agora Forum

Configuring Agora

The first place to start with Agora is to make it visible so that you can see how it appears on your site:

  1. Go to Menus >> Your choice of menu >> Click "New"
  2. Click "Agora Forum", enter a title for your menu link and click save.
When you visit that link on the front of your site, you'll see Agora but without any content. The first thing you need to do is add some categories. If you're running a movie forum, these might be "Romance", "Action" and "Drama". As we run a Joomla forum, we have "Extensions", "Templates" and more.
  1. Go to Components >> Agora Forum and click "Categories & Forums"
  2. Agora classifies "Forums" as the top-level and "Categories" as the second-level. This is an example of how ours are set-up. "Drupal" and "Wordpress" are Forums. "Newcomers" and "Anything" are categories and this is what people post into:

    fandc

  3. To set these up, start by clicking on "Add Forum" in the top-right corner.
  4. Once your forums are set-up, you can click "Add Category" to finish your set-up.

Agora Groups

You can create groups of users who have access to different forums and categories. For example, we allow our Drupal students access to the Drupal support forum but not Wordpress or Joomla:

  1. Go to Components >> Agora Forum >> Groups. Click "New" and name your group.
  2. Go to Components >> Agora Forum >> Categories & Forums and open a particular category.
  3. Click "Add Group" in the top-right corner and you can give that group access to the category.

How to Automatically Add Joomla Links to Keywords

This tutorial is the answer to two questions we've been asked repeatedly:

  1. How can I automatically link keywords to the appropriate websites?
  2. How can I use internal links for links on my site?

Essentially they're looking to change a link from http://www.cnn.com to http://www.ostraining.com/link/cnn/. The link still goes to the CNN website, but it first goes to a url on the webmaster's own site.

Why Would People Want to Automatically Link Keywords to Pages?

This is what Wikipedia, the New York Times, Techcrunch and many other websites do in order to keep visitors browsing around their site. It also has substantial SEO benefits. To find out more, see Session 25 of our SEO class: Understanding Internal Linking.

Why Would People Want Internal URLs for Links?

  1. Statistics. They want to be able to count how many time a link has been clicked on.
  2. SEO. Some webmasters are worried about leaking their Google Page Rank to other sites. I am not a big believer in this technique, but I know several people who consider this to be important.
  3. Affiliates. People running affiliate programs want to protect their affiliate links:

    • They think internal urls are more likely to be clicked than a url that looks like this: http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2660093-10423359
    • Some people deliberately avoid clicking on affiliate links
    • There are even rumored to be some computer-based viruses that are capable of inserting the spammer's affiliate ID into links to popular affiliate programs when people are browsing.

How to Create Internal URLs for Outbound Links

  1. Go to Administrator >> Components >> Weblinks
  2. Click "Categories" and then "New". Create a category for the kind of link you'd like to add. In this case, it will be "Media"
  3. Click "Links" and then "New". Add entries for the websites you'd like people to visit:
  4. bbc

  5. If you're using Search Engine Friendly URLs, the URLs created will look like this: /weblinks/media/keyword/. If you're not, the URLs will be in this format: /index.php?view=weblink&catid=2:media&id=keyword&option=com_weblinks&Itemid=48

Automatically Add Links to Keywords

We're going to use a small plugin called the "Weblinks Content Plugin":

  1. Download the plugin from http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/weblinks/
  2. Go to Extensions >> Plugin Manager and enable the plugin.

That's it. Now every time you mention an entry in your Weblinks component it will be automatically linked. For example, these are our three recommendations for Joomla hosting companies: Rochen, Bluehost, Hostgator or even the example we gave earlier: BBC.

As people click on these links, you can see how many times they've clicked by going to Components >> Weblinks and looking at the "Hits" column:

count

K2 - the Missing Documentation (Part 2)

The hottest new extension in Joomla is K2.

Why? Normal Joomla articles provide you with a Title and Body. K2 gives you the flexibility to add much more information. Last week in Part 1 we covered the main administrator parts of K2:

  • Installing K2
  • The K2 dashboard
  • K2 categories
  • K2 fields and field groups
  • K2 items

If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend that you go back and read Part 1 first. This week we're going to focus on the frontend of K2.

