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I just read a great article by Russ Weakley at Max Design titled "Web Standards Checklist". It is a checklist to help you evaluate your site for compliance with web standards. This is a great tool for any designer to help in the design of standards-compliant Joomla! templates. If you are not a designer, this is a great tool to help you evaluate potential templates for your website. The checklist is available in several languages.

I was reading a design site called Web Design From Scratch today, and I found confirmation to something I've known all along JoomlaShack is getting it right! In the site's "Web 2.0 how-to design style guide" under the "Strong colours" section, the first site listed as an example of a site that gets it right is TreoMobile.com, a Joomla!-powered site that uses JoomlaShack's Element template.

From the site:

Bright, strong colours draw the eye. Use them to divide the page into clear sections, and to highlight important elements.

When you have a simple, stripped-out design, you can use a bit of intense colour to help differentiate areas of real-estate and to draw attention to items you want the visitor to notice.


The Treo Mobile site uses 3 areas of strong colour to mark out and advertise 3 main areas of the site.

The background colour makes it clear that this isn't main content, and large, bold title text helps you see quickly what's in each one, so you can decide whether it interests you.

Before I joined the JoomlaShack team, I was a long-time admirer of the work produced here. Now I have even further confirmation that JoomlaShack gets it right! Way to go, guys!

Dictionary.com defines jargon like this:

1. jargon: -noun, the language, esp. the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group: medical jargon.

It also defines jargon like this:

2. jargon: -noun, unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing; gibberish.

Joomla!'s roots go back a few years, and it definitely has a language all its own. Seasoned veterans are fluent in Joomla! jargon, but for "newbies", that second definition is probably the most appropriate definition for what Joomla! jargon really is. For that reason, I have decided to attempt to compile a list of the most commonly used words and/or phrases in Joomla!, and give them a definition that actually means something to a non-veteran Joomla! user.

If you follow Joomla! news, you no doubt heard that Joomla! 1.5 beta was released on October 12 (or October 13, depending on what time zone you live in). This is great news for anyone using Joomla!, because it means that we are close to the stable release of version 1.5. I am extremely excited about this new version for several reasons, but as a designer, there is one main reason for my excitement.

That reason can be summed up in three words: no more tables! The new templating system for J!1.5 enables designers to override the default html output of the core Joomla! components and modules. This means that those pesky tables included in the default output can be a thing of the past, which means improved accessibility, more standards-compliant websites, and better SEO.

This new templating system, greater ease of extensibility (3rd party developers will have an improved framework for building components, modules, and plugins), and a growing, dynamic community make Joomla! the best CMS on the market. The possibilities of what can be done with Joomla! are limitless!

Splash pages (those annoying pages with some sort of fancy graphic or flash intro that say "Click to Enter" or "Skip Intro") are bad. I could spend a whole article trying to convince you of this fact, but I think this article does a better job of it than I could ever do.

One of the most common mistakes made by Joomla! designers is to assume that just because you loaded Joomla! in a directory called "http://www.yourdomain.com/joomla" or "http://www.yourdomain.com/cms" or "http://www.yourdomain.com/home" rather than your root web directory, you are stuck needing to create a splash or intro page in your root directory to point your users to the real site. Nothing could be futher from the truth. As a webmaster, you have a couple of options for pointing users to your content without the need for a splash page. I will try to cover those options in this tutorial.

Ever wonered how to link to a content item without first creating a menu item? Read on if you want to find out the shortcut.

Written by Paola Gómez

Since the launch of Internet Explorer 7 I struggled with ways to test sites on IE6 & IE7.

One solution which was suggested to me by Dean is to have multiple OS's installed on emulation software such as VMWare.

I installed VMWare as I'm sure it'll come in handy but the 4GB of space it requires to install a second version of Windows XP seemed a bit like over kill for my liking so I searched for another solution.

Here's that solution: http://browsers.evolt.org/?ie/32bit/standalone - I now have a standalone version of IE6 alongside my updated IE7

Written by Paola Gómez

If you've tried to install a Joomla! 1.0.x template on your Joomla! 1.5beta2 enabled website you'll know that legacy mode must be enabled before the template can be uploaded

"But how do I enable Legacy Mode in Joomla! 1.5beta2?" I hear you ask

Written by Paola Gómez

Well, another successful week in the Joomla! universe.

In case you didn't hear this week in London Joomla! had bestowed upon it for the second year in succession the Best Linux / Open Source Project award by LinuxUser and Developer Magazine

The event itself was a rip roaring success literally hundreds of (if not a few thousand) people turned up at the booth eager to learn about Joomla! in general and Joomla! 1.5b in particular. The first public unveiling of Joomla! 1.5b had tongues wagging and imaginations soaring, the heartening thing was that people just simply "got it". Day one was spent on our feet, I got to London early afternoon and headed straight to the Exhibition centre suitcase in hand to be met by fellow Joomla! community member Mitchell Annable (Nottingham UK) and Joomla! core developer Johan Janssens (Diest Belgium). I was there five minutes before Johan turned to me and said "Man the booth I need to go hire a tux for tonight" - So in at the deep end for me! From minute one it was non stop I didn't get a breather, not even a drink of water, until late afternoon. By this time Johan's fellow core team members Peter Russell (Leeds, UK) and my buddy Louis Landry (New Orleans, USA) had also returned to the booth, although we didn't get a chance to even say "hello" to each other for at least two hours. Day two was a little quieter (but not much) and it was fun to see Johan holding an impromptu conference over at the Drupal booth sharing ideas and answering questions while Peter and Louis went and did some PR "work" with the LinuxUser and Developer magazine booth babes - check out the pics over at Joomla.org

From a Joomlashack perspective it was great to meet a some of the UK based Joomlashack community that popped by to say hello, it's always nice to meet people in person and hear that we're doing a great job - so a big thanks goes out to those that I met

Written by Paola Gómez

If you have a website (Joomla or otherwise), and you have a vague interest in getting traffic, then pay per click (PPC) need to be part of your Search Engine (SEM) strategy.

Why is pay per click so useful? If you put an ad in a magazine about your product, you pay the magazine the add fee and it goes in. At that point you are hoping that the ad is compelling enough to get people to call/email/visit your site. If you get no leads from the ad, then you still had to pay the magazine the fee.

Written by Paola Gómez