How to fix fatal errors related to JSON decoding when updating you Joomla core version.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, I need to find out the exact version of Joomla a site is running without being able to access the administration area.
Here’s where to find the version number in the file system.
There was no big announcement, but you may have noticed that the Joomla 3.2.2 templates area now has a compile LESS button when viewing a less file.
I had a look at how to bring this into a custom template without having to use a plugin, giving you the possibility to compile a templates less files from within the template style administration area.
Finding extensions for Joomla 1.5 is not so easy any more, and when you do find something you need there is a good chance it doesn’t work anymore (php versions, api changes etc).
I was asked today to add a recaptcha field to the standard contct form on a 1.5 site. Please, no comments about upgrading, it is not my site and not my decision, the job was to add the field, full stop.
It wasn’t so hard to find an existing plugin, but if you use recaptcha on an existing site then you are probably aware that Google recently changed the urls to access the service.
Unfortunately I was on the receiving end of this bug before finding out that it existed. Apologies to anyone trying to download my extensions – I have just enabled all new user accounts.
Updating to Joomla 3.2 introduces a new option which allows you to disable email sending globally. You can find it in Global Configuration in the server tab under the mail setting options.
For this setting to work it writes a new line in the sites configuration.php file with the following:
public $mailonline = '1';
If the line is not present then it defaults to 0 which effectively disables the sites mailing ability.
I guess it’s been a long time coming but, as more and more sites need to be upgraded to the latest Joomla versions, I finally put together a starter template using the best practices I have built up over the past 6 years of helping people speed up their Joomla websites and helping them share their content over social networks.
What started as something to make my own life easier grew exponentially to include all the things I thought should be included in normal templates but never was. JoomlaPure is everything I need to build a marketable website for any company without having to limit design.
In the days of Joomla 1.5 there were a few limitations to using core content for anything other than simple pages. Yes, plugins were available but they couldn’t handle things like nested categories, item specific galleries and videos etc etc. Many components were created to combat those limitations but the outright winner in terms of number of users and community is (by a longshot) k2.
Much of its functionality has now made it to the Joomla core (nested categories, tags, featured images) but it continues to be popular with its users (old and new). Sometimes it can be a bugger to configure, but once it’s set up you can have multiple templates with a very flexible output. For an example, take a look at Joomlabamboo’s responsive k2 template set ‘zenkit’.
Unfortunately there is one thing it lacks, and that is good spam prevention. The choices are recaptcha and stopforumspam. These days spammers get increasingly sophisticated in their methods and can get around most things quite easily. Just google ‘captcha bypass’ and look at the prices to see what I mean.
Anyway, I have seen some sites grind to a halt because of the number of spam comments submitted and today I was asked to look at one that was getting hit about once every ten minutes which when having to moderate can be pretty annoying.
For reasons detailed in an earlier post about why Joomla canonical urls are not implemented correctly it may be that you want to remove them. That’s pretty easy by hacking the core, but safer to unset the tag in your template so the changes don’t get wiped out on an upgrade.
Joomla 3 introduced a new feature of canonical url links. There is no way to turn it off in settings, which wouldn’t be a problem if it worked correctly, but unfortunately it doesn’t. It has been plagued by problems since it was introduced and has led to some sites taking a massive hit on visitor numbers after upgrading to J3.
I wrote about this a while ago in my Joomla microdata article. It has struck me since that it was complete overkill to add authorship in that way and can be done without any code changes at all, just using the standard contacts component.
The reasoning is, that you don’t have to link each article on the site to the authors Google+ page. If there is an author page on the site, and each page is linked to the author page then you only need to add the link to the Google+ profile on that author page.