K2 Frontend

After Part 1, we should have a several categories, fields and items already inside K2. There are two items that we haven't covered yet, and they really affect the frontend of the site: users and tags.

K2 Users

Each user can have their own profile through K2. That information will appear at the bottom of each article they write, together with details of the other articles they've written. This is Chris, the author of the Canon EOS Rebel article:

Chris Profile Page

  • Administrators: People who are Managers, Administrator or Super Administrators can upload their information by going to Components >> K2 >> Users
  • Front-end users: When you uploaded the original K2 package, it included a module called "K2 Login". Go to Extensions >> Module Manager and publish that module to allow front-end users to manage their profile.

One downside is that you can't create user fields currently, without writing a custom plugin. There is only:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Gender
  • Avatar
  • Website
  • Description

That stands in contrast to a really powerful feature of K2's user system:

K2 User Groups

K2 allows you to have different authors for different categories of your site. If you'd like to have a "Digital Reporter" who submits only review of cameras, you can go to Components >> K2 >> User Groups >> New and create that group from the screen below:

K2 User Groups

So you could create several different levels of users. To give just three simple examples:

  • Contributors: They can add items in particular categories.
  • Copy Editors: They can edit and publish items in particular categories.
  • Senior Editors: They can add, edit, publish and control items in all categories.

If you use the "K2 Login" module, people can submit articles from the front-end without needing to write from the admin.

K2 Tags

K2 also has the option to add keyword tags to items. These are common in blogs and also is in catalogs so people can easily find related products. On your items, it will look like this:

K2 Tags

These tags can be added easily: when you're submitting an item:

entertags

K2 Menu Links

Let's start seeing how our items look. Go to Menus >> Main Menu >> New and click K2. You'll see a screen like this:

K2 Menu Items

  • Item: Link to just one single K2 item.
  • Categories: Link to items form one or more categories at the same time.
  • Tag: You can add keywords to the bottom of each item.
  • User Page (blog): You can have a list of all the items written by one author
  • Latest items: This one explains itself :)

We've been looking at http://demo.getk2.org as an example. If you look there you'll see examples of those different kinds of layouts:

K2 Layout Options

  • "Product" = Item
  • "Blog Entry" = Item
  • "Category Layout"and "Product Categories" = Categories
  • "Latest items" = Latest Items

An Overview of K2 - the Missing Documentation (Part 2)

Hopefully we've given you a taster of K2 and how you can use it to create articles with far more information and features.

We've taken you through all the basic aspects of K2. There's enough material for many more tutorials, including how to add video, photos, photo galleries, attachments and much more, but hopefully these two tutorials have been enough for you to catch the K2 bug!

    K2 - the Missing Documentation (Part 1)


    Full Class on this topic

    The hottest new extension in Joomla is K2.

    Why? Normal Joomla articles provide you with a Title and Body. K2 gives you the flexibility to add much more information. For example, this is part of a K2 article about a camera called the Canon EOS Rebel:

    K2 Additional Information

    Beyond just an article, you can add information about:

    • Price
    • Weight
    • Color
    • A link for more information

    You can also add tags, videos, photo galleries, comments and more.

    That is the essential benefit of K2 ... you can create articles with far more information and features.

    Installing K2

    • Go to http://getk2.org and download the file.Download K2
    • You'll see a file on your desktop with a name very similar to K2_v2.2.zip
    • Go to the administrator area of your Joomla site, then Extensions >> Install / Uninstall.
    • Click "Browse" to locate the package file and then click "Upload File and Install".
    • Go to Components >> K2

    The K2 Dashboard

    When you go to Components >> K2 you should see a screen like this one below:

    K2 Dashboard

    You'll mainly be working from the top menu, so these are the links to concentrate on:

    K2 Menu

    • Dashboard: Will take you right back to the screen you're looking at.
    • Items: That's K2's name for articles. That's where you'll add all your content.
    • Categories: Joomla places articles into Sections and Categories. K2 only has categories but you can have as many levels as you like.
    • Tags: These are the small keywords you can add at the bottom of each item.
    • Comments: K2 has its own comments system. Here you'll find all the comments written on your site.
    • Users: A list of all your K2 writers.
    • User Groups: Here you can control which categories and which features your writers have access to.
    • Extra Fields: Remember the Price, Weight, Color for the camera? Those are fields.
    • Extra Field Groups: If you have a lot of fields, you can organize them here.

    Understanding K2

    When you're getting started with K2, I'm going to recommend that you work in this order:

    1. Categories
    2. Extra Fields / Extra Fields Groups
    3. Items
    4. Other features ...

    This Missing Documentation tutorial will take you through Steps 1, 2 and 3. Next week in Part 2 we'll cover the other features.

    Step 1: K2 Categories

    The reason we're starting with categories is that otherwise we won't have anywhere to put our items. If you create an item called "Canon EOS Rebel" you need a category called "Cameras" to put it into. There isn't an "Uncategorized" option as with Joomla.

    Our aim for this tutorial is to build a site similar to K2's demo. The K2 demo has multiple different categories. We're going to focus on the Catalog. Let's start recreating that set up:

    • Click "Categories"
    • Click "New" and you'll see a screen like the one below:

    K2 New Categories

    • Enter your "Title" for the first category. In this case it will be "Catalog".
    • The "Title Alias" is just same as with Joomla. It will be the URL of this page if you have Search Engine Friendly URLs.
    • "Parent Category", "Inherit parameter options from category" and the other options can wait until we have more of K2 set up.
    • For now just enter a description for your category or click "Image" to upload an image for this category. Both of these are identical to normal  Joomla which allows a description and image for each category.
    • Click "Save and New" and move on.
    • Create more 4 categories called "Digital", "Climbing", "Bikes" and "Snowboard". Make sure to choose "Catalog" from the "Parent Category" dropdown.
    • By the time you're finished you should be able to click "Save" and see a category tree like this:

    K2 Category Tree

    We're going to re-create the K2 demo site so we need to do something else also. The demo site has a blog and a magazine layout. Go ahead and create a category called "Blog" and also one called "Magazine". K2 is big enough to handle products, blogs, magazines and more in just one installation:

    K2 Category Tree

    Step 2: K2 Groups

    Now that we have organization for our articles, we can start to add information to them. A product page is going to need different information than a blog or magazine page. That's where groups come in. We're going to recreate the same fields that we saw with the Canon EOS Rebel.

    • Click "Extra Field Groups".
    • Click "New".
    • Enter "Additional Info" and click "Save.
    • Click "Extra Fields"
    • Click "New" and you'll see a screen like the one below:

    K2 New Fields

    We're going to recreate the fields we saw for the camera:

    • Price
    • Weight
    • Color
    • A link for more information

    For all of them, we need to select "Additional Info" from the "Create New Group" dropdown.

    • For Price, Weight and Color you can choose "Text Field" and click "Save".
    • For the "More info" link you can simply choose "Link". You might also want to choose "External link" for "Link Text" and "Lightbox popup" for "Open in".

    Hopefully when you're done, you'll see a screen like this:

    K2 New Fields

    Next we're going to bring Step #1 and Step #2 together and apply those fields to some of our categories:

    • Click "Categories"
    • Click "Catalog"
    • Under "Associated "Extra Fields Group" choose "Additional Info".
    • Open up "Digital". This time we're going to "Inherit parameter options from category" and choose "Catalog". That means that we can automatically update this category when we change "Catalog". We don't have to open it up and make individual changes to each category.
    • Repeat the process for "Climbing", "Bikes" and "Snowboard".

    Step 3: K2 Items

    Now we're all set up. We have categories and information for our items. Let's go and write them:

    • Click "Items"
    • Click "New" and you'll see this screen:

    K2 New Item

    Now you can really start to see the power of K2! Image, Image galleries, videos, extra fields, attachments and more!

    • Enter "Canon EOS Rebel" into the "Title" field.
    • Choose "Digital" from the "Category" dropdown.
    • From there you're free to add as much information about this product as you want:
      • Content: write your article (or copy and paste from the K2 demo)
      • Image: upload an image that will go at the top of the page
      • Image Gallery: to have an image slideshow you'll need to install and enable the Simple Image Gallery plugin from http://www.joomlaworks.gr, the makers of K2.
      • Video: to add videos, install and enable the AllVideos plugin also from from http://www.joomlaworks.gr.
      • Extra Fields: you should see Price, Weight and the other fields we added.
      • Attachments: you can upload a document for people to download.
    • Click "Save" and repeat the process for more items ...

    An Overview of K2 - the Missing Documentation (Part 1)

    Hopefully we've given you a taster of K2 and how you can use it to create articles with far more information and features.

    Looking at the top menu, you can see that we haven't covered Tags, Comments, User, User Groups. We also haven't show you how to control the frontend layout of your K2 site. All of that and more is in Part 2 of our K2 documentation!

    K2 Menu

    Learning to Edit a Joomla Template

    Video Showing How To Edit a Joomla Template

    Learning to Edit a Joomla Template

    Seeing Your Template Code

    This tutorial will show you how to start editing Joomla templates. I'd recommend starting with a plain Joomla installation - a test site. Don't try this for the first time on your live site! If you need help installing Joomla on your computer we have intsructions for both the P.C. and the Mac. We're going to be using the default rhuk_milkyway template.

    We'll start by looking at the index.php file. It is located here: / templates / rhuk_milkway / index.php. Every template has this file and it places all of the different elements on the page.  

    • Go to Administrator >> Extensions >> Template Manager and open the rhuk_milkyway template.
    • Click "Edit HTML" in the top-right corner. You'll see the code that controls your template's output.
    • Backup! Select all of the code and copy it into a text editor. Save the file somewhere safe.

    Editing Your Template Code

    This is a little trick that will swap the modules in the left and right-hand columns.

    • Scroll down in the code until you see:

      < jdoc:include type="modules" name="left" style="rounded" / > (I've inserted a space at the beginning and end to stop the code from working here)

    • This line of code tells Joomla to show all the module in the "left" position.
    • Then scroll down until we see:

      < jdoc:include type="modules" name="right" style="xhtml" / >

    • Let's do the reverse of what we did earlier and change name="right" to name="left"
    • Click "Apply" and check the front of your site.

    Joomla Template Change

    Seeing Your CSS Code

    Next we'll look at the CSS file which controls the color, fonts, images and much more for your template. There was only one index.php file but often there are many CSS files. Each one controls a different aspect or style of the template - for example, one might control the red variation of the template, another green variation and a third the blue. Template designers split them into different files so you don't have to load them all each time - you don't have to load the green and blue code if you're only using the blue code.

    However, 99% of the time Joomla designers put all of the most important code into template.css (fairly logically named). It is located in this folder: / templates / rhuk_milkway / css /.

    • Go to Administrator >> Extensions >> Template Manager and open the rhuk_milkyway template.
    • Click "Edit CSS" in the top-right corner.
    • Scroll down until you find the template.css file and open it up.
    • Backup! As above, select all of the code and copy it into a text editor. Save the file somewhere safe.

    Editing Your CSS Code Part 1

    First, let's change part of our site's style. We'll modify the design of links on our site:

    • Scroll down in the code until you see:

      a:link, a:visited {
      text-decoration: none;
      font-weight: normal;
      }

    • This line of code tells Joomla how to style the links on your site.
    • Let's change that code so that our links will be underlined:

      a:link, a:visited {
      text-decoration: underline;
      font-weight: normal;
      }

    • Click "Apply" and check the front of your site.
    Joomla Template Change

    Editing Your CSS Code Part 2

    Next we'll move the search box from the top-left to the top-right:

    • Scroll down in the template.css code until you see:

      #search {
      float: right;
      width:320px;
      margin-top: -20px;
      margin-right: 30px;
      height: 40px;
      overflow: hidden;
      text-align:right;
      }

    • Let's change that code so that our search box will move to the left:

      #search {
      float: left;
      width:320px;
      margin-top: -20px;
      margin-right: 30px;
      height: 40px;
      overflow: hidden;
      text-align:right;
      }

    • Click "Apply" and check the front of your site:

    Joomla Template Change

    Great, I've Got That ... What Next?

    If you're feeling confident after these first steps, see if you can follow our tutorial on changing the logo on a Joomla template.

    How to Install Joomla Locally on a P.C.

    Following on from other newsletters where we showed you how to set up Joomla on a Mac and also how to develop locally and moving your site to a live server, this week we're going to walk you through installing Joomla locally, on a P.C..

    We're going to use WAMP for this tutorial.

    WAMP stands for "Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP" which are the different elements that allow you to run Joomla on your computer.

    Here's how you do it:

    Step 1: Install WAMP

    1. WAMP ServerDownload WAMP to your computer.
    2. Run through the WAMP installation process.
    3. In your taskbar, down the by the date in the bottom-right hand corner of your screen, look for the WAMP icon. Click on that icon.
    4. You should see a popup. Click "Start All Services" and then click "Localhost."
    5. Hopefully you'll see a white screen with the Wampserver logo in the top-left corner.

    Step 2: Download Joomla

    1. Joomla DownloadGo to Joomla.org and click on the black button saying "Download Joomla. Get the Latest Version". Find the line saying ".... Full Package" and click on the "ZIP" text.
    2. The file you download should have a long name such as Joomla_1.5.15-Stable-Full_Package.zip

    Step 3: Move Joomla to WAMP

    1. Click on the WAMP icon in your taskbar again and now click "www directory". This will take you to the folder where WAMP stores its websites.
    2. Move your Joomla folder from Step 2 into this directory.
    3. Extract the Joomla folder.
    4. It will be confusing to keep accessing the website through a folder called /Joomla_1.5.15-Stable-Full_Package/ so rename the folder to something simple such as /joomlatest/

    Step 4: Set up our database

    1. Click on the WAMP icon in your taskbar again and now click "phpMyAdmin". This will take you to the software where Joomla's databases are managed.
    2. Find the field labelled "Create new database" and enter "joomlatest". Click "Create".
    3. Hopefully you'll see the name "joomlatest" appear in the left column.

    Step 5: Install Joomla

    1. In your browser, visit this address: http://localhost/joomlatest
    2. You'll see the the normal Joomla installation screen. Click through screen 1, 2 and 3.
    3. On screen 4, these will be your settings:
      • Host Name: Localhost
      • Username: root
      • Password: [leave this blank]
      • Database: joomlatest
    4. On screen 5, enter your site name plus a username, email and password.

    6: Delete/rename installation directory

    1. Hopefully you still have your Joomla folder open. If not, click on the WAMP icon in your taskbar again and then on "www directory".
    2. Rename the installation folder to something such as /installation-back/
    3. Click "Site" on the final installation screen or visit http://localhost/joomlatest.

    You should now have a shiny new installation of Joomla on your P.C. where you can develop your website securely in your local environment.

    Video Showing How to Install Joomla Locally on a P.C.

    Testing a Server for PCI Compliance

    Today's security topic is inspired by a recent exercise I went through - testing a server for PCI compliance. For those who are not aware PCI is a security standard for accepting credit cards.

    According the website for PCI they state their mission as follows:

    "The PCI Security Standards Council’s mission is to enhance payment account data security by driving education and awareness of the PCI Security Standards. The organization was founded by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa, Inc."

    Read more: Testing a Server for PCI Compliance

    Importing RSS Feeds Into Joomla Articles

    This tutorial will show you how to take an RSS feed and import it into your  Joomla site. Each item on the RSS feed will become a separate Joomla article. We use this technique for a couple purposes:

    • Distributing our content to other Joomla sites. For example, we use this technique to showing these tutorials on Alledia.com.
    • Importing blogs and news on a particular topic from other sites. This way people can read them all in one place.

    We're going to use a component called 4RSS from 4RSS.com.

    Installing and Configuring 4RSS

    • Go to the 4RSS page on the Joomla Extensions Directory and download the file.
    • You'll see a file on your desktop with a name very similar to com_4ss_1.3.06.zip
    • Go to the administrator area of your Joomla site, then Extensions >> Install / Uninstall.
    • Click "Browse" to locate the package file and then click "Upload File and Install".
    • Go to Components >> 4RSS
    • Click "New" in the top-right corner and you'll see a screen like the one below:

      rssimport

    These are the settings you'll need to enter:

    • RSS Feed Title: This is just for your own use. It will never show on the front-end.
    • Feed Post URL: The address of the RSS feed you want to import.
    • Section / Category: Where the new articles will be created.
    • KeyWord: If you'd only like to import articles that mention a particular keyword, insert it here.
    • Frontpage: Do you want to publish these to the frontpage of your site?
    • Include link to original: Highly recommended to click "Yes" in nearly all circumstance. This will insert a link back to the article's original location with the text "read full article". You don't want search engines to get confused as to which page is the original.
    • Screen for Duplicates: Should 4RSS check to see whether any feeds have already been imported? Again, "Yes" is highly recommended.

    Importing the RSS Feeds

    Now that you're set up, there are two ways to import feeds:

    • Manually: In Components >> 4RSS, select the feeds you want to import and then click "Post" in the top-right corner.
    • Automatically: In Components >> 4RSS you can click the "4RSS CRON" tab. This is a little trickier and will depend on your server for the correct setup. Each hosting company will have a different place to setup cron jobs so you will need to check with them. The developer's support forum may be able to help. One common entry that may work is:

    Php -q/home/......./public_html/administrator/com_4rss/cronjob_4rss/cronjob.php > /dev/null 2>&1

    5 Useful JCE Features That People Miss

    It's no secret that Joomla's default editor lacks quite a few features. We often recommend that people upgrade to Joomla Content Editor (JCE). You can click here to find full instructions how to install JCE, including a video.

    What we're going to cover in this tutorial are 5 really great features of JCE that people often don't realise are there:

    1) Cut and Paste Images Into Different Folders

    One common complaint about Joomla's default Media Manager is that you can't move images around. Once you've uploaded an image to one location, you'll need to delete it and re-upload it if you want it in a different folder. JCE allows you to do that:

    • Click on the "Image" button in the JCE editor:

      JCE Image Button

    • You'll see a pop-up screen with the title "Image Manager". Select an image and look on the right-hand side for the pair of scissors. Click this button:

      JCE Image Button

    • You can now browse to another folder and click the "Paste" button, also on the right-hand side:

      JCE Image Button

    2) Upload Images in Bulk

    A second complaint about the Media Manager is that images have to be uploaded one-by-one. JCE offers the ability to upload in bulk.

    • As in Part 1, click on the image button in the JCE Editor.
    • Click on the "upload" button on the middle-right of the screen:

      JCE Bulk Upload

    • Keep clicking "Add" to select more images from your desktop.
    • When you're ready, click "Upload" and all your images will be uploaded.

      JCE Bulk Upload

    3) Link Directly to Any File in Your Media Manager

    With the basic Joomla editor you're faced with difficult time linking to any documents that you've uploaded. A lot of people find this a problem because they need to allow their visitors to download PDF, Word and other files. With the basic editor you actually need to know the exact location of the file if you want link to it:

    Joomla Basic Editor

    With JCE, this process is much easier:

    • Select some text in your article. This is likely to be something such as "Click here to download the PDF". The click the link button in JCE:

      Joomla Basic Editor

    • You'll see a pop-up screen with the title "Advanced Link". In the top-right hand corner, you'll see a small button that will allow you to browse all the files inside the /images/stories/ folder:

      Joomla Basic Editor

    • Select the file you want to link to and then click "Insert". JCE will automatically generate a link to that file for you.

    4) Different Editing Options for Different Users

    The JCE Editor is a very powerful tool with a lot of options. In fact, it can sometimes have too many options. You can easily imagine some non-technical users getting a little intimidated for 4 rows of buttons like this:

    JCE Layout Changes

    JCE allows you to add or remove these features, depending on what your users need.

    • Go to Components >> JCE Administrator >> Groups.
    • Here you can create different groups and assign varied features to different users. We'll use the existing "Default" group as an example.
    • Click on "Default" and then the "Layout" tab at the top.
    • The top box called "Available Plugins / Buttons" is the list of disabled features. The bottom box called "Current Editor Layout" is the list of active features. You can drag and drop individual features or even entire rows of features between these two boxes:

      JCE Layout Changes

    • We use this to make article submission much easier for our guests. For example, on Alledia.com we give writers these options:

      JCE Layout Changes

    • If you have a user who is really clumsy, you might decide to restrict their options even more :)

      JCE Layout Changes

    5) Restricting Users to their Own Upload Folders

    An important security feature that many people need is the ability to restrict users to their own upload folder. They don't want John to be able to browse around the site and see all the documents that Jane has uploaded. They don't want one client being able to find files destined for another client. JCE can do that too.

    • Go to Components >> JCE Administrator >> Groups.
    • Again, click on the existing "Default" group as an example.
    • Click the "Editor Parameters" tab and scroll to the bottom where you'll see "File Directory Path".
    • In this field you'll be able to choose the settings for people's folders. Some instructions are available in the yellow pop-up box:

      JCE Layout Changes

    • The setting I often use is images/stories/$username This will automatically create a folder for each person based on their username and they'll only be able to upload to that folder.
    • Finally, this setting only works inside JCE so you 'll need to unpublish the normal Joomla image button. Go to Extensions >> Plugin Manager and disable the plugin called "Editor Button - Image".

    Automatically Update All Your Social Networks From Joomla

    Would you like to be able to update your Joomla site and automatically send that update to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, Ning and dozens of other sites?

    This tutorial will show you how.

    Our first part will be to create an RSS feed to export all our new posts. From there we'll use Twitterfeed.com and Ping.fm to distribute the posts to all our social networks.

    Creating an RSS Feed

    First we'll use Ninja RSS Syndicator to create our RSS feed. (it has the unusual name because it's developed by a company based in Japan).

    • Step 1: Go to Joomla.org and download Ninja RSS.
    • Step 2: Download Ninja RSS onto your desktop, and you'll see a file called ninjarss_unzipme.zip. Extract that package and you should see a new folder with a component and module inside.
    • Step 3: Go to Administrator >> Extensions >> Install / Uninstall and upload com_ninjarss.zip.
    • Step 4: Go to Components >> Ninja RSS Syndicator >> Feeds and click "New".
    • Step 5: If you want to produce a feed of your whole site, simply enter a title and click save. Otherwise, scroll down and fill in the information requested. Most importantly, you can choose to hide certain sections, categories or articles:

      hidesections

    • Step 6: Save the feed, and you should see a screen like this:

      feed url

    • Step 7: Copy the entry in "Feed URL" and save it into a text editor. This will be the feed that is sent to Twitter and Facebook.

    Sending your Feed to Twitter and Facebook

    • Step 8: We're going to use a service called Twitterfeed to send our news automatically to both Twitter and Facebook. The first step is to visit Twitterfeed.com and register.
    • Step 9: Login to Twitterfeed and click "Create New Feed".
    • Step 10: You'll see a box like the one below. Enter the title, and then paste the RSS feed from Step 6:
    • feed url

    • Step 11: Click "test rss feed" to make sure everything is OK. If it is, click "Continue to Step 2".
    • Step 12: This next part allows you to send your feed to Twitter and Facebook amongst other options:

      feed url

    • Step 13: Twitter and Facebook will allow you to authenticate your accounts and link them to Twitterfeed directly from this page. You can also add "UTM" tags which are designed for Google Analytics. They will show in your analytics results, so you can see how much traffic has been sent from Twitter or Facebook. (Click here for instructions on using Google Analytics with Joomla).

      feed url

    • Step 14: The final step is a really powerful feature here that many people overlook ... Ping.fm. If you create an account and authenticate it here with Twitterfeed, you can then pass on your updates to Linkedin.com, MySpace.com, Ning.com and dozens of others. There is a full list available here.